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Quick Facts

Senator (Class 2)

Iowa

Democratic

Current

starts 01/03/1985

ends in 2015

Biography

Thomas Richard “Tom” Harkin (born November 19, 1939) is the current junior United States Senator from Iowa serving since 1985, and a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served in the United States House of Representatives (1975–1985).
Born in Cumming, Iowa, Harkin graduated from Iowa State University and The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. He served in the United States Navy as an active-duty jet pilot from 1962 to 1967. After serving as a congressional aide for several years he made two runs for the U.S. House of Representatives, losing in 1972 but winning in 1974. He went on to serve five terms in the House.
Harkin won a race for U.S. Senate in 1984 by a wide margin. He was an early frontrunner for his party’s presidential nomination in 1992, but dropped out in support of eventual winner Bill Clinton. Now serving his fifth term, Harkin is chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He is ranked as the most senior junior senator, as well as the 7th most senior Senator overall.
On January 26, 2013, he announced his intentions to retire from the Senate after completing his fifth term in 2015.

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