Steve Daines ContactBack to top
Address: 206 CHOB, DC 20515
Phone: (406) 969-1736
Address: 222 North 32nd Street, Billings MT 59101-1974
Phone: (406) 502-1435
Fax: (406) 502-1436
Address: 910 North Montana Avenue, Helena MT 59601-3816
Phone: (406) 926-2122
Fax: (406) 926-2125
Address: 110 West Front Street, Missoula MT 59802-4304
Phone: (406) 315-3860
Fax: (406) 315-3862
Address: 104 2nd Street South, Great Falls MT 59401-3645
Steve Daines StaffBack to top
Steve Daines CommitteesBack to top
Steve Daines BiographyBack to top
- Elected: 2012, 1st term.
- District: Montana
- Born: Aug. 20, 1962, Van Nuys, CA
- Home: Bozeman
Montana State University, B.S., 1984
- Professional Career:
Vice president, Clair Daines Construction, 1997-2000; General manager/vice president, RightNow Technologies, 2000-12; operations management, Procter & Gamble, 1984-1997
- Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
- Family: Married (Cindy Daines); 4 children
Republican Steve Daines won Montana’s sole House seat in 2012, replacing GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg, who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate that year. During his first term, he became the favorite to ascend to the Senate long before his eventual opponent, Democrat John Walsh, dropped out of the race following a plagarism scandal.
Daines grew up in Bozeman, where his father started his own home construction business. He went on to study chemical engineering at Montana State University, where during his senior year he became one of the youngest delegates at the 1984 Republican National Convention. “I was a big fan of Ronald Reagan,” Daines told National Journal. “He was the first president I got to vote for.” Daines was selected as a delegate to the national gathering after giving a speech at a state convention in Montana.
When he graduated, Daines spent 13 years with consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble. On an assignment in Iowa, Daines met his wife, Cindy, then a student at the University of Iowa. After seven years managing operations in the United States, he moved his young family overseas for a six-year stint with the company in Hong Kong and China. In 1997, Daines left Procter & Gamble to join the family construction business in Bozeman. Three years later, Daines got a call from local entrepreneur Greg Gianforte, founder of RightNow Technologies, asking him to come on as vice president of customer service. The cloud-based software company grew rapidly, eventually becoming Bozeman’s largest commercial employer. Daines took on a general management role and worked on RightNow’s Asia-Pacific business.
He dipped into local politics in 2007, when he and Cindy founded Giveitback.com, a nonprofit organization that pushed for the return of the state’s $1 billion budget surplus to taxpayers. Not long after that, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee asked Daines to serve as Montana state chairman for his presidential campaign. Daines also chaired Montana’s delegation to the 2008 Republican National Convention. The same year, he ran for lieutenant governor on a ticket with former state Sen. Roy Brown, but they failed to oust incumbent Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
Two years later, Daines announced his intention to challenge Democrat Jon Tester for his Senate seat. But when Rehberg in February 2011 said he would run against Tester, Daines dropped out and announced he would seek Rehberg’s vacated House seat, to avoid “a divisive primary,” he told the Associated Press.
Daines’ positions are traditionally Republican. He supports across-the-board spending cuts and a freeze in federal spending at 2008 levels in lieu of tax hikes. He supports repeal of President Obama’s health care law and a requirement for all new regulations to be evaluated for their effects on economic growth and job creation. On energy policy, Daines has said he supports a market-based, all-inclusive approach to new energy sources. Montana is the sixth-largest coal-producing state and sits on part of the Bakken shale formation, one of the nation’s largest accumulations of crude oil.
His ability to raise campaign cash—he eventually raised a total of almost $2 million—made Daines the Republican front-runner in the June primary, where he took 71% of the vote. In the general election, he won with 53% of the vote against Democrat Kim Gillan, a state senator from Billings who got 43%, and Libertarian David Kaiser, who got 4%.
In the House, Daines has complied a conservative voting record, especially on foreign policy issues, but he has not been quite as far to the right as other recent GOP arrivals. He voted against the 2013 conservatives budget and against ending rural air service subsidies, as well as against replacing direct subsidies to farmers in the farm bill. The House in December 2013 passed his bill to expand hydropower production in Montana, and he successfully amended several other bills to include provisions specific to his state's energy production. One of his amendments in September 2013 barred federal courts from issuing restraining orders or inlunctions in cases that challenge national forest logging projects approved in violation of "any procedural requirement." Environmental groups argued that it amounted to an attack on judicial review that could prevent communities from stopping controversial projects, but the House approved it 219-196.
Daines also had success on non-energy issues. In June 2014, he offered another amendment to block a proposed increase in liability insurance for truck drivers and bus companies. “It flies in the face of common sense to put people’s livelihoods at risk without any evidence that it would improve the safety of our roads or better meet the needs of catastrophic accident victims," he said. It squeaked through on a 214-212 vote. And a Daines amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill in May 2014 removed a planned 2021 Pentagon sunset on maintaining all existing Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) silos in at least a "warm" status, meaning they can be armed with missiles at any time. The measure impacted three missile wings, including one at Montana's Malmstrom Air Force Base. It passed 222-196.
Daines' expected rise to the Senate included a bit of luck. His predecessor in the House, Rehberg, left politics after losing the 2012 race to Tester. When the state's other Democratic senator, Max Baucus, announced his retirement (he was subsequently named U.S. ambassador to China), Daines jumped into the race and became the frontrunner. He thought his opponent would be Walsh, who was appointed to the seat, but after The New York Times reported in June that Walsh had plagarized large portions of his master's thesis, Daines' election was seen as all but assured. But he continued to shake hands with voters across the state. "I've got a grill guard on my truck and we travel all over Montana," he told The Associated Press in August.Show Less