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Betty Sutton
Betty Sutton official photo.jpg
Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
In office
August 13, 2013[1] – January 20, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byCraig Middlebrook (acting)
Succeeded byCraig Middlebrook (acting)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 13th district
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2013
Preceded bySherrod Brown
Succeeded byJim Renacci (Redistricting)
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 47th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – December 31, 2000
Preceded byCliff Skeen
Succeeded byBob Otterman
Member of the Summit County Council
In office
Member of the Barberton City Council from the At-Large Ward
In office
Personal details
Betty Sue Sutton

(1963-07-31) July 31, 1963 (age 57)
Barberton, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Doug Corwon
EducationKent State University (BA)
University of Akron (JD)

Betty Sue Sutton (born July 31, 1963) is an American politician who served as a U.S. Representative for Ohio's 13th congressional district from 2007 to 2013. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Sutton lost her 2012 re-election campaign after she was redistricted to the 16th District, losing to fellow incumbent Jim Renacci in the Republican-leaning district.

On July 24, 2013, the White House announced that Sutton would be appointed administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. The agency is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is a government owned corporation that operates and maintains the U.S. portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway between the Port of Montreal and Lake Erie.[2] On March 7, 2017 Sutton announced that she would pursue the Democratic nomination for Governor of Ohio.[3] On January 10, 2018, Sutton dropped her bid for governor, announcing that she would instead run for Lieutenant Governor of Ohio as the running mate of Richard Cordray.[4]

Early life and education

Sutton was born and raised the youngest of six children in Barberton, Ohio, just outside of Akron. Her father worked at a boiler factory and her mother worked at a public library.[5] She attended public schools, going on to graduate from Kent State University with a degree in political science. Sutton went on to study for a Juris Doctor at the University of Akron School of Law, where she received a Dean's Club Scholarship and earned both the American Jurisprudence Award and Federal Bar Association Award for Outstanding Performance in Constitutional Law.[6]

Early political career

During her first year of law school, Sutton successfully ran for her first public office, which earned her an at-large seat on the Barberton City Council in 1990.[6]

A year later, Sutton was appointed to fill an at-large seat on the Summit County Council, where she served until 1992. During her second year in office, Sutton was elected vice president of the council.[6]

In 1992, at age 29, she was the youngest woman ever to be elected to the Ohio House of Representatives.[7] She served for eight years and could not run again due to term limits.[7]

In 2006, Sutton successfully ran for the seat vacated by Sherrod Brown in the U.S. House of Representatives in Ohio's 13th congressional district.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Before she was appointed to the Armed Services Committee and the Natural Resources Committee, Sutton sat on the Energy and Commerce Committee in the 111th Congress, and on the Judiciary Committee and Rules Committee in the 110th Congress.

Caucus memberships

111th Congress

Sutton during the 110th Congress
Sutton during the 110th Congress

Sutton was also recognized as a "key House architect" in the American Clean Energy and Security Act that passed the House in June 2009.[8] An amendment she offered established the "Cash for Clunkers" program. Sutton received wide media attention in 2009 as a result of her lead sponsorship of the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act, which mandated the "Cash for Clunkers" program that went into effect during the summer of 2009.[9] Her 2010 Republican opponent, Tom Ganley, sold 876 cars under this program.[10] At the time, August 2009, his only complaint was about the speed of payment.[11]

Sutton was the lead sponsor of the Josh Miller HEARTS Act, which mandates that the Department of Education provide funding to local schools for the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs).[12] The bill was named after one of Sutton's constituents, a 15-year-old honor student, football player, and wrestler from Barberton, Ohio who collapsed and died on the football field after suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.[13]

Other bills that Sutton has sponsored include the Protect Consumers Act of 2009, which calls for stricter action to protect consumers in the event of a product's mandatory recall by the FDA,[14] the Disability Equity Act, which eliminates the 5-month waiting period currently in place for Social Security disability benefits,[15] and the Contractor Accountability Act, which tightens public oversight of federal expenditures.[16]

Sutton was a member of the all-female, bipartisan softball team created by fellow House members Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) over the summer of 2009. The team played against a team consisting of staff from the National Republican Congressional Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee, and the game benefited the Young Survival Coalition, a foundation dedicated to young women with breast cancer.[17]

On July 16, 2009, Sutton came out in favor of a public option in any healthcare reform package.[18]

Sutton participated in an Occupy Wall Street rally in New York in October 2011.[19]

She supported the federal government bail out for the auto industries in 2009.[20]

Political campaigns


After sitting Rep. Sherrod Brown of Ohio's 13th congressional district declared his intention to run against Mike DeWine for his seat in the U.S. Senate, Sutton took part in the Democratic primary for his open seat. She defeated notables such as former U.S. Rep. Thomas C. Sawyer, who had previously been redistricted out of Congress, and Capri Cafaro, who had run against Rep. Steven LaTourette in the neighboring 14th District during the previous election cycle. Sutton capitalized on the anti-corruption theme of Ohio's 2006 elections to make a strong showing late in the primary season, and held it to win the primary with the strong support of organized labor.

Sutton went on to win the November general election against Republican Craig L. Foltin, mayor of Lorain, Ohio. The Republicans had high hopes for Foltin, who was the popular Republican mayor of a heavily Democratic city,[21] and despite the local newspaper Akron Beacon Journal's reluctant endorsement of Foltin,[22] Sutton defeated him 61.22 percent to 38.78 percent, or 135,639 votes to 85,922 votes.

Her campaign received support from the pro-choice political action committee EMILY's List.[23]


Sutton won against Republican nominee David Potter.

Sutton endorsed Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic primaries after Clinton won the Ohio primaries, stating that she was following the lead of her constituents.[24] Sutton went on to campaign for Barack Obama after he secured the nomination.[25]


Sutton defeated Republican nominee Tom Ganley.


The Plain Dealer reported in September 2011 that the new district map of Ohio would dismantle Sutton's district and place her home in "a largely Republican district that's being constructed to favor the re-election of freshman GOP Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth."[26] In December, Sutton filed to run against Renacci.[27] Later that month, Roll Call reported that a poll taken at least two months earlier showed the two congress members "neck and neck at 45 percent."[28] On the Washington Post's list of top 10 House races in 2012, Sutton's was at #8.[29]

According to the Sunlight Foundation, from 2009 to 2011, Sutton had the highest staff turnover rate in the House.[30] "The group's examination of House pay records for two years ending in the third quarter of 2011." reported The Plain Dealer, "found that just 19 percent of Sutton's staffers remained throughout the period. The average House office had a 64.2 percent retention rate during that time, the study found."[31]

Renacci defeated Sutton by a 52% to 48% margin on Election Day.


In 2017, Sutton announced she would run for Governor of Ohio to succeed term-limited Republican incumbent John Kasich. On January 10, 2018, Sutton announced that she would instead run for Lieutenant Governor of Ohio as the running mate of Richard Cordray. They were defeated by the ticket of Mike DeWine and Jon Husted.[32]


In 2020, Sutton announced she was running for the 9th District Court of Appeals against incumbent Republican Judge Julie Schafer. On November 3, 2020, Sutton defeated Judge Schafer to win a seat on the State Appellate Court [33]



Within the course of her eight-year tenure as part of the Ohio House of Representatives, Sutton voiced her opinion on the ever-growing importance of education. Sutton supported the remodeling and repairing of worn down schools as well as modernizing older schools. These renovations were possible through increasing the maximum amount given through the Pell Grant. By expanding the Pell Grant the 13th Congressional District of Ohio was able to prevent teacher layoffs and provided for additional funding towards special needs programs. Through The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), which the Congresswomen voted for, the 13th district was allowed the ability for greater access to affordable college. The district was also given a chance to build a strong community college system. Congresswomen Sutton finally demonstrated her intense ideals on education through her participation in the Community College Caucus, the Green Schools Caucus, the House Afterschool Caucus, and the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Caucus.[34]

Energy and environment

Sutton had a good deal of experience dealing with Energy and Environment issues through her participation in the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus. In the realm of energy, Sutton supported the company BASF in its pursuit of more advanced lithium-ion battery. Support also went towards the production of this battery from a facility in Elyria, bringing technology jobs back to the locals. Lithium-ion batteries are used in hybrid and electric can and have to power to increase reusable energy across the nation. Another energy achievement made in district 13 was the Cash for Clunkers legislation. This specific legislation created a 58% improvement in fuel efficiency. Cars brought in averaged 15.8 MPG while the new cars that were bought as a replacement averaged 24.9 MPG. These roughly 10 miles to every gallon saved helped to keep our environment a little more clean, even if it seems small. In issues dealing with environment the Congresswoman demonstrated numerous times her ideals on protecting the natural resources and national parks we have. One of the ways Ms. Sutton demonstrated her position on environment was through her acquisition of over 630 acres of undeveloped land to be added to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP). With the new addition to the CVNP it was ensured that the lands would be able to continue untouched for years to come.[35]


One of Sutton’s greatest aspirations in the field of Health Care was providing access to affordable quality care and putting an end to the discriminatory practices by insurance companies. In her past tenure Sutton voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which passed and officially became a law on March 23, 2010. This Act provides those with insurance the reassurance that their claims cannot be delayed or possibly denied and those without insurance more access to affordable insurance. The Act also helps to curb cost of insurance to families, businesses, and the government and it calls for the preservation of Medicare. Sutton also worked to pass the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to provide insurance to families with children who cannot afford personal insurance. It is speculated that the SCHIP helps to insure about 11 million children who come from low-income families throughout the nation. Sutton worked on health care issues in the House School and Health Safety Caucus and the Congressional Task Force on Seniors.[36]

Personal life

Sutton is an attorney specializing in labor law. Between her time in the Ohio and United States legislatures, Sutton worked as a labor lawyer with the firm of Faulkner, Muskovitz & Phillips LLP (FMP).[6]

She currently lives in Copley Township with her husband Doug Corwon, a mediator with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Administrator Betty Sutton
  2. ^ "Betty Sutton, former congresswoman to be appointed to head Saint Lawrence Seaway agency". The Plain Dealer. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  3. ^ Ludlow, Randy. "Betty Sutton becomes second Democrat to announce for Ohio governor". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
  4. ^ Ohio Democrats team up: Governor candidate Richard Cordray picks primary contender Betty Sutton as running mate
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-07-15. Retrieved 2018-07-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ a b c d "U.S. Representative Betty Sutton :: Representing Ohio's 13th District". 2009-11-18. Archived from the original on 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  7. ^ a b "Betty Sutton". Council for a Livable World. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  8. ^ Sirota, David (2009-06-27). "One brief shining moment for clean energy - Global warming". Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  9. ^ "H.R. 2751: Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act". Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  10. ^ Dealers-turned-candidates run into trouble, USA Today, May 12, 2010
  11. ^ 'Cash for clunkers' program to end Monday, Robert Schoenberger, The Plain Dealer, August 20, 2009
  12. ^ "H.R. 1380: Josh Miller HEARTS Act". Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  13. ^ "Cleveland, OH | Project AED: Barberton family takes defibrillator fight to Capitol Hill". Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  14. ^ "H.R. 841: Protect Consumers Act of 2009". Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  15. ^ "H.R. 2263: Disability Equity Act". Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  16. ^ "H.R. 1360: Contractor Accountability Act". Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  17. ^ "A league of their own - Shenanigans". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  18. ^ "U.S. Representative Betty Sutton :: Representing Ohio's 13th District". 2009-07-16. Archived from the original on 2010-07-07. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  19. ^ "Rep. Betty Sutton to join Occupy Wallstreet labor march in New York". 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  20. ^ Niquette, Mark (October 23, 2012). "Auto Bailout Makes Ohio House Race Microcosm of National Debate". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012.
  21. ^ "Article: The comeback kid: with the loss of the city's second-largest employer,... | AccessMyLibrary - Promoting library advocacy". AccessMyLibrary. 2005-08-01. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  22. ^ "Article: EDITORIAL: For the U.S. House: Our choice: Craig Foltin in the 13th... | AccessMyLibrary - Promoting library advocacy". AccessMyLibrary. 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  23. ^ "2006 Candidates - Ohio". EMILY's List. Archived from the original on November 1, 2006.
  24. ^ Rhee, Foon (2008-04-18). "Clinton picks up three superdelegates - 2008 Presidential Campaign Blog - Political Intelligence". Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  25. ^ "Hillary Clinton tells Ohio supporters: 'No Palin'". Usatoday.Com. 2008-09-14. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  26. ^ "Betty Sutton and Dennis Kucinich to be squeezed out in new congressional remap". The Plain Dealer. 2011-09-12. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  27. ^ "Betty Sutton Running Against Freshman Republican in Member-Vs.-Member Race: Roll Call Politics". Roll Call. 2011-12-07. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  28. ^ "Poll Shows Tight Race for Betty Sutton in Ohio". Roll Call. 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  29. ^ Blake, Aaron (2011-07-11). "The top 10 battled between Members of Congress in 2012". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
  30. ^ "Turnover in the House: Who keeps - and who loses - the most staff". Sunlight Foundation. February 6, 2012.
  31. ^ "Rep. Betty Sutton has the highest staff turnover rate in the U.S. House of Representatives". The Plain Dealer. 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  32. ^ "2018 OFFICIAL ELECTIONS RESULTS". Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Congresswoman Betty Sutton: Education". Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  35. ^ "Congresswoman Betty Sutton: Energy and Environment". Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  36. ^ "Congresswoman Betty Sutton: Healthcare". Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Sherrod Brown
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 13th congressional district

January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2013
Succeeded by
Tim Ryan
Party political offices
Preceded by
Sharen Neuhardt
Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
Most recent
This page was last edited on 12 November 2020, at 07:39
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