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Mark DeSaulnier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mark DeSaulnier
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byGeorge Miller
Constituency11th district (2015–2023)
10th district (2023–present)
Member of the California State Senate
from the 7th district
In office
December 1, 2008 – January 2, 2015
Preceded byTom Torlakson
Succeeded bySteve Glazer
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 11th district
In office
December 4, 2006 – November 30, 2008
Preceded byJoe Canciamilla
Succeeded byTom Torlakson
Member of the
Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors
from the 4th district
In office
January 29, 1994 – December 4, 2006
Preceded bySunne McPeak
Succeeded bySusan Bonilla
Personal details
Born (1952-03-31) March 31, 1952 (age 72)
Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Other political
Republican (before 2000)
SpouseMelinda Clune (divorced)[1]
ParentEdward DeSaulnier (father)
EducationCollege of the Holy Cross (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

Mark James DeSaulnier (/dəˈsni/ də-SOH-nee-ay;[2] born March 31, 1952) is an American politician who has served as a U.S. representative from California since 2015. He has represented the 10th congressional district since 2023, although it was previously numbered the 11th district for his first eight years in office. The district includes most of Contra Costa County, a suburban county in the East Bay. He has been a member of the Democratic Party since 2000; before that, he was a Republican.

Before serving in the House of Representatives, DeSaulnier was a member of the Concord City Council (1991–94), a Contra Costa County Supervisor (1994–2006), and a member of the California State Legislature, representing the 11th State Assembly district from 2006 to 2008 and the 7th State Senate district from 2008 to 2015.

Early life and education

DeSaulnier was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Edward Joseph DeSaulnier Jr. and Virginia Ann DeSaulnier (née Burke). He was raised in a Roman Catholic family.[3] He earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from the College of the Holy Cross.[4]

After his father, a Massachusetts Superior Court judge, became involved in a scandal in the early 1970s, DeSaulnier relocated to California, settling in Concord.[5] He worked as a probation officer, truck driver, and hotel services employee. He later owned and operated several restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area.[6]

Early political career

Concord politics

DeSaulnier was appointed to the Concord Planning Commission in 1988. In 1991, he was elected to the Concord City Council[4] and served as mayor of Concord in 1993. He was also a member of the University of California Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program Advisory Committee.[citation needed]

Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors

In early 1994, Governor Pete Wilson appointed DeSaulnier, then a fellow Republican, to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, filling a vacancy caused by the resignation of Supervisor Sunne McPeak.[7] He was elected in 1994 and reelected in 1998 and 2002. In 1998, he received 98.4% of the vote against write-in candidates.[8] In 2002, he received 79% of the vote against challenger Dione Mustard.[9]

During DeSaulnier's tenure on the Board of Supervisors, he sponsored the Industrial Safety Ordinance and the Refinery Flare Rule for local refineries and chemical facilities. He served on the executive boards of the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. He was appointed to represent the Bay Area on the California Air Resources Board by the Air District (1997–2006).[citation needed]

As a member of the Air Resources Board, DeSaulnier supported strong environmental regulations, including cleaner-burning gasoline, lower-emission vehicles (LEVs), the identification of diesel exhaust as a toxic air contaminant, dioxin monitoring in the Bay Area, the banning of methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) in gasoline, the identification of secondhand smoke as a carcinogen, the reduction of emissions from dairy farms, the phase-out of rice straw in the central valley, and the reduction of emissions from cruise ships.[citation needed]

On a county level, DeSaulnier introduced a Women's Health Program to serve the health-care needs of Contra Costa County. He also established the annual Children and Families' Budget, a separate county budget that reviews and measures the effectiveness of county programs in these areas. His other projects for children include AfterSchool4All, the Future Fund and the Children and Families Committee of the Board of Supervisors.[citation needed]

California State Assembly

In the June 2006 Democratic primary, DeSaulnier won 52% of the vote against Pittsburg School Board Trustee Laura Canciamilla and two other opponents.[10] He was endorsed by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa Times,[11] U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and California Senator Tom Torlakson. DeSaulnier won the general election against Republican Arne Simonsen and Libertarian Cory Nott with 66% of the vote.[12]

In the Assembly, DeSaulnier chaired the Committee on Transportation and the Select Committees on Growth Management and Air Quality. He was also a member of the Assembly Committees on Appropriations, Human Services, Rules and Labor and Employment. He authored or co-authored over 40 bills during the 2007–08 legislative session. His bills addressed truancy among schoolchildren, preschool access, suicide prevention, childhood obesity, reducing air pollution, smoke-free workplaces, and opportunities for at-risk youth.[citation needed]

One bill DeSaulnier introduced, AB 1617, would have restricted tobacco smokers from purchasing tobacco products online.[13] Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill.[14] Another DeSaulnier bill, AB 2235, would have required that a biometric feature be incorporated into all new handguns sold in California.[15]

For the Live Earth concert in July 2007, DeSaulnier delivered the Democratic weekly radio address on steps people can take to reduce their carbon footprint.[16]

California State Senate

DeSaulnier as a state senator in 2009

DeSaulnier was elected to the California State Senate in 2008, representing the 7th Senate district, which includes most of Contra Costa County. He received early support from the Contra Costa Central Labor Council, the Contra Costa Building Trades Council and the California League of Conservation Voters. He received 98% of the vote in the June Democratic primary election against write-in candidates; former Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla initially was to challenge DeSaulnier, but dropped out of the race. In the general election, DeSaulnier received 66.6% of the vote against Republican Christian Amsberry.[citation needed]

In the Senate, DeSaulnier chaired the Labor and Industrial Relations committee and was a member of the Health, Transportation and Housing, and Appropriations committees. He also chaired the select committees on Constitutional Reform and Growth Management.[17]

DeSaulnier authored over 20 bills addressing workers' ability to designate their treating physician before an injury, providing for greater prescription drug safety, supporting increased funding for alcohol-abuse programs, and expanding electronic recycling and funding for climate protection. He supported Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 3 to propose to California voters the question whether to call a convention to reform the state constitution.[18]

In September 2009, DeSaulnier amended SB 88 to attempt to restrict local governments' ability to shed pension programs through bankruptcy protection.[19]

In 2012, DeSaulnier proposed a bill, SB1366, that would require gun owners whose guns are stolen or lost to report the fact to police within 48 hours.[20][21] Failure to comply would result in fines on the first and second offenses, with higher fines and possible jail on the third.[20] The bill was endorsed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the California Police Chiefs Association[22] and opposed by the California Rifle and Pistol Association.[20]

In 2014, DeSaulnier was elected to represent California's 11th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. He resigned his state senate seat in order to join Congress.[23]

U.S. House of Representatives



In 2009, DeSaulnier announced his candidacy for the United States House of Representatives in the special election in California's 10th congressional district after the resignation of Ellen Tauscher, who endorsed him. In the September 1 Democratic primary, DeSaulnier came in second, behind John Garamendi.[24]


In 2014, after George Miller announced his retirement from the U.S. House of Representatives, DeSaulnier announced his candidacy for California's 11th congressional district to succeed him.[25] He won the general election[26] and took office on January 3, 2015.


In December 2021, California's congressional district boundaries were redrawn as part of statewide redistricting.[27] DeSaulnier announced that he would seek reelection in the 10th congressional district, and was one of three candidates in the June 7, 2022 primary election.[28][29]


DeSaulnier and Representative David Cicilline introduced legislation to create a pathway for local newspapers to operate as nonprofits. They attributed the loss of local ad revenue to the shift in media consumption habits: "As consumers have turned to online platforms like Facebook and Google to read the news, advertisers have followed, taking away a vital source of revenue local publications need to maintain their staffing levels. Local news organizations do not get a cut of the financial benefit when their stories are shared online". The bill grants local news companies a 48-month safe harbor from anti-trust laws to negotiate with prominent online platforms for ad profits to address the shortage of journalists.[30]

In May 2019, DeSaulnier introduced the Bots Research Act (H.R. 2860), a bill to establish a task force of experts at the Federal Trade Commission to determine the impact of bots on social media, public discourse, and elections.[31]

As of October 2021, DeSaulnier had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.[32]

In January 2023 DeSaulnier introduced the "Breaking the Gridlock Act", a low-profile piece of legislation intended to serve as a vehicle for a discharge petition to increase the country's debt limit in the event of a congressional deadlock on the issue.[33]

Committee assignments

For the 118th Congress:[34]


  • Congressional Innovation and the Human Condition Caucus (Chair)
  • Congressional Friends of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Caucus (Co-Chair)
  • Congressional Cancer Survivors Caucus (Co-Chair)
  • Congressional Caucus on Urban Regional Studies (Co-Chair)
  • American Sikh Congressional Caucus
  • Innovation and the Human Condition Caucus
  • Congressional Progressive Caucus[35]
  • Gun Violence Prevention Task Force
  • Out of Poverty Caucus
  • Humanities Caucus
  • Animal Protection Caucus
  • Safe Climate Caucus
  • Medicare for All Caucus[36]

Political positions


DeSaulnier has an F rating from the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List for his abortion-related voting record.[37] He opposed the overturning of Roe v. Wade, calling it "an assault on the freedom of all women and an attack on equality."[38]

Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023

DeSaulnier was among the 46 Democrats who voted against final passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 in the House.[39]

Foreign policy

In 2023, DeSaulnier was among 56 Democrats to vote in favor of H.Con.Res. 21, which directed President Joe Biden to remove U.S. troops from Syria within 180 days.[40][41] DeSaulnier voted in favor of a resolution supporting Israel following the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[42][43] However DeSaulnier voted against providing aid to Israel in 2024,[44] though he voted in favor of providing aid to Taiwan[45] and Ukraine[46] on the same day.

Electoral history

California 11th Assembly District Democratic Primary Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 20,328 51.7
Democratic Laura Canciamilla 15,436 39.2
Democratic Emmanuel Gbenga Ogunleye 1,811 4.6
Democratic Gerold Lee Gorman 1,788 4.5
California 11th Assembly District Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 69,054 66.5
Republican Arne Simonsen 31,048 29.9
Libertarian Cory Nott 3,743 3.6
California 7th Senate District Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 256,311 66.6
Republican Christian Amsberry 128,878 33.4
California 7th Senate District Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 229,105 61.5
Republican Mark Meuser 143,707 38.5
California's 10th congressional district special primary, 2009[47]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Garamendi 27,580 25.70
Republican David Harmer 22,582 21.05
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 18,888 17.60
Democratic Joan Buchanan 12,896 12.02
Democratic Anthony Woods 9,388 8.75
Republican Chris Bunch 4,871 4.54
Republican Gary Clift 4,158 3.88
Republican John Toth 3,340 3.11
Republican David Peterson 1,671 1.56
Green Jeremy Cloward 552 0.51
Republican Mark Loos 418 0.39
Democratic Adriel Hampton 376 0.35
American Independent Jerome Denham 309 0.29
Peace and Freedom Mary McIlroy 272 0.25
Democratic Tiffany Attwood (write-in) 2 0.00
California's 11th Congressional District Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 59,605 58.8
Republican Tue Phan 28,242 27.9
Democratic Cheryl Sudduth 4,913 4.8
Democratic Tony Daysog 3,482 3.4
Independent Jason Ramey 2,673 2.6
Democratic Ki Ingersol 2,313 2.3
American Independent (Write-in) Virginia Fuller 140 0.1
California's 11th Congressional District Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 117,502 67.3
Republican Tue Phan 57,160 32.7
California's 11th Congressional District Primary Election, 2016[48]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 133,317 75.3
Republican Roger A. Petersen 43,654 24.7
California's 11th Congressional District Election, 2016[49]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 214,868 72.1
Republican Roger A. Petersen 83,341 27.9
California's 11th Congressional District Primary Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 107,115 68.3
Republican John Fitzgerald 36,279 23.1
California's 11th Congressional District Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 204,369 74.1
Republican John Fitzgerald 71,312 25.9
California's 11th Congressional District Election, 2020[50]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 271,063 73.0
Republican Nisha Sharma 100,293 27.0
California's 11th Congressional District Election, 2022
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark DeSaulnier 198,415 78.9
Green Michael Ernest Kerr 52,965 21.1

Personal life

A member of the Concord Chamber of Commerce and the Contra Costa Council, DeSaulnier lives in Concord, California, where he raised his two sons. He is an avid runner and has completed 23 marathons.[51]

In May 2016, DeSaulnier announced that he had been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2015 and had undergone chemotherapy.[52] While the cancer was described as incurable, DeSaulnier said he would still seek reelection.[52]

On March 13, 2020, DeSaulnier was hospitalized in Washington, D.C., for a rib fracture sustained during a run, as well as for pneumonia.[53] On March 21, it was announced that his health had declined, and he was reported as being in critical condition.[54] He steadily recovered, and was released from the hospital on May 4.[55]


  1. ^ "DeSaulnier meditates on political journey". September 12, 2013.
  2. ^ Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (June 18, 2015). "Congressman DeSaulnier Celebrates LGBT Pride Month 2015". YouTube. Archived from the original on February 8, 2017. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  3. ^ "Welcome to nginx". Archived from the original on January 5, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Feathers, Todd (July 6, 2016). "Calif. congressman's political seed sown in Lowell area – Lowell Sun". Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  5. ^ "Mark DeSaulnier: Personal tragedy and public service". Capitol Weekly. August 20, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  6. ^ "Supervisor Goes From Saloon Keeper to Key Power Broker / Mark DeSaulnier, owner of TR's, pours himself into politics". SFGate. September 10, 1998. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  7. ^ Erin Hallissy, "McPeak's Successor Appointed: Concord Mayor to Join Contra Costa Board," San Francisco Chronicle, January 29, 1994, p. A17.
  8. ^ "Election Results Frame". Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  9. ^ "Mark DeSaulnier – Publication Details". Archived from the original on October 27, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  10. ^ "CA Secretary of State – Primary Election- State Assembly District 11 – Districtwide". Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  11. ^ "Mark DeSaulnier – Publication Details". Archived from the original on October 23, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  12. ^ "CA Secretary of State - General Election- State Assembly District 11 - Districtwide". Archived from the original on June 11, 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
  13. ^ DeSaulnier (February 23, 2007). "AB 1617 Assembly Bill – INTRODUCED". Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  14. ^ DeSaulnier. "AB 1617 Assembly Bill – Bill Analysis". Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  15. ^ "Bill List". February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  16. ^ "Mark DeSaulnier - Publication Details". Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2007.>
  17. ^ "Senator Tom Torlakson -- Senator Torlakson's Committee Membership". July 8, 2007. Archived from the original on July 8, 2007. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  18. ^ "Bill List". Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  19. ^ "Our View: Cities' last real line of defense threatened - cities, pay,…". July 22, 2012. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  20. ^ a b c "Important Alert – OPPOSE SB 1366!". Archived from the original on December 20, 2012.
  21. ^ "Bill would mandate quick reporting of stolen guns". Sacramento Bee. May 14, 2012. Archived from the original on May 17, 2012.
  22. ^ "Bill would mandate quick reporting of stolen guns". May 14, 2012.
  23. ^ Payton, Allen (January 2015). "Meuser is first to jump into special State Senate election, Bonilla will also run". Herald. Antioch, California. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  24. ^ "Garamendi Tops Dem Primary, Favored To Succeed Tauscher In Congress: It's All Politics". NPR. September 2, 2009. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  25. ^ Cadelago, Christopher; Rosenhall, Laurel (January 13, 2014). "George Miller to retire from Congress; DeSaulnier to run". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  26. ^ "There are LOTS of new members of the House. Here's the one sentence you need to read about each of them". The Washington Post. December 2, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  27. ^ "What Redistricting Looks Like In Every State". FiveThirtyEight. April 29, 2022. Retrieved April 30, 2022.
  28. ^ "Mark DeSaulnier". Ballotpedia. Retrieved April 30, 2022.
  29. ^ "California's 10th Congressional District election, 2022". Ballotpedia. Retrieved May 1, 2022.
  30. ^ "DeSaulnier: Why Congress needs to help save local journalism". The Mercury News. April 9, 2019. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  31. ^ "H.R.2860 - To direct the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission to establish a task force for the purpose of studying the effects of automated accounts on social media, public discourse, and elections". May 22, 2019. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  32. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (October 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  33. ^ Hulse, Carl (May 2, 2023). "House Democrats Move to Force a Debt-Limit Increase as Default Date Looms". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2023.
  34. ^ "Mark DeSaulnier". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  35. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  36. ^ "Caucuses". Congressman Mark DeSaulnier. April 7, 2015. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  37. ^ "Mark DeSaulnier". SBA Pro-Life America. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  38. ^ DeSaulnier, Mark (June 24, 2022). ""Today's #SCOTUS ruling is an assault on the freedom of all women and an attack on equality. If you live in California, however, please know that abortion is still legal and accessible."". Twitter. Retrieved June 26, 2022.
  39. ^ Gans, Jared (May 31, 2023). "Republicans and Democrats who bucked party leaders by voting no". The Hill. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  40. ^ "H.Con.Res. 21: Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of … -- House Vote #136 -- Mar 8, 2023". March 8, 2023.
  41. ^ "House Votes Down Bill Directing Removal of Troops From Syria". Associated Press. March 8, 2023.
  42. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (October 25, 2023). "House Declares Solidarity With Israel in First Legislation Under New Speaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 30, 2023.
  43. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; p:225-7000, DC 20515-6601 (October 25, 2023). "Roll Call 528 Roll Call 528, Bill Number: H. Res. 771, 118th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved October 30, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  44. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; Washington, DC 20515-6601 (April 20, 2024). "Roll Call 152, Bill Number: H. R. 8034, 118th Congress, 2nd Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved April 21, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  45. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; Washington, DC 20515-6601 (April 20, 2024). "Roll Call 146, Bill Number: H. R. 8036, 118th Congress, 2nd Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved April 21, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  46. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; Washington, DC 20515-6601 (April 20, 2024). "Roll Call 151, Bill Number: H. R. 8035, 118th Congress, 2nd Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved April 21, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  47. ^ "Special Primary Election - September 1, 2009" (PDF). September 1, 2009. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  48. ^ "Presidential Primary Election - Statement of Vote, June 7, 2016" (PDF). June 7, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  49. ^ "Statement of Vote - November 8, 2016, General Election" (PDF). November 8, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  50. ^ "California Election Results: 11th Congressional District". The New York Times. December 7, 2020. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
  51. ^ Gartell, Nate (March 21, 2020). "Rep. Mark DeSaulnier's condition worsens, now listed as critical". East Bay Times. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  52. ^ a b Sarah D. Wire (May 6, 2016). "U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier says blood cancer won't keep him from seeking another term". Los Angeles Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  53. ^ Hurd, Rick (March 16, 2020). "Congressman Mark DeSaulnier hospitalized in running fall". The Mercury News. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  54. ^ White, Jeremy B. (March 21, 2020). "Rep. Mark DeSaulnier declines to 'critical condition' in pneumonia fight". Politico. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  55. ^ Borenstein, Daniel (May 4, 2020). "Rep. Mark DeSaulnier released after nearly two months in hospital". The Mercury News. Retrieved May 27, 2020.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 11th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 10th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 20 June 2024, at 10:47
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