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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Sununu

In office
January 7, 2003 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Robert C. Smith
Succeeded by Jeanne Shaheen

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 1st district
In office
January 7, 1997 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by William H. Zeliff
Succeeded by Jeb Bradley

Born September 10, 1964 ( 1964-09-10) (age 45)
Boston, Massachusetts
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kitty Sununu
Children John Sununu
Grace Sununu
Charlotte Sununu
Residence Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
Alma mater MIT, Harvard University
Occupation engineer, technology executive
Religion Roman Catholic

John Edward Sununu (born September 10, 1964) is a former Republican (GOP) United States Senator from New Hampshire. Sununu was the youngest member of the Senate for his entire six year term. He was also its only Arab-American member during his time in office. He is the son of former New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu.

On November 4, 2008, Sununu lost his re-election bid to former governor Jeanne Shaheen.[1]


Personal life and private career

Sununu, one of eight siblings, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Nancy Hayes and former Governor of New Hampshire and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu.[2] His father's family came to the United States from the Middle East at the turn of the century. Some members of the family were from Beirut and the others were from the Greek Orthodox community in Jerusalem. His father, John, was born in Havana, Cuba. Most of the last two generations of Sununus were also born in the United States. Most of his closest relatives in Beirut have died, including an uncle who returned to the Lebanese capital from the United States several years ago.[3] He also has Lebanese, Palestinian, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. Sununu earned both B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987 and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard University in 1991. After graduating, he worked in the high-tech industry, at one time for the company of Dean Kamen and as a management consultant for PRTM.

Sununu and his wife, Catherine ("Kitty"), have three children: John, (Catherine) Grace, and Charlotte.

Career after Senate

Sununu currently sits on the Board of Managers of ConvergEx Holdings, a holding company for BNY ConvergEx Group, an affiliate of Bank of New York Mellon, which holds a 33.8 percent stake in BNY ConvergEx Group.[4]. These days, he is often seen in the hallways of Saint Anselm College's New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

Sununu was appointed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to serve on the Congressional Oversight Panel (COP) for the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds, whose purpose is to assessing how the TARP program is working, in order to help Congress determine whether to continue injecting capital into the financial sector.[5]

Elected offices

In 1996, Sununu was elected to the United States House of Representatives. He was reelected in 1998 and 2000.

In 2002, Sununu ran for a United States Senate seat from New Hampshire. He defeated the Republican incumbent Bob Smith in the primary, then defeated Governor Jeanne Shaheen in the general election by a margin of 51%–46%.

United States House of Representatives

In 1999, NH's Christian Coalition gave "pro-family" awards to both NH Representatives, Sununu and Charles Bass, honoring the vote by both men to impeach President Bill Clinton.[6 ]

On November 8, 2000, the Boston Globe noted Sununu's defeat of Democratic newcomer Martha Fuller Clark, noting that Sununu had "one of the House's most conservative voting records"—opposing abortion and increased minimum wages while favoring school vouchers and the death penalty.[7]

In 2001, The New York Times described Sununu as a likely contender for the Senate seat then held by NH's Robert C. Smith, calling Sununu "a three-term conservative considered to be on the fast track in the House." The article noted that Sununu's backers included "some of the biggest Republican names in New Hampshire" as well as small government advocate Grover Norquist.[8]

United States Senate

According to a Washington Post study, Sununu voted with the Republican Party's position 84% of the time. However, he broke with his party on prominent issues, joining Democrats in filibusters of the USA PATRIOT Act[9] and the Bush Administration's 2003 energy bill.[10] Sununu strongly supported greater access to firearms, voting against the proposed renewal of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 2004. He strongly opposed amnesty for illegal aliens, voting against the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill in July 2007. Sununu called for a tougher federal regulator for government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and with Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), he filed a dramatic overhaul of regulation of the insurance industry.[11] A long proponent of technology, in January 2007, Sununu called for a permanent ban on taxes of Internet connections and online sales.[11]

P. J. O'Rourke wrote a tribute to Sununu, calling him a philosopher and suggesting that he was the smartest man in the Senate.[12] Sununu was one of only three senators whose voting record received a score of 100% from the fiscally conservative Club for Growth, which in February 2007 endorsed his bid for re-election.[13]

In 2007, Sununu was the lead Republican co-sponsor of the Clean Air Planning Act of 2007 which sought to address air quality and climate change by establishing a schedule to reduce harmful emissions from power plants—in particular, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides—as well as decrease carbon dioxide emissions through a cap-and-trade system. The legislation, which was never enacted, also addressed mercury pollution, calling for a 90% reduction in emissions of the chemical by 2015.[14] He also supported the bipartisan Clean Energy Stimulus Act of 2008 that provides tax incentives for the development of clean and renewable energy sources.[15] In 2006 Sununu sponsored the bipartisan New England Wilderness Act which added tens of thousand of acres of land to federally protected forests.[16] Sununu opposed the Climate Stewardship Act of 2003, which would have also created a cap-and-trade program. His vote was criticized by the New Hampshire Democratic Party which claimed that he had acted "against reducing greenhouse gases". The New Hampshire Union Leader praised his decision, citing the Energy Information Agency's estimation that the legislation would cost the American economy $507 billion over 22 years.[17]

Sununu took a few positions contrary to the Bush administration and the Republican leadership. Though he voted for the flag burning amendment, he voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment and he opposed restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba, and was one of only two Republicans to vote in favor of terminating funds for TV Martí, which broadcasts anti-Castro programming in Cuba. He was one of a small group of Republicans to vote in favor of banning loans to China for any nuclear projects, and in September 2005 he voted to disapprove a new rule set in place by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delisting coal and other energy sources from the Clean Air Act.

He also became well known as one of the five Republican Senators who joined Democrats in a filibuster of the USA PATRIOT Act renewal conference report. This caused the Republican leadership to extend the original legislation until a compromise bill was forged.

In January 2006, at a hearing in front of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on the Broadcast Flag, Sununu was one of the very few present to criticize the legislation, saying "In all cases [of previous technological advancements in the US], we didn't need to step in with a significant statutory government-regulated mandate on technology that consumers use to enjoy this material".[18]

In October 2006, Sununu voted against a portion of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that would suspend the right of habeas corpus for non-citizen detainees. After voting in favor of the final bill, he defended his vote by telling reporters "The Constitution is not a suicide pact."[19]

On March 14, 2007, Sununu became the first Republican senator to call for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales after a controversy over U.S. Attorney firings. Sununu cited his anger with the mismanagement by Gonzales and the lack of trustworthiness by GOP Senators towards Gonzales.[20]

In July 2005, Sununu shaved his head to show solidarity with Senator Arlen Specter, who had lost his hair due to chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease.[21]

In September 2008, Sununu became one of twenty senators (ten Democrats and ten Republicans) co-sponsoring a bipartisan energy bill, the New Energy Reform Act of 2008. The bill is offered as an alternative to the Democrats' energy bill, sponsored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Both bills propose to increase offshore drilling, while promoting conservation and alternative energy. The "Gang of Twenty" bill also lets coastal states participate in decisions and in revenue about drilling in the fifty-to-one-hundred-mile range off their coasts. It also differs from the Democrats' bill in allowing drilling off Florida's west coast, a proposal both Florida's senators have protested. To quote the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Nearly every potentially vulnerable Senate Republican, from Norm Coleman [of Minnesota] to Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and John Sununu of New Hampshire, has signed on to the legislation."[22]

Electoral history

New Hampshire's 1st congressional district: Results 1996–2000[23]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1996 Joe Keefe 115,462 47% John E. Sununu 123,939 50% Gary A. Flanders Libertarian 8,176 3%
1998 Peter Flood 51,783 33% John E. Sununu 104,430 67%
2000 Martha Fuller Clark 128,387 45% John E. Sununu 150,609 53% Dan Belforti Libertarian 5,713 2%
New Hampshire Senator (Class II) results: 2002-2008[23]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2002 Jeanne Shaheen 207,478 46% John E. Sununu 227,229 51% Ken Blevens Libertarian 9,835 2% Bob Smith Write-in 2,396 1% *
2008 Jeanne Shaheen 357,153 52% John E. Sununu 312,601 45% Ken Blevens Libertarian 21,381 3%
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2002, write-ins received 197 votes.


  1. ^ Ramer, Holly (November 4, 2008). "New Hampshire's Shaheen achieves another first". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  2. ^ "Hosted by rootsweb: John Edward Sununu". Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  3. ^ "Behind the Sununu Surname". The New York Times. November 21, 1988. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  4. ^ "Former U.S. Senator John Sununu Appointed to the Board of Managers of ConvergEx Holdings". PR Newswire. February 25, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  5. ^ Johnston, Nicholas (December 17, 2008). "Republican Senator John Sununu Named to TARP Oversight Board". Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  6. ^ Berke, Richard L. (February 8, 1999). "THE PRESIDENT'S TRIAL: THE CONSERVATIVES; Coalition Still Driving To Impeach". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2008.  
  7. ^ Jimenez, Ralph (November 8, 2000). "Bass, Sununu declare victory over newcomers". Boston Globe. Retrieved July 3, 2007.  
  8. ^ Ayres, B. Drummond (April 14, 2001). "New Hampshire G.O.P. Senator Faces Pressure to Quit". New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2008.  
  9. ^ Donnelly, Julie (December 15, 2005). "NH Senator Sununu Promises to Hold-Up Patriot Act". New Hampshire Public Radio. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  10. ^ Hulse, Carl (November 21, 2003). "Filibuster Blocks $31 Billion Energy Bill in Senate". The New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  11. ^ a b "John E. Sununu Profile". The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2009.  
  12. ^ O'Rourke, P. J. (June 16, 2008). "Mr. Sununu Goes To Washington". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  13. ^ Youngman, Sam (February 27, 2007). "Sununu Wins Club For Growth Backing in '08 Bid". The Hill. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  14. ^ 110th Congress (April 20, 2007). "S. 1177: Clean Air Planning Act of 2007". GovTrack. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  15. ^ "U.S. Senate Introduces Bipartisan Renewable Energy Tax Credit Legislation". Renewable Energy World. April 4, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  16. ^ "Senate Unanimously Passes New England Wilderness Act". U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. September 19, 2006. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  17. ^ "Green Sununu: NH vs. Washington Values". New Hampshire Union Leader. April 27, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  18. ^ McCullagh, Declan (January 24, 2006). "Senate may hoist broadcast flag again". Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  19. ^ Chaddock, Gail Russell (October 2, 2006). "In fog of war on terror, some rules set". The Christian Science Monitor. p. 2. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  20. ^ "GOP senator calls for Gonzales' head". CNN. March 15, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  21. ^ "Sununu Shaves Head for Specter". Political Wire. July 24, 2005. Retrieved November 22, 2009.  
  22. ^ Anderson, Mitch (September 12, 2008). "Klobuchar joins bipartisan energy group". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved December 17, 2009.  
  23. ^ a b "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved August 8, 2007.  

External links

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

1997 – 2003
Succeeded by
Jeb Bradley
United States Senate
Preceded by
Robert C. Smith
United States Senator (Class 2) from New Hampshire
Served alongside: Judd Gregg
Succeeded by
Jeanne Shaheen
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Peter Fitzgerald
Youngest Member of the United States Senate
Succeeded by
Mark Pryor


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

John Edward Sununu (born September 10, 1964) is a Republican United States Senator from New Hampshire.


  • I do not support raising the minimum wage, and the reason is as follows: When the minimum wage is raised, workers are priced out of the market. That is the economic reality that seems, at least so far, to be missing from this discussion."
  • This may be the most bizarre recommendation, but I am sincere. I'm not saying it's not an issue or it's not important, but proportionally speaking, stop complaining about health care...if there was something that we could do about it that were quick or easy, it would be done...There is no solution.
  • In all cases [of previous technological advancements in the US], we didn't need to step in with a significant statutory government-regulated mandate on technology that consumers use to enjoy this material,
  • I don't know of a case where we were discussing such a dramatic step where the federal government will legislatively mandate a specific type of technology to be incorporated in all of this material. Maybe the sky really is falling this time, but I think it is worth suggesting a little bit of skepticism, it's worth offering up a little doubt before we not just entertain this, but jump ahead to what exemptions were required.
  • The very technologies that some seem to be afraid of are driving innovation, and driving creativity as we sit here today. In fact, we have an unprecedented wave of creativity and product development and content development... I think the history of government mandates... is that it always, always restricts innovation. Why would we think this one special time... it will actually encourage innovation? [1]

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