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Mark Kennedy


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 2nd district
In office
2001–2003
Preceded by David Minge
Succeeded by John Kline

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 6th district
In office
2003–2007
Preceded by Bill Luther
Succeeded by Michele Bachmann

Born April 11, 1957 (1957-04-11) (age 52)
Benson, Minnesota
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Debbie Kennedy
Residence Watertown, Minnesota
Alma mater St. John's University

University of Michigan

Religion Roman Catholic

Mark Raymond Kennedy (born April 11, 1957 in Benson, Minnesota), is an American businessman and politician. Kennedy was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2007. He represented Minnesota's 2nd congressional district during the 107th Congress (2001–2003) and Minnesota's 6th congressional district during the 108th and 109th Congresses (2003-2007). Kennedy vacated his congressional seat in January 2007 to conduct his unsuccessful campaign to represent Minnesota in the United States Senate.

Contents

Early life and business career

Kennedy graduated from Pequot Lakes High School in 1975 and St. John's University in 1979. He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant and went on to receive his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business in 1983.

Kennedy’s business career prior to the U.S. Congress included working for The Pillsbury Company, assisting with their acquisition of Häagen-Dazs and arranging for financing to support their international expansion. As a senior executive at Federated Department Stores, he helped the company position itself for growth to become, as Macy’s, the world’s leading department store.

Kennedy was profiled in an Institutional Investor Magazine (May, 1992) article titled on its cover as “America’s top CFOs”.[1] At ShopKo Stores, Kennedy had responsibility for merchandising, marketing and store management.

Political career

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Member of U.S. House of Representatives (2001-2007)

In 2000, Kennedy won the Republican nomination for the 2nd district and faced four-term Democrat David Minge. He had never run for political office before. In the closest congressional race of that cycle, Kennedy defeated Minge by 155 votes.

In 2002, Kennedy's 2nd district—a monstrous 28-county district stretching from the southwestern corner of the state to the fringes of the Twin Cities—was dismantled. Its territory was split up among four neighboring districts. Kennedy's home outside Watertown was located just inside the reconfigured 6th district, in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Kennedy initially expected to face the 6th's three-term incumbent Democrat, Bill Luther. Luther instead opted to run in the new 2nd District, where he lost to Republican John Kline. In the 6th District, Kennedy faced Janet Robert, a lawyer and longtime Democratic activist. In one of the most expensive congressional races in Minnesota history, Kennedy was reelected with 57 percent of the vote.

In 2004, Kennedy faced child safety advocate Patty Wetterling. Kennedy received 54 percent of the popular vote to Wetterling's 46 percent.

2006 U.S. Senate election

See also: United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2006

Kennedy ran against DFL candidate and Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by DFL Senator Mark Dayton. Also in the race were Independence Party candidate Robert Fitzgerald, Green Party candidate Michael Cavlan, and Constitution Party candidate Ben Powers.

Klobuchar won the election, receiving 58 percent of the vote to Kennedy's 38 percent.

Political views

Kennedy’s support of the War in Iraq during the 2006 U.S. Senate race was described as "bold and smart" on Fox News' Brit Hume Show (Fox News, Brit Hume Show, 12-27-06) and CNN’s Anderson Cooper said that "Kennedy doesn't ignore the elephant in the room, to the contrary, he looks it straight in the eye" (CNN, Anderson Cooper 360°, 10-25-06).

Kennedy is a proponent of free trade, Kennedy was the deciding vote in giving the President Fast track Authority and in passing the Central America Free Trade Agreement.[2]

In Congress, Kennedy supported the Bush tax cuts, He voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan,[3] and he was the deciding vote on the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.[4] Kennedy's reputation as a reformer was further enhanced by his sponsorship of the line item veto,[5] a lifetime ban on all members of Congress becoming lobbyists,[6] full deductibility of medical expenses,[7] no parole for sex offenders,[8] and Medicare Plan Enrollment Fraud Protection.[9]

Kennedy's record of included partnering with twenty Democrats to lead legislation and having more than half the Democrats in the House co-sponsor bills he introduced. Such bills included authoring the Teacher’s for Tomorrow’s Careers Act with New Jersey Democrat Rush Holt,[10] the Fair Care for the Uninsured Act with Illinois Democrat Dan Lipinski,[11][12] Rural Access to Emergency Services Act with North Dakota Democrat Earl Pomeroy,[13] the Clean Alternatives for Energy Independence Act with Democrat Colorado Mark Udall,[14] the Emergency Wetlands Loan Act with California Democrat Mike Thompson,[15] the Child Support Enforcement Act with California Democrat Juanita Millender-McDonald,[16] SLAM Act with Oregon Democrat Darlene Hooley to increase penalties on those who traffic and sell meth to our young people.[17]

Kennedy refers to himself as "100% Pro-Life." He voted in favor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and voted to sustain President Bush's veto on the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005.[2]

Post-congressional life

In 2007, Kennedy was appointed to the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiation (ACTPN).[18] ACTPN, a part of the Office of the United States Trade Representative, considers trade policy issues in the context of overall national interest.

In 2008, Kennedy founded the Economic Club of Minnesota (ECOM)[19] with former Democratic Congressman Tim Penny and former Republican Congressman Bill Frenzel. ECOM is a nonpartisan platform for national and international leaders in business, government, and public policy to present their ideas on how Minnesota can better compete in an increasingly globalized economy.

In 2008, Kennedy established the Frontiers of Freedom Lecture Series at the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy at his alma mater, St. John’s University.

Kennedy currently serves as a Global Retail Business Development Lead for Accenture, a global management consulting, technology, and outsourcing services firm.

Electoral history

Kennedy (left) with President George W. Bush (right) and Congressman Gil Gutknecht looking on (center).
  • 2006 Race for U.S. Senate
    • Amy Klobuchar (DFL), 58%
    • Mark Kennedy (R), 38%
    • Robert Fitzgerald (I), 3%
  • 2004 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 6th District
  • 2002 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 6th District
    • Mark Kennedy (R) (inc.), 57%
    • Janet Robert (DFL), 35%
    • Dan Becker (I), 7%
  • 2000 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 2nd District

References

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
David Minge
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 2nd congressional district

2001–2003
Succeeded by
John Kline
Preceded by
Bill Luther
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 6th congressional district

2003–2007
Succeeded by
Michele Bachmann

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