Donovan, Christopher G.


Speaker of the House

District town: Meriden

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Election history: Donovan was elected in 1992.

2008 general election

Christopher G. Donovan (D) 4,345 83 percent
Joseph T. Moller (R) 908 17 percent

Public financing: In 2008, Donovan received $24,900.62 in public financing for his campaign under the Citizens’ Election Program. He returned a surplus of $10,323.16 to the state.

Background: In January 2009, Donovan became the first graduate of the grass-roots organizing movement to become speaker of the House, one of the ultimate insider jobs in Connecticut politics. He also was an organizer for the Service Employees International Union and the Connecticut Citizen Action Group.

After losing 14 seats in the 2010 election, Democrats will begin the 2011 session holding 100 of the 151 seats in the House, giving Donovan solid control over the agenda of the chamber. Donovan was a leading proponent of a health-care pooling bill that passed in 2009, only to be vetoed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell. Donovan had the votes to override in the House, but the veto was sustained in the Senate.

He is a supporter of the Citizen’s Election Program, which provides public financing of campaigns. He has backed minimum-wage increases and the unsuccessful effort to make Connecticut the first state in the nation to require that private companies provide paid sick days.

Donovan stumbled in his first days as speaker. He appointed his predecessor, James A. Amann, to a $120,000-a-year job as his adviser, which was rescinded in the face of an outcry from within his own caucus. He was re-elected to a second term as speaker without opposition in November 2010.

He is married and the father of two.

Committees: Legislative Management (co-chair)

Education: B.S. Villanova University; M.S.W., University of Connecticut

Occupation: Adjunct professor, University of Hartford

2008 Financial Disclosure: Donovan reported income from the Congress of Community Colleges, the SEIU local that employed him until he became speaker. His wife, Elaine Donovan, is employed by Hartford Hospital. They own a home in Meriden.

Their stock portfolio includes ING and MetLife.

Donovan voluntarily disclosed a debt of more than $10,000 to CitiMortgage.

A note on financial disclosure: Every spring, officials are required to disclose the ownership of real estate, the source of any income exceeding $1,000 in the previous calendar year and securities worth more than $5,000. They also are required to file an addendum in which they report any debt of more than $10,000; this may by law be kept confidential.