John Henry Hoeven III (born March 13, 1957), is the current Governor of North Dakota and a member of the North Dakota Republican Party. He has been serving as Governor since December 15, 2000, making him the longest-serving current Governor in the United States. Prior to his election to the Governor's office, Hoeven served as the President of the nation's only state-owned bank, the Bank of North Dakota, from 1993 to 2000. He polls as one of the nation's most popular governors.
John Hoeven was born in Bismarck, North Dakota, and attended Dartmouth College where he was a brother of Alpha Chi Alpha Fraternity. He then received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and was a banker in Minot, North Dakota prior to pursuing a political career. From 1993 to 2000, he was the president and CEO of the state-owned Bank of North Dakota. He sought the office of the Governor of North Dakota as a Republican in 2000, and he was elected, defeating Democrat Heidi Heitkamp by a margin of 55 to 45 percent. Hoeven's governorship has also included a number of high-profile lawsuits brought against the state on everything from water management to hunting licenses to prison abuse. In 2004, when up for re-election, Hoeven faced Democratic challenger Joe Satrom. Hoeven won re-election by a vote of 71 to 28 percent. In late 2006, the state's budget surplus rose past $600 million dollars.
As of November 2006, Hoeven is the most popular governor in the nation. His approval rating stands at 86 percent with only 10 percent disapproving. In 2007, Hoeven proposed a 24% increase in spending, effectively halving the state's $600 million surplus.
In January 2007, Hoeven became the nation's most senior governor, having been inaugurated on December 15, 2000, as established by the North Dakota Constitution. The nation's second longest serving governor is Rick Perry of Texas, who took office on December 21, 2000, when George W. Bush resigned the governorship in preparation to become president.
On September 25, 2007, Hoeven's deputy press secretary, Don Larson, announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from his job to manage the governor's re-election campaign. Another Hoeven staff member, Don Canton, said this was not a formal re-election announcement, but one would be coming later in the fall. On November 13, Governor Hoeven made his formal announcement and campaign kickoff with stops in Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Minot.
On November 4, 2008 Hoeven won re-election carrying 74% of the vote over the Democratic opponent Tim Mathern with 24% of the vote. This is the first time in North Dakota's history that any governor has won three 4 year terms in office.
Hoeven has walked a conservative line as a politician on some issues and a more moderate one on others including increasing education funding and compensation for teachers as well as increased funding on infrastructure.
Conservative stances: Gov. Hoeven believes in a Strong America, Strong National Defense and an ever Strengthening Military.
He is Pro-Life and against abortion except for cases of rape, incest, or threat to the Mother's life.
He also opposes same-sex marriage.
The governor supports decreasing access to parole for offenders and supports second amendment rights.
He opposes the Employee Free Choice Act.
He believes in health Care reform and that public health care should be provided to the elderly.
Gov. Hoeven advocates that drug control policy should be a state and not a federal issue.
That alternative fuels are a long-term solution and should be explored aggressively, as the Nation weans itself off fossil fuels and transitions to energy independence.
And that investment tax credits should be provided for farm investment which constitutes the backbone of our economy.