Kent Conrad

By bistrib
  • Kent Conrad is born

    Kent Conrad was born on March 12, 1948 in Bismarck to Gaylord and Abigail Conrad.
  • Parents killed in crash

    Gaylord and Abigail Conrad were killed in a head-on collision on Highway 83 north of Bismarck. Kent Conrad, 5 at the time, suffered a broken wrist in the crash, an article said.
  • Graduated from high school in Libya

    Kent Conrad graduated from Wheelus High School in Tripoli, Libya, North Africa in 1966. He attended the school for two years while living with family friends.
    He formerly attended Phillips Exeter Academy, as well as Hughes Junior High and Roosevelt Elementary in Bismarck.
  • Conrad weds Schafer

    Kent Conrad married Pamela Schafer at the Unitarian Church in Bismarck on Oct. 7, 1970.
    The couple later divorced. They have one daughter, Jessamyn.
  • Graduated from Stanford

    Kent Conrad graduated in 1971 from Stanford University. He formerly attended University of Missouri at Columbia.
  • Graduated from George Washington University

    Kent Conrad received a masters degree in business administration from George Washington University.
  • Defeated for state auditor

    Kent Conrad lost his first bid for statewide office, which was a run for state auditor.
  • Daughter born

    Jessamyn Abigail, the only daughter of Kent Conrad and his first wife, Pam Schafer Conrad, was born.
  • Conrad announces candidacy for tax commissioner

    Kent Conrad announced he was running for state tax commissioner. He later took unpaid leave from the tax department, in which he was director of management planning and personnel, to campaign full time.
  • Conrad elected tax commissioner

    Kent Conrad defeated Republican John Korsmo to become North Dakota tax commissioner. Conrad had been an assistant in the department for six years under Byron Dorgan.
  • Period: to

    Tax commissioner

    Served as North Dakota tax commissioner
  • Conrad returns raise

    The Tribune reported on June 24, 1982, that Kent Conrad was turning back a $3,200 he would have received due to the state's financial difficulties.
  • Heading tax panel

    The Associated Press reported on July 24, 1982, that Kent Conrad had been elected as national chairman of the Multistate Tax Commission at its annual meeting in December. He was installed in the position in August 1982.
  • Second term victory

    Kent Conrad won a second term as state tax commissioner on Jan. 6, 1984, defeating Republican Scott Hove of Fargo.
  • Mother Jones lauds Conrad

    The Tribune reported on Feb. 3, 1984, that Mother Jones magazine named Kent Conrad one of the "ten best state and local officials" in the country.
    "Conrad is described as one of 'a new generation of progressive leaders' in the 'vanguard of a grassroots revolution in American politics,'" the Tribune reported.
    The Washington Post in July of 1983 had called Conrad one of the "stars of the states."
  • Conrad announces run for second term

    Kent Conrad announced he would run for a second term as state tax commissioner. Earlier he had said he was weighing a second term as tax commissioner with a run for the governor's office or bowing out of politics.
  • Conrad announces first Senate run

    Kent Conrad, then the state tax commissioner, announced he would run for Senate against Sen. Mark Andrews. Conrad was seen as a weaker opponent for Andrews than Byron Dorgan, who was then serving in the U.S. House.
  • Conrad wins Senate seat

    Kent Conrad defeated Sen. Mark Andrews in an upset. Conrad's victory gave Democrats a 55-45 majority in the Senate and gave North Dakota an all-Democratic congressional delegation for the first time in state history.
  • Period: to

    U.S. Senator - first seat

    Kent Conrad served one term in one seat of the U.S. Senate.
  • Conrad weds former campaign manager

    Kent Conrad married Lucy Calautti his campaign manager in his successful 1986 run for Senate, in a private, half-hour ceremony at his brother's home.
    A Tribune article said Calautti "wore a floor-length silk organza dress of violet, blue and pale gold with a scalloped neck. The senator wore a black tuxedo with a white flower and red bow tie. Conrad earlier called her the best campaign manager in the country."
  • Wife mugged

    Conrad's wife, Lucy Calautti, was mugged at gunpoint by David Young, who later was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the crime.
    "It fills you with such a rage," Conrad told the Tribune at the time. "You think of every possible way to kill a guy like that."
  • Not running for second term

    Kent Conrad announced on April 2, 1992, he would not seek a second term in Senate to uphold a campaign promise the made in 1986. At that time, he had said he would not run for re-election if the federal budget deficit was not under control by the end of his first term.
  • Quentin Burdick dies

    Longtime North Dakota Sen. Quentin Burdick died on Sept. 8, 1992. He was 83. His death immediately fueled speculation that Kent Conrad's retirement from Senate would be short-lived. Numerous Democrats, including Burdick's wife, Jocelyn, who was sworn in as a temporary replacement for her husband, urged Conrad to run for Burdick's seat.
  • Announcing another run

    Kent Conrad announced on Sept. 21, 1992, that he would "respond to the appeals" of North Dakotans who urged him to seek the unexpired term of Quentin Burdick, who died on Sept. 8, 1992.
  • Democrats choose Conrad

    Democrats endorsed Kent Conrad to run in a special election to fill Quentin Burdick's Senate seat. Conrad was the only candidate at the special party convention.
  • A new seat in Washington

    Kent Conrad defeated Jack Dalrymple, then a Republican legislator, to fill Quentin Burdick's Senate seat in a special election. Conrad won with 63 percent of the vote to Dalrymple's 34 percent.
  • Sinner swears in two senators

    Gov. George Sinner installed Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan as senators on Dec. 14, 1992. The same day, Conrad resigned from his former Senate seat to take over the seat vacated by Quentin Burdick's death.
  • Period: to

    U.S. Senator - second seat

    Kent Conrad has been in his present seat in the U.S. Senate since 1992.
  • Almost made the majors

    Kent Conrad said, in an Associated Press story, that a Major League Baseball team owner had approached him about becoming the president of the American League. Conrad, an avid baseball fan, said he turned down the opportunity to stay in the Senate. He previously had been considered for the job of president of the National League before running for Quentin Burdick's Senate seat.
  • Conrad wins another term

    Kent Conrad defeated Dr. Ben Clayburgh, a Grand Forks surgeon, to remain in the Senate seat he took over two years earlier.
  • Conrad defeats Sand

    Kent Conrad defeated Duane Sand for another term in Senate.
  • Backs the president

    Kent Conrad urged America to set politics aside after terrorists attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.
    "At a time of national calamity it's important that he have the support so he can deal with this confidently," Conrad said. "This is a time we unite."
  • Conrad wins another term

    Kent Conrad defeated Republican Dwight Grotberg, with 69 percent of the vote.
  • Disaster aid suggested for farmers

    North Dakota Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad, both Democrats, and South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune co-sponsored a bill designed to become a part of comprehensive farm legislation that would create a program that would automatically dole out dollars for significant farm losses in federally declared disaster counties, according to an Associated Press article from Jan. 9, 2007.
  • Endorses Obama

    Kent Conrad announced he would be endorsing Barack Obama, then a senator from Illinois, for president.
  • Mortgage controversy

    In the summer of 2008, Kent Conrad and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., were accused of getting favorable treatment on home mortgages after personal contacts from the CEO of Countrywide Financial Corp.
    The ethics committee in 2009 scolded both Dodd and Conrad for not being more careful to avoid the appearance of favoritism from Countrywide. The committee cleared both senators of any rules violations. Conrad always denied knowing of any special treatment.
  • Serves on president's deficit commission

    Kent Conrad served on President Barack Obama's bipartisan deficit commission in 2010.
    Obama established the panel to find a way to get the country's massive budget deficit under control.
  • Supreme Court won't allow recall

    The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled that Kent Conrad could not be recalled. A group of North Dakotans had mounted a recall effort earlier in 2010, unhappy with Conrad's vote for healthcare reform legislation.
  • Deciding to be done

    Kent Conrad on Jan. 18, 2011, announced he would not seek re-election in 2012.