Rod Grams

Rod Grams

Infobox Senator | name=Rod Grams

jr/sr=United States Senator
term_start=January 4, 1995
term_end=January 3, 2001
preceded=David Durenberger
succeeded=Mark Dayton
term_start2=January 3, 1993
term_end2=January 3, 1995
preceded2=Gerry Sikorski
succeeded2=Bill Luther
date of birth= birth date and age |1948|02|04
place of birth= Princeton, Minnesota
date of death=
place of death=
spouse=Christine Gunhus

Rod Grams (born February 4, 1948) served the state of Minnesota in both the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Grams was born in Princeton, Minnesota and attended Brown Institute, 1966–8, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, 1970–2, and Carroll College, 1974–5.

Grams spent 23 years in the field of television and radio broadcasting before entering political service. For 18 of those years, he worked as a producer and anchorman for several television stations. From 1982 to 1991 he was the senior news anchor at KMSP-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Before that he worked as a news anchor/producer for KFBB-TV in Great Falls, Montana; WSAU-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin; and WIFR-TV in Rockford, Illinois. Before his broadcasting career, he worked at an engineering consulting firm for seven years.

In 1985, Grams formed Sun Ridge Builders, a Twin Cities construction and residential development company, serving as its president and CEO. In addition to running the company, he was involved in architectural design and particularly interested in the use of solar energy in residential homes.

He defeated Democratic incumbent Gerry Sikorski and served in the U.S. House from January 3, 1993 to January 3, 1995 in the 103rd congress. He successfully ran for the U.S. Senate in a 1994 campaign co-chaired by Arlen Wittrock and Jack Meeks and was elected and served until 2001 in the 104th, 105th, and 106th congresses. In 2000, he was opposed by Mark Dayton, (DFL), and lost. In the 2000 election, Chris Erikstrup-Gunhus, Grams's chief of staff and reelection campaign director, [ [Dirty Tricks]] was investigated for her alleged involvement in an underhanded effort to sabotage the candidacy of Democratic Senate hopeful Mike Ciresi. On June 16, 2001, she was sentenced and fined for her role in the Ciresi scandal. Erikstrup-Gunhus paid a $300 fine.

After his defeat in 2000, Grams went back into private business and in 2004 became the owner of three radio stations in Little Falls, Minnesota [ [ Changing Hands - 5/17/2004 - Broadcasting & Cable ] ] . Grams divorced his first wife (Lolly) and married Erikstrup-Gunhus (today known as Chris Grams). Rumors had circulated that Grams and Erikstrup-Gunhus were "personally involved" since 1992. Spouses of members of congress cannot draw salaries if they serve on their staff.

Grams ran for a second term in the U.S. Congress in the 2006 U.S. House election, challenging the popular Jim Oberstar in Minnesota's 8th congressional district. Although some internal campaign polls showed the race within a couple of percentage points, Oberstar, the most senior incumbent DFLer from Minnesota, won handily.

Electoral history

*1992 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 6th District
**Rod Grams (R), 44%
**Gerry Sikorski (DFL) (inc.), 33%
**Dean Barkley (I), 16%

*1994 Race for U.S. Senate (Republican Primary)
**Rod Grams (R), 58%
**Joanell Dyrstad (R), 35%
**Harold Stassen (R), 5%

*1994 Race for U.S. Senate
**Rod Grams (R), 49%
**Ann Wynia (DFL), 44%
**Dean Barkley (I), 5%

*2000 Race for U.S. Senate
**Mark Dayton (DFL), 49%
**Rod Grams (R) (inc.), 43%
**Jim Gibson (I), 6%

*2006 Race for U.S. Representative — 8th District
**Jim Oberstar (DFL) (inc.), 64%
**Rod Grams (R), 34%
**Harry Welty (UP), 2%


External links

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