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Carol Shea-Porter

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 1st district
Assumed office 
January 3, 2007
Preceded by Jeb Bradley

Born December 2, 1952 (1952-12-02) (age 57)
New York, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Gene Porter
Residence Rochester, New Hampshire
Alma mater University of New Hampshire
Occupation Congresswoman / Social Worker
Religion Roman Catholic

Carol Shea-Porter (born Carol Shea December 2, 1952) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from the state of New Hampshire. She was previously the City Chair of the Rochester, New Hampshire Democratic Party. On November 7, 2006, she narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Jeb Bradley in the 2006 midterm elections in an upset victory to become the first woman ever elected to Congress from New Hampshire. She was re-elected to a second term in November 2008, defeating Bradley for the second time.


Early life and career

Shea-Porter was born in New York City but grew up on the New Hampshire seacoast, and graduated from Oyster River High School in Durham. The Associated Press reports that a 16-year-old Carol Shea was advised by her high school guidance counselor to "forget about college and try secretarial school." Shea-Porter disavowed that advice and graduated from the University of New Hampshire.[1] She earned a bachelor's degree in social services and a master's degree in public administration.[2] In 2004, she worked on Wesley Clark's New Hampshire primary campaign and for Strafford County Democrats running for the Legislature. A social worker by profession, she directed senior centers in New Orleans and Maryland. She was a volunteer relief worker in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.[2]

Political views

Congresswoman Shea-Porter is generally considered to hold liberal views on most topics and is a strong supporter of a timetable for troop withdrawals.[3] She also supports increasing taxes to pay for additional social spending, and supports increasing the minimum wage.[4]

Regarding health care, Shea-Porter supports a change in the new Medicare Part D drug benefit to allow the government to negotiate prices for prescription drugs.[4] She voted for the Affordable Health Care for America Act in 2009.[5] endorses her.[6]

Congresswoman Shea-Porter recently received a perfect score of 100% from the New Hampshire Association for Retired Americans for her support for 10 issues supported by the special interest group.[7], referencing her votes in favor of blocking Social Security privatization, lowering Medicare costs, expanding access to affordable health care, stopping oil price gouging, and protecting voting rights.

Political activism

Before her 2006 election to Congress, Shea-Porter rose to prominence through her political activism in support of liberal causes. She served as a New Hampshire state coordinator for the "Turn Your Back On Bush" campaign launched by a community organizing group called the Action Mill.[1] According to the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Police Department, Shea-Porter was removed by a plainclothes police officer from a 2005 town hall meeting hosted by President George W. Bush.[8] Shea-Porter would later claim that the officer who removed her at the end of the event acted like a "thug."[9]

The aforementioned 2005 removal from a Presidential event became an item of controversy in late 2009 when in an interview with the The Portsmouth Herald Shea-Porter claimed that she had not been removed[10], a claim later found to be false in review of her own 2005 statements[11].

As a political activist, Shea Porter developed a "reputation as a likeable rabble-rouser," that helped her win the 2006 First District Democratic Primary.[12]

Fund Raising

During her 2006 campaign, Shea-Porter received 85% of her campaign contributions from individuals; as of September 2008, 63% of her 2008 contributions have been individual.[13]. While Shea-Porter does accept money from PACs, the campaign does not accept money from business PACs or lobbyists.

She was victorious in the 2006 campaign although she received no financial support from either the Democratic National Committee or the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and although her incumbent opponent spent triple the amount her own campaign did.[14]

During her 2008 re-election campaign, Shea-Porter reversed course and requested financial support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The Committee enrolled Congresswoman Shea-Porter in their "Frontline" program "which helps vulnerable incumbents with fundraising and campaign infrastructure." [15] During the 2008 race she marginally outspent former Congressman Jeb Bradley in a rematch of their 2006 contest.[16]

Carol Shea-Porter's Campaign also set a fundraising record in 2008, by raising more in one quarter than any congressional campaign in New Hampshire's history. She totaled more than $260,000 from 2,589 donors, the bulk of which were individual donors.[17]

2006 election campaign

Shea-Porter faced three other Democrats in primary on September 12, 2006.[citation needed] She won with 12,497 votes (54%); Jim Craig, the New Hampshire House minority leader, finished second with 34%.[18]

She then defeated Republican incumbent Jeb Bradley in the general election, becoming the first Congresswoman from New Hampshire. Shea-Porter received 100,899 votes (52%) to Bradley's 94,869 votes (48%).

Committee assignments

Votes in Congress

In her first two months as a Congresswoman, Shea-Porter helped to pass the First 100 Hours legislative package and other bills: the Employee Free Choice Act, the Fair Minimum Wage Act, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act, the College Student Relief Act, the Creating Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation Act, and the Advanced Fuels Infrastructure Research and Development Act. Tenthers have mobilized opposition to her, for her support of the Federal Highway system.

Election History

Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
2006 Congress, District 1 General Carol Shea-Porter Democratic 100,837 51.31 Jeb Bradley Republican 95,538 48.61
2008 Congress, District 1 General Carol Shea-Porter Democratic 176,461 51.78 Jeb Bradley Republican 156,394 45.89

See also


  1. ^ "Carol Shea Porter's unusual journey to Congress"(registration required)
  2. ^ a b Carol Shea-Porter. (2006). Carol Shea Porter for Congress (NH 01). New Hampshire:  An early video "audition" introducing herself to the voters for the 2006 Congressional race which she won.
  3. ^ Statement on Politics
  4. ^ a b Carol Shea-Porter for US Congress
  5. ^ "House Roll Call #887". Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  6. ^ "Stand with these health care heroes". Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  7. ^ New Hampshire Retirees Concerned About Threats to Social Security
  8. ^ "'Thug' who removed Shea-Porter from 2005 President Bush event was plainclothes Portsmouth officer"
  9. ^ "Shea-Porter rejects and assails GOP accusations"
  10. ^ McCord, Michael (2009-09-22), ""Shea-Porter: Semprini's accusations are not true"", The Portsmouth Herald,, retrieved 2009-10-20 
  11. ^ Isenstadt, Alex (2009-10-20), "Has Rep. Shea-Porter 'gone native'?", The Politico,, retrieved 2009-10-20 
  12. ^ "Candidate finds it easy to raise cash"
  13. ^ Congressional Elections: New Hampshire District 01 Race: 2008 Cycle | OpenSecrets
  14. ^ Winograd, Morley; Hais, Michael D. (2008), Millennial makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the future of American politics, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, pp. 126, ISBN 9780813543017, OCLC 156994481, 
  15. ^ "Shea-Porter requests DCCC help in race" POLITICO, May 21, 2008
  16. ^ Carol Shea-Porter, Cycle Fundraising, 2007 - 2008, Center for Responsive Politics,, retrieved 2009-10-06 
  17. ^ John DiStaso's Granite Status: Shea-Porter's campaign has about $750K Union Leader, July 15, 2008
  18. ^ Secretary of State Results for New Hampshire 1st Congressional District, Democratic Primary, September 12, 2006

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jeb Bradley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Representatives to the 110th–111th United States Congresses from New Hampshire (ordered by seniority)
110th Senate: J. Gregg | J. Sununu House: C. Shea-Porter | P. Hodes
111th Senate: J. Gregg | J. Shaheen House: C. Shea-Porter | P. Hodes

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