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Suzan DelBene
Official portrait, 2017
Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
LeaderHakeem Jeffries
Preceded bySean Patrick Maloney
Chair of the New Democrat Coalition
In office
January 3, 2021 – January 3, 2023
Preceded byDerek Kilmer
Succeeded byAnnie Kuster
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 1st district
Assumed office
November 13, 2012
Preceded byJay Inslee
Personal details
Suzan Kay Oliver

(1962-02-17) February 17, 1962 (age 62)
Selma, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 1997)
EducationReed College (BS)
University of Washington (MBA)
WebsiteHouse website

Suzan Kay DelBene (née Oliver; /ˌdɛlˈbɛn/ DEL-BEH-nay;[1] born February 17, 1962) is an American politician and businesswoman who has been the United States representative from Washington's 1st congressional district since 2012.[2]

DelBene was the 2010 Democratic nominee for U.S. representative for Washington's 8th congressional district and narrowly lost to incumbent Republican Dave Reichert.[3] In 2012 she won the general election in Washington's redrawn 1st district against Republican John Koster,[4][5] while simultaneously winning the election for the remainder of the term in the 1st district under the pre-2012 boundaries, a seat left vacant by the resignation of Jay Inslee.

DelBene chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and is a former chair of the New Democrat Coalition.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/1
  • Stories in Democracy: Congresswoman Suzan DelBene


Early life and education

DelBene was born in Selma, Alabama, the fifth child of Barry and Beth Oliver. At a young age, her family moved to Newport Hills in Bellevue, Washington. Later they moved to Mercer Island. In an autobiographical video, DelBene described her family's trouble paying bills and the hardship they faced after her father, a longtime airline pilot, lost his job.[6] After fourth grade, her family moved around the country in search of work.[citation needed]

After graduating from The Choate School, a prep school in Wallingford, Connecticut, DelBene went to Reed College, where she earned a bachelor's degree in biology. She then continued her education at the University of Washington, earning a master's degree in business administration.[7]

Business career

From 1989 to 1998 DelBene worked at Microsoft, where she was director of marketing and business development for the Interactive Media Group, marketing and sales training for Microsoft's Internet properties, and other business development and product management roles with Windows 95 and early versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser. In 1998 she left to help found and serve as a vice president. In 2000, she became CEO of Nimble Technology,[8] leading it through its acquisition by Actuate in 2003. In 2004, she returned to Microsoft as corporate vice president of the Mobile Communications Business until 2007.[9] From 2008 to 2009, she was a management consultant and strategic advisor to Global Partnerships, a nonprofit supporting microfinance and sustainable solutions in Latin America.[10][11] DelBene was named as the director for the Washington State Department of Revenue on November 30, 2010, replacing outgoing director Cindi Holmstrom.[12]

U.S House of Representatives


Congresswoman Suzan DelBene with a vendor at a Kirkland, WA farmer's market


In 2010 DelBene ran for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat against the incumbent in the 8th congressional district, Dave Reichert, a Republican. According to DelBene's campaign website, the economy was her top priority.[13] She was endorsed by the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,[14][15] as well as several Democratic politicians.[16]

DelBene faced Reichert in the general election, after coming in 2nd in the primary voting. In Washington, the top two advance. She lost to Reichert in the general election on November 2. She was named Washington State Revenue Director by Governor Christine Gregoire on November 30.


DelBene ran for Congress again in 2012. She won the Democratic nomination for the redrawn 1st district, previously represented by Jay Inslee, which became more competitive due to redistricting. Inslee had resigned in March to focus on his campaign for governor.[17] DelBene ran in two elections that day against Republican John Koster—a special election for the last two months of Inslee's seventh term (held in the boundaries of the old 1st), and a regular election for a full two-year term. She defeated Koster in both, winning the special election with 60% of the vote and the regular election with 54%. Her victory margin in the regular election was wider than expected, considering[clarification needed] that the district was about six points less Democratic than its predecessor.[4][5] On November 13, she was sworn in as the district's representative for the remainder of the 112th Congress,[2] giving her a leg up in seniority over all but a few other representatives first elected in November 2012 for the 113th Congress.

DelBene spent $2.8 million of her own money in a race in which she raised over $4 million, in a Congressional race that became the most expensive in Washington state history.[18]


DelBene defeated Republican nominee Pedro Celis[19] with 55% of the vote.[20]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Policy positions

Congresswoman DelBene speaking at the 2019 Forum Global Data Privacy Conference

DelBene is one of the leaders of the Pro-Choice Caucus[23] and supported access to reproductive health care by serving on the Select Committee to Investigate Planned Parenthood, which was established under former Speaker Paul Ryan in 2015.[24]

DelBene voted to provide Israel with support following 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[25][26]

DelBene voted with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time in the 117th Congress, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis.[27]

DelBene speaking at the Lynnwood Link Extension Project Groundbreaking Ceremony in September 2019

Electoral history

Washington's 8th congressional district and Washington's 1st congressional district: Results 2010–2022
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
2010 Suzan DelBene 148,581 48.0% Dave Reichert (incumbent) 161,296 52.0%
2012 (special) Suzan DelBene 216,144 60.4% John Koster 141,591 39.6%
2012 177,025 53.9% 151,187 46.1%
2014 124,151 55.0% Pedro Celis 101,428 45.0%
2016 193,619 55.4% Robert J. Sutherland 155,779 44.6%
2018 197,209 59.3% Jeffrey Beeler 135,534 40.7%
2020 249,944 58.6% 176,407 41.3% *
2022 181,992 63.5% Vincent Cavaleri 104,329 36.4%

* Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2020, write-ins received 511 votes.

Personal life

DelBene is married to Kurt DelBene, who has served as Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology and CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs since November 2021.[28] He was previously Chief Digital Officer and EVP of Corporate Strategy, Core Services Engineering and Operations at Microsoft Corporation,[29] and led the effort to fix the website at President Barack Obama's request.[30] The couple has two children.[31]

DelBene is a practicing Episcopalian.[32]

See also


  1. ^ As pronounced by herself in the campaign video "Re-Elect Suzan DelBene for Congress! Archived February 16, 2017, at the Wayback Machine"
  2. ^ a b "House Floor Activities: Legislative Day of November 13, 2012". Washington, D.C.: Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Archived from the original on September 24, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  3. ^ "Democrat Suzan DelBene concedes 8th District race". Seattle Times. November 2, 2010. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Heffter, Emily. "DelBene beats Koster in race for U.S. House". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Valdes, Manuel. "DelBene wins in Wash. 1st District". Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  6. ^ Jonathan Martin DelBene faces tougher fight than expected in 1st District race Archived December 21, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Gregory Roberts, Democrats target Reichert over his no vote on stimulus Seattle Post-Intelligencer February 23, 2009
  8. ^ "Reed Magazine". Archived from the original on March 8, 2017. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  9. ^ "Suzan DelBene: Corporate Vice President, Mobile Communications Business". Microsoft. Archived from the original on May 11, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  10. ^ Suzan K. DelBene Archived October 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Forbes
  11. ^ "Suzan DelBene". Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  12. ^ La Corte, Rachel (November 30, 2010). "Gov. Gregoire appoints Suzan DelBene to cabinet". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  13. ^ Why I'm Running DelBene for Congress
  14. ^ "The Times endorses Suzan DelBene in the 8th Congressional District". Seattle Times. October 12, 2010. Archived from the original on October 15, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  15. ^ "Send DelBene to Congress". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. October 13, 2010. Archived from the original on October 15, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  16. ^ Ross Hunter endorses Suzan DelBene for Congress Archived March 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Bellevue Reporter Aug 3, 2009
  17. ^ Martin, Jonathan (May 12, 2012). "The race is on to fill new 1st Congressional District". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on May 16, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  18. ^ "DelBene leading Koster for Congress in 1st Dist. - – Local news". Archived from the original on October 23, 2014. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  19. ^ "DelBene wins 1st District seat; Larsen wins 2nd District". Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 19, 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  20. ^ "Congressional District 1". Archived from the original on November 6, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  21. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  22. ^ "Honorary Congressional Co-Chairs | Womens High Tech Coalition". Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  23. ^ "DelBene, Pro-Choice Leaders Issue Joint Statement on President Trump's Title X Domestic Gag Rule". U.S. Congresswoman Suzan Delbene. May 18, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  24. ^ Crockett, Emily (April 29, 2016). "Congress has spent 15 months "investigating" Planned Parenthood using McCarthy-like tactics". Vox. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ 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)
  27. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron; Wiederkehr, Anna (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  28. ^ "VA Bio". Retrieved November 3, 2022.
  29. ^ "Leadership Stories". Archived from the original on October 21, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  30. ^ Ovide, Shira (April 13, 2015). "Kurt Delbene". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on April 28, 2018. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  31. ^ "Full Biography - U.S. House of Representatives". Retrieved May 26, 2024.
  32. ^ Paulsen, David (November 9, 2017). "Episcopalians bring faith perspectives to Congress on both sides of political aisle". Episcopal News Service. Retrieved January 16, 2021.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 1st congressional district

Party political offices
Preceded by Chair of the New Democrat Coalition
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 27 May 2024, at 04:47
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