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Doris Matsui
Doris Matsui Official Photo.JPG
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from California
Assumed office
March 10, 2005
Preceded byBob Matsui
Constituency5th district (2005–2013)
6th district (2013–present)
Personal details
Doris Kazue Okada

(1944-09-25) September 25, 1944 (age 76)
Poston, Arizona, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 1966; died 2005)

Roger Sant
(m. 2020)
Children1 son
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

Doris Okada Matsui (/ˌmætˈsi/; born Doris Kazue Okada; September 25, 1944) is an American politician from the Democratic Party, serving since 2005 in the House of Representatives. She represents California's 6th congressional district (until 2013 numbered the 5th district), covering the city of Sacramento and several of its inner-ring suburbs. Following the death of her husband Bob Matsui on January 1, 2005, she was elected as his replacement and took the oath of office on March 10, 2005.

Early life and career

Matsui was born Doris Okada in the Poston War Relocation Center internment camp in Poston, Arizona, and grew up in Dinuba,[1] in California's Central Valley. While attending the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a B.A. in psychology, she met her husband. They had one child, Brian.

Matsui was a housewife and socialite and was active in the group "Lawyers' Wives", now called the Legal Auxiliary of Sacramento, while her husband was a local attorney and served on the Sacramento city council before his election to congress in 1979. The Matsuis moved to Washington, D.C. shortly thereafter, where they raised their son.

Doris Matsui was a volunteer on Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. When he was elected, Matsui served on his transition team. Following the inauguration, she was appointed deputy special assistant to the president and deputy director of public liaison, working under Alexis Herman. One of her duties was to work with the Asian American community.[citation needed] The President appointed her to the board of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in September 2000. She served in the White House from 1993 to 1998. Later, she became a lobbyist in Washington where she represented corporate clients until 2005, when she returned to California to run for Congress against a field of local Democrats.

U.S. House of Representatives


Matsui speaks on the first day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, in her capacity as convention parliamentarian.
Matsui speaks on the first day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, in her capacity as convention parliamentarian.

Matsui's husband, Congressman Bob Matsui, died from complications of myelodysplastic syndrome on January 1, 2005. On January 9, 2005, the day after his funeral, Matsui told supporters she was running for his open seat (see widow's succession). In the special election on March 8, 2005, she garnered 68% of the vote. Press reports said that Matsui won the election before the polls opened, as most votes in the election were absentee ballots, which she won overwhelmingly.[citation needed] Congresswoman Matsui was elected to a full term in 2006 and has been reelected six more times without serious difficulty. The 6th is the most Democratic district in interior California; it and its predecessors have been in Democratic hands without interruption since 1953.

In her inaugural speech, she spoke of the many people who encouraged her to run and her family. She pledged to continue the work of her husband, especially regarding flood control projects in Sacramento, the main city in the district.

In 2007, Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Matsui to the Smithsonian Institution's Board of Regents, where she served until 2011. Matsui was one of only three House Members to sit on the board. In 2007, Matsui was instrumental in developing an overhaul of the oversight and accountability practices of the Smithsonian.

Matsui served as convention parliamentarian of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

She supports full disclosure of campaign finances for politicians and desires more fair elections, as well as extending election periods to grab more of the population.[2] She has also expressed support for whistleblowers' protection to promote transparency in both business and government.[2]


Matsui is pro-choice and received an endorsement from NARAL.[2] She supports federal health funding that includes abortion funding. She has a focus on preventing unwanted pregnancies all together, through funding contraception programs and make them readily available.[2] She supports emergency contraceptive capabilities in hospitals for rape victims.[2] Matsui opposes the restriction of minors traveling across state borders for abortion procedures.[2]

She has voted to continue stem cell research.[2]


Matsui has been a supporter of earmarks, which have been a controversial topic. She defended her position, saying "members of Congress know their districts pretty well and know what they need."[3]

Matsui has supported raising the debt limit by 2.4 trillion dollars for federal spending[2] and has supported numerous bailouts and federal funds injections.[2] In 2008 she supported a 15 billion dollar bailout for GM and another 60 billion dollar stimulus in the hopes to stimulate the US economy. She supported the initial TARP bailout funds and the 825 billion dollar continuation of 2009 in the hopes of avoiding recession.[2] She later supported an additional 198 billion dollar stimulus package.[2] She supports expanding agencies to meet the needs of citizens, rather than cutting spending and reform.[2]

Matsui voted to raise Senator's salary in 2009.[2] She also voted to raise the minimum wage in 2007 and extend unemployment benefits from 39 to 59 weeks.[2]


Matsui supports an initiative to have shareholders vote for executive compensation at companies.[2]


She voted to increase funding to Mexico to fight against the drug cartels.[2] Her rating by NORML indicates that she is 'hard on drugs'.[2] Matsui supports the distribution of clean and sterile syringes to reduce spread of HIV and hepatitis.[2]

Energy and the environment

Matsui is a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where she has been focused on making the Sacramento area a hub for clean technology.[4]

Matsui supports American energy independence and desires that the US will be running on at least 25% renewable energy by the year 2025.[2] She opposes the expansion of oil production and has voted against building new refineries, offshore drilling, and subsidies for oil and gas exploration.[2] She voted to provide tax subsidies for investment in renewable, alternative sources of energy.[2]

Matsui supports an initiative to develop green public schools across the nation.[2] She endorses cash for clunkers and voted to provide 2 billion dollars more for the program.[2] She seeks to regulate dog kennels and hold tighter prohibition against animal fighting,[2] and has voted to increase wildlife protection from endangerment.[2] Matsui was a supporter of the Clean Water Act and thus seeks cleaner beaches, lakes, and other bodies of water.[2] She voted to allow the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases and promotes strict limits to pollution levels for industries.[2] She supports individual states creating even stricter emission standards than the federal government.[2]

She has supported the expansion of Amtrak to provide a better public transportation option for the public.[2]

LGBT rights

Matsui supports gay rights and was given a rating of 100% by the HRC.[2] Her definition of marriage does not prohibit same-sex partners.[2] She opposes discrimination in the workplace and in schools based on sexual orientation.[2] She has also voted to enforce laws against anti-gay crimes.[2] She supported the repeal of don't ask, don't tell and sought the reinstatement of gay soldiers who had been discharged from the military.[2]

Gun control

Matsui seeks to expand gun control and supports stricter regulations on gun purchases and sales.[2] She supports banning large-scale purchases of ammunition and seeks to end the gun show loophole.[2] Matsui supports firearms manufacturers being held responsible for product misuse cases and lawsuits.[2]


In a discussion about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Matsui said that as "more Americans get to know and understand the law, and feel its effects in their lives, the less the public will want to see us take steps back to the broken health care system we have experienced for decades in this country."[4] She has opposed many attempts to repeal, reduce, or privatize medicare or medicaid.[2] In addition she has sought to expand medical coverage to children and mental patients.[2] She voted against patients being denied treatment for non-emergency issues without a medicare copay.[2]

She seeks to establish databases for childhood cancer and diabetes to better meet the needs of patients and diffuse information for better treatment.[2] She supports tobacco being regulated as a drug.[2]

Taxes and pensions

Matsui supports a progressive tax system and seeks to shut down offshore loopholes for business.[2] She voted against continuing capital gains and dividend tax breaks.[2] She supports extending AMT exemptions which benefit higher-income taxpayers in states like California with high state income taxes.[2]

Matsui is in favor of continuing social security as it is now, and has opposed moves to privatize it or allow citizens the option to have alternative retirement funds.[2] She also opposes raising the retirement age.[2]

Committee assignments

Caucuses and other memberships

Co-chair, Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues

Electoral history

Special election for California's 5th Congressional District, March 8, 2005[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Doris Matsui 56,175 68.2
Democratic Julie Padilla 7,158 8.7
Republican John Thomas Flynn 6,559 8.0
Republican Serge A. Chernay 3,742 4.5
Republican Michael O'Brien 2,591 3.1
Republican Shane Singh 1,753 2.1
Republican Bruce Robert Stevens 1,124 1.4
Green Pat Driscoll 976 1.2
Independent Leonard Padilla 916 1.1
Democratic Charles "Carlos" Pineda, Jr. 659 0.8
Libertarian Gale Morgan 451 0.6
Peace and Freedom John C. Reiger 286 0.3
Independent Lara Shapiro 6 (write-in) 0.0
Total votes 82,396 100
Democratic hold
2006 United States House of Representatives elections[10]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Doris Matsui (incumbent) 105,676 70.8
Republican Claire Yan 35,106 23.6
Green Jeff Kravitz 6,466 4.3
Peace and Freedom John C. Reiger 2,018 1.3
Total votes 149,266 100
Democratic hold
2008 United States House of Representatives elections[11]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Doris Matsui (incumbent) 164,242 74.3
Republican Paul A. Smith 46,002 20.9
Peace and Freedom L. R. Roberts 10,731 4.8
Independent David B.Lynch 180 (write-in) 0.0
Total votes 221,155 100
Democratic hold
2010 United States House of Representatives elections[12]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Doris Matsui (incumbent) 124,220 72.1
Republican Paul A. Smith 43,557 25.3
Peace and Freedom Gerald Allen Frink 4,594 2.6
Republican Tony Lacy (write-in) 19 0
Total votes 172,410 100
Democratic hold
United States House of Representatives primary election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Doris Matsui (incumbent) 67,174 71.4
Republican Joseph McCray, Sr. 15,647 16.6
Republican Erik Smitt 11,254 12.0
Total votes 94,075 100
2012 United States House of Representatives elections[13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Doris Matsui (incumbent) 160,667 75.1
Republican Joseph McCray Sr. 53,406 24.9
Total votes 214,073 100
Democratic hold
2014 United States House of Representatives elections[14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Doris Matsui (incumbent) 97,008 72.7
Republican Joseph McCray Sr. 36,448 27.3
Total votes 133,456 100
Democratic hold
California's 6th congressional district election, 2016
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Doris Matsui (incumbent) 99,599 70.4
Republican Robert "Bob" Evans 26,000 18.4
Democratic Jrmar Jefferson 7,631 5.4
No party preference Mario Galvan 6,354 4.5
No party preference Yuriy Seretskiy 1,930 1.4
Total votes 141,514 100.0
General election
Democratic Doris Matsui (incumbent) 177,565 75.4
Republican Robert "Bob" Evans 57,848 24.6
Total votes 235,413 100.0
Democratic hold
California's 6th congressional district election, 2018
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Doris Matsui (incumbent) 99,789 87.9
Democratic Jrmar Jefferson 13,786 12.1
Democratic Ralph Nwobi 9 0.0
Total votes 113,584 100.0
General election
Democratic Doris Matsui (incumbent) 162,411 80.4
Democratic Jrmar Jefferson 39,528 19.6
Total votes 201,939 100.0
Democratic hold
California's 6th congressional district, 2020[15][16]
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Doris Matsui (incumbent) 119,408 70.2
Republican Chris Bish 24,321 14.3
Democratic Benjamin Emard 13,253 7.8
Republican Sherwood Ellsworth Haisty Jr. 13,137 7.7
Total votes 170,119 100.0
General election
Democratic Doris Matsui (incumbent) 229,648 73.3
Republican Chris Bish 83,466 26.7
Total votes 313,114 100.0
Democratic hold

Personal life

A widow, Matsui has one son, Brian. She has two grandchildren, Anna and Robby.[4] She is a Methodist.[17] On January 8, 2020, she informed the House Democratic Caucus that she had become engaged to Roger Sant.[18] On April 12, 2020, Matsui married Sant.[19]

See also




  1. ^ McCutcheon, Michael; Barone, Chuck (2013). 2014 Almanac of American Politics. The University of Chicago Press.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au "Doris Matsui: (Democrat, district 6)". On the Issues.
  3. ^ Kindy, Kimberly (November 19, 2011). "Despite earmark ban, lawmakers try to give money to hundreds of pet projects". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Rep. Doris Matsui". The Arena. Politico. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  5. ^ "Members". Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  6. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  7. ^ "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  8. ^ "Members". Afterschool Alliance. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  9. ^ Office of the California Secretary of State Archived May 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine "Official Canvass," (retrieved on August 1, 2009).
  10. ^ Office of the California Secretary of State Archived November 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine "United States Representative in Congress, (retrieved on August 1, 2009).
  11. ^ Office of the California Secretary of State Archived December 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine "United States Representative in Congress, (retrieved on August 1, 2009).
  12. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 20, 2011. Retrieved 2014-01-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Office of the California Secretary of State "United States Representative in Congress, (retrieved on January 21, 2014).
  13. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Office of the California Secretary of State "United States Representative in Congress, (retrieved on January 21, 2014).
  14. ^ [1] Office of the California Secretary of State "United States Representative in Congress, (retrieved on November 13, 2015).
  15. ^ Cite error: The named reference SoSPrimary was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  16. ^ Cite error: The named reference CAgenr was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  17. ^ "Members of Congress: Religious Affiliations". Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. January 5, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  18. ^ "POLITICO Playbook PM: Trump pumps the brakes on Iran". Politico. January 8, 2020. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  19. ^ Matsui, Rep Doris (April 14, 2020). "On a beautiful Easter weekend Roger Sant and I got married. It was a lovely ceremony joined virtually by our kids and grandkids. Despite the crisis we are in and the uncertainty of when it will end, love & joy are still a part of this world; life must be celebrated & cherished". @DorisMatsui. Retrieved April 15, 2020.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bob Matsui
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Mike Thompson
Preceded by
Lynn Woolsey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 6th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Albio Sires
This page was last edited on 18 February 2021, at 06:40
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