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

Biography

Elected: 1988, 14th term.

Born: July 5, 1937, Bronx

Home: Harrison

Education: Mt. Holyoke Col., B.A. 1959

Professional Career: Asst. for Econ. Devel. & Neighborhood Preservation, NY Secy. of State; Dep. dir., Division of Econ. Opportunity, 1975–85; NY asst. secy. of st., 1985–87.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Jewish

Family: married (Stephen) , 3 children

Democrat Nita Lowey, first elected in 1988, is a formidable insider among House Democrats. She is a close and persuasive ally of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and in December 2012 became the first woman to serve as the Appropriations Committee’s ranking Democrat.

Lowey was born in the Bronx, and after graduating from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in marketing, she moved to Queens, where she became a homemaker raising three children. She first got involved in politics when her neighbor, Mario Cuomo, got Lowey to help out in his campaign for lieutenant governor. He lost that race but was appointed New York secretary of state and hired Lowey as his assistant in 1975. Cuomo later became New York governor.

In the 1988 Democratic primary for the House seat, Lowey faced Hamilton Fish III, who was politically well connected but, as a former publisher of The Nation, was considerably to the left of Lowey. She won 44%-36%. In the general election, she challenged two-term Republican Rep. Joseph DioGuardi, who was dogged by charges of illicit contributions. She won 50%-47%. Each spent more than $1 million, with Lowey spending $657,000 of her own money.

In the House, Lowey’s voting record is liberal, although she is more moderate on foreign policy. She has been a strong advocate of aid to Israel and voted for the 2002 Iraq war resolution. Her ties to Pelosi were evident when she beat out Marcy Kaptur of Ohio for the ranking Democratic slot on Appropriations, even though Kaptur had more seniority. In addition to her Pelosi connections, Lowey has clout with the Obama administration. Her former staff director on Appropriations, Rob Nabors, served as White House director of legislative affairs and later became President Obama’s deputy chief of staff.

As the ranking Democrat on Appropriations’ State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, she worked closely in 2011 with the panel’s chairman, Texas Republican Kay Granger, on warning the Palestinian Authority that its quest for statehood jeopardized its U.S. funding. She led the opposition that year to a GOP proposal to slash U.S. contributions to international financial organizations. She argued that it would impair companies’ ability to access foreign markets. After a young Nigerian evaded airport security in Amsterdam and almost blew up a Northwest Airlines flight over American skies, Lowey demanded that airlines submit passenger manifests to the federal government at least 24 hours before a flight’s departure to give them more time to catch terrorism suspects.

On domestic issues, she has actively supported the National Endowment for the Arts, and also has been a big supporter of biomedical research and helped increase spending on cancer research at the National Institutes of Health. She has become a vigorous crusader against skin cancer after watching two close friends undergo surgeries and chemotherapy for melanoma, calling for better guidelines on sunscreen. She also has worked to combat drunken driving, advocating the increased use of ignition interlock devices to impede repeat offenses. Pursuing her interest in feminist issues, she has backed funds for international family planning. And she reportedly played an important behind-the-scenes role in getting the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial industry overhaul law to soften proposed regulations on derivatives that would have negatively impacted New York’s banking industry.

Since Lowey first won, the boundaries of her district have been radically altered three times by redistricting but she has been reelected by wide margins. She thought about a Senate bid in 2000, but deferred to first lady Hillary Clinton, and in 2008, she was an enthusiastic supporter of Clinton’s presidential campaign. Her party loyalty and avid fundraising led Minority Leader Dick Gephardt to appoint her to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2002 election. That year, the GOP’s six-seat gain was an acute disappointment to Lowey, who quietly bowed out of the chairmanship. In 2008, she was mentioned as a possible successor to Clinton in the Senate after Clinton became secretary of State, but the plum went to Democratic Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Lowey’s Republican opponent in 2008 and 2010 was Jim Russell, a staunch Christian conservative who proved no match for her. The local GOP in 2010 rescinded its endorsement of Russell after it was exposed that he wrote an anti-integration essay featured on former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s website. She won 62%-38%. Two years later, post-2010 census redistricting gave her a district in which just over half of her constituents were new to her, and in 2012, she drew a stronger GOP candidate in Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin. Nevertheless, she won with 64% of the vote and further increased her influence in Washington by donating nearly $700,000 to colleagues before the election.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6506

(202) 225-0546

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2365
Washington, DC 20515-3217

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6506

(202) 225-0546

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2365
Washington, DC 20515-3217

DISTRICT OFFICE

(914) 428-1707

(914) 328-1505

222 Mamaroneck Avenue Suite 312
White Plains, NY 10605-1316

DISTRICT OFFICE

(914) 428-1707

(914) 328-1505

222 Mamaroneck Avenue Suite 312
White Plains, NY 10605-1316

DISTRICT OFFICE

(845) 639-3485

(845) 634-4079

67 North Main Street Suite 101
New City, NY 10956

DISTRICT OFFICE

(845) 639-3485

(845) 634-4079

67 North Main Street Suite 101
New City, NY 10956

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

188 East Post Road Suite 305
White Plains, NY 10601

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(914) 683-3275

(914) 683-0416

188 East Post Road Suite 305
White Plains, NY 10601

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Aerospace

Matthew Rowland
Legislative Correspondent

Agriculture

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Animal Rights

Matthew Rowland
Legislative Correspondent

Appropriations

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Matthew Rowland
Legislative Correspondent

Arts

Matthew Rowland
Legislative Correspondent

Banking

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Campaign

Matthew Rowland
Legislative Correspondent

Census

Matthew Rowland
Legislative Correspondent

Consumers

Matthew Rowland
Legislative Correspondent

Crime

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Disability

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Disaster

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Economics

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Education

Marin Stein
Appropriations Associate

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Energy

Shira Siegel
Senior Legislative Assistant

Entertainment

Matthew Rowland
Legislative Correspondent

Environment

Shira Siegel
Senior Legislative Assistant

Family

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Finance

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Marin Stein
Appropriations Associate

Govt Ops

Matthew Rowland
Legislative Correspondent

Gun Issues

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Health

Marin Stein
Appropriations Associate

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Homeland Security

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Insurance

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Intelligence

Marocco Roberts
Military Fellow

Judiciary

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Medicare

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Military

Marocco Roberts
Military Fellow

Shira Siegel
Senior Legislative Assistant

National Security

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Recreation

Matthew Rowland
Legislative Correspondent

Religion

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Marin Stein
Appropriations Associate

Science

Matthew Rowland
Legislative Correspondent

Seniors

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Small Business

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Tax

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Technology

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Matthew Rowland
Legislative Correspondent

Telecommunications

Jennifer Becker-Pollet
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Transportation

Shira Siegel
Senior Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Marocco Roberts
Military Fellow

Welfare

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Matthew Rowland
Legislative Correspondent

Women

Marin Stein
Appropriations Associate

Dana Miller
Legislative Director

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Nita Lowey
Votes: 171,417
Percent: 64.42%
Joe Carvin
Votes: 91,899
Percent: 34.54%
2012 PRIMARY
Nita Lowey
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Nita Lowey
Votes: 115,619
Percent: 62.13%
Jim Russell
Votes: 70,413
Percent: 37.84%
2010 PRIMARY
Nita Lowey
Unopposed
2008 GENERAL
Nita Lowey
Votes: 174,791
Percent: 68.46%
Jim Russell
Votes: 80,498
Percent: 31.53%
2008 PRIMARY
Nita Lowey
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (62%), 2008 (68%), 2006 (71%), 2004 (70%), 2002 (92%), 2000 (67%), 1998 (83%), 1996 (64%), 1994 (57%), 1992 (56%), 1990 (63%), 1988 (50%)

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