Tim Johnson

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Tim Johnson (born December 28, 1946 in Canton, South Dakota) is a United States Senator (Democrat) from South Dakota now serving in his third term in the Senate.[1] he is not to be confused with Rep. Timothy V. Johnson (R-Illinois). In 2006, he had a life-changing event on December 13, in the middle of a conference call with reporters, when he suffered a life-threatening cerebral hemorrhage, due to an arteriovenous malformation. After months of treatment, he returned to the Senate, with an ovation from both sides, saying he had had a second chance on life. [2] Aside from being a popular Senator, he also, at the time, was the one-vote majority of the Democrats.

After 3 years in private law practice in Vermillion, S.D., he ran for, and was elected to, the state House of Representatives in 1978. After serving two terms in the state House, he was then elected, in 1982, to the first of two terms in the South Dakota state Senate.

In 1986, he was elected to represent South Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives where he served 5 terms. Then, in 1996 he was elected to the United States Senate, a post to which he was re-elected in 2002 and 2008.

Key positions

Sen. Johnson tends to focus on issues important to South Dakota, and is not often found in the midst of national issues.[2] Areas of interest come from his website. [3]


He is farmer-friendly, and takes pride in legislation including the Country of Origin Labeling Act (COOL), co-sponsored with =then-Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.). to limit the Department of Agriculture’s “U.S. Meat” label to animals raised and slaughtered in the United States, an idea favored by ranchers in South Dakota. It went into effect in 2008, giving Johnson a timely legislative accomplishment to tout on the campaign trail.

He has been a consistent supporter expanded use of ethanol and biofuels in automobiles as a matter of agriculture and energy policy. He supported legislation passed by Congress in late 2007 that mandated increased use of ethanol in gasoline nationwide.

Appropriation Requests

Indian Affairs




He successfully fought the closing of Ellsworth Air Force Base in his state.

Economic Development

Rural states like ours must continuously work hard to grow and prosper in an ever-changing economic environment.


I have worked to make sure our children receive quality early education, elementary and secondary education, and have access to affordable and quality post-secondary education.


As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I have worked to strengthen markets for South Dakota's ethanol facilities and increase production of soy-based biodiesel.


As a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I will continue working to protect our nation's precious natural resources.

Foreign Affairs

While foreign aid comprises less than one percent of the federal budget, it still has a significant impact on foreign policy and military concerns.


Hometown Prosperity Plan

Though we have already made great strides in strengthening and diversifying our economy, we're still not where we want to be.



Social Security



"Free trade doesn't mean fair trade, and fair trade is crucial in keeping our agricultural producers in the fold." The Cato Institute rates him relatively low on the general idea of free trade.



Voting ratings

Organization Rating Source
AFL-CIO 100%
American Civil Liberties Union 50% [1]
American Conservative Union 12% [2]
Americans for Democratic Action 95% [3]
Cato Institute 17%
Christian Coalition 30% [4]
Human Rights Campaign 78%
League of Conservation Voters 91% [5]
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 66% [6]
National Rifle Association C+
National Right to Life Committee 50%
National Taxpayers Union 16%
U.S. Chamber of Commerce 39%


Caucuses and other groups

2008 Election

Candidate Party Vote total Percentage
Tim Johnson Democrat 237,889 62.49%
Joel R. Dykstra Republican 142,784 37.51%

Source: Federal Election Results - final official tally


After graduating from the University of South Dakota, he went on to obtain a master's degree in Public Administration and a law degree, both from the University of South Dakota.


* Tim Johnson web site