Brian Higgins

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Brian Higgins
Brian Higgins.JPG
U.S. House, New York, District 26
Incumbent
In office
January 3, 2005-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 9
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorKathy Hochul (D)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2004
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$4,788,556
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
New York State Assembly
1999-2004
Buffalo Common Council
1988-1994
Education
Bachelor'sBuffalo State College
Master'sBuffalo State College, Harvard University
Personal
BirthdayOctober 6, 1959
Place of birthBuffalo, New York
ProfessionCollege Lecturer, Politician
Net worth$130,006
ReligionRoman Catholic
Websites
Office website
Brian Higgins (b. October 6, 1959) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing New York's 26th congressional district. Higgins was first elected to the House in 2004 and is currently serving his fifth consecutive term, having won re-election on November 6, 2012. Before redistricting in 2012 Higgins had previously served the 28th district.

Higgins is set to run for re-election in New York's 26th congressional district in the general election on November 4, 2014.[1]

Prior to being elected to the House Higgins was a member of the Buffalo Common Council and the New York State Assembly, he also served as an instructor in the History and Economics Departments at Buffalo State College.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Higgins is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.

Biography

Higgins was born in Buffalo, New York. He earned a B.A. from Buffalo State College in 1984, an M.A. in 1985, and an M.P.A. from Harvard University in 1996.[2]

Career

Higgins was an instructor in the History and Economics departments at Buffalo State College, where he previously earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science, before serving in public office.[1]

Committee assignments

U.S. House

2013-2014

Higgins serves on the following committees:[3]

  • Committee on Foreign Affairs
    • Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa
    • Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats
  • Committee on Homeland Security
    • Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications
    • Subcommittee on Counterterriorism and Intelligence - Ranking Member

2011-2012

Higgins served on the following committees:[4]

Issues

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Higgins voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of 172 Democrats that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[6]

Elections

2012

See also: New York's 26th congressional district elections, 2012

Higgins won re-election in 2012, and due to New York's redistricting, he ran in the newly redrawn 26th district.[7] He was unopposed in the Democratic and Working Families Party primaries and defeated Michael Madigan (R) in the November 6, 2012, general election.[8][9]

U.S. House, New York District 26 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Higgins Incumbent 69.7% 212,588
     Republican Michael Madigan 23.5% 71,666
     N/A Blank/Void/Scattering 6.8% 20,707
Total Votes 304,961
Source: New York State Board of Elections "U.S. House of Representatives Results"

Full history


Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Higgins is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Higgins raised a total of $4,788,556 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 23, 2013.[14]

Brian Higgins's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 27) Won $1,113,936
2008 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 27) Won $1,088,825
2006 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 27) Won $1,227,884
2004 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 27) Won $1,357,911
Grand Total Raised $4,788,556

Individual breakdown

2012

Breakdown of the source of Higgins' campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Higgins won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Higgins' campaign committee raised a total of $1,091,162 and spent $1,031,410.[15]

2010

Breakdown of the source of Higgins' campaign funds before the 2010 election.
Higgins was re-elected to the U.S. House in 2010 for a fourth term. His campaign committee raised a total of $1,113,936 and spent $1,350,836.[16]
U.S. House of Representatives, New York's 26th Congressional District, 2010 - Brian Higgins Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $1,113,936
Total Spent $1,350,836
Total Raised by General Election Opponent $149,996
Total Spent by General Election Opponent $149,735
Top contributors to Brian Higgins's campaign committee
National Assn of Realtors$11,000
Taurus Capital Partners$10,600
American Assn for Justice$10,000
Bricklayers Union$10,000
Finmeccanica SpA$10,000
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$85,450
Health Professionals$52,050
Securities & Investment$45,150
Real Estate$43,350
Building Trade Unions$41,000

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Rep. Higgins is a "rank-and-file Democrat" as of June 21, 2013.[17]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Higgins missed 294 of 6,453 roll call votes from Jan 2005 to Apr 2013, which is 4.6% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving. [18]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Higgins paid his congressional staff a total of $1,168,721 in 2011. Overall, New York ranked 28th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[19]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Higgins is one of nearly 25% of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Higgins's staff was given an apparent $3,000.00 in bonus money.[20]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

2011

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Higgins' net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $3,013 to $256,999. That averages to $130,006, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic House members in 2011 of $5,107,874. His average net worth decreased by 10.96% from 2010.[21]

2010

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Higgins' net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $16,011 to $275,999. Averaging to a net worth of $146,005 which was lower than the average net worth of Democrats in 2010 of $4,465,875.[22]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

2012

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of congress voted in the previous year. Higgins tied with one other member of the U.S. House of Representatives, ranking 133rd in the liberal rankings among members of the U.S. House.[23]

2011

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of congress voted in the previous year. Higgins ranked 148th in the liberal rankings among members of the U.S. House.[24]

Percentage voting with party

June 2013

Brian Higgins voted with the Democratic Party 92.5% of the time, which ranked 114th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[25]

Personal

Higgins, his wife Mary Jane, and their two children, John and Maeve, reside in South Buffalo, New York.[26]
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