Trump administration Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will represent Montana in Congress next year, returning to Washington four years after his scandal-plagued tenure as a Cabinet secretary ended in resignation.
Zinke will represent Montana’s 1st congressional district, which covers the state’s western half, by virtue of his victory over Democrat Monica Tranel. The district, which Montana gained this year after reapportionment based on the 2020 census, was considered the more competitive of the state’s two House races.
Zinke previously served in Congress representing Montana’s at-large congressional district from 2015 until 2017, when he resigned to become Interior Secretary under Trump. Although Zinke frequently campaigned on his Montana roots, it’s unclear whether he spends most of his time in the state or at his home in California. In May, POLITICO uncovered tax records that showed Zinke’s wife, Lola, designated the couple’s Santa Barbara, Calif., home as her primary residence. Zinke has also used that address as a mailing address for fundraising invitations.