Jeanne Shaheen was born in St. Charles, Mo., and currently lives in Madbury, N.H. She earned a bachelor's degree from Shippensburg University and a master's degree from the University of Mississippi.
Shaheen ran for office in 1990. She served three two-year terms in the state Senate before becoming the first woman elected governor in New Hampshire in 1996.
Shaheen served three terms as governor before running unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2002, losing to then-U.S. Rep. John Sununu.
She later served as the director of Harvard's Institute of Politics and as the national chairwoman of John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign before beating Sununu in a rematch in 2008.
Shaheen and her husband, Bill, have three daughters.
Jeanne Shaheen's historic victory over incumbent Republican Sen. John Sununu in 2008 made her the nation's first woman elected both governor and senator from a state. A politically savvy former governor, she came to Washington knowing many of the players.
In her first term, she has focused on small business job creation, clean energy and energy efficiency and health care.
A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, she called on Congress to act before the November 2012 election to avert mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration. Shaheen said a far-reaching solution was needed to address all the issues, including spending, entitlement programs and taxes, although she signaled a willingness to consider a short-term plan. However, Congress left town without acting.
Amid reports in 2012 that President Barack Obama's administration was scrambling for a way out of a new rule that religious schools and hospitals must provide insurance for free birth control to their employees, Shaheen pressed for making birth control coverage widely available.
She helped craft the Small Business Jobs Act, which Obama signed in September 2010 to help small businesses increase their ability to export products by giving them greater access to credit and tax credits. Under a provision Shaheen sponsored, the Small Business Administration raised its Express Loan limit from $350,000 to $1 million, which Shaheen said would cut red tape and quickly provide working capital to small businesses.
Shaheen also pushed to extend unemployment benefits to jobless workers in all 50 states and has introduced legislation aimed at helping unemployed people find and keep jobs by expanding on-the-job training programs. In 2009, she led a bipartisan effort of northeastern senators calling on the Commerce Department to directly fund a new commission to boost the region's economy. The Northern Border Regional Commission would help parts of New Hampshire, Maine, New York and Vermont strengthen local economies and create jobs.
Shaheen serves on the Senate Energy Committee, and also has pushed for increased stimulus funding for weatherization projects and for heating assistance for low-income families. Following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, Shaheen sponsored a bill to provide subpoena power to the national commission investigating the spill, and joined other Democrats in co-sponsoring legislation that would require BP to establish an escrow fund to compensate victims and cover the cleanup costs.
The 2010 health care reform law included a provision Shaheen sponsored that would create a transitional care benefit for Medicare recipients in hopes of keeping elderly patients from ending up back in the hospital after they're sent home.
In 2012, Shaheen was one of the most ardent supporters of Sudanese refugee Guor Marial, a runner with New Hampshire ties who was trying to convince the International Olympic Committee to allow him to run as an independent because he could not bear to run for Sudan. He prevailed and was allowed to compete.
Committee Assignments: Foreign Relations; Energy and Natural Resources; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Armed Services
American Conservative Union Rating: 10
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 90
Jeanne Shaheen won her September 2014 primary, she will face Scott Brown in November.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on September 10, 2014.)