John Henry Hoeven III (born March 13, 1957) is the junior United States Senator from North Dakota. He is a member of the North Dakota Republican Party. He is expected to become the state's senior senator when Kent Conrad retires from the Senate in January 2013. Hoeven served as the 31st Governor of North Dakota, serving from December 15, 2000 to December 7, 2010. He was the longest-serving current Governor in the United States at the time of his resignation. Prior to his election to the Governor's office, Hoeven served as the President of the nation's only state-owned bank, the Bank of North Dakota, from 1993 to 2000. Hoeven was elected to the U.S. Senate in the November 2, 2010 general election. He replaced now-former Sen. Byron L. Dorgan, North Dakota's junior senator, who chose not to seek re-election. Immediately upon Hoeven's resignation as governor on December 7, 2010, Jack Dalrymple, who was the sitting lieutenant governor of North Dakota, automatically succeeded Hoeven as governor in accordance with the gubernatorial succession provisions of the Constitution of North Dakota.
John Hoeven was born in Bismarck, North Dakota, and 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.
Governor of North Dakota
2000: Hoeven 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.
2004: 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.
In 2004 John Hoeven served as a Chair of the Midwestern Governors Association.
2008: 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. 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 4 year terms in office, though the record for serving is still maintained by Gov. Bill Guy who served 12 years.
As of December 2009, Hoeven is the most popular governor in the nation. His approval rating stands at 87 percent with only 10 percent disapproving. In 2007, Hoeven proposed a 34% increase in spending, effectively halving the state's $600 million surplus. 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. The nation's second longest serving governor is Rick Perry of Texas, who took office on December 21, 2000, when George W.
Bush resigned the governorship in preparation to become President.
U.S Senate career
On January 11, 2010, Hoeven announced he is running in the 2010 North Dakota Senate election for the seat being vacated by Senator Byron Dorgan. Polls show that Governor Hoeven has a strong lead over Democratic-NPL candidate, Tracy Potter. A June 22, 2010 Rasmussen Poll shows John Hoeven receiving 73% of the vote with Potter receiving 19%.
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. 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. He also opposes same-sex marriage. The governor supports decreasing access to parole for offenders and supports second amendment rights. He opposes the Employee Free Choice Act. He believes that public health care should be provided only to the elderly and children, that drug control policy should be a state and not a federal issue, that alternative fuels are a long-term solution but that increased oil drilling is required in the short term, and that investment tax credits should be provided for farm investment. 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.