Kay Hagan

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Kay Hagan
Kay Hagan official photo.jpg
United States Senator
from North Carolina
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2009
Serving with Richard Burr
Preceded by Elizabeth Dole
North Carolina State Senator
from the 27th district
In office
January 29, 2003 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by John Garwood
Succeeded by Don Vaughan
North Carolina State Senator
from the 32nd district
In office
January 27, 1999 – January 29, 2003
Preceded by John Blust
Succeeded by Linda Garrou
Personal details
Born Janet Kay Ruthven
(1953-05-26) May 26, 1953 (age 61)
Shelby, North Carolina
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Chip Hagan
Relations Lawton Chiles (uncle)
Residence Greensboro
Alma mater Florida State University (B.A.)
Wake Forest University School of Law (J.D.)
Profession Attorney, Banker
Religion Presbyterian
Website www.hagan.senate.gov

Janet Kay Ruthven Hagan (/ˈhɡən/; born May 26, 1953) is the junior United States Senator from North Carolina, in office since January 2009. Previously she served in the North Carolina Senate from 1999 to 2009. She is a member of the Democratic Party.[1] Hagan is running for re-election in 2014 in what is considered one of the toughest reelection bids in the country.[2]

When Hagan defeated Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole in the 2008 United States Senate election, she became the first woman to defeat an incumbent woman in a Senate election.

Early life and education[edit]

Hagan was born Janet Kay Ruthven[3] in Shelby, North Carolina, the daughter of Jeanette (née Chiles), a homemaker, and Josie Perry "Joe" Ruthven, a tire salesman. Both her father and her older brother served in the U.S. Navy.[4] She spent most of her childhood in Lakeland, Florida. Leaving the tire business, her father branched out into real estate development, primarily focused on industrial warehouses and warehouse-centered business parks in the Lakeland and Polk County, Florida area. With business success came political engagement, in this case with the Democratic Party, with her father later becoming mayor of Lakeland.[5][6][not in citation given] To this day, the multigenerational Ruthven family remains one of the wealthiest and most politically influential families in Lakeland and Southwest Central Florida.

Hagan also spent summers on her grandparents' farm in Chesterfield, South Carolina, where she helped string tobacco and harvest watermelons.[1] Her uncle is Lakeland native and U.S. Senator Lawton Chiles (D-FL), who later became Florida Governor following his service in the U.S. Senate. In the 1970s, she was an intern at the Capitol, operating an elevator that carried senators, including her uncle, to and from the Chamber.[1]

She later earned a B.A. degree from Florida State University in 1975 and a J.D. degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law in 1978, later pursuing a career as both an attorney and banker. While a student at Florida State, Hagan became a member of the Chi Omega women's fraternity.[7]

Prior to beginning her political career, Hagan worked in the financial industry. During this time she became a vice president of North Carolina's largest bank, NCNB (North Carolina National Bank), which is now a part of Bank of America.[1] Hagan became a county campaign manager for Governor Jim Hunt's gubernatorial campaign.[1]

North Carolina legislature[edit]

Hagan was first elected to the North Carolina General Assembly as state Senator for the 32nd district in 1998 (due to redistricting, her constituency later became the 27th district).[1] During the 1998 campaign, her uncle Lawton Chiles walked the district with her.[1] She represented most of central Guilford County, including most of Greensboro.

U.S. Senate[edit]

2008 election[edit]

After Hagan first decided not to run against Elizabeth Dole,[8] the Swing State Project announced on October 26, 2007, that two independent sources had reported that Hagan would, in fact, run.[9] Hagan made her candidacy official on October 30, 2007.[10][11] She defeated investment banker Jim Neal of Chapel Hill, podiatrist Howard Staley of Chatham County, Lexington truck driver Duskin Lassiter, and Lumberton attorney Marcus Williams in the May 2008 Democratic primary.

Hagan at the Democratic campaign rally in 2008

Hagan was initially given little chance against Dole, and she was recruited to the race only after more prominent North Carolina Democrats such as Governor Mike Easley, former Governor Jim Hunt and Congressman Brad Miller all declined to compete against Dole.[12] However, most polling from September onward showed Hagan slightly ahead of Dole, although Hagan had previously fallen behind by as many as 17 points at one point.[13] Hagan was helped by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's aggressive push for North Carolina's 15 electoral votes[14][15] and by 527 groups lobbying on her behalf.[12] The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee expended more money in North Carolina than in any other state during the 2008 election season.[12]

In late October, the Dole campaign released a television ad that stated the leader of the Godless Americans PAC had held "a secret fundraiser in Kay Hagan's honor." The ad showed sound bites of group members espousing their views, then stated Kay Hagan "hid from cameras, took Godless money... what did Hagan promise in return?" It ended with a photo of Hagan and a female voice saying, "There is no God."[16][17] The ad aired across North Carolina.[16] Hagan, a member of First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro and a former Sunday school teacher,[17] condemned the ad as "fabricated and pathetic,"[18] and filed a lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court accusing Dole of defamation and libel.[19][20] Following Hagan's victory, the lawsuit was dropped.[21] The ad was roundly criticized in local and several national media outlets, including by CNN's Campbell Brown, who said about the ad: "[A]mid all the attack ads on the airwaves competing to out-ugly one another, we think we've found a winner."[17]

In the November election, Hagan won with 53 percent of the vote to Dole's 44 percent.[22] The Miami Herald reported that campaign ads on both sides were negative. Hagan's victory was partially attributed to anger over the "Godless" ad.[23]

2014 election[edit]

Hagan is running for re-election in 2014. The Washington Post considers her seat vulnerable.[24][25] The Fiscal Times reported that Hagan benefitted from a presidential election in 2008 for higher voter turnout, and that without one this year the race is a toss-up.[26] Hagan declined to attend ceremonies for President Barack Obama's January 2014 visit to North Carolina, deciding instead to remain in Washington for Senate votes. Pundits questioned whether Hagan was attempting to distance herself from the President, whose popularity in North Carolina waned significantly after he won the state in his 2008 presidential bid.[27]

Hagan has been the target of numerous negative ads paid for by Americans for Prosperity, which had spent over $7 million on the race by the end of March 2014.[28][29] As part of a $3 million offensive effort against those efforts in early 2014, the Senate Majority PAC released ads supporting Hagan.[30] She was endorsed by Vice President Joe Biden.[31] In September 2014, Bill Clinton announced plans to campaign for Hagan.[32] Hagan will face Republican Thom Tillis and Libertarian Sean Haugh in the general election on Tuesday, November 4.[33] Hagan has declined to participate in a scheduled October 21 debate.[34] She will be a speaker at the state AFL-CIO convention.[35]

Committee assignments[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Economic issues[edit]

On February 13, 2009, Hagan voted to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[36]

Hagan at first refused to take a position on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, but said she opposed it after the Senate passed the bill.[37][not in citation given]

In December 2010, Hagan voted against a bill extending both the Bush tax cuts and unemployment benefits. The bill passed the Senate 81-19, with conservatives and progressives from both sides of the aisle opposing it.[38][39]

On March 23, 2013, Hagan was one of only four Democratic Senators to vote against the Senate’s first approved budget in four years.[40]

Hagan voted for the “Cash for Clunkers” bill.[41]

Social issues[edit]

Planned Parenthood quotes Hagan as saying "I am a strong supporter of a woman's right to choose...I would like to see abortions be safe, legal, and rare. These decisions are best made privately by a woman in consultation with her doctor."[42] Hagan also voted against a congressional plan to defund Planned Parenthood, who according to the ‘’News Observer’’ plans to spend 3.3. million dollars on her re-election campaign.[43] Hagan was endorsed by EMILY's List, an organization dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office.[44]

On December 18, 2010, Hagan voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010.[45][46][47]

Hagan opposed North Carolina's Amendment 1, a measure that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman in North Carolina's Constitution.[48]

On March 27, 2013, Hagan announced her support of gay marriage.[49]

Hagan opposes the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks. In August 2014, a protest occurred outside her offices in support of the bill.[50]

Healthcare[edit]

In December 2009, Hagan voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,[43][51] and she later voted for the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[45][52]

On September 27, 2013, Hagan voted to restore funding for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as part of an amendment to legislation funding government operations for 45 days, and which also omitted House-passed language prioritizing debt payments if Congress fails to increase the nation’s borrowing limits.[53][54][55] The Washington Post's Dana Milbank argued that Senator Hagan destabilizes her own Senate lead because she has difficulty communicating her support of Obamacare to her own constituents. During a phone call with her constituents, Senator Hagan embarrassingly fumbled the explanation of her support for the ACA by getting caught in abstractions and unclear thoughts.[56]

In 2009, Hagan voted for the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2009, a successful $32.8 billion measure which funded increased health coverage for children while raising the cigarette tax by 62 cents a pack.[57] Hagan opposed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which was signed into law in 2009.[58]

Immigration[edit]

On December 18, 2010, Hagan was one of only five Democrats to vote against the DREAM Act. The bill failed in the Senate, “likely derailing any attempt at sweeping immigration reform in Congress for the foreseeable future,” the Los Angeles Times reported.[59]

In June 2013, Hagan voted against an amendment to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status.[60]

Privacy issues[edit]

Hagan co-sponsored PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), a proposed law with the stated goal of giving the US government and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to "rogue websites dedicated to the sale of infringing or counterfeit goods," especially those registered outside the U.S." In the wake of online protests, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tabled the bill in January 2012.[61]

Gun rights[edit]

On April 17, 2013, Hagan voted to expand background checks for gun purchasers,[62][63] but also voted not to reinstate the Feinstein ban on "assault weapons"[64][65] nor to ban "large capacity ammunition feeding devices"[66] Hagan has been assigned an 'F' rating by the National Rifle Association.[67]

Environment[edit]

On May 20, 2014, Hagan introduced the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014 (S. 2363; 113th Congress), a bill related to hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation in the United States, aimed at improving "the public's ability to enjoy the outdoors."[68] According to the Animal Welfare Institute, the bill would "eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency's authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act to regulate hazardous substances."[69]

Personal life[edit]

Three people posing for a picture.
Hagan (center) with her husband (right) and lobbyist Tony Podesta.

Hagan's husband, a transaction lawyer,[70] has a net worth between $10.7 million and $40 million.[37] The Hagans have three children: Jeanette, Tilden, and Carrie.[71]

In October 2008, Politico reported that Hagan's husband Chip Hagan III, a former Democratic county leader, had been a member of 1,000-member Greensboro Country Club for years, despite the club's de facto segregation and refusal to admit black members.[72] Hagan herself was not a member of the club. Greensboro Country Club admitted its first black member in 1995.[72]

Electoral history[edit]

2008 North Carolina U.S. Senator general election[73]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Kay Hagan 2,249,311 52.65 +7.7
Republican Elizabeth Dole (incumbent) 1,887,510 44.18 -9.4
Libertarian Chris Cole 133,430 3.12 +1.6
Other Write-Ins 1,719 0.0 0
Majority 361,801
Turnout 4,271,970
Democratic gain from Republican Swing

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "10 Things You Didn't Know About Kay Hagan". U.S. News and World Report. 2008-11-04. 
  2. ^ Nocera, Kate (2014-04-17). "Progressives Will Vote For Kay Hagan, But They’re Not Happy About It". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  3. ^ http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~battle/senators/hagan.htm
  4. ^ "Senator Kay R. Hagan". U.S. Senate. [dead link]
  5. ^ Green, Jordan (2008-03-18). "Kay Hagan tries to ride populist wave". Yes Weekly. [dead link]
  6. ^ http://www.ruthvens.com/about-us/
  7. ^ "Greeks in the 113th Congress". North-American Interfraternity Conference. Retrieved 2 September 2013. [dead link]
  8. ^ Beckwith, Ryan Teague (2007-10-08). "Hagan will not run against Dole". News & Observer. 
  9. ^ Thompson, Trent (2007-10-25). "NC-Sen: Sources Say Kay Hagan to Challenge Dole". Swing State Project. 
  10. ^ Valenzuela, Michelle (2007-10-30). "Hagan to run". News & Observer. 
  11. ^ Hartsfield, Kerri. "Kay Hagan to Face Elizabeth Dole in November". WFMY News 2 / Associated Press. 
  12. ^ a b c "Is the Southern Strategy Dead?". American Prospect. 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  13. ^ "2008 North Carolina Senate General Election: Dole (R-i) vs Hagan (D)". Pollster.com. 2008-10-20. 
  14. ^ "Scrambling the red states". The Economist. 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  15. ^ Ryan Teague Beckwith (2008-11-04). "Obama coattails for Hagan?". Raleigh News & Observer. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  16. ^ a b Kraushaar, Josh. Dole still keeping the faith. The Politico. October 29, 2008.
  17. ^ a b c Brown, Campbell. Commentary: Mudslinging to get elected. CNN.com. October 29, 2008.
  18. ^ KayHagan.com. Kay on Dole Ad Attacking Her Christian Faith: A Fabricated, Pathetic Ad. October 30, 2008.[dead link]
  19. ^ Dole Sued for 'Godless' Attack Ad, ABC News. October 30, 2008.
  20. ^ Dole challenger irate over suggestion she is 'godless'⁠. CNN.com. October 30, 2008.
  21. ^ Senator-elect Hagan drops suit over 'godless' TV ad.[dead link]
  22. ^ "North Carolina". Election Results 2008. New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  23. ^ Bennett, Barbara (Nov 5, 2008). "N.C. voters deny Dole, elect Hagan to U.S. Senate". Miami Herald. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  24. ^ Trygstad, Kyle (7 April 2014). "Kay Hagan Raised $2.8 Million for Re-Election in 2014". Roll Call. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  25. ^ Sullivan, Sean (8 April 2014). "Vulnerable Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) raises nearly $2.8 million in first quarter". Washington Post. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  26. ^ Pianin, Eric (Feb 15, 2013). [The ‘’Fiscal Times’’ reported that Hagan benefitted from a presidential election in 2008 for higher voter turnout, and that without one this year the race is a toss-up. "7 Senate Seats Most at Risk—Hint: They’re All Blue"] Check |url= scheme (help). Fiscal Times. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  27. ^ Henderson, Nia-Malika (Jan 15, 2014). "Hagan won’t attend Obama N.C. event". Washington Post. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  28. ^ Sullivan, Sean (31 March 2014). "Americans for Prosperity has already spent $7 million on ads against Kay Hagan. No, that’s not a typo.". Washington Post. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  29. ^ Raju, Manu (2 February 2014). "Koch brothers bombard vulnerable Senate Democrat Kay Hagan". Politico. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  30. ^ Jaffe, Alexandra (March 26, 2014). "Dem super-PAC hits Kochs in La., NC". The Hill. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  31. ^ Killough, Ashley (Nov 15, 2013). "9 months ago Biden campaigns for vulnerable Senate Democrat". CNN. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  32. ^ Cornatzer, Mary (9-4-2014). "Bill Clinton coming to Chapel Hill for Hagan". News & Observer. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  33. ^ Funk, Tim; Arriero, Elizabeth (5-6-2014). "U.S. Senate: Thom Tillis, Kay Hagan capture party nominations". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  34. ^ Jarvis, Craig (Sep 9, 2014). "US Senate debate might go on without Sen. Hagan". News Observer. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  35. ^ "Hagan, Aiken to speak at state AFL-CIO convention". WNCN. Sep 11, 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  36. ^ Heaslip, Jennifer (2009-04-16). "Hagan: Stimulus means more jobs for WNC". Times-News. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  37. ^ a b "Kay Hagan's giving Elizabeth Dole a fight she never expected". Charlotte Observer. 2008-10-05. 
  38. ^ Dave, Asha (2010-12-15). "Senate passes package extending Bush tax cuts; Hagan votes NO, Burr votes YES". WWay-TV3. 
  39. ^ McMorris-Santoro, Evan (2010-12-13). "Cloture Reached, Tax Cut Deal Moving Ahead In Senate". Talking Points Memo. 
  40. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (March 23, 2013). "Senate Passes $3.7 Trillion Budget, Setting Up Contentious Negotiations". New York Times. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  41. ^ Manning, Julia (Dec 12, 2013). "Hagan’s voting record sets her up for plenty of opposition in 2014". Rocky Mountain Telegram. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  42. ^ http://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/elections-politics/newly-elected-pro-choice-members-congress-805.htm[dead link]
  43. ^ a b Schoof, Renee (May 17, 2014). "US Sen. Kay Hagan banks on women's vote". News Observer. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  44. ^ http://www.kayhagan.com/press/emilys-list-endorses-kay-hagan-for-us-senate
  45. ^ a b Fitzwater, Ron (March 28, 2012). "Senator Kay Hagan to Visit High Country April 3 and 4". High Country Press. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  46. ^ [1]
  47. ^ "Senate Vote 281 - Repeals ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell'". The New York Times. 
  48. ^ http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2012/02/22/Senator_Kay_Hagan_Speaks_Out_Against_Antigay_Amendment_1/
  49. ^ http://www.towleroad.com/2013/03/senator-kay-hagan-d-nc-comes-out-for-marriage-equality.html
  50. ^ "Anti-abortion activists protest at Kay Hagan’s Charlotte office". WBTV. Aug 27, 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  51. ^ [2]
  52. ^ "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote". Senate.gov. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  53. ^ "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > S.Amdt.1974". Senate.gov. Retrieved 2013-09-27. 
  54. ^ Rebecca Berg (26 September 2013). "GOP attacks vulnerable Dems who refused to defund Obamacare". Washington Examiner. Retrieved September 27, 2013. 
  55. ^ Tom Cohen (27 September 2013). "Senate tosses shutdown hot potato back to House". CNN. 
  56. ^ Milbank, Dana (November 12, 2013). "A call for help from Democrats after Obamacare". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  57. ^ Skiba, Katherine (3-6-2009). "Sen. Kay Hagan Faces Tough Choices as a Tobacco State Democrat". US News & World Report. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  58. ^ "House passes bill giving FDA power over tobacco ads, sales". CNN. 4-2-2009. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  59. ^ Mascaro, Lisa; Oliphant, James (December 19, 2010). "DREAM Act's failure in Senate derails immigration agenda". Los Angeles Times. 
  60. ^ Manning, Julia (Dec 6, 2013). "Hagan’s voting record sets her up for plenty of opposition in 2014". Rocky Mountain Telegram. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  61. ^ Masnick, Mike (2-7-2012). "Who's Still Backing SOPA/PIPA... And Why?". Tech Dirt. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  62. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 1st Session". Legislation & Records. United States Senate. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  63. ^ Johnson, Luke (May 2, 2013). "Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagan Face Better 2014 Prospects Following Gun Vote". Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  64. ^ "Senate Vote 101 - Rejects Feinstein Proposal to Reinstate Assault Weapons Ban". New York Times. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  65. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 1st Session". Legislation & Records. United States Senate. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  66. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 1st Session". Legislation & Records. United States Senate. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  67. ^ "Where the Senate stands on guns - in one chart". The Washington Post. December 17, 2012. 
  68. ^ "Wicker, Cochran Sign on to Sportsmen's Legislative Package". Office of Senator Wicker. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  69. ^ "Help Protect Wildlife and Public Lands". Animal Welfare Institute. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  70. ^ Hagan Davis Mangum Barrett Langley Hale PLLC - Who We Are
  71. ^ "Senator Kay R. Hagan". U.S. Senate website. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
  72. ^ a b Thrush, Glenn (2008-10-22). "Club segregation enters N.C. race". Politico. 
  73. ^ NC State Board of Elections website

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

North Carolina Senate
Preceded by
John Blust
North Carolina Senator from the 32nd district
January 27, 1999 – January 29, 2003
Succeeded by
Linda Garrou
Preceded by
John Garwood
North Carolina Senator from the 27th district
January 29, 2003 – January 3, 2009
Succeeded by
Don Vaughan
United States Senate
Preceded by
Elizabeth Dole
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from North Carolina
January 3, 2009 – present
Served alongside: Richard Burr
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Erskine Bowles
Democratic Party nominee for United States Senator from North Carolina
(Class 2)

2008 (won), 2014
Succeeded by
Most recent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jim Risch
United States Senators by seniority
61st
Succeeded by
Jeff Merkley