Rick Hill

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Rick Hill
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Montana's at-large district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2001
Preceded byPat Williams
Succeeded byDenny Rehberg
Personal details
Richard Hill

(1946-12-30) December 30, 1946 (age 74)
Grand Rapids, Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationSt. Cloud State University (BA)
Concord University (JD)

Richard Hill (born December 30, 1946) is an American politician and businessman who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Montana.[1] He was the Republican nominee for Governor of Montana in 2012.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Hill was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. He was one of four children and grew up in a one-room apartment in the back of a tire repair shop. At age four, Hill was paralyzed by polio. In 1964, he graduated from Aitkin High School in Aitkin, Minnesota. In 1968, he graduated from Saint Cloud State University Hill received his Juris Doctor degree in 2005 from the Concord Law School in Los Angeles, California.[1]

Early career[edit]

Hill owned a surety bonding company prior to entering politics.[3]

He served as Republican precinct committeeman and state committeeman from Lewis and Clark County, Montana; member, served on the board of directors, Montana Science and Technology Alliance; and chaired the Montana State Worker’s Compensation Board from 1993 to 1996.[1]

In 1993, Governor Marc Racicot selected Hill to act as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Montana State Fund, where he worked in a volunteer, unpaid capacity for three years. At the time Hill became chairman, the organization had a $500 million debt. After leaving the post, he worked to cut the pay and pensions of the state employees charged with administering the fund.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


In 1996, Hill ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in Montana's at-large congressional district.[1] He won the Republican primary with 44% of the vote. In the general election, he defeated Democrat Bill Yellowtail, who had been a Regional Administrator for the United States Environmental Protection Agency,[5] 52%–43%.[6] In November 1998, Hill won re-election to a second term, defeating the Democratic nominee, longtime Missoula County Attorney Dusty Deschamps, 53%–44%.[7]

In 2000, Hill decided not to run for re-election to a third term, citing vision problems, which were subsequently corrected. The election was won by Republican nominee Denny Rehberg, who defeated Nancy Keenan,[8] then the three-term State Superintendent of Public Instruction.[9]


Between 1997 and 2000, Hill sponsored 32 bills, of which 22 did not made it out of committee and four were passed into law by Congress.[10] He voted with the Republican party 91% of the time.[11]

Committee assignments[edit]

Hill served on the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources.[12]

2012 gubernatorial election[edit]

In November 2010, Hill announced he would run for Governor of Montana in 2012.[13] He selected State Senator Jon Sonju as his running mate.[14] On November 6, 2012, Hill lost to his Democratic opponent, Steve Bullock, in the general election by a margin of 48.9%–47.3%.[15]

Personal life[edit]

In May 1976, Hill filed for divorce from his first wife, Mary Hill (née Spaulding), after having an affair with another woman. In 1980, after the couple failed to reconcile, Spaulding filed for divorce and Hill obtained custody of the three children.[16][17][18] He married his second wife, Betti, in 1983.


  1. ^ a b c d United States Congress. "Rick Hill (id: H000605)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  2. ^ Johnson, Charles (November 6, 2010). "Former GOP U.S. Rep. Rick Hill to run for Montana governor". Missoulian. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  3. ^ https://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/states/frosh/9612/25/%7CCNN New House Member Bios 1996
  4. ^ "Hill says state fund pay is over the top".
  5. ^ Anez, Bob (October 24, 1996). "Montana Voters To Choose Between Adulterer, Spouse Abuser". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Associated Press. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  6. ^ "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 5, 1996". Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. July 23, 1997. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  7. ^ "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 3, 1998". Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. January 3, 1999. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  8. ^ Gouras, Matt (November 5, 2010). "Former U.S. Rep. Rick Hill to run for Governor". Montana Standard. Associated Press. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  9. ^ Ayres, B. Drummond Jr. (May 27, 1999). "Political Briefing; Some Big Thunder in Big Sky Country". The New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  10. ^ Congressional profile at GovTrack; retrieved March 15, 2012.
  11. ^ Voting record maintained by the Washington Post; retrieved March 15, 2012.
  12. ^ Lindquist, Laura (January 8, 2012). "Campaign stop: Candidate Rick Hill visits with Ravalli County commissioners". Ravalli Republic. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  13. ^ "Rick Hill Announces run for Governor" (Press release). November 13, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  14. ^ Reece, Myers (January 18, 2012). "Rick Hill Announces Jon Sonju as Gubernatorial Running Mate". Flathead Beacon. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  15. ^ "2012 Montana Governor Results". 2012 Election Central. Politico. com. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  16. ^ McLaughlin, Kathleen (October 4, 1996). "Hill Divorce Papers Surface: More Details Shed Light on Candidate's Marital Troubles". Billings Gazette.
  17. ^ McLaughlin, Kathleen (August 31, 1996). "Candidate Releases Mass of Divorce Records". Montana Standard. p. A3.
  18. ^ "Hill's Wife Says Affair Broke Them Up". The Independent Record. Helena. October 6, 1996.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Pat Williams
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Montana's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Denny Rehberg
Party political offices
Preceded by
Roy Brown
Republican nominee for Governor of Montana
Succeeded by
Greg Gianforte

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.