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US House candidate Zinke files financial disclosure report

| December 3, 2021 7:00 AM

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana Republican U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke filed a financial disclosure that reports he has received nearly $800,000 in consulting fees so far this year and collected between $25,000 and $80,000 in rent from three properties in Whitefish.

U.S. House candidates are required to file financial disclosures listing income, assets and debts. The values are reported within a range of numbers. Zinke filed his report Monday.

He's running for Montana's new U.S. House district, which the state gained due to a population increase from 2010 to 2020.

Other candidates for Montana's second House seat are Republicans Al Olszewski and Mary Todd and Democrats Cora Neumann, Monica Tranel and Tom Winter.

Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale is also seeking reelection to his seat, which would cover much of eastern Montana starting in 2023.

Zinke was elected as Montana's lone U.S. House member in 2014 and reelected in 2016, but resigned in March 2017 to become U.S. Interior secretary under then-President Donald Trump.

He left Interior in January 2019 amid a series of investigations. Some found no wrongdoing but others remain unresolved. Zinke has denied allegations he misused the office.

As Interior secretary, Zinke loosened environmental restrictions on oil and gas development and mining, while also promoting the creation of wildlife migration corridors and opposing mines near Yellowstone National Park.

A total of $570,000 in consulting fees — including $220,000 from Conoco-Phillips — represents gross income before taxes and expenses, the report states.

Zinke's wife, Lolita, has between $6 million and $30 million in property and holdings in Santa Barbara, California, with between $1 million and $5 million in debt on the property, the report states.

The Zinkes have a mortgage of between $250,000 and $500,000 on a property in Whitefish and vehicle loans totaling $60,000 to $115,000.

Their assets also include an auto collection worth $100,000 to $250,000 and art and furniture worth $250,000 to $500,000.

Zinke is a board member of U.S. Gold Corp., and received $68,000 in consulting fees from the company this year. The couple holds $250,000 to $500,000 in stock in the corporation.