Claire Conner McCaskill (/m??kæsk?l/; born July 24, 1953) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who serves as the senior United States Senator from Missouri. The first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Missouri in her own right, she defeated Republican incumbent Jim Talent in the 2006 election, by a margin of 49.6% to 47.3%. She became the state's senior U.S. Senator upon the retirement of Kit Bond in 2011 and won a bid for re-election in 2012, defeating Republican Todd Akin by a margin of 54.7% to 39.2%.Before her election to the U.S. Senate, McCaskill served as State Auditor of Missouri from 1999 to 2007. She previously served as Jackson County Prosecutor from 1993 to 1998 and as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives from 1983 to 1989. She ran for Governor of Missouri in the 2004 election, beating Democratic incumbent Bob Holden in the primary election but losing to Republican Matt Blunt in a close general election. A native of Rolla, she graduated from the University of Missouri and studied at Georgetown University.In the U.S. Senate, McCaskill serves as a member of the Committee on Armed Services, Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Special Committee on Aging. She chairs the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight.