HELENA – U.S. Senate candidate Steve Daines, by far, is the wealthiest member of Montana’s congressional delegation – and, according to financial disclosure reports, has personal wealth more than 125 times that of his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Walsh.
Daines, a former executive with Bozeman-based RightNow Technologies, reports his personal assets are worth between $8.9 million and $32.7 million.
Walsh, who spent most of his working life in the Montana National Guard, reported assets worth $66,000 to $165,000, in personal retirement and bank accounts. Walsh spent 33 years in the Guard, rising to adjutant general before leaving in 2012 to run for lieutenant governor.
Daines’ assets include property holdings in Bozeman, Belgrade and Iowa, shares of a small technology firm in Bozeman, and investment and retirement accounts.
Members of Congress and candidates for federal office are required to file financial disclosure forms in May of each year, listing their assets and a range of value.
Daines, 51, elected to the U.S. House in 2012, is challenging Walsh, who was appointed U.S. senator on Feb. 7 to fill out the term of Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China.
Walsh, 53, has been running for the Baucus seat since last year, after Baucus announced he would not run for re-election.
Libertarian Roger Roots of Livingston also is in the race.
Daines was an executive at RightNow Technologies from 2000 to 2012, resigning the year he ran for the U.S. House. His last job at the company was vice president for RightNow’s Asia-Pacific business.
Software giant Oracle Corp. bought RightNow for $1.8 billion the year Daines left the company.
Daines’ campaign said he no longer owns any stock in the company. His financial disclosure form listed the following holdings:
• Properties in Bozeman worth $5 million to $25 million, owned by Genesis Partners, a firm in which Daines has an interest. The form said Daines sold one of the Genesis lots in 2013, earning capital gains between $100,000 and $1 million.
• Four-plexes in Bozeman worth $1 million to $5 million, although Daines said he sold them last year, earning capital gains between $100,000 and $1 million.
• Bozeman rental property valued between $500,000 and $1 million.
• An individual retirement account worth $939,000 and an investment account worth just under $250,000.
• A lot in Belgrade and a building in Iowa, each valued between $50,000 and $100,000.
• A stake in Bridger Technologies, a small high-tech Bozeman startup firm, valued at $50,000 to $100,000.
• A bank account containing $100,000 to $250,000.
Daines also listed liabilities of $1 million to $2 million, which are mortgages on his home and rental property.
Walsh said his assets consist of two retirement funds worth $65,000 to $150,000 and a bank account with $1,000 to $15,000. He listed family liabilities of $180,000 to $450,000, most of which are home or home equity loans.
Each candidate also owns a home in Montana, although financial disclosure forms don’t require them to list it as an asset.
State property tax records show that Daines and his family have a seven-bedroom home north of Bozeman, assessed at $2.47 million, including the land. Walsh and his family have a four-bedroom home in Helena assessed at $294,000.