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Will retire at end of current term (announced Dec. 27, 2011)

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)

  • District: Senior Senator from Nebraska
  • Residence: Omaha
  • Born: May 17, 1941; McCook, Neb.
  • Religion: Methodist
  • Family: Wife, Diane Nelson; four children
  • Education: U. of Nebraska, B.A. 1963 (philosophy); U. of Nebraska, M.A. 1965 (philosophy); U. of Nebraska, J.D. 1970
  • Military Service: None
  • Political Highlights: Neb. director of insurance, 1975-76; governor, 1991-99; Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, 1996; U.S. Senate, 2001-13
  • Elected: Elected: 2000 (2nd term)
  • Committee Assignments: Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry (Commodities & Markets - Chairman; Jobs, Rural Economic Growth & Energy Innovation; Livestock and Dairy); Appropriations (Agriculture; Commerce-Justice-Science; Financial Services; Interior-Environment; Legislative Branch - Chairman; Military Construction-VA); Armed Services (Airland; Readiness & Management Support; Strategic Forces - Chairman); Rules & Administration
Member Photo

See Ben Nelson's full CQ Member Profile, including in-depth political biographies of all members of Congress with CQ's analysis of what makes each member tick. CQ Member Profiles also provides:

  • Staff contacts
  • Voting records
  • Interest group ratings
  • Detailed district information
  • Vote studies on each member's record

State Information: Nebraska

Election History
Year Election Candidate Votes Percent
2012 general Deb Fischer (R) 449,240 58.1%
Bob Kerrey (D) 323,753 41.9%
2006 general Ben Nelson (D) 378,388 63.9%
Pete Ricketts (R) 213,928 36.1%
2000 general Ben Nelson (D) 353,093 51%
Don Stenberg (R) 337,977 48.8%
1994 general Bob Kerrey (D) 317,297 54.8%
Jan Stoney (R) 260,668 45%
1988 general Bob Kerrey (D) 378,717 56.7%
David Karnes (R) 278,250 41.7%
Ernie Chambers (NA) 10,372 1.6%
Vote For President
Year Democrat Republican Independent
2012 : 37.87% : 60.43%
2008 Barack Obama: 41.6% John McCain: 56.53%
2004 John Kerry: 33% George W. Bush: 66%
2000 Al Gore: 33% George W. Bush: 62%
1996 Bill Clinton: 35% Robert Dole: 53%
1992 Bill Clinton: 29% George H. W. Bush: 47%
1988 Michael Dukakis: 39% George H. W. Bush: 60%
1984 Walter F. Mondale: 29% :

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