Democrat Amy Jean Klobuchar

Senate
Amy Jean Klobuchar

Birthdate: May 25, 1960
Birth Place: Plymouth, MN, United States
Residence: Minneapolis, MN
Religion: Congregationalist
First Elected: 2006
Gender: Female

Candidacy

Party: Democratic
State: Minnesota
Office: Senate

Education

Undergraduate: Yale University

Degree: BA

Graduate: University of Chicago

Degree: JD

Amy Klobuchar grew up in Plymouth, Minn., and now lives in Minneapolis. She earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University and a law degree from the University of Chicago.

Klobuchar's father, Jim Klobuchar, was a long-time, well-known columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Amy Klobuchar worked as a private attorney for more than a decade before being elected Hennepin County attorney in 1998. As chief prosecutor for the state's most populous county, she quickly rose to the front ranks of rising stars in the Democratic Party, thanks to her image as a tough-on-crime prosecutor.

She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006.

Klobuchar and her husband, John Bessler, have a daughter.

Profile

Amy Klobuchar is a popular first-term senator running for a second term in 2012. Polls have consistently shown her to be Minnesota's most well-liked statewide elected official, and she has also proven to be a prolific fundraiser who racked up donations not just from fellow Democrats but from a number of the state's Republican business leaders. First elected in 2006, Klobuchar entered the 2012 election cycle as a strong favorite for re-election, and Republicans have done little to alter that perception.

Safety issues were an early priority for Klobuchar, who in 2008 won approval of several provisions in a toy safety bill passed by Congress, including a ban on lead in children's toys and the criminalization of sales of recalled toys. She has continued to carve out a niche in consumer-related legislation, including sponsorship of swimming pool safety laws after a Minnesota child died after getting caught in a pool drain.

Another area of emphasis has been veterans' issues. Klobuchar has authored provisions funding veterans job training, boosting outreach to homeless veterans and providing survivor benefits to family members of veterans.

Klobuchar is quick to highlight the many pieces of legislation where she has teamed up with Republican colleagues in Congress, including a rare alliance with Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann in support of federal funding for a replacement to the St. Croix River Bridge connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin at Stillwater.

Minnesota Republicans have criticized Klobuchar for championing popular, easy-to-support measures while steering clear of making public statements or sponsoring bills on more controversial policy issues.

A former county prosecutor, Klobuchar sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee where she championed President Barack Obama's two Supreme Court nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. She also is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, a perch she has used to highlight issues important to Minnesota farmers and rural communities. She was a strong supporter of the 2012 farm bill and used public appearances at rural venues to note her alliances with a number of Republican colleagues from the Upper Midwest on issues important to agriculture producers in that part of the country.

Klobuchar has carefully tended to constituent services. She has made a point to visit each of the state's 87 counties during every year of her Senate term.

Klobuchar has won attention in Washington for strong political instincts, media savvy and a sharp sense of a humor, and has been mentioned as a potential Democratic contender for the presidency or vice-presidency in 2016.

Source: Associated Press

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