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

Biography

Elected: Jan. 2012, 1st full term.

Born: October 14, 1954, Detroit, MI

Home: Portland

Education: Lane Comm. Col., A.D. 1978, U. of OR, B.A. 1980, J.D. 1983.

Professional Career: Atty., Federal Trade Commission, 1983-86; Atty., private practice, 1986-89; Legis. aide, 2001-07.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Jewish

Family: Married (Michael Simon) , 2 children

The congresswoman from the 1st District is Suzanne Bonamici, a Democrat who succeeded scandal-plagued Rep. David Wu. She defeated Republican Rob Cornilles in a Jan. 31, 2012, special election after Wu stepped down amid charges he made sexual advances to a friend’s teenage daughter.

Bonamici (Bon-ah-MEE-chee) was born in Detroit and grew up in the small town of Northville, Mich. Her father worked at a local bank, and her mother was both a small business owner and a piano teacher. After high school, Bonamici traveled with friends in a van to Oregon, fell in love with the state, and moved to Eugene. “It was a very 70s thing to do,” Bonamici told The Oregonian newspaper. She began attending Lane Community College and also took a job at a legal aid center in Eugene. Bonamici subsequently earned both her bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Oregon. She moved to Washington, D.C., to take a job as a consumer protection lawyer at the Federal Trade Commission. During that time, Bonamici met her husband, Michael Simon, and the two relocated to Oregon in 1986. Bonamici worked as a lawyer in private practice.

In 2001, Bonamici took a job as a legislative assistant in the Oregon House of Representatives. Five years later, she won her own state House seat and focused on consumer protection. In 2008, she was elected to the state Senate, representing parts of Beaverton and northwest Portland.

When a special election was called following Wu’s Aug. 11, 2011 resignation, Bonamici jumped into the Democratic primary, facing off against state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and state Rep. Brad Witt. In a forum with the AFL-CIO, Witt and Avakian both said they would oppose the U.S. trade pacts with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea being debated in Congress. Bonamici declined to take a position and drew criticism for indecisiveness. She then came out in favor of the South Korea pact. She raised the most money of the three candidates and won with 66% of the vote.

In the general election, Bonamici faced Cornilles, a sports business consultant and Wu’s Republican opponent in 2010. Cornilles played up his business experience and also kept his distance from the national GOP. He praised the Democrats in the Oregon delegation, touted his endorsements from Democratic mayors, and refused to take the no-new-taxes pledge that many Republicans in Congress had taken. Bonamici ran an ad attacking Cornilles for an old federal tax lien against his business over failure to pay payroll taxes. She emphasized the need to tax the wealthiest Americans and to end corporate tax breaks in order to fund education and infrastructure projects.

Bonamici had the advantage in a Democratic district that gave 61% of its 2008 presidential vote to Democrat Barack Obama. However, just four and a half months earlier, the Democrats lost a seat in a heavily Democratic district in a special election following the resignation of another disgraced politician, Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York. With that in mind, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee moved aggressively early on, sinking $1 million into the contest and painting Cornilles as a tea party extremist. The DCCC, EMILY’s List, and other liberal interest groups poured millions into the race, while national Republican groups spent little and mostly stayed away. Bonamici won, 54% to 40%.

In the House, Bonamici has a solidly liberal voting record. According to National Journal’s 2012 vote ratings, she was the most reliable Democratic vote in the Oregon delegation. She pushed a bill to crack down on online payday loans, arguing that predatory lending practices are driving up consumer debt. Bonamici has also opposed cuts to the social safety net. With an eye towards Nike – the apparel and shoemaker’s headquarters is in her district – she offered a bill to suspend a duty on leathered footwear.

Bonamici’s 2012 reelection campaign for a full term was a more low-key affair. She faced Republican Delinda Morgan, a vineyard owner who had lost to Cornilles in the GOP special election primary. Bonamici raised almost $2.5 million, while Morgan pulled in just $24,000. Bonamici won easily, 60%-33%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-0855

(202) 225-9497

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 439
Washington, DC 20515-3701

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-0855

(202) 225-9497

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 439
Washington, DC 20515-3701

DISTRICT OFFICE

(503) 469-6010

(503) 469-6018

12725 South West Millikan Way Suite 220
Beaverton, OR 97005-1778

DISTRICT OFFICE

(503) 469-6010

(503) 469-6018

12725 South West Millikan Way Suite 220
Beaverton, OR 97005-1778

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(503) 208-1228

PO Box 1632
Beaverton, OR 97202

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 1632
Beaverton, OR 97202

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Allison Smith
Legislative Director

Agriculture

Sarah Round
Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Sarah Round
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Allison Smith
Legislative Director

Arts

Adrian Anderson
Legislative Assistant

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Budget

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Consumers

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Crime

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Disability

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Economics

Sarah Round
Legislative Assistant

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Education

Adrian Anderson
Legislative Assistant

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Energy

Sarah Round
Legislative Assistant

Environment

Sarah Round
Legislative Assistant

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Family

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Finance

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Foreign

Adrian Anderson
Legislative Assistant

Grants

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Health

Adrian Anderson
Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Adrian Anderson
Legislative Assistant

Human Rights

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Immigration

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Intelligence

Adrian Anderson
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Sarah Round
Legislative Assistant

Military

Adrian Anderson
Legislative Assistant

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Privacy

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Public Affairs

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Public Works

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Rural Affairs

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Science

Sarah Round
Legislative Assistant

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Small Business

Sarah Round
Legislative Assistant

Jack Arriaga
Legislative Aide

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Social Security

Adrian Anderson
Legislative Assistant

Tax

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Technology

Sarah Round
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Allison Smith
Legislative Director

Trade

Sarah Round
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Sarah Round
Legislative Assistant

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Urban Affairs

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Veterans

Adrian Anderson
Legislative Assistant

Welfare

Adrian Anderson
Legislative Assistant

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Women

Adrian Anderson
Legislative Assistant

Kelli Horvath
Field Representative

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Suzanne Bonamici
Votes: 197,845
Percent: 59.69%
Delinda Morgan
Votes: 109,699
Percent: 33.09%
2012 PRIMARY
Suzanne Bonamici
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2012 special (54%)

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