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Democrat

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D)

Niki Tsongas Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-3411

Address: 1607 LHOB, DC 20515

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (978) 459-0101

Address: 126 John Street, Lowell MA 01852

Lawrence MA

Phone: (978) 459-0101

Address: 15 Union Street, Lawrence MA 01840-1445

Haverhill MA

Phone: (978) 459-0101

Address: 10 Welcome Street, Haverhill MA 01830

Marlborough MA

Phone: (978) 459-0101

Address: 255 Main Street, Marlborough MA 01752

Fitchburg MA

Phone: (978) 459-0101

Address: 150 Main Street, Fitchburg MA 01420

Niki Tsongas Staff
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Sort by INTEREST NAME TITLE
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Black, June
Constituent Services Director; Essex County Regional Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Black, June
Constituent Services Director; Essex County Regional Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Schneider, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Temple, Thomas
Air Force Fellow
Black, June
Constituent Services Director; Essex County Regional Director
Black, June
Constituent Services Director; Essex County Regional Director
Howard, Vanna
Constituent Services Representative; Immigration Specialist
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Schneider, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Howard, Vanna
Constituent Services Representative; Immigration Specialist
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Black, June
Constituent Services Director; Essex County Regional Director
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Schneider, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Schneider, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Black, June
Constituent Services Director; Essex County Regional Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Temple, Thomas
Air Force Fellow
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Black, June
Constituent Services Director; Essex County Regional Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Black, June
Constituent Services Director; Essex County Regional Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Howard, Vanna
Constituent Services Representative; Immigration Specialist
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Howard, Vanna
Constituent Services Representative; Immigration Specialist
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Black, June
Constituent Services Director; Essex County Regional Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Black, June
Constituent Services Director; Essex County Regional Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Black, June
Constituent Services Director; Essex County Regional Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Adams, Jane
Regional Director
Black, June
Constituent Services Director; Essex County Regional Director
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Castano, Jennifer
Constituent Services Representative
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Eng, George
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Enos, Katie
Chief of Staff
Hartigan, Michael
Communications Director
Howard, Vanna
Constituent Services Representative; Immigration Specialist
Kellett, Natasha
Teach for America Fellow
Kenney, Patrick
Constituent Services Representative
Lubershane, Peter
Constituent Services Representative
Mullin, Chris
District Director
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Pandres, Russell
Economic Development Assistant
Schneider, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Temple, Thomas
Air Force Fellow
Enos, Katie
Chief of Staff
Hartigan, Michael
Communications Director
Adams, Jane
Regional Director
Black, June
Constituent Services Director; Essex County Regional Director
Mullin, Chris
District Director
Eng, George
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Kellett, Natasha
Teach for America Fellow
Temple, Thomas
Air Force Fellow
Cairns, Becky
Legislative Assistant
Duggan, Sean
Military Legislative Assistant
Schneider, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Outterson, Sara
Legislative Director
Castano, Jennifer
Constituent Services Representative
Howard, Vanna
Constituent Services Representative; Immigration Specialist
Kenney, Patrick
Constituent Services Representative
Lubershane, Peter
Constituent Services Representative
Eng, George
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Howard, Vanna
Constituent Services Representative; Immigration Specialist
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Niki Tsongas Committees
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Niki Tsongas Biography
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  • Elected: Oct. 2007, 3rd full term.
  • District: Massachusetts 3
  • Born: Apr. 26, 1946, Chico, CA
  • Home: Lowell
  • Education:

    Attended MI St. U., Smith Col., B.A. 1968, Boston U., J.D. 1988

  • Professional Career:

    Social worker; Practicing attorney; Dean of external affairs, Middlesex Comm. Col., 1997-2007.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Episcopalian

  • Family: Widowed; 3 children

Democrat Niki Tsongas, who won the seat in a 2007 special election, is the widow of Paul Tsongas and now a political force in her own right. She has kept a lower profile than many of her Massachusetts colleagues, but has gained increasing recognition for her work on ending sexual assaults in the military. Read More

Democrat Niki Tsongas, who won the seat in a 2007 special election, is the widow of Paul Tsongas and now a political force in her own right. She has kept a lower profile than many of her Massachusetts colleagues, but has gained increasing recognition for her work on ending sexual assaults in the military.

Growing up in an Air Force family, Niki Tsongas (SONG-us) never had a place to call home thanks to her father’s frequent moves. While interning in Washington, D.C., during college, she was invited to a party where she met her future husband, who was an intern for 5th District Republican Rep. Brad Morse. On one of their early dates, he told her of his plans to get involved in electoral politics by running for the Lowell City Council. Niki followed him to Lowell in 1968 to help with his successful campaign for city councilor. They were married soon after. Tsongas stumped for her husband several times during his various campaigns for office. “I couldn’t have run for office if I hadn’t spent time campaigning on my own,” she said.

Paul Tsongas was first elected to the U.S. House in 1974 and to the U.S. Senate four years later. After retiring in 1984 with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he regained his health and launched a campaign for the 1992 Democratic presidential nomination. Although he won the New Hampshire primary, then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton’s surprise second-place finish in the Granite State gave him the momentum to overtake Tsongas, who withdrew in March. The Tsongases moved back to Lowell, and soon thereafter Paul’s cancer returned. He succumbed to the disease in 1997.

While acting as a political adviser to her husband, Tsongas started the first all-woman law firm in Lowell, raised their three daughters, and eventually took a job at Middlesex Community College as the dean of external affairs. When Democratic Rep. Marty Meehan retired in July 2007 to become chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Tsongas decided to run for the seat. Noting that Massachusetts had not had a female House member in more than 25 years, Tsongas was also motivated by what she saw as the need for change in Washington and her strong disagreement with the Bush administration on the Iraq war.

Facing four other Democrats in a September primary, she was the early favorite. Her most formidable challenge came from former Lowell Mayor Eileen Donoghue. Tsongas drew heavily on her ties to Lowell and emphasized her husband’s years representing the district, but she erred during a debate in saying she spent 10 years in Washington representing the 5th District, a statement that actually described her husband’s career. Tsongas’s opponents seized on the comment to highlight her lack of elective experience and criticized her for moving away from Lowell to nearby Charlestown. Tsongas said she moved to be closer to her daughters, who were attending college in Boston. Tsongas edged out Donoghue, 36% to 31%. Tsongas lost nearly 2-to-1 in Lowell but won most of the other towns.

In the general election, Tsongas faced a Republican with an intensely personal story and a recognizable name in the district. Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Jim Ogonowski’s brother, John, was the pilot of the first plane to hit the World Trade Center on September 11. Each candidate sought to wrap the George W. Bush administration around the other. Ogonowski criticized Tsongas for supporting a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, which Bush favored. Tsongas attacked Ogonowski for not supporting the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, then up for renewal in Congress. Both national parties spent heavily on the race, and EMILY’s List got involved for Tsongas. Her victory was surprisingly close, 51%-45%. Ogonowski won 11 towns, mostly in the northern part of the district. Tsongas handily took Lowell and Lawrence, plus the area closer to Boston.

In the House, Tsongas has been a staunch liberal who has backed her party on all major votes. But she also ardently backs pay-as-you-go legislation requiring new spending to be offset, calling it a “critical first step” toward addressing the deficit. She successfully reduced the size of an excise tax on medical device manufacturers that was included in the health care overhaul law, and then joined Republicans in an effort to repeal it in the 112th Congress (2011-12). She said the tax hurts small Massachusetts companies.

On the Armed Services Committee, Tsongas is the ranking Democrat on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. She has pushed for reductions of U.S. forces in Iraq and demanded a more defined strategy for Afghanistan. She got provisions into the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill speeding up development of lightweight body armor and protecting the legal rights of sexual assault victims. She helped persuade the Pentagon in 2012 to have assault cases reviewed by colonels rather than by company commanders, who often know the alleged assailants. Her efforts were featured in the documentary The Invisible War, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2013.

After her tough contests a year earlier, Tsongas was reelected in 2008 without opposition. The 2010 election was a far different story. After the surprise victory of Republican Sen. Scott Brown showed that the Democrats’ hold on Massachusetts had its limits, Tsongas drew seven Republican and four independent challengers. The eventual GOP nominee was Jon Golnik, a former Wall Street currency trader who enjoyed tea party backing.

Golnik invoked standard tea party themes of individual power over government control while blasting Tsongas’ votes on President Barack Obama’s health care bill and other legislation. But he had to compete with a higher-profile gubernatorial election as well as the incumbent’s overwhelming financial advantage—Tsongas raised more than $1.9 million to his $400,000. She won with nearly 55% of the vote. Golik returned for a rematch in 2012. But in a year in which Obama easily carried Massachusetts, Tsongas coasted with 66%. She considered, but ultimately decided against, running for the open Senate seat vacated in 2013 when Democrat John Kerry became secretary of State.

Show Less
Niki Tsongas Election Results
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2012 General
Niki Tsongas (D)
Votes: 212,119
Percent: 65.98%
Jonathan Golnik
Votes: 109,372
Percent: 34.02%
2012 Primary
Niki Tsongas (D)
Votes: 24,105
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (55%), 2008 (99%), 2007 special (51%)
Niki Tsongas 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 87 (L) : 13 (C) 69 (L) : 31 (C) 79 (L) : 20 (C)
Social 69 (L) : 28 (C) 85 (L) : - (C) 67 (L) : 33 (C)
Foreign 78 (L) : 22 (C) 83 (L) : 16 (C) 78 (L) : 18 (C)
Composite 78.5 (L) : 21.5 (C) 81.7 (L) : 18.3 (C) 75.5 (L) : 24.5 (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
LCV9186
CFG721
ITIC-58
NTU1119
20112012
COC19-
ACLU-84
ACU00
ADA9095
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: 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: N
    • 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
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
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