Mike Johanns: Wikis


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Mike Johanns

Assumed office 
January 3, 2009
Serving with Ben Nelson
Preceded by Chuck Hagel

In office
January 21, 2005 – September 20, 2007
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Ann Veneman
Succeeded by Ed Schafer

In office
January 7, 1999 – January 20, 2005
Lieutenant David I. Maurstad
Dave Heineman
Preceded by Ben Nelson
Succeeded by Dave Heineman

In office
1991 – 1998
Preceded by Bill Harris
Succeeded by Dale Young

Born June 18, 1950 (1950-06-18) (age 59)
Osage, Iowa
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Stephanie Johanns
Residence Omaha, Nebraska
Alma mater St. Mary's University
Creighton University
Occupation attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

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.[1] 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.[2]





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.

Local Figure

Johanns served on the Lancaster County Board from 1983 to 1987 as a Democrat. In 1988 he switched party alliances and 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. He then ran successfully for Governor of Nebraska in 1998.

Mike Johanns speaks after being nominated by George W. Bush for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

Johanns was elected Governor 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%. In 2004 Johanns tried to close two of the three state regional mental health facilities to save the state money. This move was very unpopular, because it took away high paying jobs in small rural towns.

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.[3] 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.


Johanns is married to Stephanie Johanns, a former Lancaster County Commissioner and Nebraska State Senator. They have two children and five grandchildren.

2008 U.S. Senate campaign

On September 20, 2007, he resigned as Agriculture Secretary to run for the United States Senate.[4] 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 [3], defeating Democratic nominee Scott Kleeb in the general election.

Congressional career

Committee assignments

111th Congress

In September 2009, Johanns introduced an amendment that would block federal funding for ACORN, in light of a number of members being arrested for voter fraud and three videos that show the group offering tax advice and promoting prostitution for undercover activists disguised as a pimp and a prostitute. Rep. Johanns Amendment passed 83-7. After passage it was found out that the amendments language also effected any contractor working for the government. Many defense contractors would also be effected by this amendment because of past documented fraud abuses. co[5]

In October 2009, Johanns joined 29 other Republican senators in voting against a much-publicized amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill offered by Minnesota Senator Al Franken. Citing the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, Franken's amendment would withhold defense contracts from companies like KBR "if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court." It passed the US Senate 68-30.


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Harris
Mayor of Lincoln
1991– 1998
Succeeded by
Dale Young
Preceded by
Ben Nelson
Governor of Nebraska
January 7, 1999– January 20, 2005
Succeeded by
Dave Heineman
Preceded by
Ann Veneman
United States Secretary of Agriculture
Served under: George W. Bush

January 21, 2005– September 20, 2007
Succeeded by
Ed Schafer
United States Senate
Preceded by
Chuck Hagel
United States Senator (Class 2) from Nebraska
2009 – present
Served alongside: Ben Nelson
Party political offices
Preceded by
Gene Spence
Republican nominee for Governor of Nebraska
1998, 2002
Succeeded by
Dave Heineman
Preceded by
Chuck Hagel
Republican nominee for United States Senator from Nebraska
(Class 2)

Succeeded by
Current nominee
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Tom Udall
(D-New Mexico)
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Jeanne Shaheen
(D-New Hampshire)


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