Gwen Graham

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Gwen Graham
Official Congressional Portrait of Gwen Graham (FL-02).jpg
U.S. House, Florida, District 2
Incumbent
In office
January 3, 2015 - Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 0
PartyDemocratic
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Gwen Graham is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing Florida's 2nd Congressional District. In the 2014 election she defeated incumbent Steve Southerland II (R) to win election to the seat.[1] [2]

Graham is the daughter of former Florida Gov. Bob Graham.[3]

Career

Below is an abbreviated outline of Graham's academic, professional and political career:[4]

  • 1984: Graduated from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a B.A.
  • 1988: Graduated from American University with a J.D.
  • 2015-Present: U.S. Representative, Florida's 2nd Congressional District

Issues

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Graham urged Steve Southerland II to donate his congressional salary to charity until a budget was passed to keep the government open.[5]

She said, "I think that would be the right statement to make, when literally hundreds of thousands of Americans aren’t being paid. Southerland talks about special benefits not being available for members of Congress, and it is special to be able to behave like children and still keep their jobs."[5]

Graham described the shutdown as a “human disaster,” citing it as a budgetary issue and not an issue with the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare.[5]

“People are fed up with Congress acting like children. We need to fund the government and get the doors back open, get the parks back open and get the people back to work.”[5]

Campaign themes

2014

Graham's campaign website listed the following issues:[6]

  • The Graham Economic Plan: "We are fortunate to have some amazing economic resources in our community that can help create good-paying jobs. From the military instillations in the second district to the miles of coastline that provide agricultural and tourism work, our area has many unique industries and small businesses that just need Congress to stop playing games so that they can do their work."
  • Lowering Health Care Costs and Fixing Obamacare: "We should be focused on cutting costs and working to fix the problems in the Affordable Care Act to better serve patients. There were many important protections included in the law like preventing discrimination based on gender or preexisting conditions and increasing access to preventative care like breast cancer screenings, but the implementation of the law has been a disaster. The bottom line: Republicans are only focused on totally repealing the law, and Democrats are refusing to make the changes North Florida needs."
  • Medicare & Social Security: Commitments We Must Keep: "Our seniors have worked hard and paid into Medicare and Social Security their entire lives – they deserve to have their benefits protected. We can’t let partisan squabbles get in the way of keeping this promise our parents and grandparents have earned, and I refuse to support any budget that would jeopardize these vital programs through plans like privatization. We must protect and preserve Medicare and Social Security – both for seniors today, and for the next generation."
  • Supporting Veterans and our Military: "As service member transition out of the military, we must do more to support their efforts to find good-paying jobs, connecting the private sector with some of the best talent possibly available. And most importantly, our veterans should never have to worry about their healthcare or the other benefits they’ve earned being jeopardized or delayed because of Washington politics or another government shutdown."
  • Budget Policies to Help Grow Our Economy: "Our economy is beginning to show signs of recovery, but the wrong priorities, reckless Washington politics and government shutdowns are standing in the way. It’s time to bring both sides together and go line by line to cut waste, fraud, and abuse to make government do more with less and balance the budget – just like North Florida families and businesses do."

[7]

—Gwen Graham's campaign website, https://www.gwengraham.com/graham-economic-plan/

Elections

2014

SimmeringRace.jpg
See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Florida, 2014

Graham won election to the U.S. House, representing the 2nd Congressional District of Florida. Graham ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination in the primary. She went on to defeat incumbent Steve Southerland II in the general election on November 4, 2014.[1][2]

Graham was a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Jumpstart program, which was designed to provide early support to top-tier Democratic challengers.[8]

The Jumpstart program set out to “provide early financial, communications, operational and strategic support to help top-tier Representative-elects get a head start in these highly-targeted races,” according to a memo sent to donors and supporters.[3]

U.S. House, Florida District 2 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngGwen Graham 50.5% 126,096
     Republican Steve Southerland Incumbent 49.3% 123,262
     Write-in Luther Lee 0.2% 422
Total Votes 249,780
Source: Florida Division of Elections

Endorsements

Graham was endorsed by the Blue Dog PAC on February 25, 2014.[9]

She also received endorsements from:

Media


NRCC's August 2014 ad, "The DC Way."

NRCC

See also: National Republican Congressional Committee

The National Republican Congressional Committee released an ad, "The DC Way," attacking Graham on August 12, 2014.[18]

“Gwen Graham is trying to deceive voters into thinking she is focused on North Florida. In reality, Gwen has taken thousands of dollars from Nancy Pelosi and has promised to be complacent in the battle against bad policies like Obamacare. One thing is very clear – Gwen Graham’s liberal politics are not the North Florida way,” said NRCC spokeswoman Katie Prill.[18]

Campaign donors

2014

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Graham's reports.[19]

Gwen Graham (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July Quarterly[20]July 15, 2013$0.00$377,448.96$(73,492.79)$303,956.17
October Quarterly[21]October 15, 2013$303,956.17$453,159.84$(91,128.09)$665,987.92
Year End[22]January 31, 2014$665,987$474,779$(91,262)$1,049,504
April Quarterly[23]April 15, 2014$1,049,504$485,258$(120,480)$1,414,282
July Quarterly[24]July 15, 2014$1,414,282$563,575$(403,337)$1,574,520
Pre-Primary[25]August 14, 2014$1,574,520$212,977$(318,870)$1,468,627
October Quarterly[26]October 15, 2014$1,468,627$608,020$(1,444,476)$632,171
Running totals
$3,175,217.8$(2,543,045.88)

Personal

Graham is the daughter of former Florida Gov. Bob Graham.[3]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Miami Herald, "In daughter's Congress bid, Bob Graham co-host's big-name fundraiser at Brian Ballard home," accessed May 10, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Huffington Post, "Election 2014," November 4, 2014
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named dccc
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "GRAHAM, Gwendolyn (Gwen), (1963 - )," accessed January 21, 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 News Herald, "Southerland: Shutdown fight a ‘moral issue’," accessed October 7, 2013
  6. Campaign website, "North FL Values," accessed October 23, 2014
  7. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  8. Roll Call;, "Democrats Launch New Program for House Recruits," May 9, 2013
  9. Washington Post, "Centrist Dem ‘Blue Dogs’ endorse trio of House Representative-elects," accessed February 26, 2014
  10. WCTV, "Senator Bill Nelson Endorses Gwen Graham for Congress," accessed August 13, 2014
  11. Emily's List, "Gwen Graham," accessed August 13, 2014 (dead link)
  12. 4D PAC, "4D PAC Endorses Gwen Graham for Congress in FL-02," accessed August 13, 2014
  13. News Herald, "Firefighters union endorses Gwen Graham," accessed August 13, 2014
  14. Team LPAC, "2014 endorsements," accessed August 13, 2014
  15. Tallahassee.com, "Gwen Graham to get NEA endorsement," accessed August 13, 2014
  16. Florida AFL CIO, "Endorsements," accessed August 13, 2014
  17. Committee for a Livable Future, "Representative-elects," accessed August 13, 2014 (dead link)
  18. 18.0 18.1 NRCC, "NRCC Releases New TV Ad Hitting Gwen Graham," accessed August 13, 2014
  19. Federal Election Commission, "Gwen Graham 2014 Summary reports," accessed November 4, 2013
  20. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly" accessed July 29, 2013
  21. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed November 4, 2013
  22. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 19, 2014
  23. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 28, 2014
  24. Federal Election Commission, "Gwen Graham July Quarterly," accessed September 30, 2014
  25. Federal Election Commission, "Gwen Graham Pre-Primary," accessed September 30, 2014
  26. Federal Election Commission, "Gwen Graham October Quarterly," accessed October 22, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Steve Southerland II
U.S. House - Florida District 2
2015-Present
Succeeded by
NA