Amy Klobuchar

This page was last edited on 15 December 2017, at 17:03.

Amy Jean Klobuchar (/ˈkloʊbəʃɑːr/; born May 25, 1960) is an American former prosecutor, author and politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Minnesota. She is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, an affiliate of the Democratic Party, and Minnesota's first elected female U.S. Senator.

Klobuchar previously served as the county attorney for Hennepin County, Minnesota, the most populous county in Minnesota. As an attorney, she worked with former Vice President Walter Mondale.[1] She has been called a "rising star" in the Democratic Party.[2][3]

Amy Klobuchar
Amy Klobuchar, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by Chuck Schumer
United States Senator
from Minnesota
Assumed office
January 3, 2007
Serving with Al Franken
Preceded by Mark Dayton
County Attorney of Hennepin County
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Michael Freeman
Succeeded by Michael Freeman
Personal details
Born Amy Jean Klobuchar
May 25, 1960 (age 57)
Plymouth, Minnesota, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) John Bessler (m. 1993)
Children 1 daughter
Education Yale University (BA)
University of Chicago (JD)
Website Senate website

Early life and education

Born in Plymouth, Minnesota, Klobuchar is the daughter of Rose Katherine (née Heuberger), who retired at age 70 from teaching second grade,[4] and James John "Jim" Klobuchar, an author and a retired sportswriter and columnist for the Star Tribune.[5] Amy has one younger sister.[6] Jim's grandparents were Slovene immigrants, and his father was a miner on the Iron Range; Amy's maternal grandparents were from Switzerland.[7]

Klobuchar attended public schools in Plymouth and was valedictorian at Wayzata High School.[8][9] She received her B.A. degree magna cum laude in political science from Yale University in 1982, where she was a member of the Yale College Democrats, the Feminist Caucus, and member of the influential improv troupe Suddenly Susan. [10] During her time at Yale, Klobuchar spent time as an intern for Senator Walter Mondale.[6] Her senior thesis was published as Uncovering the Dome,[11] a 150-page history describing the ten years of politics surrounding the building of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. Klobuchar served as an associate editor of the University of Chicago Law Review and received her Juris Doctor degree in 1985 from the University of Chicago Law School.

Career

After law school, Klobuchar worked as a corporate lawyer.[6] Besides working as a prosecutor, Klobuchar was a partner at the Minnesota law firms Dorsey & Whitney and Gray Plant Mooty before seeking public office.[12][13] Klobuchar's first foray into politics came after she gave birth and was forced to leave the hospital 24 hours later, a situation exacerbated by the fact that Klobuchar's daughter was born with a condition where she could not swallow. That experience led Klobuchar to appear before the Minnesota State Legislature advocating for a bill that would guarantee new mothers a 48-hour hospital stay. Minnesota passed the bill and President Clinton later made the policy into a federal law.[6]

Klobuchar was elected as Hennepin County attorney in 1998, and re-elected in 2002 with no opposition.[14][6] In 2001 Minnesota Lawyer named her "Attorney of the Year".[15] Klobuchar was President of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association from November 2002 to November 2003.[16]

U.S. Senate

Elections

2006

In early 2005 Mark Dayton announced that he would not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate, and Klobuchar was recognized early as a favorite for the DFL nomination for the 2006 election. EMILY's List endorsed Klobuchar on September 29, 2005, and Klobuchar won the DFL's endorsement on June 9, 2006. Klobuchar gained the support of the majority of DFL state legislators in Minnesota during the primaries. A poll taken of DFL state delegates showed Klobuchar beating her then closest opponent, Patty Wetterling, 66% to 15%. In January, Wetterling dropped out of the race and endorsed Klobuchar. Former Senate candidate and prominent lawyer Mike Ciresi, who was widely seen as a serious potential DFL candidate, indicated in early February that he would not enter the race; that removal of her most significant potential competitor for the DFL nomination was viewed as an important boost for Klobuchar.[17]

In the general election, Klobuchar faced Republican candidate Mark Kennedy, Independence Party candidate Robert Fitzgerald, Constitution candidate Ben Powers, and Green Party candidate Michael Cavlan. Klobuchar consistently led Kennedy in the polls throughout the campaign.[18] Klobuchar won with 58% of the vote to Kennedy's 38% and Fitzgerald's 3%, carrying all but eight of Minnesota's 87 counties. Klobuchar became the first woman to be elected as the U.S. Senator from Minnesota. (Muriel Humphrey, the state's first female senator and former Second Lady of the United States, was appointed to fill her husband's unexpired term and not elected.)

Amy Klobuchar campaign IMG 1288 tower mn.JPG
Amy Klobuchar's father, Jim, and supporters campaigning for Klobuchar as U.S. Senator, Tower, Minnesota, July 4, 2012
2012

Klobuchar faced State Representative Kurt Bills and won a second term to the U.S. Senate. She won convincingly, receiving 65.2% of the votes compared to 30.6% for Bills.[19]

Tenure

Female senators.jpg
Female senators of the 110th Congress

From January to July 2009, Klobuchar was the only senator from Minnesota, until the resolution of the disputed 2008 Senate election for Al Franken.

As of September 2009, 58% of Minnesotans approved of the job she was doing, with 36% disapproving.[20] On March 12, 2010, Rasmussen Reports indicated 67% of Minnesotans approved of the job she was doing. The Winona Daily News described her as a "rare politician who works across the aisle." Walter Mondale stated “She has done better in that miserable Senate than most people there."[21]

On March 30, 2008, Klobuchar announced her endorsement of Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primary, promising her unpledged superdelegate vote for him.[22] She cited Obama's performance in the Minnesota caucuses, where he won with 66% of the popular vote, as well as her own "independent judgment."

At the end of the 114th Congress in late 2016, Klobuchar was noted as having passed more legislation than any other Senator.[23] In February 2017, Klobuchar called for opening an independent, bipartisan commission like the 9/11 Commission to investigate ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration. Concern about Trump's ties to Russia increased following reports that Trump's campaign officials had repeated contact with senior Russian intelligence officials before the 2016 United States elections.[24][25] Klobuchar had already signaled her interest in U.S.-Russia relations in December 2016 when she joined Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham on a trip to the Baltic states and Ukraine.[26] Klobuchar maintained high approval ratings throughout 2017 with the Star Tribune's Minnesota Poll announcing in April 2017 that her approval rating was 72%.[27] In October 2017, Morning Consult listed Klobuchar in the Top 10 of their list of senators with the highest approval rating, and a poll from KSTP-TV in November 2017 showed her approval rating at 56% in comparison to low ratings for Sen. Al Franken after he received allegations of sexual misconduct.[28][29]

Committee assignments

For the 115th Congress, Klobuchar is assigned to the following committees:[30]

Political positions

As a Democrat, Klobuchar's political positions have generally been in line with modern American liberalism. She is pro-choice regarding abortion, supports LGBT rights, favors federal social services such as Social Security and universal health care, and was critical of the Iraq War.

Civil liberties

In August 2007, Klobuchar was one of only 16 Democratic senators and 41 Democratic house members to vote in favor of the "Protect America Act of 2007", which was widely seen as eroding the civil liberty protections of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and posing difficult questions relative to the Fourth Amendment.[32][33] Klobuchar did, however, vote against granting legal immunity to telecom corporations that cooperated with the NSA warrantless surveillance program.[34]

Klobuchar voted in favor of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008, which included a provision to ban the use of waterboarding by the United States.[35]

During the hearing of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, Klobuchar sparred with Senator Tom Coburn when he questioned the nominee about his perception that Americans were "losing freedom." Klobuchar argued that the "free society" the senator favored was one in which women were underrepresented in government, including no representation on the Supreme Court or the Senate Judiciary Committee.[36]

In 2011, Klobuchar introduced S.978, the Commercial Felony Streaming Act, a bill that would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted material for the purpose of "commercial advantage or personal financial gain" a felony under US copyright law. Backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and praised by industry groups, the legislation has been enormously unpopular among critics who believe it would apply to those who stream or post videos of copyrighted content on public sites such as YouTube.[37][38] Justin Bieber has on radio called for Klobuchar to be "locked up" for supporting a bill that would make "unauthorized web streaming of copyrighted material a felony".[39]

Crime

According to her Senate website, while serving as Attorney of Hennepin County, Klobuchar was "a leading advocate for successful passage of Minnesota's first felony DWI law."[40] Klobuchar also focused on the prosecution of violent and career criminals while serving as County Attorney.[40]

Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York State Attorney General, praised Klobuchar's efforts for legislation against phone theft.[41] In 2017 she took over sponsorship from Senator Al Franken of a bill to provide grants for law enforcement personnel to receive training in how to question survivors of sexual assault and other trauma, after Franken was accused of sexual misconduct.[42]

Food policy

When the Healthy Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010 raised the possibility that pizza would be eliminated from schools, threatening the $3 billion-dollar Schwan Company of Minnesota, Klobuchar petitioned the USDA to protect frozen pizzas in school lunches. This resulted in the sauce used in pizzas being counted as a serving of vegetables.[43][44]

Foreign policy

In March 2007, Klobuchar went on an official trip to Iraq with Senate colleagues Sheldon Whitehouse, John E. Sununu, and Lisa Murkowski. Klobuchar noted that U.S. troops were completing their job and working arduously to train the Iraqis.[45]

Klobuchar opposed President George W. Bush's plan to increase troop levels in Iraq in January 2007.[46] In May 2007, after President Bush vetoed a bill (which Klobuchar voted for) that would fund the troops but would impose time limits on the Iraq War, and supporters failed to garner enough congressional votes to override his veto, Klobuchar voted for additional funding for Iraq without such time limits,[47] saying she "simply could not stomach the idea of using our soldiers as bargaining chips".[48]

Healthcare reform

Klobuchar voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009,[49] and she voted for the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[50] In December 2012, Klobuchar advocated to "repeal or reduce" the tax on medical devices included in the Affordable Care Act, as it would be harmful to businesses in her state.[51] Despite this, on September 30, 2013, Klobuchar voted to remove a provision which would repeal the medical device tax from a government funding bill in opposition to the provision being used as a condition in keeping the government open.[52][53] In January 2015, Klobuchar was one of 17 senators to co-sponsor S. 149, a bill to retroactively repeal the device excise tax.[54][55] Klobuchar has said that the medical device tax threatens jobs, although her statements have been questioned by investigative journalists.[56][57] Medtronic spent more than any other medical device company to lobby against the device tax in 2014, with Klobuchar as one of Medtronic's top recipients of political action committee (PAC) donations.[58]

Gun law

Klobuchar has a "F" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) for supporting gun control legislation.[59]

In the wake of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Klobuchar participated in the Chris Murphy gun control filibuster.[60]

Trade

Klobuchar opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership "because she [had] concerns about whether the proposed legislation [was] strong enough for American workers."[61]

Recreation advocacy

Klobuchar has been an active supporter of outdoor recreation legislation, including the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). When the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed MAP-21, trail interests and state park officials warned that the new policy could effectively end the program by relegating recreational trail projects to competition for funding among a broad category of authorized non-highway projects.[62] Klobuchar led efforts to alter the proposal, working closely with recreation interests to develop a floor amendment that would reauthorize the RTP program unchanged. Although she faced bipartisan leadership in support of the committee’s proposal, Klobuchar managed to secure acceptance of her new language by the legislation’s floor manager, and she won strong bipartisan support for her amendment. The result was Senate passage in early 2012 of new surface transportation legislation, which continued RTP with $85 million in guaranteed annual funds and no significant change in its operations.[62]

As chair of the Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion, she played a key role in the 2010 passage of the Travel Promotion Act and the creation of Brand USA,[63] an advertising effort to recover the traditional U.S. share of the international tourism market that will highlight national parks and their natural treasures. With Klobuchar’s active support, the program has been granted $100 million per annum in matching federal funding, is widely expected to bring millions of additional visitors and billions of dollars to the U.S. and its parks each year, and has become the focus of a major White House initiative.[64]

On June 6, 2012, Klobuchar received the Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award at a special Great Outdoors Week celebration presented by the American Recreation Coalition.[65] [66] The award, created in 1989 to honor the lifelong efforts of Sheldon Coleman, is presented to individuals whose personal efforts have contributed substantially to enhancing outdoor experiences across America. The winner is selected by a panel of 100 national recreation community leaders, ranging from corporate executives to key federal and state officials and nonprofit organization community leaders.[67] Klobuchar is the fifth woman, and the first woman serving in Congress, to receive the honor.[68]

Role in the Democratic Party

In September 2014, when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced his intention to step down, Klobuchar was speculated upon as being a potential candidate as the next U.S. Attorney General.[69]

She has been named by The New York Times and The New Yorker as one of the women most likely to become the first female President of the United States,[70][71] and by MSNBC and The New Yorker as a possible nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.[72][73]

In 2017, Klobuchar and Sen. Bernie Sanders represented the Democratic Party in a televised debate over healthcare policy and the possible repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act on CNN.[74]

Electoral history

U.S. Senate

United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2012 [75]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Amy Klobuchar (incumbent) 1,854,595 65.23 +7.1
Republican Kurt Bills 867,974 30.53 -7.3
Independence Stephen Williams 73,539 2.59 -0.6
Grassroots Tim Davis 30,531 1.07 n/a
Open Progressive Michael Cavlan 13,986 0.49 n/a
Write-ins 2,582
Majority 986,621 34.6 +14.4
Turnout 2,843,207
DFL hold Swing
United States Senate Democratic-Farmer-Labor Primary election in Minnesota, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % +%
DFL Amy Klobuchar 183,766 90.80%
DFL "Dick" Franson 6,837 3.38%
DFL Jack Edward Shepard 6,632 3.28%
DFL Darryl Stanton 5,155 2.55%
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±
DFL Amy Klobuchar 1,278,849 58.06% +9.23%
Republican Mark Kennedy 835,653 37.94% -5.35%
Independence Robert Fitzgerald 71,194 3.23% -2.58%
Green Michael Cavlan 10,714 0.49% n/a
Constitution Ben Powers 5,408 0.25% -0.12%
Write-ins 954
Majority 443,196 20.2%
Turnout 2,202,772 70.64%
DFL hold Swing
United States Senate Democratic-Farmer-Labor Primary election in Minnesota, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % +%
DFL Amy Klobuchar 294,671 92.51
DFL Darryl Stanton 23,872 7.49

Note: The ±% column reflects the change in total number of votes won by each party from the previous election.

Hennepin County Attorney

Hennepin County Attorney election, 2002[76]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Nonpartisan Amy Klobuchar 380,632 98.7
Write-in 4,829 1.3
Hennepin County Attorney election, 1998[77]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Nonpartisan Amy Klobuchar 223,416 50.3
Nonpartisan Sheryl Ramstad Hvass 219,676 49.4

Personal life

Klobuchar's husband, John Bessler, is a private practice attorney and a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law; a native of Mankato, Minnesota, Bessler attended Loyola High School and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. Klobuchar and Bessler were married in 1993. Klobuchar has one child, a daughter.[6]

Klobuchar has written two books in her career. In 1986 she published Uncovering the Dome, a case study of the 10-year political struggle behind the building of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.[78] In 2015 she published an autobiography, The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland.[79]

Awards and honors

Klobuchar has received numerous awards throughout her career. As Hennepin County Attorney, she was named by Minnesota Lawyer in 2001 as "Attorney of the Year"[80] and received a leadership award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving for advocating for successful passage of Minnesota’s first felony DWI law.[81] Working Mother named her as a 2008 “Best in Congress” for her efforts on behalf of working families and The American Prospect named her a “woman to watch.”[81]

In 2012, Klobuchar received the Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award at a special Great Outdoors Week celebration presented by the American Recreation Coalition.[82] She was one of the recipients of the Agricultural Retailers Association's 2012 Legislator of the Year Award alongside Republican Representative John Mica.[83] In 2013, Klobuchar received an award for her leadership in the fight to prevent sexual assault in the military at a national summit hosted by the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN).[84] That same year, Klobuchar was named recipient of 2013 Friend of CACFP award for her leadership in the passage of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids act and her efforts to set new nutrition standards for all meals served in the CACFP by the National Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Sponsors Association.[85] Klobuchar was named alongside Sen. Al Franken as the recipients of the 2014 Friends of Farm Bureau Award by the Minnesota branch of the American Farm Bureau Federation.[86] She received the American Bar Association’s Congressional Justice Award in 2015 for her efforts to protect vulnerable populations from violence, exploitation, and assault and to eliminate discrimination in the workplace.[87] Also in 2015, Klobuchar was honored by the National Consumers League with the Trumpeter Award for her work "on regulation to strengthen consumer product safety legislation, on ensuring a fair and competitive marketplace, and increasing accessibility to communications, specifically in the wireless space."[88] In 2016 she received the Goodwill Policymaker Award from Goodwill Industries for her commitment to the nonprofit sector and leading the Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Act.[89] She was named the recipient of the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award from the National Association of Women Lawyers in 2017.[90] Also in 2017, Klobuchar was chosen as the Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics for the Carrie Chapman Catt Center at Iowa State University.[91]

See also

Footnotes

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  2. ^ Tsukayama, Hayley (March 15, 2010). "Huffington Post names Klobuchar the smartest U.S. Senator". Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  3. ^ Dizikes, Cynthia (May 20, 2009). "As state's only senator, Klobuchar gains sympathetic attention". MinnPost. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  4. ^ Nelson, Tim. "Rose Klobuchar, mother of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, dies". Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  5. ^ "Born to ride: Jim Klobuchar and the birth of the Minnesota bike tour". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  6. ^ a b c d e f DePaulo, Lisa (March 30, 2010). "The Audacity of Minnesota: Meet Senator Amy Klobuchar". ELLE. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  7. ^ "1". rootsweb.com. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  8. ^ "WHS Involvement / WHS Distinguished Alumni". www.wayzata.k12.mn.us. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  9. ^ "About Amy". Amy Klobuchar for U.S. Senate. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  10. ^ 1982 Yale Banner, p. 394.
  11. ^ Klobuchar, Amy (April 1986). Uncovering the Dome (reprint ed.). Waveland Press. ISBN 0-88133-218-6.
  12. ^ "Klobuchar, Amy - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Archived from the original on 2007-02-01. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  13. ^ Radio, Minnesota Public. "MPR: Campaign 2006: U.S. Senate: Amy Klobuchar". minnesota.publicradio.org. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  14. ^ "The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 09/01/15". MSNBC. September 1, 2015. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  15. ^ Staff, Writer (2001-12-31). "Minnesota Lawyer recognizes 10 as 'Attorneys of the Year'". Minnesota Lawyer. Retrieved 2017-03-21.
  16. ^ Herzig, Frolik & Winnie Frolik & Billy; Herzig, Winnie Frolik & Billy (2017-05-11). 51 Women Senators?: Will We Ever Have 51 Women Senators? When? How Will They Represent Us?. iUniverse. ISBN 9781440193033.
  17. ^ The Fix – The Friday Line: Can Democrats Get to 6? Archived 2006-02-24 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved October 2, 2006.
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  37. ^ "URGENT: Congress Wants to Make Streaming a Felony". Demand Progress. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved August 3, 2011.
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  40. ^ a b "Biography". Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2013-05-06. (official Senate webpage, 2013)
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  43. ^ "Fed Up". fedupmovie.com. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
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  45. ^ "Klobuchar said she saw gains in the training of Iraqi police in Anbar Province's capital city". klobuchar.senate.gov. Star Tribune (republished on Senate.gov). 27 March 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
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  73. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey. "The Supreme Court Farm Team". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
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  77. ^ "County Offices: Official Results" (PDF). Minnesota Secretary of State. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2005-09-05. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
  78. ^ Goetzman, Amy (2015-08-28). "Klobuchar's 'The Senator Next Door' centers on the people who shaped her politics". MinnPost. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
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  80. ^ Cite error: The named reference Minnesota Lawyer was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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  82. ^ Cite error: The named reference Sheldon Coleman was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  83. ^ Hummell, Michelle (2013-03-11). "Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Congressman John Mica (R-FL) Named ARA Legislators of the Year". Agricultural Retailers Association. Retrieved 2017-11-21. line feed character in |title= at position 50 (help)
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External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Michael Freeman
County Attorney of Hennepin County
1999–2007
Succeeded by
Michael Freeman
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mark Dayton
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Minnesota
(Class 1)

2006, 2012
Most recent
Preceded by
Mark Begich
Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee
2015–2017
Succeeded by
Herself
as Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering Committee
Succeeded by
Bernie Sanders
as Chair of the Senate Democratic Outreach Committee
Preceded by
Herself
as Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee
Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering Committee
2017–present
Incumbent
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Mark Dayton
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Minnesota
2007–present
Served alongside: Norm Coleman, Al Franken
Incumbent
Preceded by
Chuck Schumer
Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee
2017–present
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Claire McCaskill
United States Senators by seniority
38th
Succeeded by
Sheldon Whitehouse

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