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Beau Biden

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Joseph R. "Beau" Biden, III
Beau Biden.gif
Attorney General of Delaware
Incumbent
In office
2007 - present
Term ends
January 6, 2015
Years in position 3
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorCarl Danberg (D)
Compensation
Base salary$145,207
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 7, 2006
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$1,208,732
Term limitsN/A
Education
High schoolArchmere Academy
Bachelor'sUniversity of Pennsylvania
J.D.Syracuse University College of Law
Personal
BirthdayFebruary 3, 1969
Place of birthWilmington, Delaware
ReligionRoman Catholic
Websites
Office website
Personal website
Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III (born February 3, 1969, in Wilmington, Delaware) is the 44th and current Democratic Attorney General of Delaware. He is the son of former-United States Senator and current Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.,[1]

As attorney general, Biden is the state's chief law officer and the head of the State Department of Justice. First elected in November 2006, Biden was sworn into office in January 2007. He won re-election in 2010, sailing through both the Democratic primary and November general election completely uncontested.

Biden's tenure thus far has been highlighted by efforts targeting sex-related crime and consumer protection.[2]

Before becoming attorney general, Biden was an attorney and partner in the Wilmington-based law firm of Bifferato, Gentilotti, Biden & Black. Prior to that, he served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney's Office.[1] From 2001 to 2002, he was interim legal adviser for the U.S. Department of Justice in Kosovo.[3]

A major in the Delaware Army National Guard's Judge Advocate General's Corps, Biden was deployed to Iraq in October 2008--just before his father was elected as Vice President and midway through his first term as attorney general. The 12 month long deployment forced Biden to temporarily cede many of his official duties to his deputy attorney general, but he was fully restored to the office upon his return from Iraq in the fall of 2009.

At one point in the wake of the 2008 presidential election, Beau was considered the frontrunner to fill the vacancy in the United States Senate left behind by his father. However, either due to concerns over accusations of nepotism or an expressed unwillingness to be thrust onto the national political stage so quickly, Beau took his name out of the running and opted instead to fulfill his duties in the Delaware National Guard.[4]

Biden's second term as state attorney general will expire on January 6, 2015. Despite being eligible to seek re-election in November 2014, Biden announced in April 2014 that he would forgo a possible third term in order to focus his sights on the open 2016 governor's race. A rising star in the Democratic Party on the state and national level, Biden had long been considered a potential contender to succeed incumbent Gov. Jack Markell (D) when the latter reaches his two-term limit.[5][6][7]

Biography

Biden was born and raised in Delaware. Tragedy struck the Biden family early in Beau's life, when he and his brother Hunter were badly injured in the automobile accident in 1972 that claimed the lives of their mother, Neilia, and younger sister, Naomi Christina Biden.

Biden received his J.D. from Syracuse University's College of Law. He forfeited opportunities to enter the private sector immediately following graduation in favor of a two year clerkship for the United States District Court in New Hampshire. Biden then moved to Philadelphia, where he had previously lived as an undergraduate attending the University of Pennsylvania, to join the United States Department of Justice. There, he served as Counsel in the Office of Policy Development, specializing in gun control and women's rights laws, as well as issues related to child protection.[1]

Biden became a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney's Office in 1997, remaining there until 2004, when he returned to the private sector as a partner in the Wilmington-based law firm of Bifferato, Gentilotti, Biden & Black.[1]

In August 2003, he was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in Delaware's National Guard’s 261st Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, and his unit was activated for a 12 month deployment to Iraq in October 2008, right before his father was elected to the Vice Presidency. Biden, now a major in the Delaware Army National Guard's Judge Advocate General's Corps, returned from Iraq in late 2009.

Biden has served on the boards of directors for the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, Wilmington Housing Partnership, and World Affairs Council of Wilmington.

Education

  • Graduated from Archmere Academy
  • Bachelor's degree, University of Pennsylvania
  • Juris Doctorate degree, Syracuse University College of Law

Political career

Attorney General (2007-Present)

Biden took office as Delaware's 44th Attorney General in January 2007.[8]

Prison criticism

Upon return from his active tour of duty in Iraq, Biden found his office in the midst of a startling prison scandal and conducting damage control in the form of silencing his office's critics. The controversy began when Dover attorney Steve Hampton, who had taken on a number of inmate's cases in several scandals that occurred within the state of Delaware's prison system, successfully sued the Department of Corrections (DOC) for 'gross medical neglect' in the death of twenty-two year old Anthony Pierce. Pierce, an inmate at the Sussex Correctional Institution (SCI), was known as the 'brother with two heads' because of the massive brain tumor growing on his head. The tumor, which was left untreated by the prison medical staff, eventually killed him in 2002.

A series of investigations conducted on behalf of the Caesar Rodney Institute, called "Rogue Force", revealed ongoing problems with the prison medical care, in addition to accusations of physical abuse by a handful of guards at SCI. “There is an abusive atmosphere at SCI that permeates the whole place,” Hampton told the Caesar Rodney Institute for the series. “They have a hands-off attitude about the number of use-of-force incidents. It just isn’t important to them." Depositions obtained by Hampton from several guards at the Delaware prison facility while investigating an assault of a prison inmate named David Kalm "revealed that the DOC is breaking its promise to the federal government, in which it agreed to provide specific training to the guard force, as part of the federal Memorandum of Agreement between the DOC and the U.S. Department of Justice."[9] The DOC signed the agreement in 2005 rather than risk litigation in federal court, following another case of poor medical care. Lawmakers appealed for federal investigation of the state’s prison system.

Senate candidacy

At one point in the wake of the Democratic victory for senator Barack Obama and Joe Biden in the 2008 presidential election, Beau was considered the frontrunner to fill the vacancy in the United States Senate left behind by his father. However, either due to concerns over accusations of nepotism or an expressed unwillingness to be thrust onto the national political stage so quickly, Beau took his name out of the running and opted instead to fulfill his duties in the Delaware National Guard.[10]

The appointment of Ted Kaufmann, a long-time Joe Biden aide, as interim senator and his declaration not to run for election to the office in November 2010 angered not only Republicans, both statewide and nationally, but Democrats as well who "viewed it as an attempt to orchestrate Biden's election in 2010."[11] Harry F. Themal, columnist for The News Journal, related a conversation he had with the Vice President suggesting he was asked to pressure Biden's son to run for his United States Senate seat.[12] Shortly thereafter, the vice president's office demanded a correction insisting "that he told Themal to get Kaufman to run for the seat," despite the interim senator's earlier declaration that he would not.[13] This fueled speculation that Biden's son was not going to run. The next day, those speculations were confirmed when "the younger Biden told supporters in an email Monday that he will run for re-election as attorney general rather than seek the Democratic nomination for Senate."[14]

The same day as Beau Biden's announcement, Robert Cook, an American political analyst, immediately designated the Delaware Senate seat as Solid Republican for the November 2010 midterm election.[15]

Elections

2016

Biden has declared his intention to run for Governor of Delaware in 2016. The office is currently held by Jack Markell, a Democrat first elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2012. Markell will have to leave office after completing his second term due to the lifetime two-term limit law Delaware imposes on its governors and lieutenant governors.

2014

See also: Delaware attorney general election, 2014

Though eligible for re-election as attorney general the 2014 elections, Biden has opted not to pursue a third term in light of plans to run for governor in 2016.

"After careful consideration, I have concluded that it is not right to ask for your support in 2014, knowing that my focus would be divided between doing my job as Attorney General while at the same time running as a candidate for Governor," Biden explained in an April 17 statement posted to his campaign website.[5]

Biden's declaration of candidacy for the 2016 gubernatorial race was a long-anticipated move for the twice-elected attorney general, who has been called an "emerging star" in the Democratic Party. The governor's seat currently held by Jack Markell (D) will be open in 2016 as Markell is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election a third time.[16]


2010

See also: Delaware Attorney General election, 2010
  • 2010 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary and General Election
    • Beau Biden ran unopposed in both these contests

2006

  • 2006 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary
    • Beau Biden ran unopposed in this contest
2006 Race for Attorney General - General Election[17]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Beau Biden 52.6%
     Republican Party Ferris Wharton 47.4%
Total Votes 253,214

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Biden is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Biden raised a total of $1,208,732 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 8, 2013.[18]

Beau Biden's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Attorney General of Delaware Not up for election $159,019
2010 Attorney General of Delaware Won $7,744
2008 Attorney General of Delaware Not up for election $161,447
2006 Attorney General of Delaware Won $880,522
Grand Total Raised $1,208,732

2006 and 2010

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Beau Biden's donors each year.[19] Click [show] for more information.



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Personal

Biden currently resides in Wilmington, Delaware with his wife, Hallie, and their two children - Natalie and Hunter. He is also a practicing Roman Catholic.[20]

See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Beau Biden, "Biography of Beau Biden," accessed February 3, 2012
  2. Governing, "The 2013-2014 Attorneys General Races: Who's Not Vulnerable?," March 21, 2013
  3. Office of the Delaware Attorney General, "Attorney General Biography," accessed August 8, 2011
  4. Reuters "Aide named to replace Biden in Senate" 24 Nov. 2008
  5. 5.0 5.1 Beau Biden for Attorney General official website, "Splash page," accessed April 18, 2014
  6. NBC.com, "VP Biden's Son to Run for Delaware Governor," April 17, 2014
  7. RealClearPolitics, "Is Beau Biden Democrats' Next Emerging Star?," November 9, 2012
  8. Delaware Attorney General's Office "Biography" Accessed October 3, 2012
  9. Caesar Rodney Institute "Attorney General Beau Biden’s Office trying to silence prison critic" 2009
  10. Reuters "Aide named to replace Biden in Senate" 24 Nov. 2008
  11. The Prince Albert Daily Herald "Kennedy, Cuomo, Biden -- nepotism thriving in American politics" 9 Dec. 2008
  12. The News Journal "VP Biden on the Senate's "lamentable atmosphere"" 24 Jan. 2010
  13. Hot Air "Biden officially drops out of DE Senate race" 25 Jan. 2010
  14. Houston Chronicle "Vice president's son decides not to run for Senate" 25 Jan. 2010
  15. The Cook Report "2010 Senate Race Ratings" 25 Jan. 2010
  16. RealClearPolitics, "Is Beau Biden Democrats' Next Emerging Star?," November 9, 2012
  17. State of Delaware: Commissioner of Elections - 2006 General Election Results
  18. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Joseph R. Biden III," accessed July 8, 2013
  19. Follow the Money.org
  20. Attorney General of Delaware, "AG bio," accessed February 3, 2012


Political offices
Preceded by
Carl Danberg (D)
Delaware Attorney General
2007–present
Succeeded by
NA