Mark Kennedy

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Benson, Minnesota
Birth Sign
Benson, Minnesota

Mark Raymond Kennedy is a politician and businessman from the United States. He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant before going on to the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business to earn his M.B.A. Prior to joining the US Congress, he worked for The Pillsbury Company and Federated Department Stores, the world’s largest department store chain. He served in the United States House of Representatives as a Republican. During the 107th Congress, he represented Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district, and during the 108th and 109th Congresses, he represented Minnesota’s 6th congressional district. Despite experts’ predictions that he would lose, he won the old-fashioned way: shaking hands, marching in parades, and listening to people all over Minnesota. He was a supporter of the Iraq War and a proponent of free trade. He voted in favor of the Bush tax cuts, for the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, and for the Deficit Reduction Act. He resigned from Congress in order to run for the United States Senate in Minnesota, but he was unsuccessful. Kennedy is currently the director of the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University.

Childhood and Adolescence

Mark Raymond Kennedy was born in Benson, Minnesota, on April 11, 1955, and raised in Murdock and Pequot Lakes. He was the first boy in his family to attend college after graduating from Pequot Lakes High School in 1975.

In 1979, he received his bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University. Four years later, he earned his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business after becoming a Certified Public Accountant.

Until he started college, he had never lived in a town with a population of more than 1,000 people. Hard work, common sense, faith in God, cooperation, and optimism were all values instilled in him by his parents.

Caree of Mark

He worked for the Pillsbury Company, one of the world’s largest grain and food producers, between 1983 and 1987, assisting in the acquisition of Häagen-Dazs and arranging financing to support their international expansion.

Between 1987 and 1992, he worked as a senior executive at Federated Department Stores, where he helped the company transform into Macy’s, the world’s largest department store and fashion goods retailer.

He was featured on the cover of Institutional Investor Magazine in May 1992, as one of “America’s top CFOs.” He was in charge of merchandising, marketing, and store management at ShopKo Stores.

In 2000, he ran for the Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District, where he faced four-term Democrat David Minge. Despite never having run for political office before, he narrowly defeated Minge by 155 votes.

Janet Robert, a lawyer and longtime Democratic activist, was his opponent. In 2002, he was reelected with 57 percent of the vote in one of Minnesota’s most expensive congressional races.

In 2002, he cast the deciding vote to give the President Fast Track Authority to negotiate international agreements that Congress could approve or disapprove but could not amend or filibuster.

He voted in favor of the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, which was passed by Congress in 2003. It resulted in the most significant changes to Medicare in the program’s 38-year history.

He supported the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which states that any physician who knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and kills a human fetus will be fined or imprisoned.

He voted for the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, which declared a child in utero to be a legal victim of any of the federal crimes of violence listed.

In 2004, he ran against Patty Wetterling, a US child safety advocate whose son had been kidnapped and never found, and won 54 percent of the popular vote to Wetterling’s 46 percent.

By slowing the growth of Medicare and Medicaid spending, changing student loan formulas, and other measures, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 saves nearly $40 billion over five years from mandatory spending programs.

His reform credentials were bolstered by his support for a lifetime ban on all members of Congress working as lobbyists, full medical expense deductibility, and Medicare Plan Enrollment Fraud Protection.

He decided to run for the United States Senate seat vacated by DFL Senator Mark Dayton in 2006. He ran against Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat who won with 58 percent of the vote to Kennedy’s 38 percent.

He co-founded the Economic Club of Minnesota (ECOM) in 2008, a nonpartisan forum for national and international business, government, and public policy leaders to share their ideas on how to improve Minnesota’s competitiveness.

He founded the Frontiers of Freedom Lecture Series at St. John’s University’s Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy in 2008 with the goal of bringing real intellectual diversity to the Center.

He founded Chartwell Strategic Advisors LLC in 2010 to provide strategic advice as well as speak at business conferences, executive education programs, and public affairs forums.

Kennedy was named Director of the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management in January 2012, with the mission of educating principled leaders who help make democracy work.

Major Projects of Mark

During the 2006 U.S. Senate race, Kennedy’s support for the Iraq War was described as “bold and smart.” The American media praised him for not avoiding the topic.

He was appointed to the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiation (ACTPN) in 2007, which looks at trade policy issues in the context of the overall national interest.

Personal History and Legacy

Mark Kennedy is happily married to Debbie Miller Kennedy, and they have four young adult children together. They spend time in both Washington, D.C., and Minnesota.

Estimated Net Worth

Mark Kennedy is one of the wealthiest politicians and one of the most popular. Mark Kennedy’s net worth is estimated to be between $1 and $5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.


This Congressman quickly made his mark in Congress, earning praise from colleagues as “one of the most effective freshmen we’ve seen in a long time” and “someone who does his homework.”
He is a member of the Watertown Lions Club, the Tri-County Toastmasters, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, and the Farm Bureau, as well as the Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor.