Michael Owen "Mike" Johanns (born June 18, 1950) is an American Republican politician who has been the junior United States Senator from Nebraska since 2009. Previously he was the 38th Governor of Nebraska from 1999 to 2005 and was U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 2005 to 2007,becoming the fourth Nebraskan to hold the position. On November 4, 2008, Johanns was elected to the United States Senate for the state of Nebraska, becoming one of only two new Republican senators (with Jim Risch of Idaho) heading into the 111th United States Congress. In 2002 Johanns served as a Chair of the Midwestern Governors Association.
Johanns was born in Osage, Iowa, and grew up living and working on his family's farm. After graduating from high school, Johanns went on to study at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona.
He earned a law degree from Creighton University. After his graduation, Johanns began practicing law in O'Neill and Lincoln, Nebraska. Johanns served on the Lancaster County Board from 1983 to 1987 as a Democrat. In 1988 he was elected to the Lincoln City Council where he served from 1989 to 1991. He was elected as Mayor of Lincoln in 1991 and 1995. In 1996 he switched party alliances to Republican in order to run for Governor.
Senator Johanns serves on five committees: Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Environment and Public Works; Veterans' Affairs; and Indian Affairs. He is the Ranking Member on the Agriculture Committee's Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Marketing and Agriculture Security Subcommittee; the Banking Committee’s Security, International Trade and Finance Subcommittee; and the EPW Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee.
Governor of Nebraska
Mike Johanns then ran successfully for Governor of Nebraska in 1998 by defeating Democratic opponent Bill Hoppner by a margin of 54% to 46%. He won reelection in 2002 by a landslide, defeating Democrat Stormy Dean by a margin of 69% to 27%.
Secretary of Agriculture
On December 2, 2004, Johanns was nominated by President George W. Bush to replace outgoing Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman. As a result, he scrapped plans to run against Democratic Senator Ben Nelson in 2006.Johanns was confirmed by the Senate on January 20, 2005, hours after Bush's second inauguration.
He tendered his resignation as Governor of Nebraska on that day. On the next day he was sworn in.
On September 20, 2007, he resigned as Agriculture Secretary to run for the United States Senate. Johanns officially announced his bid on October 10, 2007 to run for the Senate seat to be vacated by Senator Chuck Hagel, who decided not to run for re-election. On November 4, 2008, he was elected to the United States Senate,defeating Democratic nominee Scott Kleeb in the general election.
On January 6, 2009, Mike Johanns was sworn in as U.S. Senator for Nebraska. He won the support of an overwhelming majority of Nebraskans by demonstrating principled leadership throughout 25 years of public service.
Johanns is married to Stephanie Johanns, a former Lancaster County Commissioner and Nebraska State Senator. They have two children and five grandchildren.
Sources: wikipedia and johanns.senate.gov
June 10th, 2011