Political Highlights: Big Sandy School Board of Trustees, 1983-92; Mont. Senate, 1999-2007; U.S. Senate, 2007-present Born: Aug. 21, 1956; Havre, Mont. Residence: Big Sandy Religion: Christian Family: Wife, Sharla Tester; two children Education: College of Great Falls, B.A. 1978 Military Service: None Start of Service: Elected: 2006 (2nd term) Committee Assignments: Appropriations (Agriculture; Energy-Water; Homeland Security; Interior-Environment; Labor-HHS-Education; Military Construction-VA); Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs (Economic Policy; Financial Institutions & Consumer Protection; Securities, Insurance & Investment); Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs (Efficiency of Federal Programs - Chairman; Emergency Management & District of Columbia; Permanent Investigations); Indian Affairs; Veterans' Affairs
Roll Call and CQ Weekly use ratings assigned by the Rothenberg Political Report, which are defined as follows:
SAFE: As of today, the party indicated is all but certain to win the seat.
FAVORED: One candidate has a substantial advantage, but an upset is still possible.
LEAN: The party indicated has the edge, but the outcome is less certain than for races rated as favored.
TILT: The outcome is effectively regarded as a tossup for each of these highly competitive seats, although the party indicated has a slight edge.
TOSSUP: Neither party has an edge in these contests.