Difference between revisions of "Suzan DelBene"

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In a largely self-funded campaign, DelBene challenged [[Dave Reichert]] in 2010. Reichert defeated DelBene on November 2, 2010.<ref name="st"/><ref>[http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo/2010election.pdf ''U.S. Congress House Clerk'' "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"]</ref>
In a largely self-funded campaign, DelBene challenged [[Dave Reichert]] in 2010. Reichert defeated DelBene on November 2, 2010.<ref name="st"/><ref>[http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo/2010election.pdf ''U.S. Congress House Clerk'', "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"]</ref>
{{Election box 2010
{{Election box 2010

Revision as of 07:42, 28 April 2014

Suzan DelBene
Suzan DelBene.png
U.S. House, Washington, District 1
In office
November 13, 2012-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 3
PredecessorJay Inslee (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next primaryAugust 5, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$4,420,726
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sReed College
Master'sUniversity of Washington
Date of birthFebruary 17, 1963
Place of birthSelma, Alabama
Net worth$54,251,531.50
Office website
Campaign website
Suzan DelBene (b. February 17, 1963, in Selma, Alabama) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing Washington's 1st Congressional District. DelBene was first elected in 2012 to complete Jay Inslee's term, after Inslee resigned to run for Governor of Washington.[1][2]

DelBene ran for re-election in Washington's 1st Congressional District in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Prior to her congressional career, DelBene was vice-president of the Microsoft Corporation.[3]

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

Committee assignments

U.S. House


DelBene serves on the following committees:[4]

  • Committee on Agriculture
    • Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry
    • Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture
  • Committee on Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet
    • Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law


The following is an abbreviated list of DelBene's professional and political career:[5]

  • 1989-1998:Director of marketing and business development, Microsoft
  • 1998-2000:Vice-President, drugstore.com
  • 2000-2003:CEO, Nimble Technology
  • 2004-2007:Vice-president, Microsoft
  • 2008-2009:Consultant, Global Partnerships
  • 2010-2012:Director, Washington State Department of Revenue
  • 2012-Present: U.S. House of Representatives, Washington District 1


Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[6] For more information pertaining to DelBene's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[7]

National security


Voted "Yes" DelBene voted in support of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[8]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "No" DelBene voted in opposition of HR 2217 - the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[8]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "Yes" DelBene voted in favor of House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[8]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "No" DelBene voted in opposition of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[9] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[8]


Farm bill

Yea3.png On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[10] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[11][12] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[12] DelBene voted with 88 other Democratic representatives in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[13][14] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[14] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[15] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, and the protection of the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. DelBene joined with the majority of the Democratic party and voted in favor of the bill.[13][14]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013#Government Shutdown and Default Prevention Act

Voted "No" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[16] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[17] DelBene voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[18]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[19] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. DelBene voted for HR 2775.[20]

In a statement released October 1, 2013, DelBene said, “For as long as this unnecessary shutdown occurs, hundreds of thousands of public servants will be working without pay. When sequestration began earlier this year, I returned 8.2% of my salary back to the Treasury, and for the duration of this shutdown, I will return the remainder of my personal salary as well."[21]

Farm Bill
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Voted "No" DelBene voted against the July 11, 2013 Farm Bill. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[22] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[23]

King Amendment

DelBene signed a letter sent to Collin Peterson in August 2013, asking him to keep Steve King's amendment out of the final Farm Bill.[24] The "Protect Interstate Commerce Act" amendment prevents states from applying their own laws on agricultural products to agricultural products from another state.[25]. King introduced the amendment in response to a law in California, requiring a larger size cage for egg-producing chickens. King represents Iowa, which is a large egg producer.


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" DelBene voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[26] The vote largely followed party lines.[27]


Repealing Obamacare

Voted "No" DelBene has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[28]

Social issues

SNAP challenge
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

In June 2013, more than two dozen House Democrats, including DelBene, took part in a SNAP challenge, feeding themselves for a week on the average benefit level of a SNAP recipient.[29] Participants agreed to eat all meals from a limited food budget comparable to that of a SNAP participant, approximately $1.50 per meal, or $4.50 a day.[30]


Voted "No" DelBene voted against HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[31]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" DelBene 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. She was 1 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.[32]

Campaign themes


According to her website, DelBene's campaign platform included the following issues:[33]

  • Worker training programs
  • College tuition assistance
  • Higher taxes on those making more than $1 million per year



See also: Washington's 1st Congressional District elections, 2014

DelBene ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent Washington's 1st District. DelBene sought the Democratic nomination in the primary. The general election took place November 4, 2014.

Suzan DelBene is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[34]


See also: Washington's 1st Congressional District elections, 2012

DelBene won the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Washington's 1st District.[1] She won the nomination as a Democrat, defeating Darcy Burner (D), Darshan Rauniyar (D), Laura Ruderman (D), Steve Hobbs (D), John Koster (R), and Larry Ishmael (I) in the August 7 primary. The top two vote-getters in the primary, regardless of party, appear on the general election ballot.[35] She and John Koster advanced past the blanket primary and faced off in the general election on November 6, 2012.[36]

A large field of Democrats competed for the party nod, while county councilman John Koster was unopposed on the Republican ticket. Early polling put Koster well ahead of Democratic frontrunner Darcy Burner. Burner, a progressive activist, had capitalized on anti-wealthy sentiment to pull ahead of former executive DelBene.[37]

In late July, however, an ad blitz from DelBene had pushed her past Burner into the second spot behind Koster in the polls.[38]$2.3 million of DelBene's campaign funds came from her own bank account, although she has raised $500,000 of independent funds as well.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name Burner said DelBene is trying to buy the election, but DelBene, who is worth $53 million, said she joined her supporters in investing in her campaign.[39][38]

At a July event, the candidates had an opportunity to name their highest priority. Burner raised concerns about Super PACs and voiced support of the Affordable Care Act. DelBene said she would focus on job creation. Darshan Rauniyar and Steve Hobbs promised to bring a new face to politics. Laura Ruderman stressed greater health care access. The only Republican in the race, Koster emphasized the need for smaller government.[40]

Adding another layer of financial interest is a Super PAC run by one candidate's parent. Laura Ruderman's mother runs Progress for Washington,[38] which by July 31 had spent almost $200,000 against DelBene.[41]

U.S. House, Washington District 1 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngSuzan DelBene 53.9% 177,025
     Republican John Koster 46.1% 151,187
Total Votes 328,212
Source: Washington Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Washington District 1 Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Koster (R) 44.9% 67,185
Green check mark transparent.pngSuzan DelBene (D) 22.5% 33,670
Darcy Burner (D) 13.9% 20,844
Laura Ruderman (D) 7.1% 10,582
Steve Hobbs (D) 6.9% 10,279
Darshan Rauniyar (D) 2.8% 4,134
Larry Ishmael (I) 2% 3,062
Total Votes 149,756

One month short term special election

See also: Washington's 1st Congressional District special election, 2012

DelBene also won a special election to fill retiring representative Jay Inslee's seat for a one-month term before the 2012-2014 term begins.[43] The special election took place on the same primary and general election dates as the full term. Washington was redistricted in 2012; the short-term replacement was elected by the pre-2012 district, and the representative for 2012-2014 was elected by the newly redrawn district.[44]

DelBene joined full-term challengers Darcy Burner (D), Laura Ruderman (D), Darshan Rauniyar (D), and John Koster (R), along with six candidates running just for the one-month term: J. Byron Holcomb (D), Brian Berry (D), Brian Sullivan (D), Ruth Morrison (D), Steven Gerdes (R), and Bob Champion (I).[45] As in the full-term election, the top two vote-getters in the August 7 primary went on the general election ballot.[35]


In a largely self-funded campaign, DelBene challenged Dave Reichert in 2010. Reichert defeated DelBene on November 2, 2010.[37][46]

U.S. House, Washington District 8, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDavid G. Reichert Incumbent 52.1% 161,296
     Democratic Suzan DelBene 47.9% 148,581
Total Votes 309,877

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for DelBene is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, DelBene raised a total of $4,420,726 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 4, 2013.[47]

Suzan DelBene's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Washington, District 1) Won $4,420,726
Grand Total Raised $4,420,726


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are DelBene's reports.[48]


Breakdown of the source of DelBene's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

DelBene won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that re-election cycle, DelBene's campaign committee raised a total of $4,420,726 and spent $4,496,799.[54]

Cost per vote

DelBene spent $25.40 per vote received in 2012.


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, DelBene is a "centrist Democratic follower," as of July 3, 2013.[55]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[56]

Delbene most often votes with:

Delbene least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, DelBene missed 1 of 151 roll call votes from November 2012 to April 2013. This amounts to 0.7%, which is better than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of April 2013.[57]

Net worth

See also: Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, DelBene's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $23,908,063 to $84,595,000. That averages to $54,251,531.50, which is higher than the average net worth of Democratic House members in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. DelBene ranked as the 12th most wealthy representative in 2012.[58]

Suzan DelBene Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

Voting with party

DelBene voted with the Democratic Party 94.9% of the time, which ranked 32nd among the 201 House Democratic members as of July 2013.[59]


DelBene has lived in many places and lists Washington state and Colorado as two of her favorites. She considers herself an "outdoorsy person."[60]

Recent news

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 CNN "Washington Districts Race - 2012 Election Center"
  2. Politico, "3 fill House vacancies" accessed November 13, 2012
  3. The National Journal "Washington District 1 2012," accessed July, 2013
  4. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  5. Biographical Directory-U.S. House, "DelBene," accessed January 2, 2014
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative DelBene's Voting Records on National Security," accessed October 16, 2013
  9. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  10. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  11. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 CNN.com, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  15. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  16. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  18. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  19. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  20. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  21. Washington Post, "Which lawmakers will refuse their pay during the shutdown?," accessed October 2, 2013
  22. Vote Smart, "DelBene on agriculture," accessed October 16, 2013
  23. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps," accessed September 17, 2013
  24. Vote Smart, "Letter to Ranking Member Collin Peterson, House Committee on Agriculture - Reject Rep. King's Provision on Farm Bill," accessed September 23, 2013
  25. Time.com, "King Farm Bill Amendment Angers Animal Advocates," accessed September 18, 2013
  26. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  27. Project Vote Smart, "Representative DelBene's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed October 16, 2013
  28. Project Vote Smart, "Representative DelBene's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Healthcare," accessed October 16, 2013
  29. U.S. House.gov, "Full Member List of Congressional Snap Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013 (dead link)
  30. Feeding America, "Taking the SNAP Challenge," accessed September 25, 2013
  31. Project Vote Smart, "DelBene on abortion," accessed October 16, 2013
  32. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  33. Susan DelBene campaign website "Issues," accessed August 2, 2012
  34. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members," accessed March 5, 2013
  35. 35.0 35.1 Washington Secretary of State "Top 2 Primary: FAQ," accessed May 17, 2012
  36. AP Primary Results
  37. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named st
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Seattle Times "Voters face crowded ballots for 1st District," July 31, 2012
  39. Seattle Times "DelBene adds $400,000 in own money campaign; total of $2.3 million," July 29, 2012
  40. Seattle Times "Congressional District 1 candidates stake their ground, as poll shows movement," July 28, 2012
  41. Open Secrets, "Progress for Washington Independent Expenditures," accessed July 31, 2012
  42. Our Campaigns, "WA District 1 - Open Primary," accessed May 30, 2013
  43. Seattle Times "2012 Washington Election Results"
  44. Seattle Times "Special election to replace Inslee for 1 month," April 2, 2012
  45. Washington Secretary of State "Candidate Filings," accessed May 18, 2012
  46. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  47. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Suzan DelBene," accessed April 4, 2013
  48. Federal Election Commission, "DelBene 2014 Summary reports," accessed August 1, 2013
  49. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed August 1, 2013
  50. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed August 1, 2013
  51. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  52. Federal Election Commission, "Year-End Report," accessed February 18, 2014
  53. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 22, 2014
  54. Open Secrets, "DelBene Campaign Contributions," accessed February 26, 2013
  55. GovTrack, "Suzan DelBene," accessed July 3, 2013
  56. OpenCongress, "Rep. Suzan Delbene," accessed August 8, 2013
  57. GovTrack, "Suzan Delbene," accessed April 11, 2013
  58. OpenSecrets, "DelBene, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  59. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  60. Roll Call, "Take Five: Suzan DelBene," accessed November 4, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Jay Inslee
U.S. House of Representatives - Washington, District 1
Succeeded by