Ben Nelson

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Ben Nelson
U.S. Junior Senator, Nebraska
Party Democratic
Assumed office (class 1)

January 3, 2001
Serving with Chuck Hagel

Preceded by Bob Kerrey
Born May 17, 1941
Spouse Diane Nelson
Religion Methodist

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Earl Benjamin (Ben) Nelson, (born May 17, 1941, McCook, Nebraska) elected governor of Nebraska as a Democrat in 1990, and easily reelected in 1994. During his first race for governor, he ran against Kay A. Orr, the first elected Republican woman in Nebraska.

Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000 after his fellow Democrat, incumbent Bob Kerrey, announced his retirement. Nelson won that election with 51% of the vote and is now among the leading conservative Democrats in the Senate.



  • graduated University of Nebraska, Lincoln 1963, Masters 1965, J.D. 1970


  • attorney and insurance executive
  • director, Nebraska Department of Insurance 1975-1976

Political history

  • governor of Nebraska 1991-1999
  • elected U.S. Senate in 2000 for term ending January 3, 2007.

Committee memberships:

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