Notable Democratic senators as of 2015 include Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Al Franken of Minnesota and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. These senators have achieved national status both for their work in the Senate and for activities outside the Senate.
Warren came into national prominence after an academic career when her book "The Two-Income Trap" was featured on national talk shows and became a must-read for Democratic politicians. In 2008, she was appointed to serve on a congressional oversight panel that was charged with monitoring how federal relief money meant to alleviate the recession was spent. Her prominence continued to grow, and in 2012, she was elected to the Senate, where she has continued her work challenging the influence of Wall Street institutions in the crafting of financial legislation.
Franken had a very successful career as a comedian, author and radio talk show host before he was elected to the Senate in 2008. In the Senate, he has focused on issues such as improving health care, reforming Wall Street and preserving privacy rights for all Americans.
Sanders served in the Senate beginning in 2007, winning his re-election bid in 2012 with 71 percent of the vote. Before his stint in the Senate, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives and as mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Although officially registered as an independent, Sanders caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, and in 2015 declared his bid for the presidency in 2016 in the Democratic Party.