In the Spotlight

News & Features
Rod Grams
Incumbent U.S. Senator
A Campaign 2000 Profile

Age: 52
Personal: Divorced. Four children.
Born: February 4, 1948, Princeton, MN.
Resides: Anoka
Occupation: Homebuilder. Was anchorman for KMSP-TV in the Twin Cities.
Education: Carroll College, Helena, MT.
Web Site:

Campaign Contributions

Grams was elected to the U.S. House after defeating 10-year incumbent Democrat Gerry Sikorski in 1992. He was elected Freshman Class Whip and was the first freshman in the 103rd Congress to get legislation enacted into law.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994 upon the retirement of David Durenberger.

He's best known in the Senate for efforts to cut taxes. His "Families First" plan in 1993 was a tax cut and balanced-budget plan that included a $500 per child tax credit.

Hear more about Grams in this audio portrait.

R E C E N T  S T O R I E S

Dayton Ousts Grams from Senate
DFLer Mark Dayton is headed to Washington after defeating incumbent Republican Rod Grams. Unofficial returns show Dayton with 49 percent of the vote and Grams with 43 percent. Independence Party candidate James Gibson finished a distant third with six percent, but enough to keep major-party status. November 7, 2000

Candidates Wield Sharp Rhetoric in Final Debate
A sense of urgency prevailed at the final debate of U.S. Senate candidates Sunday night. With the general election capping the campaign Tuesday, James Gibson, Mark Dayton, and Rod Grams displayed a harsher tone at the Fitzgerald Theater. But none of the candidates strayed from the dominant themes of the campaign: health care and Social Security. November 5, 2000

Dayton's Gun Control Position Questioned
A U.S. Senate debate at the Mall of America raised questions about DFLer Mark Dayton's position on gun control. As Dayton sparred with incumbent Republican Rod Grams and Independence Party candidate James Gibson, he seemed to contradict positions he staked out earlier in the campaign. November 3, 2000

Poll: Senate Race is Close
DFL Senate candidate Mark Dayton maintains his advantage over Republican Sen. Rod Grams in the latest poll for Minnesota Public Radio, the Pioneer Press and KARE-TV. The former state auditor leads Grams by five percentage points, the same margin reported in the last MPR poll in September. October 31, 2000 ReadListen

Ad Watch: The Ad Police Chastise the Candidates
Minnesota's U.S. Senate race is the most expensive in the state's history, and much of the nearly $10 million spent by the three major candidates so far has been used on television ads. A group of citizens - the Ad Police - watched some of the latest commercials, and they're not happy. October 25, 2000

Social Issues Highlighted in Senate Debate
Minnesota's three major U.S. Senate candidates tackled social and fiscal issues and their own campaign spending and attack ads Wednesday in their first televised debate. NBC's Tim Russert helped moderate the debate, which took place in Minneapolis before an audience convened by the Minnesota Meeting organization. October 19, 2000

Debate Features Alternative Senate Candidates
Third, fourth and fifth-party candidates for U.S. Senate had their say in a half-hour debate on Twin Cities Public Television on October 16. Senate candidates from the Grassroots, Socialist Workers, Independence, Constitution and Libertarian parties took audience questions and probed each other's views. Issues ranged from eliminating the federal income tax to forming a "workers' government" and cutting back corporate welfare. On the international front, the candidates showed greater unity in wanting the U.S. out of most foreign affairs.October 17, 2000

Environmental Issues Lead Senate Debate
In their first debate outside the Twin Cities, Republican incumbent Rod Grams, DFL candidate Mark Dayton and Independence Party candidate James Gibson squared off on issues that haven't gotten much attention in the campaign for U.S. Senate, dealing with the environment and the use of federal lands. October 15, 2000

Attack of the Attack Ads
For years, voters have said they're tired of negative TV ads from political candidates. But as the general campaign of Campaign 2000 winds down, many candidates are unleashing attack ads. October 5, 2000

Senate Candidates Debate; Dayton Sells Stock
Democratic Senate candidate Mark Dayton says he has sold all of his individual stock holdings. Republican incumbent Senator Rod Grams has been calling Dayton a "hypocrite" for selling energy and pharmaceutical stocks now that's he's running for office. October 2, 2000

Poll: Dayton Catches Grams
The first poll since the primary election shows Mark Dayton has garnered much of the previously undecided vote, and now leads incumbent U.S. Senator Rod Grams. 9/28/2000

Senate Candidates in Television War
A week into the general election campaign, the first attack ads of Minnesota's U.S. Senate race are on the air. The Republican National Committee and Republican Senator Rod Grams are running a commercial questioning the credibility of DFL Senate candidate Mark Dayton. Dayton is out with his own ad challenging Grams on the issue of Social Security, but it doesn't rise to the level of a personal attack. 9/20/2000

The First Debate
In their first face-to-face meeting since the primary election, the candidates focus on the hot issue of the primary campaign: health care. The trio also sparred over what to do with the budget surplus. 9/18/2000

For more stories on the Senate campaign, see our archive of campaign stories.


October 19, 2000 As the campaign wound down, Sen. Grams was a guest on MPR's Midday program.

August 24, 2000 Senator Grams was a guest on MPR's Midday program from the Minnesota State Fair.

July 31, 2000 Senator Grams was a guest on MPR's Midday program from the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.

March 6, 2000 Senator Grams was a guest on MPR's Midday program.

December 7, 1999
Senator Grams was a guest on MPR's Midday program.
Listen (45:31)