Montana Governor Judy Martz dies
First female governor of Montana
Judy Martz, Montana's only female governor, has passed away.
Martz was 74. She was the state's 22nd governor, in office for one term from 2001 to 2005.
Martz had been in 2014 with pancreatic cancer and had undergone treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said of Martz, "Today, Montana lost a dedicated public servant, a valuable stateswomen, and an all-around good person.
"As a former Olympian, successful business woman, and Montana’s first female governor, Martz achieved many great accomplishments throughout her life. Governor Martz was a longtime friend, and will be missed by many. My heart goes out to her family during this time.”
Martz was elected as Montana’s first female governor on November 7, 2000. Just four years earlier, she was elected as the state’s first female Lieutenant Governor when she ran with Gov. Marc Racicot.
Martz had to face many tough issues head-on. Her priorities included retaining and creating good paying job opportunities for all Montanans, addressing appropriate tax reform policies in the state, and improving the education funding system for Montana’s public schools. Her goal was to ensure that Montana was ‘open for business’, an idea carried into action by cabinet and staff members who share these priorities.
Martz said as governor that one of the most important jobs of the state’s chief executive officer was to manage the state’s financial affairs. During the 2001 Legislative Session, she held the line on over $100 million in new spending to manage the state’s budget.
Martz was born July 28, 1943 in Big Timber Montana, to ranching parents. She graduated from Butte High School in 1961, and attended Eastern Montana College. She was a member of the 1963 U.S. World Speed Skating Team, and a member of the U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Team at the 1964 Winter Games.
Martz worked as a field representative for U.S. Senator Conrad Burns from 1989 to 1995. She was civically involved for years, serving as President of the Butte Chamber of Commerce in the early 1990s, and vice-chair of the St. James Hospital Board of Directors. For more than 30 years, she and her husband, Harry Martz, owned and operated a commercial solid-waste business in Butte.
She and Harry were married in 1965, and have two grown children.