Corey Stapleton

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Corey Stapleton
Secretary of State of Montana
Assumed office
January 2, 2017
Governor Steve Bullock
Preceded by Linda McCulloch
Member of the Montana Senate
from the 27th district
In office
January 2001 – January 2009
Preceded by Bruce Crippen
Succeeded by Gary Branae
Personal details
Born (1967-09-17) September 17, 1967 (age 49)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Terry Stapleton
Education United States Naval Academy (BS)
Website Campaign website

Corey Stapleton (born September 17, 1967) is a Republican and former Montana State Senator[1] of eight years duration.

Early life, education, and military service[edit]

Corey was born in Seattle, Washington. He was adopted as an infant and lived in Idaho Falls, Idaho until age 2 and then moved to Great Falls, Montana in 1969. His parents are Toby and Avis Stapleton. His father is a retired architect and colonel in the Army reserve from Lewistown, Montana. Mother was a teacher of home economics, from Livingston, Montana.

Graduating from Annapolis

Corey enlisted into the United States Navy’s nuclear power program through the Deferred Entry Program at the end of his junior year of high school, and went to boot camp in Orlando, Florida, the following year after graduation in 1986.

In Orlando, Corey quickly ascended into the top leadership position of his boot camp company, earning Honor Recruit and gaining the attention of military superiors. Within months he was nominated by the Secretary of the Navy to attend the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island. Serving as battalion adjutant and earning the Most Inspirational Wrestler Award he earned an appointment to the United States Naval Academy[2] in Annapolis, Maryland.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering. He served as a Surface Warfare Officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) and the Aegis cruiser USS Hué City (CG-66), earning numerous awards, qualifications, and commendations before voluntarily resigning his naval commission and returning to Montana in 1997. Leaving the navy, Corey began his current-day occupation in Billings, Montana, as a financial advisor[3] primarily working with families and their retirement needs.[4]

Montana Senate[edit]

Senate hearing


In 2000 he won a three-way Republican primary and then general election to become the first Generation X-er elected to the Montana State Senate. In 2004, he won re-election to a second term, defeating Democrat Chris Daem 57%-43%.[5]


Within a couple years he was elected Majority Whip[6] and he would serve continuously in leadership positions until term-limited out of office in 2008. He served as Senate Minority Leader[7] in the contentious 2007 legislative session, which ended without a budget compromise between the Democratic-controlled senate and Republican-controlled House.

He sponsored several pieces of legislation including Otter Creek Coal development (SB409 2003)[8] the attempted creation of a Montana medical school (SB273 2005)[9] the Montana National Guard Relief Act (SB75)[10] and the demand for reorganization and replacement of the Montana Department of Revenue’s failed computer system POINTS (SB271 2003)[11] His SB271 passed, which terminated the costly new computer software system that never fully functioned during the Martz administration.[12]

He was a member of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Legislative Leaders Council and traveled to Taiwan, Japan, and Turkey representing Montana. In 2006 he was the architect of Republican legislative candidates’ “Handshake with Montana”[13] similar to the 1994 Republican PartyContract with America[14] and put Montana Republicans back into control of the House and split control of the Montana State Senate.[15][16]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Finance and Claims[17]
  • Legislative Audit[18]

Campaigns for higher office[edit]

2012 gubernatorial election[edit]

In 2012, he decided to run for Governor of Montana. His running mate was former State Senator Bob Keenan.[19] He lost however, to former U.S. Congressman Rick Hill, who won the seven-candidate Republican primary with a plurality of 34% of the vote. Stapleton ranked second with 18% of the vote, sixteen points behind Hill. He won only two counties in the state: Yellowstone (33%) and Treasure (29%).[20][21]

2014 U.S. Senate election[edit]

In early 2013, he decided to run for the U.S. Senate and challenge longtime Democratic incumbent Max Baucus. He strongly criticized his liberal record and started a petition to repeal Obamacare.[22] In April 2013, Baucus decided to retire.[23]

2014 U.S. House of Representatives election[edit]

After it became clear that freshman Representative Steve Daines would seek the Senate seat, Stapleton withdrew from the Senate race to instead run for Daines' seat in the House. Stapleton lost the Republican primary to Ryan Zinke.

Personal life[edit]

Corey and Terry were married June 6, 1992 in Great Falls. They have four children. He enjoys playing soccer, basketball, golf, and running marathons/triathlons. He has served on various community boards including Montana Manufacturing Extension board,[24] Rotary, American Legion, and the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind foundation[25] His family attends Faith Chapel church in Billings


  1. ^ "Former GOP state Sen. Corey Stapleton to run for governor in 2012". 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  2. ^ "Western Voters Could be Up for Grabs for Obama and McCain - US News and World Report". Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  3. ^ "Financial Advisors in Billings, Montana (59101)". Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  4. ^ Retrieved May 20, 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  5. ^ "MT State Senate 27 Race - Nov 02, 2004". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  6. ^ "Montana Balance of Power Shifts With a Single Seat". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ [2] Archived December 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "New laws left in the wake of the 2005 Legislature". 2005-04-26. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  10. ^ [3][dead link]
  11. ^ "Senate gets look at HB2". 2003-03-23. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  12. ^ "Stapleton switches to House race, says Daines is running for Senate". 2013-09-04. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  13. ^ "Battle looms over budget surplus". 2006-07-08. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  14. ^ [4] Archived August 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ "Corey Stapleton". The Weekly Standard. 2013-02-06. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  17. ^ "Corey Stapleton, Previous Candidate for State Senator District 10, Montana". Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  18. ^ [5][dead link]
  19. ^ [6][dead link]
  20. ^ "MT Governor - R Primary Race - Jun 05, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  21. ^ "Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch 2012 Statewide Primary Election Canvass" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  22. ^ "Obamacare repeal central for GOP primary field - Paige Winfield Cunningham". Politico.Com. 2013-05-15. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  23. ^ "Max Baucus Senate Exit May Prompt Free-For-All In 2014". 2013-04-24. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  24. ^ "Forward Focus" (PDF). 2008. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  25. ^ "MSDB Express : Montana School for the Deaf and Blind" (PDF). 2009. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Corey Stapleton at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices
Preceded by
Linda McCulloch
Secretary of State of Montana