Meet the Twelve New Senators

12 new senators Credit: Wikimedia.org[/caption]

The United States Senate has 12 new Members joining its ranks. The balance of power essentially remains unchanged as the Democratic Party retains its majority while Angus King replaces fellow Independent Joe Lieberman. Below is a short bio on each new Senator-elect.

Angus King, I – ME

Angus King is the former governor of Maine, and will replace Joe Lieberman as the second independent Senator in its chambers. King will fill Sen. Olympia Snowe’s seat who is retiring, and has cited increased partisanship as a reason for her retirement.

Tammy Baldwin, D – WI

Tammy Baldwin eventually defeated Republican Tommy Thompson by 6 percent. Once she is sworn in, Tammy Baldwin will be the first openly gay Member of the Senate. Republicans expected to pick up the Senate seat that has been controlled by the Democrats since 1957 after Gov. Scott Walkers recall victory.

Ted Cruz, R – TX

Ted Cruz is a Tea Party Republican who won a close primary contest with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst by appealing to the conservative right. His general election race was considered a no contest for the GOP candidate.

Joe Donnelly, D – IN

Rep. Joe Donnelly has served in Congress for three terms and is known for his moderate voting record. Donnelly bested Richard Mourdock who stated that pregnancies resulting from rape were “something that God intended to happen.”

Deb Fischer, R – NE

Deb Fischer joins a Republican Senate caucus that is missing female leadership. She built a strong reputation for moving conservative policies through her State’s unicameral legislature.

Jeff Flake, R – AZ

Rep. Jeff Flake has represented Phoenix’s eastern suburbs for ten years in the House. He will succeed Jon Kyl who is the junior Senator from Arizona, although one of the most influential Members of the Senate.

Martin Heinrich, D – NM

Rep. Martin Heinrich has served for two terms in the House as the representative of New Mexico’s 1st district, near Albuquerque. His campaign relied on a message bi-partisanship although he votes with his party 9 out of 10 times in split votes.

Heidi Heitkamp, D – ND

Heidi Heitkamp pulled out an upset win in North Dakota with a message of supporting agriculture and energy independence. She defeated Rich Berg in a race that was assumed to be an easy win for Republicans.

Mazie K. Hirono, D – HI

Rep. Mazie Hirono will transition from the representative for Hawaii’s 2nd district where she has served since 2007 to the Senate. She will be the first female Senator from Hawaii and the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate.

Tim Kaine, D – VA

Gov. Tim Kaine is the former governor of Virginia and former head of the Democratic National Convention. He defeated fellow Virginia governor George Allen to take Sen. Jim Webb’s seat.

Chris Murphy, D – CT

Rep. Chris Murphy defeated Republican Linda McMahon, who has spent over $100 million on failed self-funded Senate races. Murphy will fill the seat vacated be Joe Lieberman who is retiring at the end of his term after 24 years as a Connecticut Senator.

Elizabeth Warren, D – MA

Elizabeth Warren defeated Republican Sen. Scott Brown. She was appointed to lead the congressional oversight panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).