John Edwards owned his own law firm in Raleigh, North Carolina called Edwards & Kirby along with his best friend from college and business partner. Edwards ran for The United States Senate in 1998 as a member of the Democratic party in the North Carolina U.S. Senate race and was elected for the 6 year North Carolina U.S. Senate term from January of 1999 to January of 2005.
In 2002, the first term Democratic US Senator from North Carolina announced his candidacy for the 2004 US Democratic Presidential nomination. Edwards finished second in the 2004 Democratic Presidential nomination process to Massachusetts Senator John Forbes Kerry. Due to his strong showing in the 2004 Democratic Presidential election primaries he was chosen by Senator Kerry to be his running mate on the 2004 US Democratic ticket for the US Presidency.