John Hoeven

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John Hoeven
Hoeven Official Portrait 2014.JPG
United States Senator
from North Dakota
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Serving with Heidi Heitkamp
Preceded by Byron Dorgan
Chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by John Barrasso
31st Governor of North Dakota
In office
December 15, 2000 – December 7, 2010
Lieutenant Jack Dalrymple
Preceded by Ed Schafer
Succeeded by Jack Dalrymple
Personal details
Born John Henry Hoeven III
(1957-03-13) March 13, 1957 (age 60)
Bismarck, North Dakota, U.S.
Political party Republican (1998–present)
Other political
Independent (before 1996)
Democratic (1996–1998)
Spouse(s) Mikey Hoeven
Education Dartmouth College (BA)
Northwestern University (MBA)
Website Senate website

John Henry Hoeven III (/ˈhvən/; born March 13, 1957) is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from North Dakota, a seat he has held since 2011. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as the 31st Governor of North Dakota from 2000 to 2010. Hoeven was elected that year to the U.S. Senate with 76.1% of the vote. He replaced junior Senator Byron L. Dorgan, who chose not to seek reelection. Hoeven became the senior Senator in 2013 after Kent Conrad retired and was replaced by Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, who was once Hoeven's opponent for the Governor's office. Hoeven was reelected in 2016 with 78.5% of the vote.

Prior to his election to the Governor's office, Hoeven served as President of the nation's only state-owned bank, the Bank of North Dakota, from 1993 to 2000.

Early life[edit]

Hoeven was born in Bismarck, North Dakota, the son of Patricia "Trish" (née Chapman) and John Henry "Jack" Hoeven, Jr. His ancestry includes Dutch, Swedish, and English.[1] He attended Dartmouth College, where he belonged to the Alpha Chi Alpha Fraternity and graduated with honors. He then earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and was a banker in Minot, North Dakota prior to pursuing a political career. From 1993 to 2000, he was the president and CEO of the state-owned Bank of North Dakota.

North Dakota Governor[edit]


He sought the office of the Governor of North Dakota as a Republican in 2000, and he was elected, defeating Democrat Heidi Heitkamp by a margin of 55 to 45 percent.


In 2004, when up for re-election, Hoeven faced Democratic challenger Joe Satrom. Hoeven won re-election by a wide margin of 71 to 28 percent.


On September 25, 2007, Hoeven's deputy press secretary, Don Larson, announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from his job to manage the governor's re-election campaign. Another Hoeven staff member, Don Canton, said this was not a formal re-election announcement, but one would be coming later in the fall. On November 13, Governor Hoeven made his formal announcement and campaign kickoff with stops in Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Minot.[2] On November 4, 2008 Hoeven won a resounding victory carrying 74% of the vote over the Democratic opponent Tim Mathern with 24% of the vote. This is the first time in North Dakota's history that any governor has won three four-year terms in office, though the record for serving is still maintained by Gov. Bill Guy who served 12 years.


Hoeven's governorship included the expansion and diversification of the state's economy, which led to a 49.5 percent increase in the state's real gross domestic product.[3] Beginning in 2000, he directed the development of a multi-resource energy program for the state with incentives in each energy sector, leading the state in becoming one of the largest energy producing and exporting states in the country. North Dakota has gained nearly 40,000 new jobs since he took office. The state's wages and personal incomes continue to grow faster than the national average. In the past few years, the state led the nation in export growth. In late 2006, the state's reserve rose past $600 million, and now is over $700 million.[4]

As of December 2009, Hoeven was the most popular governor in the nation. His approval rating stood at 87 percent with only 10 percent disapproving.[5] In January 2007, Hoeven became the nation's most senior governor, having been inaugurated on December 15, 2000, as established by the North Dakota Constitution.

U.S. Senate[edit]

On January 11, 2010, Hoeven announced he would run in the 2010 North Dakota Senate election for the seat being vacated by Senator Byron Dorgan,[6] Hoeven beat Democratic challenger Tracy Potter 76.08% to 22.17%. making him the first Republican Senator to represent North Dakota since 1987.[7] Since 2013, Hoeven has been the dean—the most senior member—of North Dakota's congressional delegation.

Committee assignments[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Hoeven briefly identified himself as a member of the Democratic-NPL Party before becoming active in the Republican Party as a District Chair and volunteer.[8] Hoeven has walked a conservative line as a politician on some issues and a moderate one on others including increasing education funding, ethics reform, compensation for teachers, as well as increased funding on infrastructure.[9]


Hoeven supports decreasing access to parole for offenders.[9] He believes that drug control policy should be a state and not a federal issue.[10]

Economy and employment[edit]

He opposed the Employee Free Choice Act, which included a card check provision.[10]


Hoeven believes that alternative fuels are a long-term solution but that increased oil drilling is required in the short term.[10] Hoeven has been a vocal advocate for the Keystone Pipeline, arguing that it has never leaked and that environmental risks have been exaggerated.[11][12] The Keystone Pipeline has leaked twice, once in 2010 and, after making that argument, again in 2016.[13]

Gun rights[edit]

Hoeven consistently votes for pro-gun legislation and therefore has earned an "A+" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).[14] The NRA has endorsed Hoeven multiple times, including during his run for governor in 2008 and senate in 2010.[15][16]

In June 2016, Hoeven voted in the senate on four gun control proposals that were developed as a result of the Orlando nightclub shooting. Hoeven voted in favor of senator Chuck Grassley's expansion of background checks and to provide funding to research the cause of mass shootings and senator John Cornyn's 72-hour wait period for purchases of guns by individuals on the terrorist watch list. Hoeven voted against senator Chris Murphy's proposal to require background checks for every gun sale, including online sales and at gun shows. He also voted against senator Dianne Feinstein's proposal to ban anyone from the terrorist watchlist from purchasing a gun.[17] Hoeven voted against the latter bill because lack of "judicial oversight or due process" in the proposal.[18]

Health care[edit]

He believes that public health care should be provided only to the elderly and children.[10]


In 2013, Hoeven voted to pass Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.[19]

LGBT rights[edit]

He also opposes same-sex marriage.[9]


Hoeven supports investment tax credits for farm investments.[10]

Women's health[edit]

He is pro-life and opposes abortion except for cases of rape, incest, or threat to the mother's life. He opposes government funding for elective abortions in accordance with the Hyde Amendment.[9] Hoeven voted for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2012.[9]

Electoral history[edit]

North Dakota gubernatorial election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Hoeven 159,255 55.03
Democratic-NPL Heidi Heitkamp 130,144 44.97
Write-in 13 0.00
Total votes 289,412 100.00
North Dakota gubernatorial election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Hoeven (inc.) 220,803 71.26
Democratic-NPL Joe Satrom 84,877 27.39
Libertarian Roland Riemers 4,193 1.35
Total votes 309,873 100.00
North Dakota gubernatorial election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Hoeven (inc.) 235,009 74.44
Democratic-NPL Tim Mathern 74,279 23.53
Independent DuWayne Hendrickson 6,404 2.03
Total votes 315,692 100.00
United States Senate election in North Dakota, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Hoeven 181,689 76.08
Democratic-NPL Tracy Potter 52,955 22.17
Libertarian Keith Hanson 3,890 1.63
Total votes 238,534 100.00
United States Senate election in North Dakota, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Hoeven (inc.) 267,964 78.47
Democratic-NPL Eliot Glassheim 57,976 16.98
Libertarian Robert Marquette 10,521 3.08
Independent James Germalic 4,661 1.36
Total votes 341,486 100.00


  1. ^ "John Henry Hoeven III". RootsWeb. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  2. ^[dead link]
  3. ^ "Percent change in real GDP of North Dakota between 2001 and 2008". Wolfram Alpha. Wolfram Alpha LLC. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Governor John Hoeven". Archived from the original on 2010-04-19. 
  5. ^ Knepper, Alex (January 7, 2010). "Who Is John Hoeven?". Race 4 2008. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ Cillizza, Chris (January 11, 2010). "Republicans get Hoeven in North Dakota". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  7. ^ Ogden, Eloise (November 3, 2010). "Hoeven is North Dakota's first Republican senator in 24 years". Minot Daily News. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
  8. ^ Kleefeld, Eric (January 27, 2010). "Flashback: Republican Senate Candidate Hoeven Rejected GOP And Declared Himself A Democrat In 1996". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Bendery, Jennifer (April 26, 2012). "Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Overwhelmingly Passes Senate". Huffington Post. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "John Hoeven on the Issues". On The Issues. & the SpeakOut Foundation. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  11. ^ Kupec, Rob (March 5, 2012). "Senator Hoeven working to revive Keystone Pipeline Project". WDAY. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. 
  12. ^ Hoeven, John (February 24, 2012). "Why we need the Keystone oil pipeline". CNN. 
  13. ^ Neuhauser, Alan (April 8, 2016). "Keystone Leak Worse Than Thought". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 8, 2016. 
  14. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  15. ^ "NRA-PVF Endorses North Dakota Governor John Hoeven Earns "A+" rating from NRA-PVF". NRA-PVF. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  16. ^ "NRA-PVF Endorses John Hoeven for U.S. Senate in North Dakota". NRA-PVF. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  17. ^ Abbott, Rick. "How they voted: North Dakota, Minnesota senators on gun bill". Bismarck Tribune. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  18. ^ Rupard, Wade. "North Dakota, Minnesota senators take different stances on federal..." Grand Forks Herald. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  19. ^ Roll call vote 168, via

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Civic offices
Preceded by
Joseph Lamb
President of the Bank of North Dakota
Succeeded by
Eric Hardmeyer
Party political offices
Preceded by
Ed Schafer
Republican nominee for Governor of North Dakota
2000, 2004, 2008
Succeeded by
Jack Dalrymple
Preceded by
Mike Liffrig
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from North Dakota
(Class 3)

2010, 2016
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Ed Schafer
Governor of North Dakota
Succeeded by
Jack Dalrymple
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Byron Dorgan
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from North Dakota
Served alongside: Kent Conrad, Heidi Heitkamp
Preceded by
John Barrasso
Chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Pat Toomey
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Marco Rubio