Monica Tranel
Monica Tranel on Vlogbrothers.jpg
Tranel in a 2022 Vlogbrothers video
Personal details
Monica Joan Tranel

(1966-05-04) May 4, 1966 (age 56)
Big Horn, Wyoming, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Republican (formerly)
EducationGonzaga University (BA)
Rutgers University, Camden (JD)
Sports career

Monica Joan Tranel (also Tranel-Michini; born May 4, 1966) is an American rower, lawyer, and former political candidate. She competed at the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics. A member of the Democratic Party, Tranel ran unsuccessfully for Montana's 1st congressional district in the 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in Montana. Previously, she was twice a candidate for the Montana Public Service Commission and sought election to the Helena City Commission.

Early life and education

Tranel was born in Big Horn, Wyoming,[1] on May 4, 1966.[2][3][4] She grew up across Montana, including in Miles City, Ashland, and Billings.[3] She graduated from Billings Central Catholic High School, where she competed in basketball and track.[5]

In 1988, Tranel earned a Bachelor of Arts from Gonzaga University. In 1991, she earned her Juris Doctor from Rutgers University–Camden.[6]


In 1991, Tranel started rowing in competition. In 1993, Tranel won a bronze medal in women's coxed four at the World Rowing Championships.[5]

In 1994, she was rowing in the Fairmount Rowing Association. She competed in the World Rowing Championships in Tampere, Finland, that year, where her team won gold.[7][8] In 1995, Tranel won a silver media in women's coxed eights at the World Championships at the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course in Saint Catharines, Ontario.[5]

She finished 4th in the women's eight at the 1996 Summer Olympics.[9][10][11][12] She also competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics, where she finished 12th in women's singles scull races.[13]

The University of Montana named one of their 40-foot (12 m) four-seat competition boats "The Tranel" in her honor.[14]

In 2015, Tranel placed 23rd in the Head of the Charles Regatta in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[5]

Political and legal career

Local and state-level offices

In 2004, as a Republican, Tranel sought election to the Montana Public Service Commission while working as a staff attorney at the commission.[15][16][17][18] She was defeated in the Republican primary.[19][15]

After working at the commission for four years, Tranel worked for Republican Senator Conrad Burns in Washington, D.C., for a short time, before returning to Butte, Montana, in 2005 and opening a private practice in 2006.[17][20] She later left the Republican Party.[20]

From 2010 to 2013, Tranel served as a trustee for the Montana Bar Association. In 2015, Tranel ran for the Helena City Commission.[21][22]

In 2020, as a Democrat, Tranel again sought election to the Montana Public Service Commission.[15][23][24] She was defeated in the general election by Montana Senator Jennifer Fielder, a Republican.[25]

U.S. House of Representatives

Tranel was the Democratic candidate for Montana's western congressional district, running against Ryan Zinke and John Lamb.[26][27][28][29][30] During the lead-up to the 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in Montana, American vlogger Hank Green interviewed Tranel in Missoula and Bozeman.[31] Tranel lost to Zinke in the general election, receiving 46% of the vote to Zinke's 50%.[32]

Personal life

Tranel has nine siblings. She and her second husband, Jack Morris, had two daughters. Tranel described herself as "a single mother" in 2015.[2][21][33]

Starting in 2001, she lived in Helena, Montana, for several years.[5] She currently lives in Missoula with her husband, former state senator Greg Lind, and her three daughters.[34][35]


  1. ^ "Monica Tranel Michini". Sports Reference. 2000. Archived from the original on December 4, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Larimer, David (July 25, 1993). "Central graduate won't forget summer of '93". The Billings Gazette. p. 19. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Q&A with U.S. House candidate Monica Tranel". Daily Inter Lake. May 23, 2022. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  4. ^ Lundquist, Laura (May 6, 2022). "Western district congressional candidates discuss climate, abortion, housing in Missoula". KPAX. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e Synness, Curt (October 20, 2015). "Still on the water". The Independent-Record. pp. B1. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  6. ^ Harrington, John (May 8, 2009). "Disappointment on Olympic Stage Helped Shape Helena Attorney's Career". Independent Record. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  7. ^ "Billings rower wins gold". The Billings Gazette. August 28, 1995. p. 14. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  8. ^ Brandschain, Mayer (July 4, 1994). "Michini victorious in single sculls". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. 49. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  9. ^ Walker, Teresa M. (July 25, 1996). "Michini, U.S. women's eight make rowing finals". The Missoulian. p. 27. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  10. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Monica Tranel". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020.
  11. ^ Monica Tranel at World Rowing
  12. ^ Blanchette, John (July 23, 1996). "Whatever floats her boat". The Spokesman-Review. p. 27. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  13. ^ Cohen, Betsy (September 12, 2000). "The best she can be". The Montana Standard. p. 9. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  14. ^ Chaney, Rob (January 28, 2006). "It's big, it floats, and it's looking for a new home". The Missoulian. p. 9. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  15. ^ a b c D'Angelo, Chris (October 31, 2022). "A Scrappy Environmental Attorney Is Looking To Keep Ryan Zinke From Returning To DC". HuffPost. Retrieved November 1, 2022.
  16. ^ Dennison, Mike (March 26, 2004). "Candidates line up to beat filing deadline". Great Falls Tribune. p. 1. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  17. ^ a b Harrington, John (May 8, 2009). "Golden Opportunity". The Independent-Record. p. 21. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  18. ^ McCartney, Leslie (June 5, 2004). "McCrone, Tranel vie for Republican spot". The Montana Standard. p. 13. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  19. ^ "2004 Statewide Primary Canvass - June 8, 2004". Montana Secretary of State. Montana Secretary of State. February 22, 2018. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  20. ^ a b Kimbel-Sannit, Arren (July 28, 2021). "Former Gov. Schweitzer endorse Monica Tranel for Congress". Great Falls Tribune. pp. A5. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  21. ^ a b "Q&A with Helena City Commission candidates". The Independent-Record. October 2, 2015. pp. A8. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  22. ^ "HCTV to broadcast city commission candidate forum". The Independent-Record. September 30, 2015. pp. A8. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  23. ^ State Bar of Montana:
  24. ^ "Missoula attorney enters race for Montana PSC with clean energy platform". The Missoula Current News - Daily News in Missoula Montana. September 30, 2019. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  25. ^ "2020 General Election - November 3, 2020". Montana Secretary of State. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  26. ^ Kimbel-Sannit, Arren (August 8, 2022). "Tranel and Zinke trade jabs in Congressional debate". Montana Free Press. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
  27. ^ Schubert, Keith (August 15, 2022). "MFPE endorses Democrat Monica Tranel in Western Congressional race". Daily Montanan. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
  28. ^ Szpaller, Keila. "Monica Tranel, Ryan Zinke trade barbs at Missoula congressional candidate debate". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
  29. ^ "Candidate Filing - Montana Secretary of State". Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  30. ^ Szpaller, Keila (August 27, 2022). "Zinke still pegged as winner, but analysts see 'vulnerabilities'". Daily Montanan. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  31. ^ Szpaller, Keila (September 19, 2022). "Hank Green hosts event with Monica Tranel in Missoula, will host Bozeman event in October". The Missoula Current News - Daily News in Missoula Montana. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  32. ^ KUGLIN, TOM; MICHELS, HOLLY (November 10, 2022). "AP: Zinke wins western House seat". Helena Independent Record. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  33. ^ Staff, The Gazette (July 12, 2000). "Former Central athlete Michini lands return trip to Olympics". Billings Gazette. Archived from the original on September 20, 2022. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  34. ^ "Monica Tranel for Congress Monica Tranel for Congress". Monica Tranel for Montana. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  35. ^ Wilson, Sam (June 4, 2022). "Western district candidates allege shady campaign finance activity". The Montana Standard. pp. A6. Retrieved September 20, 2022.