Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Steve Cohen Steve Cohen

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Almanac

Search

Enter your search query or use our Advanced People Search. Need Help? View our search tips

View Saved Lists
View Saved Lists
Democrat

Rep. Steve Cohen (D)

Steve Cohen Contact
Back to top
Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-3265

Address: 2404 RHOB, DC 20515

Websites: cohen.house.gov
State Office Contact Information

Phone: (901) 544-4131

Address: 167 North Main Street, Memphis TN 38103-1822

Steve Cohen Staff
Back to top
Sort by INTEREST NAME TITLE
Henry, Willie
Deputy District Director
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Sowell, Susan
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Sowell, Susan
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Jordan, Jeremy
Constituent Services Representative
Jordan, Jeremy
Constituent Services Representative
Archer, Linda
Casework Manager
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Thomas, Marzie
District Director
Henry, Willie
Deputy District Director
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Self, Beanie
Deputy District Director
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Jordan, Jeremy
Constituent Services Representative
Self, Beanie
Deputy District Director
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Self, Beanie
Deputy District Director
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Archer, Linda
Casework Manager
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Sowell, Susan
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Archer, Linda
Casework Manager
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Sowell, Susan
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Self, Beanie
Deputy District Director
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Self, Beanie
Deputy District Director
Archer, Linda
Casework Manager
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Self, Beanie
Deputy District Director
Jordan, Jeremy
Constituent Services Representative
Jordan, Jeremy
Constituent Services Representative
Jordan, Jeremy
Constituent Services Representative
Henry, Willie
Deputy District Director
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Henry, Willie
Deputy District Director
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Archer, Linda
Casework Manager
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Thomas, Marzie
District Director
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Jordan, Jeremy
Constituent Services Representative
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Archer, Linda
Casework Manager
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Jordan, Jeremy
Constituent Services Representative
Thomas, Marzie
District Director
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Archer, Linda
Casework Manager
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Garmisa, Ben
Communications Director
Henry, Willie
Deputy District Director
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Jordan, Jeremy
Constituent Services Representative
Lobbins, Toni
Staff Assistant
Self, Beanie
Deputy District Director
Sowell, Susan
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Thomas, Marzie
District Director
Weisman, Matthew
Legislative Director
Garmisa, Ben
Communications Director
Henry, Willie
Deputy District Director
Self, Beanie
Deputy District Director
Dulniak, Craig
Director of Operations
Thomas, Marzie
District Director
Sowell, Susan
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Connor, William
Legislative Assistant
Fulton, Michael
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hernandez, Brittany
Legislative Assistant
Weisman, Matthew
Legislative Director
Archer, Linda
Casework Manager
Jordan, Jeremy
Constituent Services Representative
Sowell, Susan
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Lobbins, Toni
Staff Assistant
Note: You can only itemize lists in the Interests and Title sections
Save List
X

Your saved lists will appear under My Saved Lists on The Almanac's landing page.

Steve Cohen Committees
Back to top
Steve Cohen Biography
Back to top
  • Elected: 2006, 4th term.
  • District: Tennessee 9
  • Born: May. 24, 1949, Memphis
  • Home: Memphis
  • Education:

    Vanderbilt U., B.A. 1971, U. of Memphis, J.D. 1973

  • Professional Career:

    Practicing atty., 1974-2006.

  • Political Career:

    Shelby Cnty. Comm., 1977-78, TN Senate, 1982-2006.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Jewish

  • Family: Single

Democrat Steve Cohen, elected in 2006, is one of the few white members of Congress representing a majority-minority district. He has easily fended off primary challenges from the district’s African-American majority by maintaining one of the House’s most liberal voting records and concentrating on issues of strong interest to his constituents. Read More

Democrat Steve Cohen, elected in 2006, is one of the few white members of Congress representing a majority-minority district. He has easily fended off primary challenges from the district’s African-American majority by maintaining one of the House’s most liberal voting records and concentrating on issues of strong interest to his constituents.

Cohen is a fourth-generation Memphian and the son of a psychiatrist. At age 5, Cohen was diagnosed with polio, an illness that would shift his focus from sports to politics. Cohen studied at Vanderbilt University and went on to law school at the University of Memphis. After graduation in 1973, he worked as a legal advisor for the Memphis Police Department and then started a law practice in 1978. He was elected to the Shelby County Commission and, in 1982, to a Memphis-based state Senate seat, where he served for the next 24 years. He became known as the father of the Tennessee State Lottery for his successful efforts in 2002 to pass a referendum repealing a lottery ban and for passing legislation that used the lottery revenue to fund college scholarships.

Cohen wanted to run for Congress in 1996 when 22-year veteran African-American Rep. Harold Ford, Sr., announced his retirement, but he found his path blocked by the incumbent’s 26-year-old son, who secured the seat. He got a second chance in 2006 when Ford, Jr., ran unsuccessfully for the Senate. As the only serious white contender among the 15 candidates who filed to run, Cohen faced considerable criticism from local black leaders, who publicly asserted that an African-American should represent the district. Cohen’s supporters charged that another primary foe paid for a push poll that asked, “Are you more likely to vote for a born-again Christian or a Jew?” Cohen quipped that his staunchly liberal record would make people mistake him for a black woman.

The district’s black leaders were unable to narrow the crowded field, and the primary results splintered. Cohen won with 31%. Nikki Tinker, the former campaign manager for Ford, Jr., finished second with 25%. The incumbent’s cousin, Joe Ford, Jr., finished third with 12%.

The Democratic primary is typically the only election that matters in the solidly Democratic district, but Cohen faced a challenge in November from yet another Ford—Jake Ford, the incumbent’s younger brother, who ran as an independent. Jake Ford was a high school dropout who had had a few scrapes with the law, but he had support from his father and other African-American leaders who opposed Cohen. He argued that he was in better sync with the community, noting that more than two-thirds of the primary vote went against Cohen. Cohen’s critics also made an issue of the fact that he supports same-sex marriage. He won the general election with 60% of the vote, ending the Ford family’s 32-year hold on the district. Cohen wanted to join the Congressional Black Caucus, but he backed off when CBC leaders made it clear he would not be allowed to join.

In his first term, Cohen worked to quickly secure his hold on the seat, knowing that he faced a near-certain primary challenge in 2008. Among his first moves was a resolution apologizing for slavery. While it seemed like a relatively harmless motion that easily passed the House on a voice vote, Cohen’s office was slammed with constituent calls charging the measure was a political ploy. It was called up for a vote just days before the August 2008 primary. Cohen also succeeded in naming a Memphis federal building and post offices after prominent African-Americans.

Winning a plum seat on the Judiciary Committee, Cohen worked on bills to force radio broadcasters to pay money to performers whose music is played and on studying racial disparities in the criminal justice system. He got a measure into law in 2010 protecting authors and journalists from having foreign libel judgments honored in U.S. courts and another a year later to help members of the National Guard and Reserve obtain bankruptcy relief. He also introduced several unsuccessful amendments to reduce spending on the war in Afghanistan; one of them ultimately passed in July 2012. On the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Cohen opposed a bill that could have exposed FedEx to worker strikes. Cohen also made himself a fixture on C-SPAN, which covers floor proceedings.

When Cohen was up for reelection in 2008, his race was his biggest obstacle in the primary. African-American leaders in the district coalesced around Tinker, who had come in second to Cohen two years earlier. “He’s not black, and he can’t represent me,” one minister told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Tinker got financial help from the CBC and EMILY’s list, the women’s fundraising group. But prominent black leaders from outside the district, including Judiciary Chairman John Conyers of Michigan and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. of Illinois, made radio ads for Cohen and donated to his campaign. He outraised Tinker by more than 2-to-1 and crushed her, 79%-19%. Cohen faced three independent candidates in November and won with 88% of the vote.

He drew another primary challenge in 2010 from Willie Herenton, Memphis’ first elected black mayor. But Cohen once again was ready—he snagged a rare written endorsement from Obama, a hugely popular figure in the district, as well as support from a dozen CBC members. He trounced Herenton, 79%-21%, in the August primary and again sailed to reelection. Two years later, his primary challenger was Memphis School Board member and Memphis Urban League CEO Tomeka Hart. But The Cook Political Report observed that her campaign “seems to be focusing more on promoting her brand than giving voters a reason to replace Cohen,” and the incumbent won 89%-11% before again coasting in the general election.

Cohen’s personal life became a national story in February 2013 when he sent, and then quickly deleted, seemingly flirtatious tweets to a woman. He initially said the woman was a daughter of a family friend but later acknowledged to NBC News that she actually was his daughter, whom he had learned about just three years earlier. “I Googled her mother, found out she had a child, and the math looked pretty accurate,” he recalled. “The mom told me we had a lot of catching up to do.” A DNA test later showed the woman was not his daughter.

Show Less
Steve Cohen Election Results
Back to top
2012 General
Steve Cohen (D)
Votes: 188,422
Percent: 75.07%
George Flinn
Votes: 59,742
Percent: 23.8%
2012 Primary
Steve Cohen (D)
Votes: 49,585
Percent: 89.3%
Tomeka Hart (D)
Votes: 5,944
Percent: 10.7%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (74%), 2008 (88%), 2006 (60%)
Steve Cohen Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 91 (L) : - (C) 89 (L) : - (C) 82 (L) : 17 (C)
Social 93 (L) : - (C) 68 (L) : 31 (C) 80 (L) : - (C)
Foreign 90 (L) : 6 (C) 93 (L) : - (C) 88 (L) : - (C)
Composite 94.7 (L) : 5.3 (C) 86.5 (L) : 13.5 (C) 88.8 (L) : 11.2 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC100
LCV9197
CFG1218
ITIC-64
NTU1715
20112012
COC25-
ACLU-100
ACU40
ADA9595
AFSCME100-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Find AG in contempt
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote:
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
Read More
 
Browse The Almanac
Congressional Leadership
and Committees

House Committees
Senate Committees
Joint Committees
Leadership Roster
About Almanac
almanac cover
The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
Members: Buy the book at 25% off retail.
Order Now
Need Help?

Contact Us:

202.266.7900 | membership@nationaljournal.com