Speculation Over Who May Be Next Senate Ag Committee ChairmanWed, 27 Oct 2010 17:51:38 CDT
Even if Democrats maintain control of the U.S. Senate after Tuesday's elections, new leadership is expected for the Ag Committee. Polls suggest present Chairman, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, faces a double-digit deficit in her re-election bid in Arkansas.
If that trend continues control over agriculture and farm policy in the Senate may fall to Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow, who is seen as the front-runner to replace Lincoln, but that’s not a given. But, if the Republicans take over control of the Senate then, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson might win the post, or Kent Conrad of North Dakota could abandon his budget chairmanship to take the helm.
The vacancy is a prime opportunity for Midwestern lawmakers looking to gain political currency. Stabenow, who is up for reelection in 2012, would probably welcome the chance to gain some leadership credentials. She’d be the panel’s fifth-most-senior Democrat if Lincoln loses. The four lawmakers in front of her already hold powerful committees that they’re unlikely to leave for the agriculture panel.
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