U.S. Rep. Jim Himes

District map

Official web site


Election history: Himes unseated Republican Christopher Shays in 2008. He was cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party.

2008 general election:

Jim Himes (D) 149,345 48 percent
Jim Himes (WF) 9,130 3 percent
Christopher Shays (R) 146,854 48 percent
Richard Z. Duffee (*G) 1,388 0 percent
Michael Anthony Carrano (**L) 2,049 1 percent

*Green, **Libertarian

2008 Democratic primary

Jim Himes 12,260 87 percent
L. Lee Whitnum 1,840 13 percent

Campaign finance: Himes barely outspent Shays, $3.9 million to $3.8 million.

How the district leans: Barack Obama won 60 percent of the vote in 2008, generating huge turnouts in Bridgeport. John Kerry barely won the district in 2004, garnering 52 percent of the vote.

Background: With the help of Barack Obama’s coattails, Himes unseated New England’s only Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008. On election day, Himes stood outside polling places in Bridgeport next to a huge photo of him standing with Obama.

That may have been enough to edge him past Shays, who had managed to barely fend off strong challenges from Democrat Diane Farrell in 2004 and 2006. Mid-term elections historically are difficult for the party in power, so the 2010 election could be a challenge for Himes.

Himes already caught one break. John P. McKinney, the state Senate minority leader and the son of Shays’s predecessor, the late U.S. Rep. Stewart B. McKinney, opted not to run. His main challenger is state Sen. Dan Debicella of Stratford.

Himes is a former Goldman Sachs vice president who left Wall Street to work for a non-profit developer of affordable housing, Enterprise Development. It was founded by James Rouse, a developer and philanthropist.

He was the Greenwich Democratic town chairman and a volunteer in Farrell’s last challenge to Shays.

In his campaign, Himes stressed he was not a former Goldman Sachs executive in the mold of the independently wealthy Jon Corzine, who self-financed a campaign for the U.S. Senate. Himes was born in Lima, Peru and spent his childhood in Colombia and Peru, where his father worked for the Ford Foundation. He speaks fluent Spanish.

He moved to New Jersey with his mother after his parent’s divorce. On the trail, he sometimes referred to himself as the product of a single-parent home.

In December 2009, Himes voted with the rest of the state delegation for financial regulatory reforms. He also has supported extending unemployment benefits, fair pay for women, and the cash for clunkers program.

Himes is married and has two children.

Committees: Financial Services, Homeland Security

Education: B.A., Harvard University; M. Phil., Oxford University

2008 Financial Disclosure: Himes had a net worth between $1,852,055 and $4,580,000, ranking him 85th in the House, according to a review by the Center for Responsive Politics.

To see images of his financial filings, click here.