Election history: DeLauro won an open seat in 1990, succeeding Democrat Bruce Morrison. In 2008, she was cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party.
2008 general election:
|Rosa L. DeLauro (D)||204,761||69 percent|
|Rosa L. DeLauro (WF)||25,411||9 percent|
|Bo Itshaky (R)||58,583||20 percent|
|Ralph A. Ferrucci (*G)||8,613||3 percent|
Campaign finance: DeLauro spent $1 million in 2008. Her opponents did not raise or spend sufficient funds to require reporting.
How the district leans: Barack Obama got 63 percent of the vote in 2008, and John Kerry got 56 percent in 2004.
Background: DeLauro is the political operator and organizer who eventually decided to step out of the shadows and onto the stage. She was chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd for seven years, took over a group that fought U.S. aid to the Nicaraguan contras and then became the first director of Emily’s List, a group that raises money to encourage pro-choice Democratic women to run for office.
In 1989, when U.S. Rep. Bruce Morrison announced he would run for governor in 1990, DeLauro quickly began raising money. By the time that elected officials in Connecticut explored a run, DeLauro had sufficient funds to scare off challengers for the nomination. Her first race with Republican state Sen. Tom Scott, an early tax protester and skilled talker on radio, was close, 52 percent to 48 percent. She won the rematch in 1992 with 66 percent of the vote and hasn’t had to worry since about re-election.
DeLauro is known as an ardent feminist, a sharp political strategist and a passionate, fast-talking debater. A cancer survivor, she long has been advocate for health reform. She was so enraged when Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman threatened a filibuster to block a health vote that she called for his recall, a constitutional impossibility in Connecticut. An adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, DeLauro is part of the team that reconciled House and Senate versions of health reform.
As co-chair of the Democratic Steering Committee, DeLauro is part of the House leadership structure. She ran and lost close races in 1998 and 2002 for chairman of the Democratic Caucus, the post won in 2008 by her Connecticut colleague, U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, D-1st District. Together, they give Connecticut’s five-member House delegation outsized clout.
She is one-half of a political power couple. Her husband is Stanley Greenberg, a pollster whose clients included Bill Clinton. Rahm Emanuel, Greenberg’s old ally from the Clinton White House, lived in the basement of their townhouse while a congressman. Despite the long-standing Clinton connections — the foyer of her home in New Haven is decorated with photos the couple socializing with the Clintons — DeLauro endorsed Obama before the Connecticut primary, which he won.
Committees: Appropriations, House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee (co-chair)
Education: B.A., Marymount College; M.A., Columbia University; London School of Economics
2008 Financial Disclosure: DeLauro and her husband had a net worth of between 5,748,021 and $26,804,999, ranking her 22nd in the House, according to a review by the Center for Responsive Politics. Nearly all of that was attributed to the value of Greenberg’s 67-percent ownership share of his polling firm, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.
To see images of her financial disclosure filings, click here.