Rep. Anna Eshoo (D)
Elected: 1992, 9th term.
Born: Dec. 13, 1942, New Britain, CT .
Education: Canada Col., A.A. 1975.
Family: Divorced; 2 children.
Elected office: San Mateo Cnty. Bd. of Supervisors, 1982–92, pres., 1986.
Professional Career: Chmn., San Mateo Cnty. Dem. Party, 1980; Chief of staff, CA assembly speaker, 1981.
The congresswoman from the 14th District is Anna Eshoo, a Democrat first elected in 1992. Born in Connecticut, Eshoo (EH-shoo) is the only member of Congress of Assyrian descent. Her father, a jeweler and an FDR Democrat, sparked her interest in politics at a young age by taking her to political rallies. The family moved to California. Eshoo married and had two children, and for a while was a stay-at-home mother working on a degree in English literature. (She later divorced.) Eshoo was active in civic groups, then chaired the San Mateo County Democratic Party and in 1982 was elected to the San Mateo Board of Supervisors. In 1988, she ran for the U.S. House against incumbent Republican Tom Campbell. The two spent a total of $2.5 million, and Eshoo was the first congressional candidate to distribute videotapes to voters. Campbell won 52%-46%. In 1992, Campbell gave up his seat to run for the Senate, and Eshoo ran for his House seat. In the primary, she beat Assemblyman Ted Lempert, who had strong backing from environmentalists but lost ground by making unsubstantiated attacks against Eshoo. She prevailed 40%-36%. In the general election, Eshoo had a tough contest against Republican Tom Huening, the San Mateo supervisor who was backed by David Packard and other Silicon Valley business leaders. But Eshoo won by a convincing 57%-39%. She has not had a serious challenge for re-election.
|Anna Eshoo (D)||190,301||(70%)||($1,476,279)|
|Ronny Santana (R)||60,610||(22%)|
|Brian Holtz (Lib)||11,929||(4%)|
|Carol Brouillet (Green)||9,926||(4%)|
|Anna Eshoo (D)||Unopposed|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (71%), 2004 (70%), 2002 (68%), 2000 (70%), 1998 (69%), 1996 (65%), 1994 (61%), 1992 (57%)
In the House, Eshoo’s voting record has been mostly liberal with more-moderate inclinations on issues such as taxes that affect high-income earners in her district. She was not enthusiastic about supporting President Clinton’s 1993 budget and tax bill. She joined Republicans and high-tech interests in votes on securities litigation and normalizing trade relations with China. Despite local pressure, she voted against granting President George W. Bush broad authority to negotiate trade deals and against the Central American Free Trade Agreement. She opposed a proposal to charge stock options against earnings, which would have hit hard in Silicon Valley. Eshoo also fought telecommunications legislation that would have allowed Internet carriers to have a two-tier pricing system, contending that it would disadvantage start-up firms.
As a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Eshoo was instrumental in preparing the party’s Innovation Agenda, which calls for energy independence within a decade. She has also been active on health technology issues. In 2008, the House passed her bill to increase research and support services for arthritis victims, and she also sponsored a bill to reduce the volume of television commercials. Eshoo’s other legislative work includes enactment of bills to increase Internet access for schools, allow the use of electronic signatures in business transactions, and improve access to treatment for low-income women with breast and cervical cancer. Another of her bills required insurance companies to pay for reconstructive surgery for cancer patients.
Eshoo is a member of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s inner circle. The two women have been close friends and confidants since they met at a Democratic event in the Bay Area in the early 1970s, and their families have spent time together. Eshoo is a fierce and loyal advocate for Pelosi.