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

Biography

Elected: 2008, 3rd term.

Born: July 5, 1966, Lima, Peru

Home: Greenwich

Education: Harvard U., B.A. 1988; Oxford U., M.Phil. 1990.

Professional Career: Financial analyst and V.P., Goldman Sachs, 1990-2002; V.P., Enterprise Community Partners, 2004-08.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Presbyterian

Family: married (Mary) , 2 children

Jim Himes, a Democrat elected in 2008, is a former investment banker who puts his understanding of Wall Street to use on the Financial Services Committee as well as in explaining its workings to colleagues. He also likes to spread his views on Twitter, and has drawn attention for his frequent and sometimes funny use of the social network.

Though he represents one of the wealthiest areas of the country, Himes grew up in different surroundings. Born in Lima, Peru, he spent his early years in Peru and Colombia, where his father worked for the Ford Foundation, the automotive pioneer’s international development organization. Around the time of his 10th birthday, after his parents divorced, he came to the United States with his mother and two sisters and settled in Pennington, N.J. His early experience in Latin America had an enduring effect. He speaks fluent Spanish and maintains a deep interest in the region.

Himes earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and then got a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford. When he returned to the United States, he went to work for Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst. He spent 12 years at the powerful investment house, and left the company in 2002 as a vice president. The following year, he joined Enterprise Community Partners, a Columbia, Md.-based nonprofit dedicated to alleviating urban poverty. Beginning in 2004, he managed its offices in the Northeast.

Like many other Wall Street executives, Himes moved in 1998 to the affluent suburb of Greenwich to raise a family with his wife, Mary. He became active in the town Democratic committee after the 2000 presidential election, and served as committee chairman from 2003 to 2007. He worked as a campaign volunteer in 2006 for Democrat Diane Farrell, who finished roughly 7,000 votes behind Rep. Christopher Shays, a GOP moderate who had withstood repeated Democratic assaults on his seat. The following April, Himes announced his own campaign against Shays, promising the third competitive race in a row.

Himes set a torrid fundraising pace, aided in large measure by his Wall Street connections. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also made him one of its top prospects in 2008. After easily dispatching a minor challenger in the August primary, Himes focused on Shays and the George W. Bush administration and attempted to link the two over the Iraq war. Himes embraced the national Democratic establishment, frequently reminding voters that he would appear on the same ticket as presidential nominee Obama. The efforts of national Democrats helped Himes slightly outraise Shays. In past years, Shays’ moderate record and seniority on Capitol Hill helped him weather political storms. But in 2008, the surge of enthusiasm for Obama’s candidacy provided a powerful final push. Himes defeated Shays 51%-48%. He won the district’s urban regions by substantial margins and also managed to stay competitive in the affluent suburbs that tend to break Republican.

Himes has taken a centrist approach in Congress, supporting Obama’s major priorities but also asserting his independence. He was one of just 22 Democrats who supported a failed amendment in March 2012 to implement the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission. He declared his frustration in April 2011 with keeping a large U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, telling a town hall audience: “I’ve arrived at the point of view that we’re not going to change Afghanistan. I’m done. I’m done.” He riled some Democratic leaders when he joined several other junior lawmakers in July 2010 to form a working group to propose large spending cuts in defense, energy, housing, and agriculture.

Earlier, during the furor in 2009 over bonuses paid to executives at AIG International and other firms receiving federal rescue money, Himes cosponsored a measure requiring all future compensation to be performance-based; it passed the House but stalled in the Senate. When the Financial Services Committee took up a sweeping financial overhaul bill, he helped craft a provision regulating the complex financial instruments known as derivatives. Consumer advocates criticized Himes and other centrist Democrats, accusing them of watering down derivatives controls passed by the Senate in an effort to appease Wall Street. Himes argued that the legislation still took significant steps to crack down on abuses at investment firms.

Himes routinely makes himself available to colleagues to answer questions about the industry. “He can explain things like derivatives and credit default swaps in plain English so (members) can have some degree of fluency in this, which is extremely helpful,” fellow Connecticut Democrat Joe Courtney told the Connecticut Post in 2012. At the same time, Himes tries to bring disaffected Wall Streeters back to the Democratic fold. “I do hear anger” from the investment industry, he told The New York Times in 2011. “Many of them know me from my previous life, and they do call me and say, ‘What the hell is going on?’’’

Republicans hoped that Obama’s absence from the ballot in 2010 would give them a shot at unseating Himes. But the GOP nomination went to state Sen. Dan Debicella of Shelton over the more moderate former state Sen. Rob Russo of Bridgeport. Himes wasted little time in portraying Debicella as an extremist and again relied on his industry connections to bring in almost $3.7 million. He won with 53% of the vote. Two years later, he had an even easier race against GOP consulting firm executive Steve Obsitnik, winning with 60%.

Himes is an avid user of Twitter, often while commuting by train. When a follower declared him to be “the coolest congressman,” Himes responded that the comment made 2012 a success for him, then tweeted, “On the other hand, in the land of the blind ...”

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5541

(202) 225-9629

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1227
Washington, DC 20515-0704

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5541

(202) 225-9629

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1227
Washington, DC 20515-0704

DISTRICT OFFICE

(866) 453-0028

(203) 333-6655

211 State Street 2nd Floor
Bridgeport, CT 06604-4808

DISTRICT OFFICE

(866) 453-0028

(203) 333-6655

211 State Street 2nd Floor
Bridgeport, CT 06604-4808

DISTRICT OFFICE

(203) 353-9400

(203) 333-6655

888 Washington Boulevard 10th Floor
Stamford, CT 06901-2902

DISTRICT OFFICE

(203) 353-9400

(203) 333-6655

888 Washington Boulevard 10th Floor
Stamford, CT 06901-2902

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(203) 450-9395

197 Valley Road
Cos Cob, CT 06807

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

197 Valley Road
Cos Cob, CT 06807

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Justin Meuse
Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Justin Meuse
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Rachel Kelly
Deputy Chief of Staff

Arts

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Banking

Rachel Kelly
Deputy Chief of Staff

Amy Lappos
Constituent Services Representative; Grants Specialist

amy.lappos@mail.house.gov
(866) 453-0028

Gloria Depina
Constituent Services Representative

Budget

Rachel Kelly
Deputy Chief of Staff

Campaign

Justin Meuse
Legislative Assistant

Census

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Consumers

Alexandra Heller
Constituent Service Representative

Crime

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Economics

Rachel Kelly
Deputy Chief of Staff

Education

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Energy

Justin Meuse
Legislative Assistant

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Environment

Justin Meuse
Legislative Assistant

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Family

Amy Lappos
Constituent Services Representative; Grants Specialist

amy.lappos@mail.house.gov
(866) 453-0028

Gloria Depina
Constituent Services Representative

Finance

Rachel Kelly
Deputy Chief of Staff

Foreign

Rachel Kelly
Deputy Chief of Staff

Govt Ops

Justin Meuse
Legislative Assistant

Alexandra Heller
Constituent Service Representative

Grants

Justin Meuse
Legislative Assistant

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Health

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Amy Lappos
Constituent Services Representative; Grants Specialist

amy.lappos@mail.house.gov
(866) 453-0028

Gloria Depina
Constituent Services Representative

Homeland Security

Justin Meuse
Legislative Assistant

Alexandra Heller
Constituent Service Representative

Housing

Rachel Kelly
Deputy Chief of Staff

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Human Rights

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Amy Lappos
Constituent Services Representative; Grants Specialist

amy.lappos@mail.house.gov
(866) 453-0028

Ligia Marroquin
Constituent Services Representative

Gloria Depina
Constituent Services Representative

Alexandra Heller
Constituent Service Representative

Intergovernmental

Ligia Marroquin
Constituent Services Representative

Judiciary

Justin Meuse
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Justin Meuse
Legislative Assistant

Amy Lappos
Constituent Services Representative; Grants Specialist

amy.lappos@mail.house.gov
(866) 453-0028

Medicare

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Military

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Alexandra Heller
Constituent Service Representative

Minorities

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Public Affairs

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Public Works

Justin Meuse
Legislative Assistant

Religion

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Science

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Seniors

Gloria Depina
Constituent Services Representative

Small Business

Rachel Kelly
Deputy Chief of Staff

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Tax

Rachel Kelly
Deputy Chief of Staff

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Gloria Depina
Constituent Services Representative

Technology

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Gloria Depina
Constituent Services Representative

Trade

Rachel Kelly
Deputy Chief of Staff

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Transportation

Rachel Kelly
Deputy Chief of Staff

Justin Meuse
Legislative Assistant

Urban Affairs

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Veterans

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Alexandra Heller
Constituent Service Representative

Welfare

Shante Hanks
Deputy District Director

Women

Kevin Garrahan
Legislative Assistant

Amy Lappos
Constituent Services Representative; Grants Specialist

amy.lappos@mail.house.gov
(866) 453-0028

Gloria Depina
Constituent Services Representative

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Jim Himes
Votes: 175,929
Percent: 59.96%
Steve Obsitnik
Votes: 117,503
Percent: 40.04%
2012 PRIMARY
Jim Himes
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Jim Himes
Votes: 115,351
Percent: 53.06%
Dan Debicella
Votes: 102,030
Percent: 46.94%
2010 PRIMARY
Jim Himes
Unopposed
2008 GENERAL
Jim Himes
Votes: 158,475
Percent: 51.32%
Christopher Shays
Votes: 146,854
Percent: 47.56%
2008 PRIMARY
Jim Himes
Votes: 12,260
Percent: 86.95%
Lee Whitnum
Votes: 1,840
Percent: 13.05%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (53%), 2008 (51%)

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