John Hoeven

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John Hoeven
John Hoeven.jpg
U.S. Senate, North Dakota
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 4
PredecessorByron L. Dorgan (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$3,801,481
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Governor, State of North Dakota
Chair, District 47 North Dakota Republican Party
Bachelor'sDartmouth College (1979)
Master'sNorthwestern University (1981)
Date of birthMarch 13, 1957
Place of birthBismarck, ND
ProfessionBanking Executive
Net worth(2012) $37,115,538
Office website
John Hoeven (b. March 13, 1957, in Bismarck, North Dakota) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of North Dakota. Hoeven first took office in January 3, 2011, and is currently serving his first term. He was elected to the Senate in 2010, having defeated Democratic-Nonpartisan League candidate Tracy Potter and Libertarian Keith J. Hanson in the general election on November 2, 2010.

Hoeven's seat will come up for election again in 2016 and his term expires January 3, 2017.

Prior to joining the U.S. Senate, Hoeven spent 10 years serving as North Dakota's 31st governor. When Hoeven ran for, and won, election to Congress, he was still in the middle of his third term as governor. In order to assume his Senate seat, he had to resign the governor's post. The vacancy created by Hoeven's transition out of the state's chief executive office activated the lieutenant governor's duty as first in the line of succession. Fellow Republican Jack Dalrymple -- Hoeven's running-mate in 2000, 2004 and 2008 -- officially took over as governor in January 2011. Dalrymple went on to win a full term in the office in 2012.[1]

Hoeven's professional background includes over a decade as a bank executive. Most notably, he spent the seven years leading up to his election as governor in the role of president and CEO of the Bank of North Dakota.[2] Until his major debut on the state government stage during his successful 2000 gubernatorial campaign, Hoeven's career and name were tied predominantly to his work in the private sector. However, from 1998-2000, Hoeven boosted his political profile through his service as 47th District chair of the North Dakota Republican Party.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Hoeven is a more moderate right of center Republican Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Republican Party line more than his fellow members.


Hoeven was born in Bismarck, ND. He holds a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and a master's degree from Northwestern University.[2]

After graduating from Northwestern in 1981, Hoeven entered the private sector work force. In 1986, he began a nearly fifteen year career as a banking executive. Hoeven spent six years as executive vice president for First Western Bank. He went on to hold the title of president and CEO of the Bank of North Dakota. Hoeven left the latter post in 2000 in order to become Governor of North Dakota. He served 10 years in the governorship before his election to the U.S. Senate.[2]

From 1998-2000, prior to his first election to statewide political office, Hoeven served as chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party's 47th District.


Below is an abbreviated outline of Hoeven's academic, professional and political career:[3]

  • 1979: Graduated from Dartmouth College
  • 1981: Earned Master's from Northwestern University
  • 1986-1993: Executive Vice President of First Western Bank
  • 1993-2000: President/Chief Executive Officer of Bank of North Dakota
  • 2000-2010: Governor of North Dakota
  • 2011-Present: U.S. Senator

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Hoeven served on the following Senate committees:[4]

  • Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
    • Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research Ranking member
    • Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation
    • Subcommittee on Commodities, Markets, Trade and Risk Management
  • Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Legislative Branch Ranking member
    • Subcommittee on Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
  • Energy and Natural Resources
    • Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining
    • Subcommittee on National Parks
    • Subcommittee on Energy
  • Indian Affairs


Hoeven served on the following Senate committees:[5]

Key votes

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[6] For more information pertaining to Hoeven's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[7]

National security

Iranian sanctions support

Yea3.png Hoeven voted in support of S Res 65 - A resolution strongly supporting the full implementation of United States and international sanctions on Iran and urging the President to continue to strengthen enforcement of sanctions legislation. The resolution passed in the Senate by a vote of 99-0 on May 22, 2013.[8]

John Brennan CIA nomination

Nay3.png Hoeven voted in opposition of the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 63-34 on March 7, 2013. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[9]

Drones filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists criticized President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[10][11][12]

According to the website Breitbart, Hoeven was one of 30 Republican senators who did not support the filibuster.[13][14]

The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."[15]


Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Hoeven said that he would donate his pay from the shutdown to charity.[16]

Yea3.png During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[17] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Hoeven voted with the Republican Party for the bill.[18]

Student loan interest rates

Yea3.png Hoeven voted in support of HR 1911 - To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to establish interest rates for new loans made on or after July 1, 2013. The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 81-18 on July 24, 2013. The purpose of the bill was to set interest rates for student loans retroactively. Some Democrats split on the bill.[19]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Yea3.png Hoeven voted in support of HR 325 - A bill to ensure the complete and timely payment of the obligations of the United States Government until May 19, 2013, and for other purposes. The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 64-34 on January 31, 2013. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[20]


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Mexico-U.S. border

Yea3.png Hoeven voted in support of Thune Amdt. No. 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment failed in the Senate by a vote of 39-54 on June 18, 2013. The purpose of the amendment was 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. The vote followed party lines.[21]


Defund Affordable Care Act

Yea3.png Hoeven voted in support of Cruz Amdt. No. 30 - To prohibit the use of funds to carry out the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment failed in the Senate by a vote of 45-52 on March 13, 2013. The purpose of the amendment was to block funding for the healthcare program. Voting was split along party lines.[22]

Social issues

Background checks on gun sales

Nay3.png Hoeven voted in opposition of Manchin Amdt. No. 715 - To protect Second Amendment rights, ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provide a responsible and consistent background check process. The amendment failed in the Senate by a vote of 54-46 on April 17, 2013. The purpose of the amendment was to extend background checks for gun sales to gun shows and internet sales. Five democrats voted in opposition of the amendment, while four Republicans supported it.[23]

Assault weapon ban

Nay3.png Hoeven voted in opposition of Feinstein Amdt. No. 711 - To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes. The purpose of the bill was to ban the future sale, manufacturing and possession of assault weapons. The amendment failed in the Senate by a vote of 40-60 on April 17, 2013. One Republican voted in support of the amendment while fifteen democrats voted in opposition.[24]

Violence Against Women (2013)

Yea3.png Hoeven voted in support of S 47 - A bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. The bill was passed in the Senate by a vote of 78-22 on February 12, 2013. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[25]

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Hoeven voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89-8 vote on January 1, 2013.[26]


On The Issues Vote Match

John Hoeven's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Hoeven is a Populist-Leaning Conservative. Hoeven received a score of 17 percent on social issues and 68 percent on economic issues.[27]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[28]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Neutral Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Strongly Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Favors Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Favors
Support & expand free trade Strongly Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Favors
Prioritize green energy Opposes Expand the military Unknown
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Favors Stay out of Iran Opposes
Privatize Social Security Neutral Never legalize marijuana Favors
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[27]

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

John Hoeven endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [29]



On November 2, 2010, John Hoeven won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Tracy Potter (D) and Keith J. Hanson (Libertarian) in the general election.[30]

U.S. Senate, North Dakota General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Hoeven 76.2% 181,689
     Democratic-Nonpartisan League Tracy Potter 22.2% 52,955
     Libertarian Keith J. Hanson 1.6% 3,890
Total Votes 238,534

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

The below chart from Find The Best tracks the fundraising events Hoeven attends.

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Hoeven is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Hoeven raised a total of $3,801,481 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 25, 2013.[31]

John Hoeven's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (North Dakota) Won $3,801,481
Grand Total Raised $3,801,481

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Hoeven won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Hoeven's campaign committee raised a total of $3,801,481 and spent $2,909,158.[32]

His top five contributors between 2005-2010 were:

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Hoeven's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $10,209,077 to $64,021,999. That averages to $37,115,538, which is higher than the average net worth of Republican Senate members in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Hoeven ranked as the 7th most wealthy senator in 2012.[33] Between 2009 and 2012, Hoeven's calculated net worth[34] increased by an average of 24 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[35]

John Hoeven Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2009 to 2012:73%
Average annual growth:24%[36]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[37]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

PGI: Donation Concentration Metric

See also: The Donation Concentration Metric (U.S. Congress Personal Gain Index)

Filings required by the Federal Election Commission report on the industries that give to each candidate. Using campaign filings and information calculated by, Ballotpedia calculated the percentage of donations by industry received by each incumbent over the course of his or her career (or 1989 and later, if elected prior to 1988). Hoeven received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Oil & Gas industry.

From 2009-2014, 23.43 percent of Hoeven's career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[38]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
John Hoeven Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $4,478,840
Total Spent $3,595,294
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Oil & Gas$304,237
Leadership PACs$145,592
% total in top industry6.79%
% total in top two industries12.02%
% total in top five industries23.43%


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Hoeven was a "rank-and-file Republican" as of July 2014.[39] This was the same rating Hoeven received in July 2013.

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[40]

Hoeven most often votes with:

Hoeven least often votes with:

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Hoeven missed 15 of 1,018 roll call votes from January 2011 to July 2014. This amounts to 1.5 percent, which is better than the median of 2.0 percent among current senators as of July 2014.[41]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Hoeven paid his congressional staff a total of $1,354,548 in 2011. He ranked third on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked third overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, North Dakota ranked 17th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $954,912 in fiscal year 2011.[42]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.


Hoeven ranked 30th in the conservative rankings in 2013.[43]


Hoeven ranked 40th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[44]


Hoeven ranked 36th in the conservative rankings in 2011.[45]

Voting with Party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.


Hoeven voted with the Republican Party 85.1 percent of the time, which ranked 30th among the 45 Senate Republican members as of July 2014.[46]


Hoeven voted with the Republican Party 82.6 percent of the time, which ranked 34th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[47]


Hoeven voted with the Republican Party 88.5 percent of the time, which ranked 32nd among the 47 Senate Republicans in 2011.[48]


Hoeven currently resides in his hometown of Bismarck with his wife, Mical. The couple has two children, Marcela and Jack, and one grandson, Crew.[2]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term John + Hoeven + North + Dakota + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

John Hoeven News Feed

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See also

External links

Political Tracker has an article on:
John Hoeven


  1., "Dalrymple to run in 2012," November 1, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 United States Senator John Hoeven for North Dakota, "Biography - About John," accessed August 22, 2013
  3. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "John Hoeven," accessed October 24, 2011
  4. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  5. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  8. Washington Post, "S RES 65," May 22, 2013
  9. Washington Post, "Confirmation of John Owen Brennan," March 7, 2013
  10. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  11. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  12. ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
  13. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
  14. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  15. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  16. Washington Post, "Which lawmakers will refuse their pay during the shutdown?," accessed October 3, 2013
  17. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  18., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  19. Washington Post, "HR 1911," July 24, 2013
  20. Washington Post, "HR 325," January 31, 2013
  21. Washington Post, "S 744," June 18, 2013
  22. Washington Post, "HR 933," March 13, 2013
  23. Washington Post, "S 649 Expand background check to gun shows and Internet," April 17, 2013
  24. Washington Post, "S 649 Ban assault weapons," April 17, 2013
  25. Washington Post, "S 47," February 12, 2013
  26. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  27. 27.0 27.1 On The Issues, "John Hoeven Vote Match," accessed June 23, 2014
  28. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  29. The Hill, "2012 GOP Lawmaker Endorsements for President," accessed November 23, 2011
  30. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  31. OpenSecrets, "Career Fundraising for John Hoeven," accessed March 2013
  32. OpenSecrets, "John Hoeven 2010 Election Cycle," accessed October 24 2011
  33. OpenSecrets, "Hoeven, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  34. This figure represents the average annual percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below) to 2012, divided by the number of years calculated.
  35. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  36. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  37. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  38., "Sen. John Hoeven," accessed September 23, 2014
  39. GovTrack, "John Hoeven," accessed July 28, 2014
  40. OpenCongress, "Sen. John Hoeven," accessed July 28, 2014
  41. GovTrack, "John Hoeven," accessed July 28, 2014
  42. LegiStorm, "Hoeven," accessed August 7, 2012
  43. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed July 28, 2014
  44. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed March 7, 2013
  45. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  46. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  47. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  48. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed October 24, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Byron Dorgan
U.S. Senate - North Dakota
Succeeded by