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Democrat

Rep. Gerald Connolly (D)

Gerald Connolly Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-1492

Address: 424 CHOB, DC 20515

Gerald Connolly Committees
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Gerald Connolly Biography
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  • Elected: 2008, 3rd term.
  • District: Virginia 11
  • Born: Mar. 30, 1950, Boston, MA
  • Home: Mantua
  • Education:

    Maryknoll Col., B.A. 1971; Harvard U., M.A. 1979

  • Professional Career:

    Non-profit executive; U.S. Senate aide; Defense contractor.

  • Political Career:

    Fairfax Cnty. Bd. of Supervisors, 1995-2008, Chmn., 2004-08.

  • Religion:

    Catholic

  • Family: Married (Cathy); 1 children

Democrat Gerald (Gerry) Connolly, elected in 2008, is a former Capitol Hill staffer who remains an ardent champion of the federal workers who populate his suburban Washington, D.C., district. Read More

Democrat Gerald (Gerry) Connolly, elected in 2008, is a former Capitol Hill staffer who remains an ardent champion of the federal workers who populate his suburban Washington, D.C., district.

Connolly grew up in the Boston area. He considered joining the priesthood and studied for six years at a Catholic seminary. But his interest in public policy led him to Washington, D.C., after college, where in the 1970s he managed the American Freedom from Hunger Foundation and the U.S. Committee for Refugees. He got a master’s degree from Harvard and worked for a decade on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he specialized in Middle Eastern affairs and foreign aid. In 1989, he left Capitol Hill to run the Washington office of Stanford Research Institute International and then became vice president of the San Diego-based defense contractor SAIC. In 1995, Connolly won a seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and in 2003, he was elected board chairman, putting him in charge of a large local government at a time of rapid growth. Transportation was a major preoccupation, and his biggest project was the Metrorail extension to Tysons Corner and Dulles.

In these battles, Connolly worked with then-11th District Republican Rep. Tom Davis, who paid close attention to local issues as well as playing a major national role as the chairman of National Republican Congressional Committee in the 2000 and 2002 election seasons. But Davis, an expert on political demographics, could see that Northern Virginia was changing, and in January 2008, he announced he would not seek reelection.

In the primary, Connolly faced former U.S. Rep. Leslie Byrne, whom Davis beat in 1994. She had the backing of the national women’s fundraising group EMILY’s List, but Connolly outpaced her in fundraising, in part because of his support from defense contractors. In a low-turnout June primary—only 24,000 people voted—Connolly won by a solid 58%-33%. The Republican nominee was Keith Fimian, a businessman and newcomer to Northern Virginia politics who self-financed much of his campaign. Democrats attacked Fimian as a conservative on cultural issues, in contrast to Davis’ moderate record, and Fimian got little help from national Republicans. Connolly won by a solid 55%-43%.

In the House, Connolly joined the centrist New Democrat Coalition and established a moderate voting record. He was among the Democrats who joined a majority of Republicans in backing free trade deals with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea in 2011. He generally works well with Republicans, but when Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., criticized the heavy-handed approach of Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko in 2011, Connolly said on Twitter it was “ironic” that Issa was accusing someone else of a “bullying management style.”

In 2013, Connolly became the ranking Democrat on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Government Operations. He has blasted Republican budget-cutting efforts that he said unfairly target government workers. “Federal employees are now fair game, because they (Republicans) see some short-term political advantage in making them a scapegoat,” he told reporters in 2012. He got a bill into law in 2010 to encourage teleworking, one method to reduce traffic congestion in his district, as well as another measure in 2011 to help agencies identify qualified interns who can become full-time workers.

He also takes an avid interest in energy. He narrowly won passage of an amendment to the fiscal 2013 energy and water spending bill to slash funding for oil shale research by $25 million. In addition, he and Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner introduced bills in 2012 calling for an initiative on election reform modeled after the “Race to the Top” competition for education funds, with federal grants going to states that devise innovative efforts to improve the voting process.

In 2010, Fimian returned for a rematch. This time, Fimian did not have to rely on self-financing and raised nearly $3 million to Connolly’s $2.4 million. Fimian stuck to the national Republican message of “outrageous spending” and rising deficits and attacked Connolly as a “career politician.” The Democrat’s lead shrunk to single digits by the closing weeks of the race. Five days after the election, Fimian conceded, having won 48.8% to his opponent’s 49.2%—a margin of fewer than 1,000 votes out of 227,000 cast.

Connolly had it far easier in 2012. He took advantage of President Barack Obama’s political domination of Northern Virginia to breeze past the far lesser-known Republican Chris Perkins 61%-36%.

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Gerald Connolly Election Results
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2012 General
Gerald Connolly (D)
Votes: 202,606
Percent: 61.13%
Chris Perkins (R)
Votes: 117,902
Percent: 35.57%
2012 Primary
Gerald Connolly (D)
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (49%), 2008 (55%)
Gerald Connolly Votes and Bills
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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 64 (L) : 35 (C) 68 (L) : 32 (C) 69 (L) : 30 (C)
Social 66 (L) : 32 (C) 68 (L) : 32 (C) 64 (L) : 35 (C)
Foreign 75 (L) : 23 (C) 61 (L) : 38 (C) 64 (L) : 33 (C)
Composite 69.2 (L) : 30.8 (C) 65.8 (L) : 34.2 (C) 66.5 (L) : 33.5 (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
LCV10094
CFG1326
ITIC-83
NTU1315
20112012
COC44-
ACLU-84
ACU417
ADA8065
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: N
    • 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: Y
    • 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: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • 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
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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.
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