|U.S. Senator from Louisiana|
From: January 3, 1997 – Present
|Predecessor||J. Bennett Johnston|
|Successor||Incumbent (no successor)|
Mary Landrieu, born November 23, 1955 (age 61), is the senior United States Senator from the state of Louisiana and a member of the Democratic Party. She currently serves on the Committee on Appropriations, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Committee on Small Business, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Mary Landrieu is of the Louisiana Landrieu patriarchal clan which has had other politicians such as her father Maurice Edwin Landrieu who was the mayor of New Orleans and her brother, Mitch Landrieu, who is the currentmayor of New Orleans and a former state lieutenant governor.
After graduating from Louisiana State University Landrieu was elected to the State Legislature, and in 1987 State Treasurer. She ran for governor in 1995, however finished third in the Democratic primary. She was elected to the United States Senate in 1996, defeating Democrat-turned-Republican State Representative Woody Jenkins of Baton Rouge, in a race to replace retiring 24-year incumbent, J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., of Shreveport. An investigation by National Review led to accusations that election fraud in her native New Orleans led to her being elected. She won two reelection victories in 2002 and 2008.
Mary Landrieu has a reputation as a conservative Democrat, she voted to authorize military force in Iraq in 2002, supports expansion of U.S. oil drilling, and voted to ban partial birth abortions. On other issues she is traditionally liberal, earning a 91% rating by the National Education Association and a 77% from AFL-CIO, indicating a pro-labor voting record.  Landrieu was part of the Gang of 14 that brokered a compromise during the 109th Congress to stop Democrats from denying voting opportunities on appellate court candidates nominated by the President. During the period after Hurricane Katrina, Landrieu used the loss of her expensive lakeside home to become a spokesperson for Katrina victims and to attack the Bush administration for not doing enough to help the victims of the hurricane.
Landrieu supported a motion to begin debate on government health care legislation.  Landrieu was seen wavering on the issue, so the bill gave $300 million in federal Medicaid subsidies to Louisiana only.