John Bohlinger

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John Bohlinger
John Bohlinger.jpg
33rd Lieutenant Governor of Montana
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 7, 2013
GovernorBrian Schweitzer
Preceded byKarl Ohs
Succeeded byJohn Walsh
Member of the Montana House of Representatives
Member of the Montana Senate
Personal details
Born (1936-04-21) April 21, 1936 (age 83)
Bozeman, Montana, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic (2013–present)
Other political
Republican (Before 2013)
Independent (2013)
Spouse(s)Bette Cobetto (Deceased)
Karen Seiler
Alma materUniversity of Montana, Missoula

John Bohlinger, Jr. (born April 21, 1936) is an American businessman and politician. He was the 29th Lieutenant Governor of Montana, having served from January 2005 to January 2013. Bohlinger ran for lieutenant governor as a Republican on a bipartisan ticket headed by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian Schweitzer. Schweitzer and Bohlinger were elected governor and lieutenant governor in the 2004 election and both were reelected in the 2008 election. Due to term limits, they were unable to run in the 2012 election. He began his political career as a member of the Republican Party before switching to the Democratic Party in 2013.

Early life, education, and military and business career[edit]

Bohlinger was born in Bozeman, Montana in 1936 to John and Aileen Bohlinger. In 1941, the family moved to Billings, Montana where his parents operated a women's apparel store, Aileen's.[1]

While enrolled at Billings Senior High School, Bohlinger enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He went on to the University of Montana where he became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in business. The Marine Corps called him to service after his sophomore year and he completed his university career after completing his service with the Marine Corps. Bohlinger spent the next 33 years as a small businessman working in the family clothing business.[2]

Political career[edit]

Bohlinger served three terms in the Montana House of Representatives and was then twice elected to the Montana State Senate. He resigned his Senate seat as he assumed the office of lieutenant governor.[citation needed]

On the 2004 Democratic gubernatorial ticket, Bohlinger, a Republican, joined with Democratic candidate Brian Schweitzer. There was no precedent in Montana for a gubernatorial ticket where the candidates belonged to different parties. The ticket prevailed, and Bohlinger was inaugurated as lieutenant governor of Montana, on January 3, 2005. The Schweitzer-Bohlinger team was re-elected to a second term, on November 4, 2008.[citation needed]

2014 U.S. Senate election[edit]

On November 5, 2013, Bohlinger announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in 2014 for Montana's Class II U.S. Senate seat, to succeed the retiring Max Baucus.[3] The Democratic nomination was won by US Senator John Walsh who had been appointed to fill the seat when Baucus resigned. Walsh dropped out of the race on August 7, following allegations of plagiarism.


He was the husband of Bette Cobetto, who died of cancer on January 9, 2006. Bohlinger married Karen Seiler in Helena on January 12, 2008.[4] They have since divorced.


  1. ^ "Biography: Lt. Governor John Bohlinger". Archived from the original on June 17, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  2. ^ Project Vote Smart. "Lieutenant Governor John C. Bohlinger (MT)". Retrieved April 5, 2011.
  3. ^ Sanjay Talwani (November 5, 2013). "Bohlinger announces candidacy for U.S. Senate". Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  4. ^ Schweitzer Bohlinger 2008. "Meet John". Retrieved April 4, 2011.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Karl Ohs
Lieutenant Governor of Montana
Succeeded by
John Walsh