WASHINGTON — Ten of the 21 members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry stood for re-election in the 2018 midterm elections on Nov. 6, 8 Democrats and 2 Republicans. Seven of the 10 contenders were victorious in the re-election bids, 2 were defeated, and 1 faces a runoff election.
Republican Senator Deb Fisher of Nebraska handily defeated her opponent, Democrat Jane Raybould. Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi failed to win a majority of the popular vote, which is required under Mississippi law, and will face Democrat Mike Espy, a former congressman and President Bill Clinton’s first secretary of agriculture, in a runoff election scheduled for Nov. 27.
Of the eight Democrats running for reelection, six were victorious. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, the ranking member on the agriculture committee, defeated her Republican opponent John James. Also re-elected were Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who defeated James B. Renacci; Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who easily defeated Jim Newberger; Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who overwhelmed her opponent Chele Farley, and Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, who retained his seat by defeating Lou Barletta. Committee member Tina Brown of Minnesota, who replaced Al Franken as senator in January 2018, in a special election defeated Karin Housley. Ms. Brown will serve through the remainder of Mr. Franken’s term, which expires in 2020.
Two Democratic members of the committee were defeated in their re-election bids. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota lost to Kevin Cramer, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana lost to Mike Braun.
Republican members of the committee who were not up for re-election this cycle included Pat Roberts of Kansas, committee chairman; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky; John Boozman of Arkansas; John Hoeven of North Dakota; Joni Ernst of Iowa; Charles Grassley of Iowa; John Thune of South Dakota; Steve Daines of Montana; and David Perdue of Georgia.
Only two Democrats were not up for re-election this cycle, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Michael F. Bennet of Colorado.