In the shadow of Trump, ag committees mostly unchanged
Nov. 10, 2016
by Jay Sjerven
Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States.
WASHINGTON — While the stunning election of businessman Donald J. Trump as 45th president of the United States roiled the Washington landscape, congressional agriculture committees stood out as isles of tranquility, with nearly all members standing for re-election securing their seats for another term. This stability in membership has been the norm through many if not most recent election cycles.
Six members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry stood for re-election this year, and all won their contests. They included four Republicans and two Democrats. The Republican senators elected to new six-year terms included John Boozman of Arkansas, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Charles Grassley of Iowa and John Thune of South Dakota. Democrats winning their re-election contests included Patrick Leahy of Vermont (a former chairman of the agriculture committee) and Michael Bennet of Colorado.
Other committee members were mid-term and did not have to stand for re-election this cycle. On the Republican side of the aisle, this included Pat Roberts of Kansas (the committee chairman), Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky (the current Majority Leader), David Perdue of Georgia, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Ben Sasse of Nebraska. On the Democratic side, committee members who did not have to stand for re-election this year included Debbie Stabenow of Michigan (ranking member and former committee chair), Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Robert P. Casey Jr., of Pennsylvania.
The current House Committee on Agriculture has 26 Republican and 19 Democratic members. Of the 45 members, 41 stood for re-election and all but one, Democrat Brad Ashford of Nebraska, were re-elected.
Republican members of the committee re-elected this cycle included K. Michael Conaway of Texas (the committee chairman), Randy Neugebauer of Texas (the vice-chairman), Bob Goodlatte of Virginia (a former committee chairman), Frank D. Lucas of Oklahoma (also a former committee chairman), Steve King of Iowa, Mike Rogers of Alabama, Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania, Bob Gibbs of Ohio, Austin Scott of Georgia, Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, Jeff Denham of California, Doug LaMalfa of California, Rodney Davis of Illinois, Ted Yoho of Florida, Jackie Walorski of Indiana, Rick Allen of Georgia, Mike Bost of Illinois, David Rouzer of North Carolina, Ralph Abraham of Louisiana, Trent Kelly of Mississippi, John Moolenaar of Michigan and Dan Newhouse of Washington.
Two Republican members of the committee chose not to seek re-election: Dan Benishek of Michigan and Chris Gibson of New York.
Democratic members of the committee winning their re-election bids included Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota (ranking member and former chairman of the agriculture committee), David Scott of Georgia, Jim Costa of California, Timothy J. Walz of Minnesota, Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Suzan DelBene of Washington, Filemon Vela of Texas, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, Ann McLane Kuster of New Hampshire, Rick Nolan of Minnesota, Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Pete Aguilar of California, Alma Adams of North Carolina and Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands (Plaskett is a non-voting member of the committee).
Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona retired from the House to run for the Senate against John McCain; she was defeated. Democrat Gwen Graham of Florida did not seek re-election.