Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 1986, 15th term.

Born: August 14, 1929, Harlan Cnty., KY

Home: Fairport

Education: U. of KY, B.S. 1951, M.S. 1953

Professional Career: Regional coord., Lt. Gov. Mario Cuomo, 1976–79.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Episcopalian

Family: widowed , 3 children

Democrat Louise Slaughter, elected in 1986, was the first woman to chair the powerful Rules Committee, and since Republicans took majority control of the House in 2010, she has been its ranking minority member. She has a long history of working on issues important to women and was one of the original authors of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act. She survived one of the House's most surprisingly close reelection races in 2014.

A coal miner’s daughter and a descendant of Daniel Boone, she grew up in Kentucky and still speaks with the distinctive phraseology of the mountains. She wound up in New York in the 1950s when she moved there with her husband. Her involvement in community issues led to a career in government. Slaughter became a staffer for Mario Cuomo when he was lieutenant governor in the 1970s, and she won a seat on the Monroe County Legislature in 1976. She was elected to the New York Assembly in 1982.

Four years later, she beat one-term conservative Republican Rep. Fred Eckert, 51%-49%, after charging that he did nothing to free Associated Press reporter Terry Anderson, a Rochester native held hostage in Lebanon. She won by carefully tending to local problems and by earning the support of area businessmen and the local Democrat and Chronicle newspaper.

Slaughter has a solidly liberal voting record. She drew widespread attention in April 2011 when she said at a rally that a GOP bill blocking federal financing of abortions had documentation requirements that were “sort of like an old German Nazi movie: ‘Show me your papers.’” She also is fiery on the subject of free trade agreements that she contends put Americans out of work. When President Bill Clinton asked her to support the North American Free Trade Agreement, she responded: “Why are you carrying George Bush’s trash?”

Her biggest legislative victory in the 112th Congress (2011-12) came when President Barack Obama signed into law a bill banning insider stock trading by lawmakers, a cause she had championed for years. In 2008, Slaughter capped a years-long campaign by winning enactment of her bill to bar discrimination in employment or health insurance based on the use of genetic information. On local issues, Slaughter has been an outspoken advocate of bringing high-speed rail to her region and worked in 2011 to get US Airways to slash the cost of flights out of Rochester.

During the 2009 health care debate, she was a major advocate of including a government-run insurer to compete with private companies and was sharply critical of the Senate’s decision to jettison the public option. When the final compromise came before the House in March 2010, Slaughter wrote a rule for the floor vote that attempted to get around the Senate by deeming the Senate version passed by the House once the House approved a “corrections bill” making changes to the other body’s version. Outraged Republicans dubbed the move the “Slaughter Solution,” even as Slaughter noted that the GOP had employed the strategy from time to time in the majority. The idea eventually was scrapped.

A microbiologist by training, Slaughter opposed proposals to ban human cloning and was an outspoken proponent of federal support for embryonic stem cell research. She introduced a bill in 2009 to limit the non-therapeutic use of pharmaceuticals in livestock. The bill did not move, but hearings on it drew widespread attention. The Food and Drug Administration released guidelines recommending the end of using of antibiotics to promote animal growth, a move Slaughter hailed as a step in the right direction.

As a loyal lieutenant of Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who once called Slaughter “the best politician that I have ever seen,” Slaughter helped to bring the first legislation to the House floor for the new Democratic majority in 2007: an overhaul of House rules, largely dictated by Pelosi and her lieutenants. Slaughter hailed the result as “a Congress people can be proud of again.” But Republicans quickly cried foul when Democrats next moved to the floor six bills from their campaign agenda, without committee action and with no opportunity for amendments. Her dismissal of procedural objections led to regular flare-ups with ranking Republican David Dreier of California, an astute and partisan master of parliamentary procedure.

Slaughter’s ascension to the chairmanship of Rules capped several years of struggle to move up in the Democratic leadership. In 1994, she lost toBarbara Kennelly of Connecticut in the race for vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, and in 1996, she was defeated byJohn Spratt of South Carolina for the ranking Democrat post on the Budget Committee. She became the ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee in 2005.

In 2002, redistricting placed Slaughter in the same district with Democratic Rep. John LaFalce, the party’s ranking member on the Banking Committee. Luckily for Slaughter, LaFalce decided to retire. She won 62%-38% against an inexperienced Republican challenger.

Post-2010 census redistricting placed her in a more Republican district, prompting popular Republican County Executive Maggie Brooks to challenge her in 2012. Questions arose about whether it was time for the 83-year-old Slaughter to make way for someone younger; the congresswoman had broken her leg in April at an event and earlier had missed numerous votes because of a family matter. Brooks hammered her opponent for being a “Washington insider,” but local political experts said that she failed to offer a compelling reason for replacing Slaughter. The incumbent won, 57%-43%.

Slaughter's husband of 57 years, Robert, died in May 2014. No one expected her to be in trouble that fall, but a lackluster local economy and dissatisfaction with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo spelled doom for many Democrats in her region, including Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei. Slaughter eked out a win with 50.2% over Gates Town Supervisor Mark Assini, who had run unsuccessfully for Congress before and wasn't taken seriously by his own party. She told reporters that she had trouble with "messaging," not performance.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3615

(202) 225-7822

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2469
Washington, DC 20515-3225

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3615

(202) 225-7822

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2469
Washington, DC 20515-3225

DISTRICT OFFICE

(585) 232-4850

(585) 232-1954

Federal Building Room 3120
Rochester, NY 14614-1309

DISTRICT OFFICE

(585) 232-4850

(585) 232-1954

Federal Building Room 3120
Rochester, NY 14614-1309

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(585) 402-9158

Building 5
Rochester, NY 14607

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

Building 5
Rochester, NY 14607

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Jennifer Brookes
Congressional Fellow

Aerospace

James Blum
Legislative Correspondent

james.blum@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3615

Agriculture

John Pellito
Community Liaison

David Visi
Congressional Fellow

david.visi@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3615

Animal Rights

James Blum
Legislative Correspondent

james.blum@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3615

Appropriations

Nicholas Semanko
Senior Legislative Assistant

Jack Spasiano
Legislative Assistant

Arts

Jack Spasiano
Legislative Assistant

Bobbie Wilson
Scheduler; Executive Assistant

Banking

John Pellito
Community Liaison

Budget

Nicholas Semanko
Senior Legislative Assistant

Campaign

Jack Spasiano
Legislative Assistant

Census

James Blum
Legislative Correspondent

james.blum@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3615

Jeffrey Rodgers
Community Liaison; Office Manager

Commerce

Nicholas Semanko
Senior Legislative Assistant

Jeffrey Rodgers
Community Liaison; Office Manager

John Kreckel
Economic Development Specialist

Communication

Katie Condello
Community Liaison; Press Assistant

Consumers

John Pellito
Community Liaison

Crime

Caitlin Hondorf
Staff Assistant

Disability

Patricia Larke
District Director

Economics

John Kreckel
Economic Development Specialist

Education

James Blum
Legislative Correspondent

james.blum@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3615

Katie Condello
Community Liaison; Press Assistant

Energy

Katie Condello
Community Liaison; Press Assistant

Jennifer Brookes
Congressional Fellow

Entertainment

Katie Condello
Community Liaison; Press Assistant

Environment

Katie Condello
Community Liaison; Press Assistant

Jennifer Brookes
Congressional Fellow

Family

Katie Condello
Community Liaison; Press Assistant

Jennifer Brookes
Congressional Fellow

Finance

Nicholas Semanko
Senior Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Jack Spasiano
Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Jack Spasiano
Legislative Assistant

James Blum
Legislative Correspondent

james.blum@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3615

John Pellito
Community Liaison

Jeffrey Rodgers
Community Liaison; Office Manager

Grants

Caitlin Hondorf
Staff Assistant

Jeffrey Rodgers
Community Liaison; Office Manager

Health

Patricia Larke
District Director

David Visi
Congressional Fellow

david.visi@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3615

Homeland Security

Jack Spasiano
Legislative Assistant

Jeffrey Rodgers
Community Liaison; Office Manager

Housing

James Blum
Legislative Correspondent

james.blum@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3615

John Pellito
Community Liaison

Immigration

Jack Spasiano
Legislative Assistant

Jeffrey Rodgers
Community Liaison; Office Manager

Judiciary

Jack Spasiano
Legislative Assistant

Beth LeValley
Community Liaison

Labor

John Pellito
Community Liaison

John Kreckel
Economic Development Specialist

Land Use

Katie Condello
Community Liaison; Press Assistant

Jennifer Brookes
Congressional Fellow

Medicare

Patricia Larke
District Director

Military

Liam Fitzsimmons
Chief of Staff

John Pellito
Community Liaison

Minorities

Patricia Larke
District Director

Caitlin Hondorf
Staff Assistant

Native Americans

James Blum
Legislative Correspondent

james.blum@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3615

Public Affairs

Caitlin Hondorf
Staff Assistant

Recreation

Katie Condello
Community Liaison; Press Assistant

Religion

Beth LeValley
Community Liaison

Science

James Blum
Legislative Correspondent

james.blum@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3615

Jennifer Brookes
Congressional Fellow

Seniors

Jack Spasiano
Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Nicholas Semanko
Senior Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Patricia Larke
District Director

Tax

Nicholas Semanko
Senior Legislative Assistant

John Pellito
Community Liaison

Technology

James Blum
Legislative Correspondent

james.blum@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3615

John Kreckel
Economic Development Specialist

Jennifer Brookes
Congressional Fellow

Telecommunications

James Blum
Legislative Correspondent

james.blum@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3615

Trade

Nicholas Semanko
Senior Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Nicholas Semanko
Senior Legislative Assistant

Katie Condello
Community Liaison; Press Assistant

John Kreckel
Economic Development Specialist

Urban Affairs

John Pellito
Community Liaison

Veterans

Jack Spasiano
Legislative Assistant

Welfare

Carrie Adams
Digital Director; Speechwriter

Women

Katie Condello
Community Liaison; Press Assistant

Jennifer Brookes
Congressional Fellow

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Louise Slaughter
Votes: 179,810
Percent: 57.41%
Maggie Brooks
Votes: 133,389
Percent: 42.59%
2012 PRIMARY
Louise Slaughter
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Louise Slaughter
Votes: 102,514
Percent: 64.9%
Jill Rowland
Votes: 55,392
Percent: 35.07%
2010 PRIMARY
Louise Slaughter
Unopposed
2008 GENERAL
Louise Slaughter
Votes: 172,655
Percent: 77.99%
David Crimmen
Votes: 48,690
Percent: 21.99%
2008 PRIMARY
Louise Slaughter
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (65%), 2008 (78%), 2006 (73%), 2004 (73%), 2002 (62%), 2000 (66%), 1998 (65%), 1996 (57%), 1994 (57%), 1992 (55%), 1990 (59%), 1988 (57%), 1986 (51%)

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