Judy Martz

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Judy Martz
Judy Martz 2003.jpg
22nd Governor of Montana
In office
January 1, 2001 – January 3, 2005
Lieutenant Karl Ohs
Preceded by Marc Racicot
Succeeded by Brian Schweitzer
31st Lieutenant Governor of Montana
In office
January 6, 1997 – January 1, 2001
Governor Marc Racicot
Preceded by Denny Rehberg
Succeeded by Karl Ohs
Personal details
Born Judy Morstein
(1943-07-28) July 28, 1943 (age 74)
Big Timber, Montana, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Harry Martz
Education Montana State University, Billings (BA)

Judy Martz (born July 28, 1943) is an American politician who was the 22nd Governor of Montana, the first and to date only woman to hold the office, serving from January 1, 2001 to January 3, 2005.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Martz was born July 28, 1943 in Big Timber, Montana as Judy Morstein. She graduated from Butte High School in 1961, and attended Eastern Montana College.[2] Martz' father was a miner and rancher, and her mother was, at various times, a cook, liquor-store clerk and motel maid.[3]

Career before Governorship[edit]

Martz was a speed skater at the 1964 Olympics (1500 metres), 1962 Miss Rodeo Montana,[4] and owner and operator, with her husband, Harry, of a garbage disposal service in her hometown of Butte, Montana. She was one of the first two Montana women to appear in the Olympics.

In 1996 Martz became the first female Lieutenant Governor of Montana, elected with Marc Racicot.[5] She served as Lieutenant Governor from 1997 to 2001. She was Montana's first female governor.[6]


Montana Governor Judy Martz, FEMA Director Michael Brown and Bob Beckley of the Forest Service tour a smokejumper plane in Missoula, Sept. 2003

In the Montana gubernatorial election of 2000, Martz won the Republican primary over conservative activist and University of Montana law professor Rob Natelson 57 percent to 43 percent. She would go on to defeat her Democratic opponent, State Auditor Mark O'Keefe, in the general election by a margin of 51 percent to 47 percent.[7] Upon becoming governor, Martz' first legislative session resulted in the single largest increase in the education budget in Montana history,[8] as well as tax cuts intended to stimulate the stagnant state economy.

Martz was put under a statewide microscope in November 2001 when a 1999 real estate deal between the Martzes and ARCO was uncovered. The Martz family had a ranch that adjoined another large parcel of land that was owned by the ARCO company, at that time ARCO sold that land at an allegedly low value to the Martz family. The state Democratic Party alleged that Martz had assisted ARCO in her position as Lieutenant Governor. However, the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices found that the allegations lacked merit. Also during her term, her chief policy adviser, Shane Hedges, was involved in a drunk driving accident near Marysville, Montana in August 2001, after which he went to Martz's residence, where she washed his clothes.[9] House Majority Leader Paul Sliter died in the accident. Martz's policy advisor promptly resigned and pled guilty to a charge of negligent homicide.[10]

Martz announced that she would not run for re-election as governor in 2004. Martz finished her time in office campaigning for President Bush in Ohio, Arizona, and other swing states, and sparring with incoming Democratic governor Brian Schweitzer over transition of state government.[11]

Career after Governorship[edit]

In September 2005 Martz was named chair of Montanans for Judge Roberts (Chief Justice nominee John Glover Roberts, Jr.) and spoke at a rally in support of Roberts. She also sat on the boards of Maternal Life International, University of Montana Western, Big Sky State Games, and TASER International, a company that manufacturers non-lethal electrical shock equipment for law enforcement, the military, and private individuals.[12]

She never ruled out another run for office, saying she'd have to pray "long and hard" to make the decision.[12]

Family and personal life[edit]

Martz and her husband, Harry, were married in 1965. They had two children.[2]

In May 2003, Martz made it into the news, through no action of her own, due to a supposed similarity to the face and hair of a nude bordello dancer sculpted by Seattle artist Kristine Veith, and placed in a new development in downtown Helena. Both Martz and Veith deny the similarity, with Martz stating, possibly partially tongue-in-cheek, "I'm a very modest person, no one would ever see me like that. My husband doesn't ever see me like that".[13][14]

Electoral history[edit]

Montana gubernatorial election, 2000[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Judy Martz 209,135 50.98% -28.18%
Democratic Mark O'Keefe 193,131 47.08% +26.25%
Libertarian Stan Jones 7,926 1.93%
Majority 16,004 3.90% -54.43%
Turnout 410,192
Republican hold Swing


  1. ^ "Judy Martz". Montana Historical Society. Archived from the original on 20 August 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Montana Governor - Biography of Governor Judy Martz". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  3. ^ Rob Gurwitt(2000). "Judy Martz: Cautious Ambition". www.governing.com. Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Miss Rodeo Montana History". Miss Rodeo Montana, Inc. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Montana Governor Judy Martz". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  6. ^ Tribune Staff. "125 Montana Newsmakers: Judy Martz". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  7. ^ Almanac of American Politics 2004 - Gov. Judy Martz (R) - Montana
  8. ^ "Judy Martz on Education". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  9. ^ Bureau, KATHLEEN McLAUGHLIN of the Missoulian State. "Hedges crash probe looked at cover-up". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  10. ^ 02/14/02, KATHLEEN McLAUGHLIN, IR State Bureau -. "Cover-up was suspected". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  11. ^ "Martz, Schweitzer argue over transition costs". Archived from the original on October 7, 2007. 
  12. ^ a b "Ex-Governor Judy Martz at Peace With Lord, Legacy". 17 May 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  13. ^ Some see Martz in mural (dead link)
  14. ^ "The Odd Truth". cbs. September 5, 2003. Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  15. ^ 2000 Statewide General Canvas - November 7,2000

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Denny Rehberg
Lieutenant Governor of Montana
Succeeded by
Karl Ohs
Preceded by
Marc Racicot
Governor of Montana
Succeeded by
Brian Schweitzer
Party political offices
Preceded by
Marc Racicot
Republican nominee for Governor of Montana
Succeeded by
Bob Brown