Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2010, term expires 2016, 1st term.

Born: March 13, 1957, Bismarck

Home: Bismarck

Education: Dartmouth, B.A. 1979; Northwestern U., Kellogg Grad. Schl., M.B.A. 1981

Professional Career: Exec. V.P., First Western Bank, 1986-93; pres. & CEO, Bank of ND, 1993-2000.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: married (Mikey) , 2 children

North Dakota’s senior senator is Republican John Hoeven, a former governor who was elected in 2010 to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan.

Hoeven (HO-ven) was born in Bismarck and grew up in Minot. His father was a banker who in 1969 took over the First Western Bank & Trust of Minot, which became a family business. John Hoeven started working there as a bookkeeper at age 15. He graduated from Dartmouth College and went on to earn an M.B.A. from Northwestern University. In 1981, he returned home to become First Western Bank’s executive vice president. In 1993, he was chosen to head the state-owned Bank of North Dakota—a creation of the democratic-socialist Nonpartisan League—by a board that included his predecessor as governor, Republican Ed Schafer, and also Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, now the state’s junior senator. Under Hoeven’s stewardship, the bank’s worth rose from $990 million to $1.6 billion, and its loan portfolio increased from $200 million to $1 billion.

In 2000, after Schafer retired as governor, Hoeven ran for the post against Heitkamp. He cited his work attracting and retaining local jobs and organizing the effort to keep Minot Air Force Base off the government’s base closure list. He called for economic development in the state with an emphasis on the technology industry and on improving education, and he pledged more money for teacher training and salaries. He won 55% to 45%.

As governor, Hoeven used North Dakota’s burgeoning state revenues to fund programs to stimulate economic development. In his first years, he combined several state agencies into a Commerce Department. In 2002, he announced an ambitious research and development program, borrowing $50 million for university projects to help commercialize new technology. From 2005 to 2007, more than $40 million in state funds and double that amount in private funds were invested in the Center of Excellence in Life Sciences and Advanced Technologies and other research centers devoted to developing technology.

Much of this was aimed at exploiting North Dakota’s considerable energy resources, including oil, coal, ethanol, wind, and hydrogen. In 2002, Hoeven announced his EmPower North Dakota energy plan, aiming to build three new biodiesel plants by 2015 and to have wind supply 10% of the state’s electricity by 2015 (up from 5%). In 2004, Hoeven was reelected, capturing 71% of the vote to former state Sen. Joseph Satrom’s 27%. In 2005 and 2007, Hoeven submitted budgets with reductions in local property taxes and big increases in education spending that targeted raising teachers’ salaries.

National Republicans had hoped that Hoeven would run against one of North Dakota’s two Democratic senators. He opted not to challenge Sen. Kent Conrad in 2006 and, in November 2008, won another term by easily defeating state Sen. Tim Mathern. Before the 2008 election, Hoeven brushed aside speculation that he would run against Dorgan or Rep. Earl Pomeroy in 2010, but did not pledge to serve out his third term. In January 2010, he entered the Senate race, criticizing President Barack Obama’s economic agenda and what he called an overly bureaucratic health care overhaul. “Washington’s approach is to put a 2,000-page bill between you and your doctor,” he said.

He didn’t have to campaign very hard. The Democrats barely put up a fight against a governor with an 80% approval rating in a state that had moved solidly to the GOP in recent elections. The Democratic nominee was Tracy Potter, a state senator from Bismarck who struggled to raise money and get momentum. Hoeven spent $3 million on the campaign; Potter spent $28,000. He won easily, 76% to 22%.

As a freshman senator, Hoeven continued his focus on energy issues. He was an outspoken critic of Obama’s decision to block construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline expected to run from Canada to the Gulf Coast. In March 2012, Hoeven offered a bill to reinstate the project. Though 11 Democrats crossed over to support the bill, it still failed to reach the 60-vote barrier to end a threatened filibuster.

As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Hoeven supported the farm bill re-authorization that passed the Senate in June 2012. The bill ended direct payments to farmers but included a new form of crop insurance favored by farm-state senators outside of the South. Hoeven worked with Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., to stop a proposal to eliminate target prices, which serve as a safety net when market prices drop. However, a final farm bill was eventually pushed off until 2013.

Despite his conservative views, Hoeven is not a free market absolutist. After Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast in the summer of 2011, he was one of 10 Republicans to support a $6.9 billion increase in Federal Emergency Management Agency funding. When the Souris River flooded his hometown of Minot, Hoeven supported more than $1 billion in federal disaster aid for the area. He showed a willingness to cross party lines when he joined 14 other Republicans to vote for a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in April 2012. In early 2013, Hoeven was one of just 12 Republicans to vote for a successful measure to raise the limit on how much debt the government can acquire. In the early months of 2013, Hoeven expressed support for the idea of bipartisan immigration reform being pushed by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. and John McCain, R-Ariz.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 224-2551

(202) 224-7999

RSOB- Russell Senate Office Building Room 338
Washington, DC 20510-3406

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 224-2551

(202) 224-7999

RSOB- Russell Senate Office Building Room 338
Washington, DC 20510-3406

DISTRICT OFFICE

(701) 250-4618

(701) 250-4484

Federal Building Room 312
Bismarck, ND 58501

DISTRICT OFFICE

(701) 250-4618

(701) 250-4484

Federal Building Room 312
Bismarck, ND 58501

DISTRICT OFFICE

(701) 239-5389

(701) 239-5112

1802 32nd Avenue South Room B
Fargo, ND 58103

DISTRICT OFFICE

(701) 239-5389

(701) 239-5112

1802 - 32nd Avenue South Room B
Fargo, ND 58103

DISTRICT OFFICE

(701) 746-8972

(701) 746-9122

Federal Building Room 108
Grand Forks, ND 58201

DISTRICT OFFICE

(701) 746-8972

(701) 746-9122

Federal Building Room 108
Grand Forks, ND 58201

DISTRICT OFFICE

(701) 838-1361

(701) 838-1381

100 First Street, SW Suite 107
Minot, ND 58701

DISTRICT OFFICE

(701) 838-1361

(701) 838-1381

100 First Street, SW Suite 107
Minot, ND 58701

DISTRICT OFFICE

(701) 580-4535

2006 Dublin Lane
Williston, ND 58801

DISTRICT OFFICE

(701) 580-4535

2006 Dublin Lane
Williston, ND 58801

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

1131 North Fourth Street
Bismarck, ND 58501-3583

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

1131 North Fourth Street
Bismarck, ND 58501-3583

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Agriculture

Tony Eberhard
Legislative Director

Brita Endrud
Legislative Correspondent

Appropriations

Emily Tryon
Legislative Assistant

Banking

Emily Tryon
Legislative Assistant

Tyler Hardy
Legislative Correspondent

Commerce

Emily Tryon
Legislative Assistant

Shawn Affolter
Legislative Aide

Communication

Alex Finken
Legislative and Communications Specialist

Crime

Ryan Bernstein
Chief of Staff

Elizabeth Frei
Legislative Assistant

Disaster

Josh Carter
Legislative Assistant

Education

Shawn Affolter
Legislative Aide

Energy

Ryan Bernstein
Chief of Staff

Shawn Affolter
Legislative Aide

Environment

Ryan Bernstein
Chief of Staff

Tony Eberhard
Legislative Director

Shawn Affolter
Legislative Aide

Finance

Emily Tryon
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Josh Carter
Legislative Assistant

Elizabeth Frei
Legislative Assistant

Logan Skarphol
Legislative Correspondent

Govt Ops

Elizabeth Frei
Legislative Assistant

Shawn Affolter
Legislative Aide

Grants

Alex Finken
Legislative and Communications Specialist

Gun Issues

Elizabeth Frei
Legislative Assistant

Health

Shannon Brown
Legislative Assistant

Rob Pyron
Legislative Correspondent

Homeland Security

Josh Carter
Legislative Assistant

Elizabeth Frei
Legislative Assistant

Housing

Emily Tryon
Legislative Assistant

Tyler Hardy
Legislative Correspondent

Human Rights

Tyler Hardy
Legislative Correspondent

Immigration

Elizabeth Frei
Legislative Assistant

Emily Tryon
Legislative Assistant

Insurance

Emily Tryon
Legislative Assistant

Shannon Brown
Legislative Assistant

Intelligence

Josh Carter
Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Ryan Bernstein
Chief of Staff

Labor

Emily Tryon
Legislative Assistant

Shawn Affolter
Legislative Aide

Tyler Hardy
Legislative Correspondent

Medicare

Shannon Brown
Legislative Assistant

Tyler Hardy
Legislative Correspondent

Rob Pyron
Legislative Correspondent

Military

Josh Carter
Legislative Assistant

Elizabeth Frei
Legislative Assistant

Logan Skarphol
Legislative Correspondent

Minorities

Emily Tryon
Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Ryan Bernstein
Chief of Staff

Public Works

Josh Carter
Legislative Assistant

Rules

Tony Eberhard
Legislative Director

Rob Pyron
Legislative Correspondent

Science

Tony Eberhard
Legislative Director

Tyler Hardy
Legislative Correspondent

Seniors

Shannon Brown
Legislative Assistant

Tyler Hardy
Legislative Correspondent

Rob Pyron
Legislative Correspondent

Small Business

Emily Tryon
Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Shannon Brown
Legislative Assistant

Rob Pyron
Legislative Correspondent

Tax

Shannon Brown
Legislative Assistant

Tyler Hardy
Legislative Correspondent

Alex Finken
Legislative and Communications Specialist

Rob Pyron
Legislative Correspondent

Telecommunications

Emily Tryon
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Rob Pyron
Legislative Correspondent

Transportation

Tony Eberhard
Legislative Director

Elizabeth Frei
Legislative Assistant

Brita Endrud
Legislative Correspondent

Veterans

Shannon Brown
Legislative Assistant

Tyler Hardy
Legislative Correspondent

Rob Pyron
Legislative Correspondent

Welfare

Emily Tryon
Legislative Assistant

Tyler Hardy
Legislative Correspondent

Election Results

2010 GENERAL
John Hoeven
Votes: 181,689
Percent: 76.08%
Tracy Potter
Votes: 52,955
Percent: 22.17%
2010 PRIMARY
John Hoeven
Votes: 65,075
Percent: 100.0%
2008 GENERAL
John Hoeven
Votes: 235,009
Percent: 74.44%
Tim Mathern
Votes: 74,279
Percent: 23.53%
2008 PRIMARY
John Hoeven
Votes: 50,226
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
Governor: 2008 (74%), 2004 (71%), 2000 (55%)

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