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List of United States Senators in the 111th Congress by seniority


List of United States Senators in the 111th Congress by seniority

This is a classification of United States Senators by seniority during the 111th Congress, from January 3, 2009 to January 3, 2011. It is a historical listing and contains people who have not served the entire two-year Congress, such as Joe Biden and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Order of service is based on the commencement of the senator's first term. Following this is former service as a U.S. senator (only giving the senator seniority within his or her new incoming class), service as Vice President of the United States, a U.S. Representative, a Cabinet secretary, a state governor. Others are separated by his or her state's population.[1][2][3][4][5]

Senators who were sworn in during the middle of the two-year Congress are listed at the end of the list with no number. However, Roland Burris and Al Franken are listed as numbers 99 and 100. Burris was appointed at the end of the previous Congress, but was blocked from taking his seat until January 12, 2009, and Franken won the United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2008, but was unable to take his seat until July 7, 2009 due to an election contest.

John Kerry was the most senior junior senator from the opening of the 111th Congress until the death of Ted Kennedy in August 2009, whereupon Tom Harkin took on the distinction. Jim Webb was the most junior senior senator until Mark Udall, a freshman, became Colorado's senior senator upon Ken Salazar's resignation in late January 2009 to become Interior Secretary.

Rank Name Seniority date Other factors
1 Robert Byrd[6] (D-WV) January 3, 1959
2 Ted Kennedy[7] (D-MA) November 7, 1962
3 Daniel Inouye (D-HI) January 3, 1963
4 Joe Biden[8] (D-DE) January 3, 1973
5 Patrick Leahy (D-VT) January 3, 1975
6 Richard Lugar (R-IN) January 3, 1977 Indiana 11th in population (1970)
7 Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Utah 36th in population (1970)
8 Max Baucus (D-MT) December 15, 1978
9 Thad Cochran (R-MS) December 27, 1978
10 Carl Levin (D-MI) January 3, 1979
11 Chris Dodd[9] (D-CT) January 3, 1981 Former U.S. representative (6 years); Connecticut 24th in population (1970)
12 Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Former U.S. representative (6 years); Iowa 25th in population (1970)
13 Arlen Specter[10] (R-PA)(D-PA)[11]
14 Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) January 3, 1983
15 John Kerry (D-MA) January 2, 1985
16 Tom Harkin (D-IA) January 3, 1985 Former U.S. representative
17 Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
18 Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) January 15, 1985
19 Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) January 3, 1987 Former U.S. representative (10 years)
20 Richard Shelby (R-AL) Former U.S. representative (8 years)
21 John McCain (R-AZ) Former U.S. representative (4 years); Arizona 29th in population (1980)
22 Harry Reid (D-NV) Former U.S. representative (4 years); Nevada 43rd in population (1980)
23 Kit Bond[9] (R-MO) Former governor
24 Kent Conrad (D-ND)
25 Herb Kohl (D-WI) January 3, 1989 Wisconsin 16th in population (1980)
26 Joe Lieberman (ID-CT)[12] Connecticut 25th in population (1980)
27 Daniel Akaka (D-HI) May 16, 1990
28 Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) November 10, 1992
29 [9] (D-ND) December 15, 1992
30 Barbara Boxer (D-CA) January 3, 1993 Former U.S. representative (10 years)
31 Judd Gregg[9] (R-NH) Former U.S. representative (8 years)
32 Russ Feingold[13] (D-WI) Wisconsin 16th in population (1990)
33 Patty Murray (D-WA) Washington 18th in population (1990)
34 Bob Bennett[10] (R-UT) Utah 35th in population (1990)
35 Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) June 14, 1993
36 Jim Inhofe (R-OK) November 17, 1994
37 Olympia Snowe (R-ME) January 3, 1995 Former U.S. representative (16 years)
38 Jon Kyl (R-AZ) Former U.S. representative (8 years)
39 Ron Wyden (D-OR) February 6, 1996
40 Sam Brownback[9] (R-KS) November 7, 1996
41 Pat Roberts (R-KS) January 3, 1997 Former U.S. representative (16 years)
42 Richard Durbin (D-IL) Former U.S. representative (14 years)
43 Tim Johnson (D-SD) Former U.S. representative (10 years)
44 Jack Reed (D-RI) Former U.S. representative (6 years)
45 Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Louisiana 21st in population (1990)
46 Jeff Sessions (R-AL) Alabama 22nd in population (1990)
47 Susan Collins (R-ME) Maine 38th in population (1990)
48 Mike Enzi (R-WY) Wyoming 50th in population (1990)
49 Chuck Schumer (D-NY) January 3, 1999 Former U.S. representative (18 years)
50 Jim Bunning[9] (R-KY) Former U.S. representative (12 years)
51 Mike Crapo (R-ID) Former U.S. representative (6 years)
52 Blanche Lincoln[13] (D-AR) Former U.S. representative (4 years)
53 [9] (R-OH) Former governor; Ohio 7th in population (1990)
54 Evan Bayh[9] (D-IN) Former governor; Indiana 15th in population (1990)
55 Bill Nelson (D-FL) January 3, 2001 Former U.S. representative (12 years)
56 Tom Carper (D-DE) Former U.S. representative (10 years)
57 Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Former U.S. representative (4 years); Michigan 8th in population (1990)
58 John Ensign (R-NV) Former U.S. representative (4 years); Nevada 39th in population (1990)
59 Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Former U.S. representative (2 years)
60 Ben Nelson (D-NE) Former governor
61 Hillary Clinton[14][15] (D-NY)
62 Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) December 20, 2002
63 Frank Lautenberg[16] (D-NJ) January 3, 2003 Previous Senate service
64 Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) Former U.S. representative (8 years); Georgia 10th in population (2000)
65 Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Former U.S. representative (8 years); South Carolina 26th in population (2000)
66 Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Former Cabinet member
67 John Cornyn[17] (R-TX) Texas 2nd in population (2000)
68 Mark Pryor (D-AR) Arkansas 33rd in population (2000)
69 Richard Burr (R-NC) January 3, 2005 Former U.S. representative (10 years)
70 Jim DeMint (R-SC) Former U.S. representative (6 years); South Carolina 26th in population (2000)
71 Tom Coburn (R-OK) Former U.S. representative (6 years); Oklahoma 27th in population (2000)
72 John Thune (R-SD) Former U.S. representative (6 years); South Dakota 46th in population (2000)
73 Johnny Isakson (R-GA) Former U.S. representative (5 years, 10 months)
74 David Vitter (R-LA) Former U.S. representative (5 years, 7 months)
75 Mel Martinez[18] (R-FL) Former Cabinet member
76 Ken Salazar[19] (D-CO)
77 Bob Menendez (D-NJ) January 18, 2006
78 Ben Cardin (D-MD) January 3, 2007 Former U.S. representative (20 years)
79 Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Former U.S. representative (16 years)
80 Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Former U.S. representative (14 years)
81 Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA) Pennsylvania 6th in population (2000)
82 Jim Webb[20] (D-VA) Virginia 12th in population (2000)
83 Bob Corker (R-TN) Tennessee 16th in population (2000)
84 Claire McCaskill (D-MO) Missouri 17th in population (2000)
85 Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) Minnesota 21st in population (2000)
86 Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Rhode Island 43rd in population (2000)
87 Jon Tester (D-MT) Montana 44th in population (2000)
88 John Barrasso (R-WY) June 25, 2007
89 Roger Wicker (R-MS) December 31, 2007
90 Mark Udall (D-CO) January 3, 2009 Former U.S. representative (10 years); Colorado 24th in population (2000)
91 Tom Udall (D-NM) Former U.S. representative (10 years); New Mexico 36th in population (2000)
92 Mike Johanns (R-NE) Former Cabinet member
93 Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) Former governor (6 years)
94 Mark Warner (D-VA) Former governor (4 years)
95 Jim Risch (R-ID) Former governor (7 months)
96 Kay Hagan (D-NC) North Carolina 11th in population (2000)
97 Jeff Merkley (D-OR) Oregon 28th in population (2000)
98 Mark Begich (D-AK) Alaska 48th in population (2000)
99 Roland Burris[9] (D-IL) January 12, 2009
Ted Kaufman[9] (D-DE) January 15, 2009
Michael Bennet (D-CO) January 21, 2009
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) January 26, 2009
100 Al Franken (D-MN) July 7, 2009
[9] (R-FL) September 10, 2009
Paul G. Kirk[9] (D-MA) September 24, 2009
Scott Brown (R-MA) February 4, 2010
Carte Goodwin[9] (D-WV) July 16, 2010
Joe Manchin (D-WV) November 15, 2010 Former Governor
Chris Coons (D-DE)
Mark Kirk (R-IL) November 29, 2010


  1. ^ A Chronological List of United States Senators 1789-Present, via
  2. ^ 1971 U.S Census Report Contains 1970 Census results.
  3. ^ 1981 U.S Census Report Contains 1980 Census results.
  4. ^ 1991 U.S Census Report Contains 1990 Census results.
  5. ^ 2000 Census State Population Rankings
  6. ^ Robert Byrd died on June 28, 2010.
  7. ^ Ted Kennedy died on August 25, 2009.
  8. ^ Joe Biden was elected to both the vice-presidency of the United States and a new Senate term. He stepped down from his Senate seat on January 15, 2009.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Announced retirement after 2010 election (not running for re-election).
  10. ^ a b Defeated in primary for 2010 re-election.
  11. ^ Despite Arlen Specter's 2009 party change, he retained his seniority since there is no break in his Senate service.
  12. ^ Despite Joe Lieberman's 2006 party change, he retains his seniority since there is no break in his Senate service.
  13. ^ a b Defeated in 2010 election.
  14. ^ Hillary Clinton's status as a former First Lady, while having some bearing on ceremonial precedence, has no effect on her Seniority within the United states Senate.
  15. ^ Hillary Clinton resigned her seat on January 21, 2009, to become Secretary of State.
  16. ^ Frank Lautenberg served a previous term as U.S. Senator from New Jersey from January 1983 to January 2001, but does not retain seniority from that prior service. Lautenberg has sought restoration of his seniority based on his prior service, but has not received it. Second Time Isn't as Lovely for Lautenberg, New York Times
  17. ^ John Cornyn's predecessor, Phil Gramm, resigned early so Cornyn could take office early, and move into Gramm's office suite to begin organizing his staff. Cornyn did not, however, gain seniority, owing to a 1980 Rules Committee policy that no longer gave seniority to senators who entered Congress early for the purpose of gaining advantageous office space. See Note 1, above.
  18. ^ Mel Martinez resigned on September 9, 2009.
  19. ^ Ken Salazar resigned to become Secretary of the Interior on January 19, 2009
  20. ^ Jim Webb's service as Secretary of the Navy does not affect his seniority because it was not a Cabinet-level position during or after his term.

External links

  • Senate Seniority List
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