Janet Howell

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Janet Howell
Janet Howell.jpg
Virginia Senate District 32
In office
1991 - Present
Term ends
January 11, 2016
Years in position 24
Base salary$18,000/year
Per diem$180/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 8, 2011
First elected1991
Next generalNovember 3, 2015
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sOberlin College
Master'sUniversity of Pennsylvania
Date of birth05/07/1944
Place of birthWashington, DC
Office website
Campaign website
Janet D. Howell was a Democratic member of the Virginia State Senate, representing District 32. She was first elected to the chamber in 1991.


Howell received a B.A. at Oberlin College and M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania.

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Howell served on the following committees:

Virginia Committee Assignments, 2015
Courts of Justice
Education and Health
Privileges and Elections

2014 legislative session

In the 2014 legislative session, Howell served on the following committees:


In the 2012-2013 legislative session, Howell served on the following committees:


In the 2010-2011 legislative session, Howell served on the following committees:


Campaign themes


Howell's website highlighted the following campaign themes:

  • Children and Families
Excerpt: "Among her many accomplishments for children and families, Janet authored the legislation to set up the nation’s first online sexual predator registry. She headed the Commission to Prevent Family Violence that totally overhauled Virginia’s response to family violence."
  • Quality Education
Excerpt: "As a former public school teacher and PTA leader, Janet fights to improve Virginia's public schools and universities by reducing class size, hiring and retaining the best and brightest teachers, and securing funding for new facilities and programs."
  • Equitable Taxes
Excerpt: "Janet has succeeded in reducing taxes on cars, food, taxpayers 62 and older, over-the-counter medicines and non-profit organizations."
  • Transportation
Excerpt: "Janet is fighting to balance our region's growth and its infrastructure. She has implemented ingenious methods of funding transportation at low cost to taxpayers."
  • Job Creation
Excerpt: "Janet works with business leaders to assure our region's economic vitality. She is called "the Technology Senator" and has received more awards from that industry than any other legislator."
  • Personal Decisions
Excerpt: "Janet believes government has no business in personal, family decisions. End-of-life decisions are best made by families and doctors without government interference. Janet strongly defends a woman's right to choose."

Ethics committee

In January 2014, Howell assumed control of the Privileges and Elections Committee, which reviews ethics legislation. "We have to beef (ethics) up in Virginia," Howell said in an interview. "We have found out the hard way you just can’t trust people." Howell came under fire in 2013 when she warned the Northern Virginia Technology Council PAC against endorsing Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.[1]



See also: Virginia State Senate elections, 2011

On November 8, 2011, Howell won re-election to District 32 of the Virginia State Senate. She was unchallenged in the August 23 primary and defeated Patrick Forrest in the November 8 general election.[2]

Virginia State Senate, District 32 General Election, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJanet Howell Incumbent 60.3% 26,026
     Republican Patrick Forrest 39.7% 17,122
Total Votes 43,148


See also: Virginia State Senate elections, 2007

On November 6, 2007, Howell won re-election to the 32nd District Seat in the Virginia State Senate.[3]

Howell raised $241,951 for her campaign.[4]

Virginia State Senate, District 32 (2007)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Janet Howell (D) 28,089 97.17%
Write-in 818 2.82%

Campaign donors


In 2011, Howell received $548,304 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[5]

Virginia State Senate 2011 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Janet Howell's campaign in 2011
Virginia Democratic Party$169,279
Virginia Hospital Association$14,500
Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association$10,029
Virginia Dental Association$7,500
Total Raised in 2011 $548,304
Total Votes received in 2011 26,026
Cost of each vote received $21.07


Below are Howell's top five campaign contributors in the 2007 election:

Contributor 2007 total
Suzann W. Matthews $15,000
Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association $7,500
Dominion (Energy & Natural Resources) $7,500
MVM Inc. (Security) $5,000
Oracle (Electronics) $4,000


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Virginia

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Virginia scorecards, email suggestions to scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2014, the Virginia General Assembly was in session from January 8 through March 10. In 2015, the Virginia General Assembly will be in session from January 14 to February 28, 2015.

  • Legislators are scored based on their support of pro-business issues during the 2014 legislative session.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on environmental and conservation issues.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on business and quality of life issues.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on bills that VMA introduced or was part of an coalition that introduced it.


In 2012, the Virginia General Assembly was in regular session from January 11 to March 10. In 2013, the Virginia General Assembly was in session from January 9 to February 25.

  • Legislators are scored based on their voting record on Reproductive Health and Rights.
  • Legislators are scored based on important legislation affecting business and industry.
  • Legislators are scored based on their voting record on the issue of equality.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key conservative issues.
  • Legislators are scored on their voting record on the issues of the principles of life, marriage, parental authority, constitutional government and religious liberty.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on environmental and conservation issues.


Howell was born in Washington, D.C. on May 7, 1944.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Virginia Senate District 32
Succeeded by