Christopher Donovan

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Christopher Donovan
Christopher Donovan.jpg
Connecticut House of Representatives, District 84
Former officeholder
In office
1993 - January 5, 2013
Base salary$28,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First elected1992
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sVillanova University
Master'sUniversity of Connecticut School of Social Work, 1980
Office website
Campaign website
Christopher Donovan campaign logo
Christopher Donovan was a Democratic member of the Connecticut House of Representatives. He represented the 84th District from 1993 to 2013 and served as State Speaker of the House.

Donovan ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Connecticut's 5th District. Donovan sought the nomination on the Democratic ticket.[1] Donovan was defeated by Elizabeth Esty in the Democratic primary on August 14, 2012.[2]



  • Villanova University, degree in Biology
  • 1980:University of Connecticut School of Social Work, Master’s Degree in Social Work


Donovan has been a labor representative with the Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges, Connecticut Citizen's Action Group, Service Employees International Union, and Adjunct Faculty Member in Political Science/Sociology at the University of Hartford.

He is a member of the Collegiate Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons Advisory Board, and School of Social Work Advisory Committee at the University of Connecticut.[4]

Role as speaker

As the Speaker of the House, Donovan supervised a staff that includes Douglas Whiting, whose role is to serve as the head of public relations for the Speaker. Whiting earns $162,850,50/year in this role, making him one of the 1,128 state employees in Connecticut who earn more than Gov. Dan Malloy.[5][5][6]

Committee assignments


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Donovan served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Donovan served on these committees:



See also: Connecticut's 5th Congressional District elections, 2012

Donovan ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Connecticut's 5th District. Donovan was defeated by Elizabeth Esty in the Democratic primary on August 14, 2012.[2][7]

Following the Democratic primary on August 14, 2012, in which Elizabeth Esty defeated Donovan, the endorsed candidate of the Democratic party, discussion speculated on whether Donovan would choose to still run against Esty in the general election as the Working Families Party nominee.[8] However, in late August 2012 discussion began between Donovan, Esty, and the Working Families Party over whether Esty might pick up the nomination of the party, preventing division amongst the Democratic party that might give way to a win by Republican nominee Andrew Roraback in the general election.

While Donovan was endorsed by the Democratic party and was the frontrunner for most of the campaign, an investigation by the FBI close to the primary hurt his chances in the primary. Two of Donovan's staff members were among eight people arrested and were immediately fired and replaced after a sting operation by the FBI in which the staffers were allegedly accepting campaign contributions from straw donors.[8] Although Donovan was not implicated and an investigation paid for by the campaign cleared him of having any knowledge of wrongdoing, it was enough to derail his campaign.[8]

Esty picked up endorsements in August 2012 from the Connecticut AFL-CIO and Governor Dan Malloy (D).[9]

Connecticut's 5th Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngElizabeth Esty 44.5% 12,679
Chris Donovan 32.4% 9,215
Dan Roberti 23.1% 6,584
Total Votes 28,478


Donovan received the endorsement of the Connecticut AFL-CIO on June 26, 2012.[10]

Donovan also received endorsements from:

  • Connecticut Democratic Party
  • Secretary of State Denise Merrill,
  • Comptroller Kevin Lembo
  • Former 5th District Representative Jim Maloney
  • Congressman and Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Raul Grijalva
  • Congresswoman and Vice Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Chellie Pingree
  • Connecticut Working Families Party
  • Connecticut Citizen Action Group
  • Progressive Change Campaign Committee
  • Blue America
  • SEIU CT State Council
  • Connecticut State Police Union
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 478
  • Sheet Metal Workers Local 40, AFT Connecticut
  • AFSCME Council 4
  • AFSCME Council 15 – the Connecticut Council of Police
  • Connecticut Education Association
  • Connecticut State Council of Machinists
  • Connecticut Carpenters
  • IAFF – Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut
  • United Auto Workers Region 9A
  • Connecticut Laborers District Council
  • United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 777


See also: Connecticut House of Representatives elections, 2010

Donovan ran for re-election to the 84th District seat in 2010. He defeated Allan E. Pronovost (R), Ben C. Wojan (G), and We the People candidate David Parian in the November 2 general election.

Connecticut House of Representatives, District 84 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Christopher Donovan (D) 2,285
Allan E. Pronovost (R) 925
David Parian (We the People) 58
Ben C. Wojan (G) 44


On November 4, 2008, Donovan won re-election to the Connecticut House of Representatives from Connecticut's 84th District, defeating Joseph Moller (R). Donovan received 4,345 votes in the election while Moller received 908 votes.[11] Donovan raised $32,173 for his campaign.[12]

Connecticut House of Representatives, District 84
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Christopher Donovan (D) 4,345
Joseph Moller (R) 908

Campaign donors


In 2010, Donovan raised $29,487 in contributions.[13]

His largest contributor was the Public Fund, which donated $24,014 to his campaign.


Listed below is the largest contributor to Christopher Donovan's 2008 campaign.

Donor Amount
Public Fund $24,331


Yankee Institute's Voter Guide

See also: Yankee Institute's Voter Guide

The Yankee Institute, a pro-market think tank, releases its Voter Guide after each two-year legislative term. Each member of the Connecticut General Assembly receives a score from 0 to 10 based on how he or she voted in ten key votes. The Institute selects key votes which "reveal the differences between those legislators that would harness the power of individual liberty and the market to improve lives, and those that prefer a centrally-planned approach." A legislator with a 10 voted in agreement with the Yankee Institute on all 10 votes, while a legislator with a 0 voted against the Yankee Institute's views or was absent for all 10 votes.[14]


Donovan received a score of 0 on the Yankee Institute's Voter Guide for 2011-12, tied with 72 others for the lowest score among the 152 scored members of the Connecticut House of Representatives. This score was 2 lower than his score of 2 for the 2009-10 term.[14]


Donovan lives in Meriden with his wife, Elaine Gallen Donovan. They have a daughter, Sarah, and a son, Aaron.[3]

Recent news

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Political offices
Preceded by
Connecticut State House District 84
Succeeded by
Hilda E. Santiago (D)