Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Klobuchar-Franken Moving Up the List of Oldest U.S. Senate Delegations in Minnesota History

Bookmark and Share

DFL duo will be the ninth oldest delegation from Gopher State at the end of Klobuchar's term in 2013 out of 42 pairings since statehood

Although Minnesota's U.S. Senate delegation ranks just 45th in the nation in terms of length of service (with just shy of six years collective experience), DFLers Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken will soon crack the Top 10 list for the oldest such delegation in state history.

A Smart Politics study of the 42 U.S. Senate delegations in Minnesota history finds that Klobuchar-Franken will rank tied for the ninth oldest at the end of Klobuchar's 1st term at 113 years collectively.

There have been 42 pairs of Senate delegations from Minnesota plus nine separate occasions in which representation was at half force with one Senate seat vacant for a total of 51 incarnations overall.

The oldest delegation in state history was the duo of Republicans Knute Nelson and Frank Kellogg who were 80 and 66 years old respectively at the end of Kellogg's term in March 1923 for a collective 146 years between them.

Nelson was also part of the second and third oldest delegations in state history - with 139 years between him (74) and Moses Clapp (65) in March 1917 and 122 years between Nelson (80) and Farmer-Laborite Henrik Shipstead (42) when the pair served together for almost two months in 1923 before Nelson's death.

The 38-year age difference between Nelson and Shipstead is the biggest in Gopher State history. The two senators also have the longest tenures from Minnesota in the nation's upper legislative chamber at 28+ and 23+ years respectively.

The pairs closest in age at just one year apart have been DFLer Wendell Anderson and Republican Dave Durenberger, who served for almost two months together in late 1978, and GOPers Samuel McMillan and A.J. Edgerton, who served together for seven and a half months in 1881.

The nine-year difference between Klobuchar (50) and Franken (59) is about on par with the average difference across the 42 pairs of Minnesota Senators throughout history (10 years).

As of today, Klobuchar and Franken tally 109 years between them which puts them in a tie for the 18th oldest delegation since the first pair of Senators in 1858, Democrats James Shields and Henry Rice.

Over the next 22 months, provided both Senators serve out the remainder of the 112th Congress, they will pass up seven delegations and tie two others to reach 9th on the all-time list.

And they are moving up the list fast.

Should Klobuchar get reelected in 2012, and both Senators serve through the end of Franken's first term in 2015, their 117 collective years will rank them as the 7th oldest in state history.

And if Franken also runs and wins again in 2014, and both serve through the end of what would be Klobuchar's second term in 2019, their 125 collective years would put them at #3.

Age Rank Landmarks for Klobuchar-Franken U.S. Senate Delegation

Through
Years
Rank
Note
March 14, 2011
109
18th (tie)
Present day
January 3, 2013
113
9th (tie)
End of Klobuchar's first term
January 3, 2015
117
7th
End of Franken's first term
January 3, 2017
125
3rd
End of Klobuchar's second (potential) term
Denotes oldest U.S. Senate delegation rank in Minnesota history. Data compiled by Smart Politics.

When Al Franken first joined Klobuchar in D.C. in July 2009, their 107 collective years were tied for the 14th oldest for a Minnesota Senate delegation at the beginning of their service together.

Overall, the last 10 delegation pairs from Minnesota (going back to Wendell Anderson and Muriel Humphrey) began with an average total age of 102.2 years.

That compares to an average collective age of 94.9 years for the first 10 delegations in state history from 1858 to 1881.

The average age at the start of the state's 42 delegation pairs across history is 100.0 years, with an average age at the end being 107.4 years.

Over the past 150+ years there have been 19 pairs of Republican U.S. Senate delegations from Minnesota.

The Klobuchar-Franken pairing is one of seven all-DFL delegations.

In total, there have been eight different partisan combinations across the 42 different pairs of senators.

Partisan Breakdown of Minnesota's U.S. Senate Delegations

Partisan split
#
Most recent
Republican - Republican
19
Boschwitz-Durenberger (1991)
DFL - DFL
7
Klobuchar-Franken (present)
DFL - Republican
6
Coleman-Klobuchar (2009)
Republican - Farmer Labor
3
Shipstead-Howard (1937)
Farmer Labor - Farmer Labor
3
Shipstead-Lundeen (1940)
Republican - Democrat
2
Nelson-Towne (1901)
Democrat - Democrat
1
Shields-Rice (1859)
DFL - Independence
1
Dayton-Barkley (2003)
Total
42
There have also been nine vacancies in Minnesota history in which the state was represented by only one U.S. Senator: in 1870, 1881, 1900, 1923, 1935, 1940, 1978, 2002, and 2009. Data compiled by Smart Politics.

Henrik Shipstead served through nine different delegations plus three vacancies - both Gopher State records.

No other Senator from Minnesota has served in more than four different delegations.

Oldest Minnesota U.S. Senate Delegation Pairs Since Statehood

Rank
Senior
Age
Junior
Age
Period
Total
1
Knute Nelson
80
Frank Kellogg
66
3/4/1917 – 3/3/1923
146
2
Knute Nelson
74
Moses Clapp
65
1/23/1901 – 3/3/1917
139
3
Knute Nelson
80
Henrik Shipstead
42
3/4/1923 – 4/28/1923
122
4
Henrik Shipstead
59
Ernest Lundeen
62
1/3/1937 – 8/31/1940
121
5
Cushman Davis
56
William Washburn
64
3/4/1889 – 3/3/1895
120
6
Cushman Davis
62
Knute Nelson
57
3/4/1895 – 11/27/1900
119
7
David Durenberger
56
Rudy Boschwitz
60
12/30/1978 – 1/3/1991
116
7
Mark Dayton
59
Norm Coleman
57
1/3/2003 – 1/3/2007
116
9
Amy Klobuchar
52*
Al Franken
61*
7/7/2009 – 1/3/2013*
113*
9
Walter Mondale
48
Hubert Humphrey
65
1/3/1971 – 12/30/1976
113
9
Paul Wellstone
58
Mark Dayton
55
1/3/2001 – 10/25/2002
113
12
Samuel McMillan
57
William Windom
52
11/15/1881 – 3/3/1883
112
12
Henrik Shipstead
55
Guy Howard
57
11/4/1936 – 1/3/1937
112
14
Henrik Shipstead
54
Thomas Schall
57
3/4/1925 – 12/22/1935
111
14
Henrik Shipstead
61
Arthur Nelson
50
11/18/1942 – 1/3/1943
111
14
Wendell Anderson
45
Muriel Humphrey
66
1/25/1978 – 11/7/1978
111
17
Hubert Humphrey
66
Wendell Anderson
44
12/30/1976 – 1/13/1978
110
17
David Durenberger
60
Paul Wellstone
50
1/3/1991 – 1/3/1995
110
19
Samuel McMillan
55
A.J. Edgerton
54
3/12/1881 – 10/30/1881
109
19
Edward Thye
62
Hubert Humphrey
47
1/3/1949 – 1/3/1959
109
21
Paul Wellstone
56
Rod Grams
52
1/3/1995 – 1/3//2001
108
21
William Windom
53
Samuel McMillan
55
3/4/1875 – 3/7/1881
108
23
Mark Dayton
55
Dean Barkley
52
11/5/2002 – 1/3/2003
107
24
Alexander Ramsey
59
William Windom
47
3/4/1871 – 3/3/1875
106
24
Henrik Shipstead
65
Joseph Ball
41
1/3/1943 – 1/3/1947
106
24
Norm Coleman
59
Amy Klobuchar
47
1/3/2007 – 1/3/2009
106
27
Samuel McMillan
61
Dwight Sabin
43
3/4/1883 – 3/3/1887
104
28
Magnus Johnson
56
Henrik Shipstead
46
7/16/1923 – 3/3/1925
102
29
Hubert Humphrey
53
Eugene McCarthy
48
1/3/1959 – 12/29/1964
101
30
Knute Nelson
57
Charles Towne
42
12/5/1900 – 1/23/1901
99
31
Alexander Ramsey
55
William Windom
43
8/15/1870 – 1/22/1871
98
31
Henrik Shipstead
61
Joseph Ball
37
10/14/1940 – 11/17/1942
98
31
Eugene McCarthy
55
Walter Mondale
43
12/30/1964 – 1/3/1971
98
34
Henrik Shipstead
55
Elmer Benson
41
12/27/1935 – 11/3/1936
96
35
Alexander Ramsey
55
Ozora Stearns
40
1/23/1871 – 3/3/1871
95
35
Morton Wilkinson
46
Alexander Ramsey
49
3/4/1863 – 3/3/1865
95
35
Alexander Ramsey
54
Daniel Norton
41
3/4/1865 – 7/13/1870
95
35
Dwight Sabin
45
Cushman Davis
50
3/4/1887 – 3/3/1889
95
35
Joseph Ball
43
Edward Thye
52
1/3/1947 – 1/3/1949
95
40
James Shields
48
Henry Rice
42
5/11/1858 – 3/3/1859
90
40
Henry Rice
46
Morton Wilkinson
44
3/4/1859 – 3/3/1863
90
42
Wendell Anderson
45
David Durenberger
44
11/8/1978 – 12/29/1978
89
43
Henrik Shipstead
59
Vacant
 
9/1/1940 – 10/13/1940
59
44
Knute Nelson
57
Vacant
 
11/28/1900 – 12/4/1900
57
45
Samuel McMillan
55
Vacant
 
10/31/1881 – 11/14/1881
55
45
Mark Dayton
55
Vacant
 
10/26/2002 – 11/4/2002
55
47
Alexander Ramsey
54
Vacant
 
7/14/1870 – 8/14/1870
54
47
Henrik Shipstead
54
Vacant
 
12/23/1935 – 12/26/1935
54
49
Amy Klobuchar
49
Vacant
 
1/4/2009 – 7/6/2009
49
50
Wendell Anderson
44
Vacant
 
1/14/1978 – 1/24/1978
44
51
Henrik Shipstead
42
Vacant
 
4/29/1923 – 7/15/1923
42
* Presumes Klobuchar and Franken serve through the remainder of the 112th Congress. Denotes collective age of each Senator on the last day of service for each delegation pairing. Data compiled by Smart Politics.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Herb Kohl FEC Filings Do Not Tip Hand as to 2012 Election Plans
Next post: Tim Kaine in 2012 and Virginia's (Sometimes Sticky) New Revolving Door from Richmond to D.C.

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting