McGrath Wins Chief Justice Race

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Mike McGrath, who has served as state attorney general for the past eight years, is the new chief justice of the Montana Supreme Court.

With 58 percent of precincts reporting, McGrath had 75 percent of the vote to Helena lawyer Ron Waterman’s 25 percent. The two were vying for the nonpartisan post held by Karla Gray.

The chief justice’s term is eight years, and yearly salary is $107,404. Duties include chairing the District Court Council, which oversees much of the funding and provides policy guidance for the state’s district courts.

McGrath was elected attorney general in 2000 and ran unopposed for a second term in 2004. Before that, he was Lewis and Clark County attorney for 18 years.

Waterman has been a lawyer for nearly 40 years. This is his first bid for office.