Coming tomorrow: Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Craig Thomas (R-WY).
(Here's an interesting exercise: Without looking at any references, including maps, make a list of as many current Senators as you can. Since only two of them campaign in your home state, you've probably heard of the others only through the media. Can you name 30? 50? Obviously, a map makes this much easier, but don't use one. If I really sit down and think for a while, I can come up with 80-90. However, I write a blog that focuses entirely on the Senate.)
Senator Olympia Snowe, Republican from Maine
Elected: 1994 - 2nd Term
Religion: Greek Orthodox
Education: U. of Maine
Biography: Orphaned at the age of 9, Snowe was raised by an aunt and uncle in Auburn Maine. She was elected to the Maine House after the death of her first husband, state Rep. Peter Snowe in 1973. Snowe was elected to the House in 1978 after six years in the Maine House and Senate. Her second husband, John R. McKernan Jr., is a former congressman and governor of Maine.
After the retirement of Sen. George Mitchell (D) in 1994, Snowe ran for the Senate, to which she was elected with 60% of the vote. She was the only moderate Republican elected to the Senate in the "Republican Revolution"; in 1994. She was re-elected in 2000 with 69%.
Senate: Snowe is one of the few centrist moderate Republicans left in Congress. However, she is extremely influential, and is willing to work with both parties to achieve her legislative goals. She is socially moderate and pro-choice, but generally fiscally conservative. Snowe opposed drilling for oil in Alaska, and attempted to defeat the partial-birth abortion ban. Snowe co-chairs the Centrist Coalition with Sen. Joe Lieberman (D). She was also a member of the Gang of 14 which averted the nuclear option. Snowe sits on the Finance, Select Intelligence, and Commerce, Science & Transportation Committees, and chairs the Small Business & Entrepreneur Committee. Congressional Quarterly gives her a 74% Party Unity Rating, the second lowest of all Republican senators.
The Future: Snowe is going to run for re-election in 2006. Due to her extremely high popularity (the latest SUSA poll has her approval at 71-21%), she is unlikely to face a tough opponent. Rep. Tom Allen (D) is rumored to be interested in challenging her, but it is more likely that he will wait to challenge Sen. Susan Collins in 2008.
Source: CQ's Politics in America, 2006
Senator Herb Kohl, Democrat from Wisconsin
Elected: 1988 - 3rd Term
Education: U. of Wisconsin, Harvard (M.B.A.)
Biography: Born to immigrant parents in 1935, Kohl built and developed the department store chain Kohl's with his brothers. The sale of the chain in 1979 left Kohl with an estimated wealth of $111 million, which he has used to finance his Senate campaigns. Kohl purchased the Milwaukee Bucks in 1985 to keep the team in Wisconsin, and funds several charitable organizations, including the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation, which gives scholarships to high school students and fellowships to educators.
Kohl was first elected to the Senate in 1988 after the retirement of Sen. William Proxmire (D). He largely self-funded his campaign, and won with 52% of the vote. He was re-elected in 1994 with 58%, and in 2000 with 61.5%, self-funding his campaigns both times. As a result of self-funding his campaigns, he proudly uses the slogan "nobody's senator but yours" to declare his independence from special interest groups.
Senate: Kohl is a moderate democrat. He is know to cross party lines on economic legislation including tax cuts and corporate tax reform. However, he is also a strong supporter of traditional liberal values, including health care, child care, and education. Kohl is generally socially liberal, and voted against amending the Constitution to prohibit gay marriage. Kohl is also a strong supporter of gun control, in particular the assault weapon ban. Kohl has a 94% Party Unity rating, as determined by Congressional Quarterly. Kohl sits on the Judiciary Committee, the Appropriations Committee, and the Special Committee on Aging, where he is the ranking member. He is also the ranking member on the Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee of Appropriations, and the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights of the Judiciary Committee.
The Future: Kohl has indicated that he will be running for re-election in 2006, but he has not yet formally declared his candidacy. Assuming he runs again, he is very likely to be re-elected. Kohl has a 53-34% approval-disapproval rating in the latest SUSA poll. It is possible that Kohl will run unopposed, or with only token opposition, in 2006.
Source: CQ's Politics in America, 2006
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