Meet Jon

Meet Jon

Jon Tester is a third-generation Montana dirt farmer who brings his Montana values with him to the U.S. Senate.

Every day, whether Jon is on his farm, traveling the state to meet with Montanans, or on the job in Washington DC, we can count on him to defend the Montana that three generations of his family have called home. That’s why Jon won’t ever stop holding government accountable, fighting for veterans and improved schools, infrastructure, and jobs. And it’s why Jon is relentless in defending Montana from outsiders coming into our state hell-bent on buying our elections, taking our public lands, and chipping away at our personal freedoms. Every day, Jon is defending Montana.

Jon Comes from Montana

Jon was born in Havre in 1956. He grew up on land in Chouteau County that his grandparents homesteaded in 1912 — and he grew up with their values, too. A meat grinder accident cost Jon three fingers at age 9, but a childhood steeped in family agriculture gave him the values that have defined his career.

Jon first saw Sharla Bitz — who also came from a Montana farm family — sitting in a church pew. They became high school sweethearts, and got married during Jon’s senior year at the University of Great Falls.

After Jon graduated with a music degree, he taught music at F. E. Miley Elementary School in Big Sandy. Around the time Jon and Sharla’s daughter Christine was born, the Testers moved back to his grandparents’ farm and butcher shop. Their son, Shon, was born a few years later. Jon and Sharla continue to work the land in Big Sandy.

A History of Defending Montana

When the Testers’ neighbor decided to retire from the Montana Senate, Jon, fed up with huge rate hikes following the disastrous deregulation of Montana’s energy industry, ran for the seat — and won. And in 2005, fed up with rampant corruption and irresponsible decision-making out in Washington, Jon decided to run for the U.S. Senate — and won.

Jon, a longtime champion of transparency, immediately made history as the first member of Congress to post his daily public schedule on his website. He helped pass sweeping ethics reform, and then went beyond those rules and banned all gifts, meals, and travel from lobbyists for himself and for his staff. He barred any staffers who become lobbyists from lobbying him or being rehired. Jon’s record on transparency has earned him the title, “Montana’s advocate for accountability.”

As a United States Senator, Jon doesn’t just hold himself accountable, he holds all of Washington accountable. He stands up to special interests, calls out government waste when he sees it, and even takes on his own party when he believes it’s the right thing to do for Montana. He’s tussled with bureaucrats, held the VA’s feet to the fire, and relentlessly defended Montana.

Jon has worked hard to deliver for Montana families. He is a strong defender of Medicare and Social Security, a strong supporter of quality public education and access to affordable health care, and a strong advocate for rural America and Montana’s unique way of life.

Jon continues to relentlessly travel the state. Jon is the only member of the Montana delegation to host regular in-person town hall meetings. Jon’s held Farm Bill listening sessions, Veterans listening sessions, and brought cabinet members from three administrations to Montana.

Getting Things Done for Montana

Jon takes the feedback he hears from Montanans and brings it to Washington. Jon has had 18 bills signed into law by President Donald Trump. Jon’s bills have increased accountability in Washington, cracked down on bad actors at the VA, and delivered on rural priorities for Montana.

Jon’s not done getting things done for Montana. He continues to push Washington to deliver for Montana.

Whether it is in Washington, back on the farm, or in meetings across Montana, Jon will always relentlessly defend our Montana way of life. After all, with his trademark flattop haircut ($12, including tip), Jon Tester has always been a Montanan.