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Do you know your state's senators?

  • Do you know your state's senators?

    Thirty-five of the 100 U.S. Senate seats are up for election this year on Nov. 3. As it stands, Republicans have a majority with 53 Senate seats, while Democrats have 47, and Independents have 2. In the 2020 election, 33 of the seats will be voted on in the regular election, with two more chosen in special elections taking place in Arizona and Georgia. Twenty-three of the seats up for election are currently held by Republicans. To gain control of the Senate, Democrats need to flip three or four seats (depending on which party wins the presidency, as the vice president offers tie-breaking Senate votes).

    To learn more about each state’s U.S. senators, Stacker compiled data from the U.S. Senate website and Ballotpedia, which provides a biography and key issues for each one. Each state has two U.S. senators who are elected to six-year terms (barring a need for a special election during that term).

    The upcoming election has a number of wildcards thrown into the mix of what was already shaping up to be a divisive, important election for the American people. Namely, how the coronavirus pandemic, the presidential race between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, and most recently, the protests that have erupted around the country and world, will affect the ways in which people vote.

    Keep reading to learn more about the senators in your home state.

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  • Alabama: Doug Jones

    - Political party affiliation: Democratic
    - Assumed Senate seat on: Jan. 3, 2018
    - Years in office: 2 years, 4 months
    - Current term up in: 2020
    - Previous office(s): Staff counsel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee; U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama

    Doug Jones was elected to the Senate in December 2017 by defeating Republican Roy Moore in a special election. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary held in March.

  • Alabama: Richard C. Shelby

    - Political party affiliation: Republican
    - Assumed Senate seat on: Jan. 3, 1987
    - Years in office: 33 years, 4 months
    - Current term up in: 2022
    - Previous office(s): U.S. House; Alabama Senate

    Richard Shelby became a senator in 1987, having previously served as a U.S. representative. According to GovTrack, Shelby often sponsors bills on public finance and taxes. He won re-election in 2016.

  • Alaska: Dan Sullivan

    - Political party affiliation: Republican
    - Assumed Senate seat on: Jan. 3, 2015
    - Years in office: 5 years, 4 months
    - Current term up in: 2020
    - Previous office(s): Alaska Attorney General; Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs

    Dan Sullivan was the Alaska commissioner of natural resources before becoming a senator. Sullivan, a Marine veteran, serves on the Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Veterans' Affairs. He is running for a second term in 2020.

  • Alaska: Lisa Murkowski

    - Political party affiliation: Republican
    - Assumed Senate seat on: Dec. 20, 2002
    - Years in office: 17 years, 5 months
    - Current term up in: 2022
    - Previous office(s): Alaska House of Representatives

    Lisa Murkowski began her career as a senator in 2003. Murkowski is viewed as a moderate Republican and she famously voted against efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017. She is up for re-election in 2022.

  • Arizona: Kyrsten Sinema

    - Political party affiliation: Democratic
    - Assumed Senate seat on: Jan. 3, 2019
    - Years in office: 1 years, 4 months
    - Current term up in: 2024
    - Previous office(s): U.S. House; Arizona Senate; Arizona House of Representatives

    Kyrsten Sinema got her start in politics working on Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign in 2000. She made a name for herself working for the right to same-sex marriage in Arizona and an expansion of LGBTQ+ rights in the state.

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  • Arizona: Martha McSally

    - Political party affiliation: Republican
    - Assumed Senate seat on: Jan. 3, 2019
    - Years in office: 1 years, 4 months
    - Current term up in: 2020 (Special) 2022 (General)
    - Previous office(s): U.S. House

    Prior to becoming the junior U.S. senator for Arizona, Martha McSally worked from 2015 to 2019 as the U.S. representative for Arizona’s 2nd congressional district. In her special-election 2020 bid, poll numbers as of June 6 showed her 13 percentage points below her opponent, Democrat Mark Kelly, 50% to 37%.

    Despite losing in 2018 to Kyrsten Sinema, McSally was appointed to senator to fill the gap from Republican Sen. Jon Kyl’s departure.

  • Arkansas: John Boozman

    - Political party affiliation: Republican
    - Assumed Senate seat on: Jan. 3, 2011
    - Years in office: 9 years, 4 months
    - Current term up in: 2022
    - Previous office(s): U.S. House; Rogers Public Schools Board

    John Boozman was a U.S. representative for Arkansas before becoming one of the state's senators. According to GovTrack, Boozman often sponsors bills related to the armed forces. He is up for re-election in 2022.

  • Arkansas: Tom Cotton

    - Political party affiliation: Republican
    - Assumed Senate seat on: Jan. 3, 2015
    - Years in office: 5 years, 4 months
    - Current term up in: 2020
    - Previous office(s): U.S. House

    Tom Cotton won the U.S. Senate seat for Arkansas in 2014 by beating Democrat Mark Pryor. He serves on the Committee on Armed Services, and is up for re-election this year.

  • California: Dianne Feinstein

    - Political party affiliation: Democratic
    - Assumed Senate seat on: Nov. 10, 1992
    - Years in office: 27 years, 6 months
    - Current term up in: 2024
    - Previous office(s): Mayor of San Francisco; San Francisco Board of Supervisors; Member, California Women's Parole Board.

    Dianne Feinstein began her Senate career in 1992. She is a strong advocate for gun control and is considered an ideological leader in the Democratic Party by GovTrack. Despite inconsistent support from within the party, Feinstein handily won her 2018 re-election campaign with 54.2% of the vote, compared to Kevin Leon with 45.8%.

  • California: Kamala D. Harris

    - Political party affiliation: Democratic
    - Assumed Senate seat on: Jan. 3, 2017
    - Years in office: 3 years, 4 months
    - Current term up in: 2022
    - Previous office(s): Attorney General of California; San Francisco District Attorney

    Kamala Harris is the former attorney general of California. She has voted against immigration bills presented by Republicans and supported by the Trump administration. Harris is up for re-election in 2022.

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