Dick Mountjoy




State Senator Richard Mountjoy (retired)

For more than 30 years, Dick Mountjoy served the public with honor, never flinching from his steadfast and heartfelt convictions.

Whether during his tour of duty in the U.S. Navy, as Mayor and Councilman of the city of Monrovia, or through eight terms in the California State Assembly and two terms in the State Senate, Dick Mountjoy has remained steadfast.

The son of Boyce and Sarah Mountjoy, Dick was born in Los Angeles on January 13, 1932.

He grew up with seven brothers and sisters in the Monrovia-Arcadia area of Southern California.

As a young boy, Dick Mountjoy failed kindergarten because he wouldn’t talk. And he nearly failed the first grade because he wouldn’t stop talking – perhaps foreshadowing his career in the legislative halls of Sacramento.

At a very early age, Dick learned the value of hard work. When he was only 7 years old, he began picking blackberries, which he sold for 25 cents a flat. He worked many jobs as he grew up: hauling away trees from an uprooted orange grove, selling fertilizer and washing baking pans at a local bakery.

After graduating from Monrovia-Arcadia-Duarte High School, Dick joined the Navy and served during the Korean War aboard the USS Bremerton.

He married his sweetheart, Earline Winett, and he and Earline now have three children, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

After returning from his tour of duty, Dick worked for a short time as a mechanic for Studebaker Automotive, and then began doing construction work with his brother Gordon.

Dick and Gordon later founded Mountjoy Construction Company, which soon became very successful.

By 1968, Dick’s close friends had persuaded him to run for the Monrovia City Council. He was elected and served eight years as Councilman and Mayor. In 1976, Dick decided not to seek re-election to the city council. He was already planning a run for the State Assembly two years later.

Despite not appearing on the ballot in ‘76, Dick was nearly re-elected to the city council because of the enormous number of write-in votes he received.

In 1978, Dick Mountjoy defeated a 35-year incumbent and won election to the State Assembly from the 61st District. He was one of the Proposition 13 babies, riding into Sacramento with a tax-cutting fervor.

As a freshman Legislator, he was appointed to the Assembly Rules Committee – the first time ever that a freshman was named to this prestigious committee.

In 1982, he was elected Assembly Republican Caucus Chairman under the Republican Leader, Bob Naylor.

Throughout his career in the legislature, Dick Mountjoy has never shied away from controversial issues.

In 1991, Dick met Irwin Trester and Tom Hagerman. Together, they enlisted the help of 4,000 small businesses in a campaign to stop Workers’ Compensation fraud and reform the Workers’ Comp system.

After democrats killed his reform bills in committee, Dick took to the floor of the Assembly with amendment after amendment to keep the issue at the forefront.

Dick Mountjoy established one of the first FAX networks to update the businesses every time there was a vote on the amendments. At times, speaker Willie Brown would shut off Dick’s microphone so he couldn’t talk and continue to raise the issue.

Although the Legislature was eventually forced to deal with the Workers’ Comp situation many of the problems are yet to be resolved.

By 1993, the problem of illegal immigrants receiving state benefits was making headlines. Assemblyman Mountjoy took on the issue fervently, again offering bills and amendments to restrict benefits from those in the country illegally.

While the democrats continued to block Mountjoy’s measures, little did they know that each bill killed would become a component of Proposition 187.

In 1994, Dick Mountjoy introduced and qualified Prop. 187 for the November ballot – an initiative to stop benefits to illegal aliens. It passed with an overwhelming 60% of the vote.

One of the defining moments in Dick’s career in the legislature came in 1994 when, because of a quirk in the timing of a special election, he was simultaneously elected to both the State Senate and the State Assembly.

In that same election, Republicans captured a majority of the state’s 80 Assembly seats, and Assemblyman Jim Brulte was poised to challenge democrat Speaker Willie Brown. But at the Assembly’s December 5th organizational meeting, Assemblyman Paul Horcher shocked his colleagues by declaring himself an independent and casting his vote for Willie Brown.

The GOP launched a recall campaign against Horcher, and Dick faced a defining decision of his career: Should he remain in the State Assembly, and vacate the Senate seat to which he had won election?

If he remained, it would be his final two-years in the Legislature, but it would also give Republicans control of the Assembly and the Speakership, if the Horcher recall were successful.

Dick decided to remain in the Assembly, but Willie Brown had other plans. After two hours of bitter debate and parliamentary maneuvering, the Democrats voted to oust Dick Mountjoy from the Assembly seat he had rightfully won election to, and Willie Brown continued his reign.

Dick was sworn in as a member of the State Senate, where he continued to take up issues close to his heart.

When studies began to show the dangerous effects of the gasoline additive MTBE, Dick began a push to have MTBE banned from California. Because of Dick Mountjoy’s efforts, the state began a phase-out of MTBE in gasoline.

During his career, the one issue that has remained at the forefront of Dick Mountjoy’s priorities has been the protection of the unborn. He was a strong supporter of legislation to ban partial birth abortions in California. And time and time again, he would offer amendments to the state budget to eliminate taxpayer funding of abortions.

Just as navigators have looked to the north star in the sky to check their bearings, so too could legislators look to Dick Mountjoy for his consistent and persistent promotion of conservative principles. That’s why he was referred to as the “north star” of the legislature.

No matter the issue, Dick Mountjoy can be counted on to uphold the conservative banner.


Paid for by Mountjoy for U.S. Senate
P.O. Box 877 • Monrovia, CA 91017