Amy Klobuchar – MN

Summary

Current Position: US Senator since 2007
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position: Hennepin County Attorney from 1999 – 2007
Other Positions:  Chair, Judiciary Committee;  Chair, Rules and Administration Committee; Chair, Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee

Before seeking public office, besides working as a prosecutor, Klobuchar was a partner at the Minnesota law firms Dorsey & Whitney and Gray Plant Mooty, where she specialized in “regulatory work in telecommunications law”.

Klobuchar’s political positions align with modern liberalism. She has focused on healthcare reform, consumer protection, agriculture, and climate change. She is known for her folksy, Midwestern demeanor and ability to win in rural Minnesota.

Featured Quote: 
When high school kids in northern Minnesota are doing their bio quizzes in liquor store parking lots because we don’t have high speed broadband statewide, you know it is time to pass a federal infrastructure bill. Like, now!

OnAir Post: Amy Klobuchar – MN

News

About

UAmy Klobuchar 1.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the United States Senate. Throughout her public service, Senator Klobuchar has always embraced the values she learned growing up in Minnesota. Her grandfather worked 1500 feet underground in the iron ore mines of Northern Minnesota. Her father, Jim, was a newspaperman, and her mother, Rose, was an elementary school teacher who continued teaching until she was 70. Senator Klobuchar has built a reputation of putting partisanship aside to help strengthen the economy and support families, workers, and businesses. In 2019, an analysis by Vanderbilt University ranked her as the “most effective” Democratic senator in the 115th Congress.

Senator Klobuchar is guided by the belief that her first duty is to represent the people of Minnesota. She acted quickly to obtain full funding to rebuild the I-35W bridge just thirteen months after it tragically collapsed into the Mississippi River. She worked across party lines to expand education and job opportunities for returning service members, fought to ensure that Minnesota National Guard members received the full benefits they earned, and helped turn Minnesota’s ground-breaking “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” program into a national model. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Klobuchar worked to pass several bipartisan Farm Bills to strengthen Minnesota’s rural economy and give farmers the certainty and support they need.

Working with both Democrats and Republicans, Senator Klobuchar has made key progress on legislation to keep people safe. She led the effort to pass landmark pieces of legislation to end human trafficking and combat the opioid and fentanyl epidemic. She fought to pass the most significant consumer product safety legislation in a generation, keeping foreign toxic products off our shores and out of our stores. She also pushed the cell phone companies to enact more consumer-friendly policies. Additionally, her efforts to protect consumers have resulted in the largest furniture and airbag recalls in American history.

Since arriving in the Senate, Senator Klobuchar has worked with Democrats and Republicans to get things done. She led the effort to pass landmark pieces of legislation to end human trafficking and combat the opioid epidemic. She fought to pass the most significant consumer product safety legislation in a generation, keeping foreign toxic products off our shores and out of our stores, and pushed the cell phone companies to enact more consumer-friendly policies. Additionally, her efforts to protect consumers have resulted in the largest furniture and airbag recalls in American history.

As a member of the Joint Economic Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee, Senator Klobuchar has been a leader in working to implement a competitive agenda to ensure businesses have the tools they need to grow and create good jobs in their communities. She has established herself as a leader on addressing supply chain issues, successfully leading the bipartisan Ocean Shipping Reform Act to address sky-high shipping prices, which was ultimately signed into law. She has also authored legislation to lift the trade embargo with Cuba as well as legislation to help small businesses tap into new markets abroad and foster the creation and growth of new businesses across the country. She has successfully advocated to take action to combat illegal steel dumping. As co-chair of the Senate Broadband Caucus, Senator Klobuchar has been a leading advocate working to connect every American to high speed internet once and for all. Her provisions to expand high-speed broadband across the country were included in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law in 2021. She has also passed significant legislation aimed at increasing funds for STEM education and led national initiatives to boost American tourism, including a long-term reauthorization of Brand USA, which helps attract international travelers to destinations throughout the United States. Finally, she has established herself as a key voice on workforce training and leads bills to boost apprenticeships, skills training, and community and technical college so that America can continue to compete on the world stage.

Senator Klobuchar also serves as the Chairwoman on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, where she has worked to reinvigorate America’s antitrust laws and restore competition to American markets. In this capacity, she introduced legislation to give federal enforcers the resources they need to do their jobs, strengthen prohibitions on anticompetitive conduct and mergers, and make additional reforms to improve enforcement. In 2022, her bipartisan bill to create rules of the roads for digital markets became the first piece of antitrust tech legislation to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee since the advent of the Internet. The Washington Post credited her approach, noting, “The moderate but meaningful proposals provide a launchpad for cross-aisle cooperation, a goal of much of the senator’s legislative handiwork.” She has also introduced bipartisan legislation to lower prescription drug prices by cracking down on “pay-for-delay” agreements, the practice of brand-name drug manufacturers using pay-off agreements to keep more affordable generic equivalents off the market. Long focused on bringing down costs for families, provisions from Senator Klobuchar’s legislation to finally unleash Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices with the big pharmaceutical companies were signed into law in 2022.

Senator Klobuchar is also the Chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee, where she has worked to ensure fairness, transparency, and efficiency in government. During a Joint Session of Congress to receive each state’s electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election, she led the defense of challenges to Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, working with a bipartisan group of her colleagues to stand up for our democracy. In response to the January 6th insurrection, she led a bipartisan investigation into the security, planning, and response failures related to the violent and unprecedented attack. The report made recommendations, including passing a law to change Capitol Police Board procedures and improving intelligence sharing. Senator Klobuchar has worked across the aisle to implement these recommendations.

Senator Klobuchar spearheaded the Freedom to Vote Act in the U.S. Senate and continues to lead on multiple voting issues, including spearheading the work to pass the bipartisan Electoral Count Reform Act. Additionally, she helped pass the most sweeping ethics reform since Watergate and has authored legislation to automatically register eligible voters when they turn 18. She has also led efforts to improve election security and prevent foreign interference in our democracy and successfully secured $1.2 billion to strengthen states’ election infrastructure and help protect them from future attacks by foreign adversaries. In addition, in her role on the Judiciary Committee she has been active in advocating for legislation focused on increased funding for police, civil rights, drug courts, criminal justice, and immigration reform.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Senator Klobuchar has worked on behalf of Minnesota’s farmers, agriculture workers, and rural communities by fighting to expand access to broadband, support food assistance programs, and provide stability to livestock producers. She has also passed legislation to encourage the use of renewable fuels and invest in data related to farming and agriculture to inform best practices. Additionally, Senator Klobuchar is devoted to passing on Minnesota’s tradition of outdoor recreation, fishing, and hunting to the next generation and has secured significant funding for research, restoration, and conservation activities, including the 2022 Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Reauthorization Act. Senator Klobuchar is also strongly supportive of efforts to combat climate change.

Before serving in the Senate, Senator Klobuchar headed the largest prosecutor’s office in Minnesota for eight years, making the prosecution of violent criminals her top priority while increasing the office’s focus on white collar crime. In the Senate, she has championed reauthorizations of the local COPS Hiring Program and has prioritized both the funding of local police officers across the country as well as federal law enforcement such as the U.S. Capitol Police, U.S. Attorneys Offices, the FBI, and the U.S. Marshals Service. She led the effort for successful passage of Minnesota’s first felony DWI law and received the leadership award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Her safe schools initiative, community prosecution efforts, and criminal justice reforms earned national awards from both the Bush and Clinton Justice Departments. She worked with the Innocence Project to advocate for videotaped interrogations across the country as well as innovative eyewitness processes to protect against false identifications. As a private citizen and before being elected to public office, Senator Klobuchar was the leading advocate for successful passage of one of the first laws in the country guaranteeing 48-hour hospital stays for new moms and their babies.

Senator Klobuchar’s work has gained national recognition. Vogue magazine described her as “personable, popular, and pragmatic,” The New York Times described her as a “former prosecutor with made-for-state-fair charms,” and Working Mother named her as “Best in Congress” for her efforts on behalf of working families. “Want to reform antitrust? Amy Klobuchar knows where to start,” The Washington Post headlined its opinion piece on her sweeping antitrust legislation, the Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act. She has received numerous awards from the National Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union for championing farmers and rural communities. She has been recognized for her work on behalf of children and consumers, and Refugee International gave her the Congressional Leadership Award for her work to support refugee communities. She received an award from the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) for her work to fight sexual assault in the military, and the Disabled American Veterans honored her work to improve the lives of America’s veterans. She also received the “Outstanding Member of the Senate Award” from the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition and the “Above and Beyond Award” from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve for her commitment to developing a supportive work environment for employees serving in the Guard and Reserves. In 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy presented her with the Order of Merit, First Class.

Senator Klobuchar was the valedictorian of her Wayzata High School class. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. Her senior essay in college, published as the book “Uncovering the Dome,” chronicles the 10-year-history behind the building of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and is still used at colleges and universities across the country. Her book, “Antitrust,” was on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Senator Klobuchar is married to John Bessler, a native of Mankato, who attended Loyola High School and the University of Minnesota. Senator Klobuchar and John have a daughter, Abigail, who they are very proud of!

Personal

Full Name: Amy Jean Klobuchar

Gender: Female

Family: Husband: John; 1 Child: Abigail

Birth Date: 05/25/1960

Birth Place: Plymouth, MN

Home City: Minneapolis, MN

Religion: Congregationalist

Source: Vote Smart

Education

JD, University of Chicago Law School, 1985

BA, Political Science, Yale University, 1982

Political Experience

Chair of Steering Committee, Democratic Leadership, United States Senate, 2015-present

Senator, United States Senate, Minnesota, 2006-present

Candidate, President of the United States, 2020

Candidate, United States Senate, Minnesota, 2006, 2012, 2018

Professional Experience

Former Chief Prosecutor, Hennepin County

Former Legal Advisor, Walter Mondale

County Attorney, Hennepin County, 1999-2006

Partner, Gray, Plant, and Mooty, 1993-1998

Attorney/Partner, Dorsey & Whitney, 1985-1993

Offices

Washington, DC

425 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202-224-3244
fax: 202-228-2186

Metro Office

1200 Washington Avenue South, Room 250
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Main Line: 612-727-5220
Main Fax: 202-224-1792
Toll Free: 1-888-224-9043

Southern Office

1130 1/2 7th Street, NW, Room 212
Rochester, MN 55901
Main Line: 507-288-5321
Main Fax: 202-224-1792

Northwestern & Central Office

121 4th Street South
Moorhead, MN 56560
Main Line: 218-287-2219
Main Fax: 202-224-1792

Northeastern Office

Olcott Plaza, Room 105
820 9th Street North
Virginia, MN 55792
Main Line: 218-741-9690
Main Fax: 202-224-1792

Toll Free Number:

1-888-224-9043

Contact

Email: https://www.klobuchar.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Web Links

Politics

Source: none

Election Results

To learn more, go to this wikipedia section in this post.

Finances

Source: Open Secrets

Committees

Judiciary Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s jurisdiction covers issues such as criminal justice, consumer rights, intellectual property and antitrust law. Klobuchar serves as Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, which is tasked with oversight of antitrust enforcement at the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission and monitoring the state of competition in a variety of industries to help protect consumers. The full Committee is also tasked with reviewing the President’s nominees for federal judgeships – including Supreme Court justices – along with many Executive Branch nominations, and providing oversight of the Department of Justice, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Committee addresses such topics as:

  • Ensuring that law enforcement has the tools they need to keep our streets safe
  • Ensuring equal justice for all Americans
  • Promoting consumer rights and fairness
  • Considering executive nominations and nominations to the federal court

Visit the committee’s website: www.judiciary.senate.gov

U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee

Senator Klobuchar is the Chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee. This Committee brings together senators, businesses, community leaders, policy experts and intergovernmental organizations to help develop policies to strengthen the economy and move the country forward.

Visit the committee’s website: www.democrats.senate.gov/dsoc

Rules and Administration Committee

Senator Klobuchar is the Chairwoman of the Rules Committee, which oversees the rules and operations of the Senate and has jurisdiction over the administration of federal elections and matters related to good governance.

Visit the committee’s website: www.rules.senate.gov

Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee

The Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee has responsibility for a wide range of issues important to businesses and consumers – overseeing everything from product safety to improving access to broadband and technology to transportation and the Coast Guard. The Commerce Committee’s work helps keep consumers safe, strengthen the economy, and guide the future of our nation’s transportation systems. The Committee is working for businesses and consumers by:

  • Expanding access to broadband and advancing next-generation telecommunications networks that keep America competitive
  • Protecting Americans from anti-consumer business practices and ensuring that consumers’ online data is protected
  • Ensuring that U.S. exporters have the tools they need to sell their products abroad
  • Making sure that products made around the world meet U.S. safety standards
  • Investing in research and development that will create long-term economic growth and jobs
  • Building a 21st-century transportation network

Visit the committee’s website: www.commerce.senate.gov

Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry has jurisdiction over issues important to Minnesota, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s farm, conservation, and rural-development programs; food stamps and nutrition; and forestry policy. This Congress, the committee will be working to pass a new Farm Bill and address other critical issues such as:

  • Extending a fair safety net and a permanent disaster assistance program for farmers
  • Continuing the sugar program with additional protections against imports of subsidized foreign sugar
  • Strengthening the support available for dairy farmers
  • Allowing farms to meet more of our nation’s energy needs
  • Supporting the economic development of rural communities

Visit the committee’s website: www.agriculture.senate.gov

Joint Economic Committee

The primary task of the Joint Economic Committee is to review economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy.

Visit the committee’s website: www.jec.senate.gov

New Legislation

Sponsored and Cosponsored

Issues

Source: Government page

Jobs and the Economy

Minnesotans believe in hard work, fair play, and personal responsibility. We believe that no matter where you come from, if you work hard, you can achieve your dreams, give the gift of education to your children, and have security in your later years. (Read more)

Agriculture & Rural Communities

The economic well-being of our nation is tied to the health of our rural economy. Rural communities also have unique needs – from housing and infrastructure to health care and broadband access often see disproportionate impacts from natural disasters, market volatility, and global pandemics like the coronavirus (COVID-19). (Read more)

Environment, Climate Change, Homegrown Energy and Natural Resources

We must commit ourselves to protecting our environment and preserving our natural resources for generations to come. We also need to chart a new energy future – one that creates jobs, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, increases domestic energy production, keeps energy costs affordable for all Americans, and responds to the challenges of global climate change. (Read more)

Health Care

Quality, universal, and accessible health care is a very personal matter to families all across our state. We must continue working to ensure all Minnesotans have access to the high-quality health care they need and deserve, particularly during the public health crisis that has been caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Read more)

National Security

Protecting our nation from those who would do us harm is the first and most important responsibility of Congress. In the midst of turbulent times abroad, we must remain vigilant in deterring hostile nations and pursuing terrorist networks intent on bringing destruction to our country. (Read more)

Veterans, Servicemembers, and Their Families

I have always believed that when we ask our young men and women to fight in defense of our nation, we make a promise that we will give them the resources they need to do their jobs. We also promise to take care of them when they return home. (Read more)

Civil Rights, Public Trust, and Democracy

Our constitutional civil rights are the heart of our democracy and the foundation of our government. Public trust in our government and elections is also essential to the health of our Constitutional system. Public trust can only be gained if we also stand up for the civil rights of all Americans, not only by ensuring that all people can participate freely in our democracy, but also by addressing injustice and making government work better for everyone, not just the well-connected. (Read more)

Seniors

With the number of Americans over age 65 set to double over the next 30 years, we must preserve and enhance the health care and retirement programs our seniors depend on while also helping families prepare for the demands of an aging population. (Read more)

Families & Children

As a mom, I know that parents have an increasingly difficult job in today’s world.  The economic pressures, the time demands, the many outside influences that affect even the youngest children – all of these, and more, make this an especially challenging time for American families. (Read more)

Education

We must work to ensure that all Minnesota families have access to the educational opportunities they need to succeed in the 21st Century economy—from early education to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes, to apprenticeships, training and credential programs, to community and technical colleges, four-year universities, and beyond. (Read more)

Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform

Before I was elected to the Senate, I served for eight years as the chief prosecutor for Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis and 45 suburbs. I know firsthand the vital role our law enforcement and public safety officers serve in keeping our citizens safe. (Read More)

Consumer Protection

The first responsibility of government is to protect its citizens – not only from foreign and domestic threats to our nation’s security, but also from crime, unsafe products, and unscrupulous business practices. (Read more)

Immigration

Since our state’s earliest days, immigration has kept Minnesota strong and competitive. From our Scandinavian and German roots, to our Slovenians and Croatians and Serbs on the Iron Range, to our Liberian, Hmong, Somali, and Oromo communities, our state’s heritage is filled with immigrants working on the front lines, starting companies, and expanding economic opportunity for all of us. (Read more)

Competition Policy

To ensure a future of shared prosperity for consumers, workers, and businesses large and small, America must guarantee open and fair competition. Our history shows that competitive markets support business growth, innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit, leaving room for small, independent businesses to flourish alongside larger corporations. (Read More)

More Information

Services

Source: Government page

Wikipedia

Amy Jean Klobuchar (/ˈklbəʃɑːr/ KLOH-bə-shar; born May 25, 1960) is an American politician and lawyer serving as the senior United States senator from Minnesota, a seat she has held since 2007. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), Minnesota’s affiliate of the Democratic Party, she previously served as the county attorney of Hennepin County, Minnesota.

Born in Plymouth, Minnesota, Klobuchar graduated from Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. She was a partner at two Minneapolis law firms before being elected county attorney of Hennepin County in 1998, making her responsible for all criminal prosecution in Minnesota’s most populous county. Klobuchar was first elected to the Senate in 2006, succeeding Mark Dayton to become Minnesota’s first elected female United States senator. She was reelected by a landslide in 2012, winning 85 of the state’s 87 counties. Klobuchar was reelected again in 2018.[1] In 2009 and 2010, she was described as a “rising star” in the Democratic Party.[2][3]

Klobuchar’s political positions align with modern liberalism. She has focused on healthcare reform, consumer protection, agriculture, and climate change. She is known for her folksy, Midwestern demeanor and ability to win in rural Minnesota.[4][5][6]

On February 10, 2019, Klobuchar announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in the 2020 election; on March 2, 2020, she suspended her campaign and endorsed Joe Biden.[7][8] In 2021, she became the chair of the Senate Rules Committee.

Early life and education

Born in Plymouth, Minnesota, Klobuchar is the daughter of Rose (née Heuberger) and Jim Klobuchar. Her mother taught second grade until she retired at age 70.[9] Her father Jim, a retired sportswriter and columnist for the Star Tribune,[10] was of Slovene descent.[11][12]

Klobuchar’s parents divorced when she was 15. The divorce took a toll on the family; her relationship with her father was not fully restored until he quit drinking in the 1990s.[13]

She attended public schools in Plymouth and was valedictorian at Wayzata High School,[14][15] where she was also class treasurer and secretary.[16] She received her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude in political science in 1982 from Yale University.[17] While at Yale, Klobuchar spent time as an intern for then-Vice President and former senator Walter Mondale.[18] Her senior thesis, Uncovering the Dome,[19] a 250-page history of the ten years of politics surrounding the building of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, was published by Waveland Press in 1986. After Yale, Klobuchar enrolled at the University of Chicago Law School, where she served as an associate editor of the University of Chicago Law Review and earned her Juris Doctor with high honors in 1985.[20]

Early career

After law school, Klobuchar worked as a corporate lawyer.[18] Before seeking public office, besides working as a prosecutor, Klobuchar was a partner at the Minnesota law firms Dorsey & Whitney and Gray Plant Mooty, where she specialized in “regulatory work in telecommunications law”.[21][22][23] Her 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, Abigail,[18] was born with a disorder that prevented her from swallowing. The 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 Bill Clinton later made the policy federal law.[18]

Klobuchar was first a candidate for public office in 1994 when she ran for Hennepin County attorney. But she had pledged to drop out if the incumbent, Michael Freeman, got back in the race after failing to win the endorsement of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor (DFL) Party for governor. Keeping this pledge, she quit the race in June 1994 and supported Freeman for reelection.[24] Before running for office, Klobuchar was active in supporting DFL candidates, including Freeman in 1990. The county attorney election is nonpartisan, but Freeman, like Klobuchar, is a Democrat.

Hennepin County attorney

Klobuchar was elected Hennepin County attorney in 1998, running after Freeman declined to seek an additional term.[25][18] In the nonpartisan election, she defeated Republican Sheryl Ramstad Hvass by a margin of less than 1%. Klobuchar was reelected unopposed in 2002.[26]

In 2001, Minnesota Lawyer named her “Attorney of the Year”.[27][28] Klobuchar was president of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association from November 2002 to November 2003.[29]

In 2002, Klobuchar spearheaded an effort that resulted in state laws being altered to allow felony charges to be brought against repeat drunk driving offenders. In 2003, Klobuchar dealt with one of her highest-profile cases when the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office brought several charges against former professional baseball player Kirby Puckett related to an alleged sex crime. Puckett was acquitted by a jury of all charges brought against him.[26]

Klobuchar took a “tough-on-crime” approach. At the time she took office, there was a crime wave in Minneapolis, with the city’s murder rate much higher than the national rate. Klobuchar had won election on the slogan “More Trials, More Convictions”. She pursued heavier sentencing and less favorable plea deals, and sought to bring more cases to trial. By the end of her first year, she had significantly increased the number of cases brought and convictions secured.[30] Under Klobuchar, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office prosecuted people for possession of khat. At the time, it was rare in the United States for prosecutors to pursue prosecution on such charges.[31] Klobuchar also brought felony charges against a number of men for failure to pay child support.[32]

Klobuchar pursued tougher sentencing in hopes of deterring crime. For some smaller offenses, such as vandalism, she regularly sought sentences that exceeded the recommended duration. This was true for both adult and minor defendants. For property crime offenders who had already received five convictions, Klobuchar’s office similarly pursued longer sentences than had been recommended.[32] Klobuchar declared that she intended to scrutinize judges who were “letting offenders off the hook too easily”. In 2000, a successful appeal by Klobuchar lengthened by two days a sentence that a judge handed to an immigrant defendant, which placed the defendant at a greatly increased risk of deportation. The judge had delivered had been 364 days. A sentence of 365 days or greater was likely to lead to the defendant’s deportation, and the two days that Klobuchar added to the sentence placed the defendant over that threshold. An analysis by the Vera Institute of Justice found that during Klobuchar’s tenure, there was a 20% increase in the number of prison inmates in Hennepin County, which the analysis attributed to the harsher sentences Klobuchar sought.[30]

During Klobuchar’s tenure, the preexisting disparity of African Americans imprisoned at a greater rate than white people decreased in severity. But it remained pronounced,[30] at quadruple the national average, per the Vera Institute of Justice.[32]

Klobuchar successfully prosecuted teenage defendant Myon Burrell for the 2002 murder of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards by gunshot. Both Burrell and Edwards were African American. For much of her subsequent career, Klobuchar highlighted this case, framing it both as an example of her toughness on crime as well as an example of her fighting to provide justice for African-American communities affected by gun crime. Burrell remained steadfast in claiming that he was innocent. In late January 2020, during Klobuchar’s presidential campaign, the Associated Press called attention to flaws in the case against Burrell, and quoted a co-defendant in the trial as having admitted that he, not Burrell, had actually fired the shot that killed Edwards.[33] APM Reports also uncovered further consequential flaws with the case against Burrell.[34] Due to these circumstances, his sentence was commuted by the Minnesota Board of Pardons in December 2020.[35]

In 2004, Klobuchar supported the presidential campaign of U.S. senator John Kerry, traveling across Minnesota as a campaign surrogate.[26]

Klobuchar did not prosecute any cases related to police brutality.[36] During her tenure, Hennepin County saw 30 recorded police-involved deaths.[37] Some of these deaths resulted in public controversy, but Klobuchar did not bring any charges.[36] As was common practice at the time, especially in Minnesota, to determine whether to bring charges in such instances, Klobuchar relied on grand jury recommendations.[38] Critics of her use of grand juries alleged that it lacked transparency and was perhaps a tactic for Klobuchar to distance herself from responsibility for the decisions made.[30][38] After the 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police custody, renewed attention was brought to Klobuchar’s tenure as Hennepin County Attorney. She was retrospectively criticized for not prosecuting police misconduct during her tenure. Attention was also brought to the fact that during Klobuchar’s tenure an officer-involved killing had occurred that involved Officer Derek Chauvin, who later murdered Floyd. This killing did not result in prosecution. The killing occurred in October 2006, several months before Klobuchar left office, and a grand jury was empaneled by her successor (Freeman, who returned for a second stint as county attorney). The grand jury did not recommend any charges.[39] This renewed scrutiny arose several months after Klobuchar concluded her presidential campaign, and while reporting had named her as a potential running mate of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.[40]

U.S. Senate

Elections

2006

Female senators of the 110th Congress, Klobuchar standing, second from the right, January 2007

In early 2005, after U.S. senator Mark Dayton announced that he would not seek reelection in 2006, Klobuchar became an early favorite for the DFL nomination. She had originally planned to run for attorney general of Minnesota, but was persuaded to run for Senate.[26][41] Emily’s List endorsed her on September 29, 2005, and Klobuchar won the DFL endorsement on June 9, 2006. She gained the support of the majority of DFL state legislators in Minnesota during the primaries. A poll 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 was viewed as an important boost for Klobuchar.[41]

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 led in the polls throughout the campaign, and won with 58% of the vote to Kennedy’s 38% and Fitzgerald’s 3%, carrying all but eight of Minnesota’s 87 counties. She is the first woman to be elected 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.)[42]

2012

Klobuchar’s father, Jim, and supporters campaigning for Klobuchar as U.S. senator, Tower, Minnesota, July 4, 2012

Klobuchar won a second term in the U.S. Senate, defeating Republican state representative Kurt Bills by a margin of 35 percentage points (65.23% to 30.53%), carrying all but two counties.[43][44]

2018

Klobuchar ran for a third term and was reelected by a 24-point margin.[45] The Republican nominee was state representative Jim Newberger. The race was not seen as close, with Klobuchar outraising Newberger $9.9 million to $210,066 as of October 17. Klobuchar maintained a double-digit lead in the polls all autumn.[46]

2024

Klobuchar is running for a fourth term. In May 2024, she won the DFL endorsement to be the Democratic nominee for the race.[47]

Tenure

A September 2009 poll found 58% of Minnesotans approved of the job Klobuchar was doing and 36% disapproved.[48] 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 said, “She has done better in that miserable Senate than most people there.”[49]

Klobuchar with Lindsey Graham and John McCain in Latvia in 2016

At the end of the 114th Congress in late 2016, Klobuchar had passed more legislation than any other senator.[50] In February 2017 she called for an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate ties between Russia and President Donald Trump and his administration. Concern about Trump’s ties to Russia increased after reports that his campaign officials had repeated contact with senior Russian intelligence officials before the 2016 United States elections.[51][52] 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.[53] She maintained high approval ratings throughout 2017, with an April 2017 Star Tribune poll placing her approval rating at 72%.[54] In October 2017 Morning Consult listed Klobuchar among the 10 senators with the highest approval ratings, and a November 2017 KSTP-TV poll put her approval rating at 56%.[55][56] An April 2019 Morning Consult poll found Klobuchar to be the third-most popular sitting senator, with a 58% approval rating and 26% disapproval rating, behind only Vermont senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy.[57]

According to the Center for Effective Lawmaking, Klobuchar scored “above expectations” with respect to how successful she was at moving significant legislation in the 115th Congress (2017–18).[58]

During the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearings in 2018, Kavanaugh gave heated responses to Klobuchar’s questions about whether he had ever experienced memory loss after consuming alcohol, for which he later apologized.[59]

There has been negative publicity about Klobuchar’s treatment of her staff throughout her tenure in office.[60][61] In February 2019, BuzzFeed News reported that interviews with former staffers and reviews of emails indicated that Klobuchar frequently abused and humiliated her employees, requiring significant staff time to manage her ire. The article reported that other employees found her to be “fair and effective” and a good boss.[62] Politico reported that Klobuchar had the highest annual staff turnover rate of any senator—36%—between 2011 and 2016.[63] A Huffington Post article alleged she had a reputation for mistreating her staff, with some staff alleging she was prone to bursts of cruelty.[64] In response to the negative reports, 61 former staffers wrote an open letter praising Klobuchar, stating that she was a caring “mentor and friend” to them.[65]

In the 115th Congress, she was absent for 0.5% of votes, with two-thirds of the senators missing more votes.[66] In the ongoing 116th Congress (Jan 2019–Jan 2021), during her campaign for president, as of January 2020, she missed 39.1% of votes, making her the 5th most absent member of the Senate.[67]

Klobuchar speaking at the inauguration of Joe Biden

Klobuchar was at the U.S. Capitol when Trump supporters stormed it on January 6, 2021. As ranking Democrat on the Senate Rules Committee, she and Senator Roy Blunt co-led Senate deliberations during the 2021 United States Electoral College vote count.[68] She also served as a teller, along with Blunt, Representative Rodney Davis, and Representative Zoe Lofgren.[69] After Senate Republicans, led by Senator Ted Cruz, objected to certifying Arizona’s electoral votes, Klobuchar participated in the debate on the Senate floor. Shortly after she gave her remarks, the Capitol was breached.[70] As the Senate adjourned, Klobuchar was alerted on her phone that shots were fired inside the Capitol, which she announced to those present.[71] Immediately, Klobuchar, fellow senators, staff and journalists were evacuated from the chambers to a secure location.[71][72] When the Capitol was secure, Congress reconvened and the election count was certified in the early morning of January 7. Klobuchar supported the certification. Later that day, Klobuchar said she supported the invocation of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution to remove Trump from office “because you cannot have a president basically leading an insurrection against our own country’s government.”[73] She also called for investigations into the breach.[74]

Klobuchar was the first speaker at Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021.[75][76]

Role in the Democratic Party

On March 30, 2008, Klobuchar announced her endorsement of Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential primary, promising her superdelegate vote to him.[77] She cited his performance in the Minnesota caucuses, where he won with 66% of the popular vote, as well as her own “independent judgment”. In 2016 she was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton‘s second campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.[78]

Klobuchar has served as the chair of the U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee since 2015.[79] She became the steering chair of the committee in 2017, with Bernie Sanders as the outreach chair.[80] Both represented the Democratic Party in a 2017 televised debate on healthcare policy and the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act on CNN.[81]

In 2020, Klobuchar was speculated to be a possible candidate for secretary of agriculture or United States attorney general in the Biden administration.[82]

Committee assignments

118th Congress

For the 118th Congress, Klobuchar serves on the following standing committees:

117th Congress

In the 117th Congress, Klobuchar served on the following standing committees:

116th Congress

In the 116th Congress, Klobuchar served on the following standing committees:[104]

Other Congresses

In her first Congress, the 110th Congress, Klobuchar was assigned to the following committees:[111]

Caucus memberships

2020 presidential campaign

Klobuchar (center) with her husband and daughter at her campaign announcement

The New York Times and The New Yorker named Klobuchar as one of the women most likely to become the first female president of the United States,[114][115] and MSNBC and The New Yorker named her as a possible nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.[116][117]

On February 10, 2019, Klobuchar announced her candidacy in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.[118] She has said that she uses humor as one way to distinguish herself among the many other Democratic candidates in the 2020 campaign.[119]

On January 19, 2020, The New York Times editorial board endorsed Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren for president.[120][121]

On March 2, 2020, the day before Super Tuesday, Klobuchar suspended her campaign and endorsed Joe Biden.[122]

On May 21, 2020, it was reported that Biden asked several women, including Klobuchar, to undergo formal vetting for consideration as his vice-presidential running mate.[123][124] On June 18, Klobuchar withdrew herself from consideration, saying that Biden should choose a woman of color.[125]

Political positions

Klobuchar’s political positions have generally been in line with modern American liberalism. She is pro-choice on abortion, supports LGBT rights and the Affordable Care Act, and was critical of the Iraq War. During the 115th Congress, she voted in line with President Donald Trump‘s position on legislation 31.1 percent of the time.[126]

According to GovTrack, Klobuchar passed more legislation than any other senator by the end of the 114th Congress in late 2016.[50] According to Congress.gov, as of December 16, 2018, she had sponsored or co-sponsored 111 pieces of legislation that became law.[127]

Personal life and family

In 1993, Klobuchar married John Bessler, a private practice attorney and a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law. They have a daughter who graduated from Yale University and worked as a legislative director for New York councilman Keith Powers.[18][128]

Klobuchar is a member of the United Church of Christ[129] and is a cousin of musician Zola Jesus.[130][131]

In September 2021, Klobuchar revealed that she had been diagnosed with Stage 1A breast cancer in February 2021, that she had undergone a successful lumpectomy, and that in May she had completed a course of radiation treatment. In August, her doctors determined that the treatments had all been successful and she was cancer-free.[132] In July 2024, Klobuchar announced that she was still cancer-free after she underwent a small surgery and brief radiation treatment.[133]

Klobuchar’s grandparents were immigrants from Slovenia‘s White Carniola region. Her paternal grandfather was a miner on Minnesota’s Iron Range.[11][12] Amy’s maternal grandparents emigrated from Switzerland to the United States.[134]

Awards and honors

Klobuchar has received a number of awards during her career. Minnesota Lawyer named her “Attorney of the Year” in 2001[28] and Mothers Against Drunk Driving gave her a leadership award for advocating for successful passage of Minnesota’s first felony DWI law.[135] Working Mother named her a 2008 “Best in Congress” for her efforts on behalf of working families, and The American Prospect named her a “woman to watch”.[135]

In 2012, Klobuchar received the Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award at a special Great Outdoors Week celebration presented by the American Recreation Coalition.[136] She was one of the recipients of the Agricultural Retailers Association’s 2012 Legislator of the Year Award, alongside Republican representative John Mica.[137] 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).[138] Also, in 2013, she received a Friend of CACFP award for her leadership in passing 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.[139] Klobuchar and Senator Al Franken received the 2014 Friends of Farm Bureau Award from the Minnesota branch of the American Farm Bureau Federation.[140] 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.[141] Also in 2015 the National Consumers League honored Klobuchar 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”.[142] 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.[143] In 2017, she received the Arabella Babb Mansfield Award from the National Association of Women Lawyers[144] and was chosen as the Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics for the Carrie Chapman Catt Center at Iowa State University.[145] In 2021, Klobuchar received the Award for Distinguished Public Service from the Association of American Publishers.[146]

Books

Klobuchar has written four books. In 1986, she published Uncovering the Dome, a case study of the 10-year political struggle to build the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.[147] In 2015, she published an autobiography, The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland.[148] In 2021, Antitrust: Taking on Monopoly Power from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age was published, a sprawling, 624-page historical overview of antitrust law in the United States, up to the current regulatory issues facing Big Tech, the American public, and the world.[149] In 2023, she published The Joy of Politics.[150]

Electoral history

Hennepin County attorney

1998 Hennepin County attorney election[151]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
NonpartisanAmy Klobuchar 223,416 50.3%
NonpartisanSheryl Ramstad Hvass219,67649.4%
2002 Hennepin County attorney election[152]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
NonpartisanAmy Klobuchar (incumbent) 380,632 98.7%
Write-in4,8291.3%

U.S. Senate

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

2006 United States Senate Democratic–Farmer–Labor primary election in Minnesota
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Democratic (DFL)Amy Klobuchar 294,671 92.5%
Democratic (DFL)Darryl Stanton23,8727.5%
2006 United States Senate election in Minnesota
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Democratic (DFL)Amy Klobuchar 1,278,849 58.1% +9.2%
RepublicanMark Kennedy835,65337.9%−5.4%
IndependenceRobert Fitzgerald71,1943.2%−2.6%
GreenMichael Cavlan10,7140.5%N/A
ConstitutionBen Powers5,4080.3%−0.1%
Write-ins954
Majority443,19620.2%
Turnout2,202,77270.6%
Democratic (DFL) holdSwing
2012 United States Senate Democratic–Farmer–Labor primary election in Minnesota
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Democratic (DFL)Amy Klobuchar (incumbent) 183,766 90.8%
Democratic (DFL)Dick Franson6,8373.4%
Democratic (DFL)Jack Edward Shepard6,6323.3%
Democratic (DFL)Darryl Stanton5,1552.6%
2012 United States Senate election in Minnesota[153]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Democratic (DFL)Amy Klobuchar (incumbent) 1,854,595 65.2% +7.1%
RepublicanKurt Bills867,97430.5%−7.3%
IndependenceStephen Williams73,5392.6%−0.6%
GrassrootsTim Davis30,5311.1%N/A
Minnesota Open Progressive PartyMichael Cavlan13,9860.5%N/A
Write-ins2,582
Majority986,62134.6%+14.4%
Turnout2,843,207
Democratic (DFL) holdSwing
2018 United States Senate election in Minnesota
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Democratic (DFL)Amy Klobuchar (incumbent) 1,566,174 60.3% −4.9%
RepublicanJim Newberger940,43736.2%+5.7%
Legal Marijuana NowDennis Schuller66,2362.6%+2.6%
GreenPaula Overby23,1010.9%+0.9%
Majority625,73724.1%−10.5%
Turnout2,595,948
Democratic (DFL) holdSwing

See also

Notes

  1. ^ From January 3, 2015 to January 3, 2017 she was the chair of the Steering & Outreach Committee. At the start of the 115th Congress – January 3, 2017 – Steering and Outreach were split into 2 separate chairs; Bernie Sanders became the chair of the Outreach Committee.

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Further reading

Legal offices
Preceded by

County Attorney of Hennepin County
1999–2007
Succeeded by

Party political offices
Preceded by

Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Minnesota
(Class 1)

2006, 2012, 2018
Most recent
Preceded by

Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee
2015–2017
Succeeded by

Herself

as Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering Committee

Succeeded by

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

U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Minnesota
2007–present
Served alongside: Norm Coleman, Al Franken, Tina Smith
Incumbent
Preceded by

Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee
2017–2021
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Chair of the Senate Rules Committee
2021–present
Incumbent
Preceded by

Chair of the Joint Printing Committee
2021–2023
Succeeded by

Chair of the Joint Library Committee
2023–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

Order of precedence of the United States
as United States Senator
Succeeded by

Preceded by

United States senators by seniority
22nd
Succeeded by


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