Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Scott Kleeb ’06PhD

He rode bulls for the rodeo team in college. He’s worked off and on as a ranch hand in his home state of Nebraska. And he logged 65,000 miles in a pickup truck researching his PhD dissertation on western ranches in the 19th century. So despite his Yale doctorate and his job teaching history at Hastings College, Scott Kleeb ’06PhD comes by those Marlboro-man photos on his campaign website naturally.

On Tuesday, Kleeb, who is 32, won the Democratic nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat from Nebraska, winning 69 percent of the vote against businessman Tony Raimondo. In November, he’ll face Republican former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns. In this heavily Republican state, Johanns is the current favorite. But Kleeb (pronounced “klebb”), who ran unsuccessfully for the House in 2006, is heeding the advice of his Yale adviser, history professor John Lewis Gaddis, who told Kleeb in 2004 that Democrats had to become more competitive in red states in order to win national elections. “I had no idea he’d take me seriously,” Gaddis told the Kearney Hub.

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