Last Updated June 20, 2022
SD 01 (Cuffe – R): Veteran lawmaker Senator Mike Cuffe is the only one running for the office and is guaranteed a second 4-year term. Updated 5/14/2022
SD 04 (Blasdel – R): This seat is open due to term limits. Rep. John Fuller represents half of this district and easily won the GOP primary. Fuller attracted attention during the 2021 legislative session by carrying several bills focusing on transgender issues, and has long been known as a very conservative individual.
This is one of the closer Flathead Senate seats, and Democrats can definitely be expected to compete. City Councilman Kyle Waterman has filed for the seat. Updated 6/20/2022
SD 05 (Keenan – R): Another open seat in the Flathead, termed-out Rep. Mark Noland, who represents half of this district, won the GOP primary and is the only candidate remaining, as no Democrat filed to run. Updated 6/20/2022
SD 08 (Webber – D): A safe Democrat district, Sen. Susan Webber faced no opposition in 2018 and should be a safe bet to win reelection, though Republican Rick Jennison is challenging her. Updated 5/14/2022
SD 09 (Gillespie – R): A sprawling district from North Lewis and Clark County to Toole County, with a plurality of votes in Pondera County, Senator Butch Gillespie has filed for reelection and will win, as he is the only candidate that filed. Updated 5/14/2022
SD 11 (Jacobson – D): Sen. Tom Jacobson is no stranger to hard-fought elections, having won three tight House elections and a somewhat close 2018 Senate race. He is running for reelection in 2022
With Republicans sweeping Cascade County legislative races in 2020, expect Republicans to work hard at flipping this seat. Rep. Ed Buttrey represents half of this district, but is barred by term limits from seeking this seat, as he previously served two terms in this Senate seat. Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway, the current Vice-Chair of the State GOP, represents the other half of the district. Daniel Emrich has filed to seek the GOP nomination. Updated 10/23/2021
SD 12 (Boland – D): Another Great Falls Senate seat that should see a close election, Senator Carlie Boland only won in 2018 by 208 votes over Steve Galloway (Rep. Sheldon-Galloway’s husband). Boland is not seeking reelection, while Galloway was elected to the House in 2020 and now represents half of this district, while the other half is represented by fellow newly elected Republican Scot Kerns. Termed-out GOP Rep. Wendy McKamey won the GOP primary and now pivots to the general election, which represents a significant pickup opportunity for the GOP.
The Democrat nominee is former Havre area Rep., Democrat Jacob Bachmeier. Though he has not run for office in the area before, Bachmeier is a legitimate candidate who, despite being one of the younger legislators during his time in Helena, has credibility within the Democratic establishment. Updated 6/20/2022
SD 13 (Hoven – R): A Republican-held open seat in Great Falls, this appears to be another probable close race. Republican Representatives Jeremy Trebas and Steve Gist each serve half of the district, giving credibility to a GOP lean to the area. However, Great Falls has a history of close legislative races and can be swingy depending on turnout. Trebas, who has ran, won, and lost several races for various legislative seats over the years, has filed to succeed Hoven.
On the Democrat side, former Rep. Casey Schreiner, who has represented each House seat in this Senate district in his legislative career, has filed for the seat. Schreiner served as the Minority Leader in the House his final term, and was the Democrat nominee for Lt. Governor in 2020.
Schreiner is a strong candidate and this seat represents one of the more probable Democratic pick-up opportunities this cycle. Trebas, though, is also an excellent campaigner and shouldn’t be overlooked. We’ll consider this as a Toss-Up for now. Keep an eye on fundraising numbers, as Schreiner should be able to tap into a statewide network, while Trebas is not known as a strong fundraiser. Updated 5/1/21
SD 14 (Tempel – R): Republican Senator Russ Tempelwon a tight race with Democrat Paul Tuss in 2018, but it would be unlikely for this seat to again be close. Tempel is running again, both House seats are now represented by Republicans as well, and it is unlikely that a Democrat as well-suited for the seat as Tuss, who is running for the Havre-area House seat, will emerge.
David Brewer is running as a Democrat. Updated 6/20/2022
SD 15 (Bartel – R): Now-Senator Dan Bartel was appointed to fill the seat after Ryan Osmundson left to become Gov. Gianforte’s Budget Director. Because there is a general election before the term expires there will be a special election. Bartel is running, and will face Democrat Cindy Palmer. Updated 5/14/2022
SD 19 (Bogner – R): Senator Kenneth Bogner won this safe Republican seat in 2018 by winning a three-way primary that included former Rep. Bill Harris and current Rep. Jerry Schillinger. His primary win was fueled by his strength is Custer County. Fresh off expanding his statewide name ID as former Senator Albert Olszewski’s gubernatorial running mate, Bogner is a safe bet for reelection, and is the only candidate who filed. Updated 5/14/2022
SD 20 (Ankney – R): Longtime lawmaker Sen. Duane Ankney is termed out, which set up a primary to succeed him between liberal GOP Rep. Geraldine Custer and conservative firebrand Rep. Barry Usher. Usher was victorious in the primary and will be the next Senator, as no Democrat is running. Updated 6/20/2022
SD 22 (Kary – R): Sen. Doug Kary is term-limited, and former Rep. Daniel Zolnikov has filed to run here, possibly clearing the field. First-term Rep. Larry Brewsterhad filed to run here, but after Zolnikov’s announcement jumped back to the House. Zolnikov is about as close to the Montana Legislature has to a celebrity politician, and can raise money. He does rub some people the wrong way, however, as evidenced by his 3rd place showing in a Public Service Commission primary in 2020. Terry Dennis is the Democrat candidate. Updated 5/14/2022
SD 24 (McNally – D): The winner of a very expensive campaign against now-Senator Tom McGillvray, Sen. Mary McNally is termed-out of her seat in 2022. House seats in this district are represented by Democrats. Representative Kathy Kelker has filed to run, and would likely be tough to beat in a general election. Elijah Tidswell, who had explored other legislative races, before settling on SD 24, is the Republican candidate. Updated 5/15/2022
SD 27 (Smith – R): Senator Cary Smith has long been a conservative stalwart, but is prevented from running again due to term limits. Rep. Dennis Lenz, termed out in the House, will be the next Senator from this district, as he is the only one running. Updated 5/15/2022
SD 29 (Howard – R): This safely Republican open seat encompassing Carbon and Stillwater Counties is open due to term limits. Former Rep. Forrest Mandeville, an unsuccessful candidate for Secretary of State in 2020, is the only candidate. Updated 5/15/2022
SD 30 (Esp – R): Senator John Esp won election in 2018 by over 1000 votes with a well-funded Democrat and a Libertarian on the ballot, so it’s fair to label this seat as safe Republican. As such, Esp should be a safe bet for reelection. Esp has been in politics for a long time, serving several stints in both the House and Senate since 2001.
On the Democrat side, Jamie Isaly is attempting to unseat Esp. Updated 5/15/2022
SD 32 (Flowers – D): Senator Pat Flowers won a tough race in 2018 by beating then-Senator (now Representative) Jedidiah Hinkle. Flowers is running for reelection, and likely begins with an edge.
As we previously speculated, Republican Randy Chamberlin, who ran a very respectable House campaign in 2020, losing a primary by 33 votes to now-Rep. Jane Gillette, is running for this seat. Updated 5/15/2022
SD 33 (Pomnichowski – D): Senator JP Pomnichowski is termed out of this reliably Democrat district. Democrat Rep. Denise Hayman, who represents half of the district in the House and is also termed out, is running.
Adam Dewis is the candidate on the GOP side. Updated 5/15/2022
SD 34 (Vance – R): Senator Gordy Vance is termed out, so this likely Republican, Belgrade-area seat will be open. Both House districts within this Senate district are represented by Republicans (brothers Jedidiah Hinkle and Caleb Hinkle). Shelley Vance, Gordy’s wife and a former Gallatin County Clerk and Recorder, is the GOP nominee.
The Democrats will counter with Damion Lynn. Updated 6/20/2022
SD 41 (Ellis – D): Senator Janet Ellis is running for reelection and is a good bet to win this safe Democrat seat in Lewis and Clark County, including large areas of Helena.
We did not expect a serious Republican to emerge, but that changed when Dave Galt announced his candidacy. Galt is a well-connected former cabinet member in the Martz administration and former lobbyist. We expect him to run a credible campaign, as he should have access to the resource to make this seat more competitive than it has been in decades. We still see Ellis as a favorite, but don’t sleep on this race. Updated 5/15/2022
SD 42 (Cohenour – D): The district that includes the State Capitol building is likely to remain in Democrat hands, even as Senator Jill Cohenour, currently the Senate Minority Leader, vacates the seat due to term limits. Democrat Representatives Kim Abbott (the current House Minority Leader) and Mary Ann Dunwell represent the House seats within this district. Dunwell has filed to seek this Senate seat.
A Republican victory is a longshot here, though Matt Olson has filed on the GOP side. Updated 2/5/22
SD 43 (Ellsworth – R): Senator Jason Ellsworth won his seat in 2018 by defeating an incumbent Republican allied with the moderate solutions caucus. Ellsworth has shown himself to be both ambitious (he is currently the Senate President Pro Tempore) and unafraid to spend money on his races. He has faced a bit a controversy after it was revealed he was pulled over for going 88 mph in a construction zone while on his way to meetings in Helena and attempted to use his position to get out of trouble. Ellsworth easily survived a primary and moves on to the general.
John Schneeberger is running on the Democrat side. Updated 6/20/2022
SD 48 (Morigeau – D): Recently appointed to fill former Senator Nate McConnell’s seat, Senator Shane Morigeau is running for a full term in 2022. Fresh off a loss in the State Auditor’s race, Morigeau is a safe bet to win reelection, as the seat is reliably Democrat.
Jacob Van Horn will be the GOP’s sacrificial lamb. Updated 5/15/2022
SD 49 (Sands – D): Senator Diane Sands won two close elections during her time in the Senate, beating former legislator Dick Haines by about 30 votes in 2014 and Montana football legend Chase Reynolds by more than 300 votes in 2018. With Sands prevented from running again by term limits, there is a busy primary and general election on both sides. Termed-out Rep. Willis Curdy currently represents the more urban part of the seat in the House and has filed for this seat.
On the Republican side, Rep. Brad Tschida, won the primary. Tschida, a former House Majority Leader, represents the rural part of this district, and is termed out of the House. He has established credentials as a strong conservative during his legislative career. Updated 6/20/2022
SD 50 (Steenberg – D): The most liberal of the Missoula Senate seats, this race was thrown into flux when Senator Bryce Bennett, who would have been a safe bet to win reelection, announced he will be resigning to take a job in DC. This removes one of the higher-profile Democrats in the state from the political equation, and should set off a scramble to succeed Bennett. Former Rep. Tom Steenberg was appointed to fill the seat, and ran for a full term. However, he was defeated in the primary by termed-out Rep. Andrea Olsen.
Nick Knowles is running on the GOP side against long odds. Updated 6/20/2022
Not up for Election in 2022 (16 Republicans; 8 Democrats)
SD 02 (Glimm – R)
SD 03 (Regier – R)
SD 06 (Hertz – R)
SD 07 (Brown – R)
SD 10 (Fitzpatrick – R)
SD 16 (Fox – D)
SD 17 (Lang – R)
SD 18 (Hinebauch – R)
SD 21 (Small – R)
SD 23 (McGillvray – R)
SD 25 (Gross – D)
SD 26 (Friedel – R)
SD 28 (Molnar – R)
SD 31 (Pope – D)
SD 35 (Sales – R)
SD 36 (Welborn – R)
SD 37 (Lynch – D)
SD 38 (McClafferty – D)
SD 39 (Sweeney – D)
SD 40 (Gauthier – R)
SD 44 (Manzella – R)
SD 45 (Ellie Boldman – D)
SD 46 (O’Brien – D)
SD 47 (Salomon – R)