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Former Governor Tim Babcock Remembered For His Political Service, Leadership

Former Governor Tim Babcock died Tuesday morning at the age of 95.

Babcock was elected Montana's lieutenant Governor in 1960. He became the state's chief executive when a plane crash killed Governor Don Nutter, who was also Babcock's close friend, two years later.

Babcock would go on to lose a U.S. Senate race and another bid to serve in the Governor's office, but he and his late wife, Betty, remained active in state politics for the rest of their lives.

Montana's Republican U.S. Senator Steve Daines says he first met the Babcocks when he was the youngest delegate for Ronald Reagan at the 1984 Republican Convention.

"I just remember as a young man, a student at Montana State University, how Tim and Betty took me under their wing and invested in me, talked to me which made a deep, deep impression for a student at MSU," Daines said.

Montana Republican Party Executive Director, Chris Shipp, describes Tim Babcock as "emblematic of a bygone era...where people were able to sit down, where they were able to talk. Sure there were differences and he had some epic campaigns, but he was able to come together and work with people across all different ways of life. He and Betty were very involved in preserving the legacy of Montana. Both were very passionate about that."

Gov. Steve Bullock praised Babcock's "long and storied history of service."

Senator Jon Tester said Babcock's "leadership, military service and political conscience will forever be remembered and honored."

The Associated Press reports Babcock's funeral arrangements were being made with Anderson Stevenson Wilke for later this week.

O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the University of Montana School of Journalism. His first career job out of school was covering the 1995 Montana Legislature. When the session wrapped up, O’Brien was fortunate enough to land a full-time position at the station as a general assignment reporter. Feel free to drop him a line at
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