By Brittany Jablonsky, NFU Director of Advocacy Communications

Yesterday’s election proved to be fairly positive for many of the House and Senate races NFU was keeping its eye on across the country. Below are some highlights from House and Senate Agriculture Committee members, NFU Golden Triangle Award winners, and NATFARMPAC-endorsed candidates.

Ag Committees

8 of the 46 House Ag Committee members (below) lost their races or retired (5 Democrats, 3 Republicans). This is in contrast with 17 House Ag Committee members who lost their races or retired in 2010 (16 Democrats, 1 Republican).

  • Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, lost the general election (to Republican Rep. Tom Latham)
  • Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C., lost the general election (to Republican Richard Hudson)
  • Rep. Tim Holden, D-Pa., lost the primary election (Democrat Matt Cartwright won the seat)
  • Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif., retired (would have faced Democratic Rep. Jim Costa in a redistricted race)
  • Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., lost the general election (to Democrat Gloria Negrete McLeod)
  • Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Ill., retired (Republican Rodney Davis is the likely winner of the seat)
  • Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, lost the primary election (Republican Brad Wenstrup won the seat)
  • Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., lost the general election (to Democrat Cheri Bustos)

This results in a 17.4% turnover rate on the committee.

All Senate Ag Committee members who were up for reelection won their seats except Republican Sen. Dick Lugar, Ind., (replaced by Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly), with retirements by Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson, Neb., (replaced by Republican Deb Fischer) and Kent Conrad, N.D., (replaced by Democrat Heidi Heitkamp).

Incumbents winning their races were:

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio
  • Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
  • Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.

Golden Triangle Awards

Golden Triangle recipients of the past two years won with an 87.2% rate (34 wins, 5 losses). For a complete list of the results of those races, contact Brittany Jablonsky at


The National Farmers Union Political Action Committee (NATFARMPAC) did fairly well with its contributions, with an overall 72.5% success rate (50 wins, 19 losses). Its contributions to non-incumbents (House plus Senate) did predictably worse, with a 44.0% success rate (11 wins, 14 losses). And its success rate was 67.3% in the House, 88.2% in the Senate. Keep in mind that these numbers are not weighted by the size of the contribution – they are strictly based on candidates who received money from the PAC, regardless of amount.

If we consider the amount of money spent, NATFARMPAC contributed $54,100 to winning races and $13,750 to losing races, so a weighted overall success rate of 79.7%.

For more information, contact Brittany Jablonsky at


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