Former Secretary of State Mike Cooney was appointed to Lieutenant Governor today by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

Bullock said Cooney has spent the last four decades serving the people of Montana as both a legislator and as a longtime Secretary of State.

"I’m impressed by Mike’s hard work and his commitment to public service," Bullock said. "Mike is a proven leader who will work with me to responsibly manage our finances, hold the line on taxes, increase the number of high paying jobs, and ensure our economy remains one of the nation’s strongest."

According to a press release, Cooney was first elected in 1976 to the Montana House of Representatives and served through 1980. He then served three terms as Secretary of State, from 1989 through 2000. Cooney was a state Senator from 2003-2010 and was elected as Senate President in 2007. From 2001 to 2006, Cooney served as Director of Montana Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies. He currently serves as Deputy Director for the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

"It is an honor to serve Montana in this capacity," Cooney said. "I look forward to working with Governor Bullock to make responsible decisions about the future of our state."

Cooney begins his new term as Lt. Gov. on January 4, 2016.