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:

William Keating William Keating

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




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

View Saved Lists
View Saved Lists

Rep. William Keating (D)

William Keating Contact
Back to top
Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-3111

Address: 315 CHOB, DC 20515

William Keating Committees
Back to top
William Keating Biography
Back to top
  • Elected: 2010, 2nd term.
  • District: Massachusetts 9
  • Born: Sep. 06, 1952, Norwood
  • Home: Quincy
  • Education:

    Boston Col., B.A. 1974; M.B.A. 1982; Suffolk U., J.D. 1985.

  • Professional Career:

    Practicing atty., 1999-2010.

  • Political Career:

    MA House, 1977-84; MA Senate, 1985-98; Norfolk Cnty. district atty., 1999-2010.

  • Religion:


  • Family: Married (Tevis); 2 children

Democrat William Keating, who won the open seat of retiring Democratic Rep. Bill Delahunt in 2010, is a former prosecutor who has put his experience to work on homeland security issues. He also has been active in trying to expand maritime-related economic development in Massachusetts’ coastal areas. Read More

Democrat William Keating, who won the open seat of retiring Democratic Rep. Bill Delahunt in 2010, is a former prosecutor who has put his experience to work on homeland security issues. He also has been active in trying to expand maritime-related economic development in Massachusetts’ coastal areas.

Keating’s father was a police officer and later a veterans’ services agent who assisted former soldiers with service-related disabilities. Keating put himself through Boston College by working at a post office. In 1977, at the age of 23, he was elected to the Massachusetts House. One of the first things Keating did was work on a law requiring smoke detectors in houses after a fire in a nearby town killed a family living in a house without detectors. In 1985, Keating was elected to the state Senate, eventually becoming chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Taxation. He also was involved in environmental issues, sponsoring a bill to safeguard lakes and streams from pollutants by banning phosphates in household cleaners.

In 1998, Keating was elected district attorney for Norfolk County. Four years later, his office became the first in the state to win a murder conviction in the absence of a victim’s body. In that case, DNA evidence taken from a saw helped to convict Joseph D. Romano Jr. of murdering and dismembering his wife. Keating also worked to curb bullying in schools, a hot-button issue in the state after a teenage girl in western Massachusetts committed suicide after being bullied. He also set up facilities for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, an issue that hit close to home; one of Keating’s uncles suffered from PTSD after World War II. And he helped create the Norfolk Advocates for Children, an organization for children who have been victimized by sexual assault.

Keating decided to run for Congress after Delahunt announced he would step down after seven terms. The district has been in Democratic hands for more than 30 years, but it is relatively marginal for Massachusetts. It gave Republican Sen. Scott Brown 60% of the vote in his upset victory over Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley in the 2010 special election to fill the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy’s seat. Keating faced tea party-backed Republican Jeff Perry, a member of the state House.

After actively supporting the Democrats’ health care overhaul, Keating got help from Kennedy’s widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, who said that Keating shared her husband’s commitment to universal health care. Keating also was generally supportive of President Barack Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill, although he said he would have done it differently, doling out money “more slowly” and in a “more targeted” way. In contrast, Perry campaigned on a tea party platform calling for smaller government and smaller federal budgets. Part of Keating’s campaign strategy was to paint Perry, a police officer, as having a “troubled relationship with the truth,” pointing to a case in the 1990s in which an officer under Perry’s command was involved in illegal strip searches of teenage girls. Perry said he did not know about the searches at the time. In response to the attack ad, Perry’s campaign released a video of Wareham Police Chief Tom Joyce saying Perry was a good police officer.

Keating provided Democrats a rare moment of triumph on an otherwise dismal Election Night in 2010. He won with 45.6% of the vote to Perry’s 41.3%. Three other candidates divided the remaining votes.

Early in his first term in 2011, Keating grilled Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and other department officials about failings in perimeter safety at airports. He also challenged the Transportation Security Administration on its overly aggressive searches of passengers and compared the two situations to “locking all the doors on your house but leaving the windows open.” He worked with Republican Michael McCaul of Texas to get a bill through the House in November 2012 setting up an independent review of Homeland Security’s management to ferret out waste and abuse.

He also joined with fellow Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey that year to urge that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission delay relicensing of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth until safety issues were addressed. Keating also has outlined a vision for the South Shore and South Coast’s potential as a major maritime industry center. He introduced a bill in 2011 calling for fines from New England fishermen to be sent to the New England Fishery Management Council.

Post-2010 redistricting led Keating to move from Quincy to his summer home in Bourne to run in the new district. After brushing off a Democratic primary challenge from Bristol County Attorney Samuel Sutter, Keating amassed an overwhelming financial advantage over his two general election rivals, Republican Christopher Sheldon and Independent Daniel Botelho. He won comfortably with 59% of the vote.

Show Less
William Keating Election Results
Back to top
2012 General
William Keating (D)
Votes: 212,754
Percent: 58.78%
Christopher Sheldon (R)
Votes: 116,531
Percent: 32.2%
Daniel Botelho (I)
Votes: 32,655
Percent: 9.02%
2012 Primary
William Keating (D)
Votes: 31,366
Percent: 59.14%
C. Samuel Sutter (D)
Votes: 21,675
Percent: 40.86%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (47%)
William Keating 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 80 (L) : 20 (C) 67 (L) : 33 (C) 74 (L) : 26 (C)
Social 65 (L) : 35 (C) 85 (L) : - (C) 67 (L) : 32 (C)
Foreign 86 (L) : 14 (C) 81 (L) : 17 (C) 74 (L) : 25 (C)
Composite 77.0 (L) : 23.0 (C) 80.5 (L) : 19.5 (C) 72.0 (L) : 28.0 (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.

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
    • 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
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
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 |