BILLINGS – State Sen. Jason Priest of Red Lodge was in jail Sunday after being arrested on suspicion of partner or family assault and resisting arrest.

The Yellowstone County Detention Facility’s website listed the 45-year-old Republican lawmaker as having been booked into jail on Saturday. His bond was set at $335. A dispatcher at the jail said he was still in custody Sunday afternoon.

Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said he has no details about Priest’s arrest and referred questions to Red Lodge police. Red Lodge Police Chief Richard Pringle was unavailable for comment until Monday, a dispatcher at the police department said.

Messages left by The Associated Press on Sunday on Priest’s home phone and his district office in Red Lodge were not returned.

Priest was elected in 2010 to a four-year term and is the chairman of the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee. He has not yet filed with the Secretary of State’s office to run for re-election this year, though he has until March 10 to do so.

Priest was one of the leaders of a conservative faction in the Senate last year that split with more moderate Republican legislators. The split led to infighting that came to a head on the Senate floor in the session’s final day as Priest and Senate Majority Leader Art Wittich of Bozeman threatened to kill a budget deal unless they received concessions from Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.

They relented after Bullock’s office refused to reopen negotiations.

Priest also is a founder of a nonprofit group called Montana Growth Network that champions conservative causes and helps like-minded candidates.

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(21) comments

Run - A- Mook

Ah it's nice to see Sgt. Ed Schults of MCNBC has his little know-nothin
marching band out. You know-nothin about the arrest. You know-nothin
about way he has not posted bail. Yet, as little Sgt. Ed's you go marching
along in your know-nothin marry way.

Still Here

Where is the love, The Montana Family Foundation will have his back and help him get his life figured out. He probably looks good in prison garb.


Jason, please divorce her. Whenever I see a high profile person get arrested for domestic violence, I always wonder what kind of a nut case they married. Mean, vindictive and making it up, or a woman who actually is stupid enough to marry a violent man, Either way, find someone else, the marriage is over.


Anybody else not surprised that this right wing extremist has anger control issues that make him a danger to his own loved ones? Montana Growth Network sounds like a malignant tumor that should be removed.


Still sitting in jail with a $300.00 bond???? I would have thought anyone could have come up with that.


When they claimed the tea party is waging a war on women I didnt think they were being this literal!

jus wundrin
jus wundrin



Pointless comment. Stop the censorship Missoulian...


What a pointless comment.


Wow, conservative family values come to life!

Cats Life
Cats Life

Card-carrying NRA member. Staunch right-to-lifer.

You could have knocked me over with a feather.


Unbelievable I can even make a comment here with these new disgraceful popup ads that totally hijack your computer.......more Missoulian junk. As for this clown..." do as I say, not as I do." Wants to tell women how to handle their sexuality and then wants to control them...big surprise. You could tell the guy was a typical Tea Party male...control freak and all about me. Serves him right and couldn't happen to a nicer guy who has advocated against people with disabilities, the poor, anything having to do with compassion for others. He will get probation most likely but is a typical clown car member ( Tea Party clown car.)


And in 2016 some corrupt republican will replace our current inept naive Muslim president. What a treat.


The Republican Party could't organize a bake sale, much less a credible Presidential campaign.


Republicans will take the seat from Aguire the criminal from Browning and dems may replace this dirtbag. What a treat.


Another 'law abiding' 'family values' Republican.

Greg Strandberg
Greg Strandberg

Democrats, get ready for the chance to take that seat back.

Oh boy, what a gift!


Ya right, they didn't boot Clinton for his indiscretions in office, by time the election happens, people will forget.


How is having a clandestine sexual relationship the same as beating up a woman?

Objective observer

We have just been given a scary glimpse at how the right wing mind works.

Davy Crockett

Yeah Greg...where are you at with State Senator Shannon Augare a Democrat? You know, the one with resisting arrest, DUI and trying hide. He who is without sin, cast the first stone. Instead of acting like a child and throwing stones, let the legal process run its course.

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