Suzanne Bonamici
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Suzanne Bonamici
Suzanne Bonamici
Suzanne Bonamici.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 1st district

January 31, 2012
David Wu
Member of the Oregon Senate
from the 17th district

May 19, 2008 - November 21, 2011
Brad Avakian
Elizabeth Steiner Hayward
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
from the 34th district

January 2, 2007 - May 19, 2008
Brad Avakian
Chris Harker
Personal details
Suzanne Marie Bonamici

(1954-10-14) October 14, 1954 (age 66)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Michael Simon
RelativesNeil Simon (through marriage)
EducationLane Community College
University of Oregon (BA, JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Suzanne Marie Bonamici (born October 14, 1954) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Oregon's 1st congressional district, a seat she was first elected to in a 2012 special election. The district includes most of Portland west of the Willamette River, as well as all of Yamhill, Columbia, Clatsop, and Washington counties.

A Democrat, Bonamici previously represented the 17th district in the Oregon State Senate from 2008 to 2011.[1] She was first elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2006.

Early life, education, and law career

Bonamici was born in Detroit and raised in a small Michigan town. She earned her bachelor's degree and J.D. from the University of Oregon, and was a legal assistant at Lane County Legal Aid in Eugene. Following law school, she became a consumer protection attorney for the Federal Trade Commission in the nation's capital. She went into private practice in Portland and represented small businesses.[2]

Oregon legislature


In 2006, incumbent Democratic State Representative Brad Avakian decided to retire to run for the Oregon Senate. She ran for the open seat in Oregon's 34th House district and defeated Republican Joan Draper 62%-36%.[3]

On April 30, 2008, Bonamici was appointed by Commissioners from both Washington and Multnomah counties to represent Oregon's 17th Senate district. The seat became vacant when Avakian was appointed Commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.[4] She was sworn in on May 19, 2008.

Bonamici was unopposed in the November 2008 special election for the balance of Avakian's four-year term, and was elected with 97 percent of the vote.[5] In 2010, she won re-election with 64% of the vote.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives


Special election
Bonamici during the 112th Congress

In early 2011, Bonamici's name was floated as a possible successor to then-Congressman David Wu after The Oregonian and Willamette Week reported Wu exhibited odd behavior and clashed with his staff in the midst of apparent mental illness during the 2010 election cycle.[7] Following Wu's resignation from Congress, Bonamici announced her candidacy for the special election to replace him,[8] touting endorsements from former Governor Barbara Roberts, former Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse, and incumbent Oregon Attorney General John Kroger, among others.[9]

On November 8, 2011, Bonamici won the Democratic Party of Oregon's nomination, winning an outright majority of the vote in every county in the district and capturing 66% of the vote overall, with a 44-point margin over second-place finisher Brad Avakian. She faced Republican nominee Rob Cornilles in the special election on January 31, 2012,[10] winning by a 14-point margin.[11]

Prior to her election to Congress, Bonamici resigned from the Oregon Senate on November 21,[12] and was replaced by Elizabeth Steiner Hayward in December.[13]

2012 regular election

In November 2012, Bonamici won re-election to her first full term with over 60% of the vote.[14]


Bonamici with Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson

On July 31, 2014, Bonamici introduced the Tsunami Warning, Education, and Research Act of 2014 (H.R. 5309; 113th Congress) into the House.[15] The bill would authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to spend $27 million a year for three years on their on-going tsunami warning and research programs.[16]

Bonamici said "the coastlines of the United States already play an integral role in the economic prosperity of this country and we must strengthen their preparedness and resiliency so they can continue to play that role going forward."[16] She added that this bill "will improve the country's understanding of the threat posed by tsunami events" because it will "improve forecasting and notification systems, support local community outreach and preparedness and response plans, and develop supportive technologies."[17]

Committee assignments

Caucuses memberships

Electoral history

Oregon's 1st congressional district: Results 2012-2018[22][23]
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2012 (Special) Suzanne Bonamici 113,404 53.8% Rob Cornilles 83,396 39.6% Steve Reynolds Progressive 6,798 3.2% James Foster Libertarian 6,618 3.1% Write-ins 547 <1.0%
2012 Suzanne Bonamici 197,845 59.6% Delinda Morgan 109,699 33.0% Steve Reynolds Progressive 15,009 4.5% * Bob Elkstrom Constitution 8,918 2.7% Write-ins 509 <1.0%
2014 Suzanne Bonamici 160,038 57.3% Jason Yates 96,245 34.5% James Foster Libertarian 11,213 4.0% Steve Reynolds Pacific Green 11.163 4.0% Write-ins 597 <1.0%
2016 Suzanne Bonamici 225,391 59.6% Brian Heinrich 139,756 37.0% Kyle Sheahan Libertarian 12,257 3.2% Write-ins 691 <1.0%
2018 Suzanne Bonamici 231,198 63.6% John Verbeek 116,446 32.1% Drew Layda Libertarian 15,121 4.2% Write-ins 484 <1.0%

* In the 2012 election, Steve Reynolds was co-nominated by the Libertarian and Pacific Green parties.[24]

Personal life

She is married to Michael H. Simon, a federal judge.[25] They have two children, Andrew and Sara. Bonamici was raised Episcopalian and Unitarian, and now attends synagogue with her husband, who is Jewish, and their children.[26]

See also


  1. ^ "Suzanne Bonamici makes legislative resignation official". The Oregonian. November 21, 2011.
  2. ^ "About Suzanne | Suzanne Bonamici for Congress". 2012-01-31. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "OR State House 34 Race - Nov 07, 2006". Our Campaigns. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Bonamici named to replace Avakian in state Senate". Beaverton Valley Times. May 1, 2008.
  5. ^ "OR State Senate 17 - Special Election Race - Nov 04, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "OR State Senate 17 Race - Nov 02, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Oregon Democratic leaders say they hope Wu gets help, put off talk of his political future". The Oregonian. OregonLive. February 19, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  8. ^ "Bonamici announces bid for Wu's seat in Congress". Statesman Journal. Retrieved 2011.
  9. ^ "Endorsements". Bonamici for Congress. Retrieved 2011.
  10. ^ "Oregon - County Vote Results". Associated Press. November 9, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ "January 31, 2012, Special Election Abstracts of Votes Representative in Congress, 1st District Official Results" (PDF). Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2012.
  12. ^ Staff (December 22, 2011). "Physician to sit in state seat". The Hillsboro Argus. Retrieved 2011.
  13. ^ Mapes, Jeff (December 21, 2011). "A Washington County commissioner at sea casts decisive vote to fill Oregon Senate seat". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ Brown, Kate. "2012 election results" (PDF). OR STATE SEC OF STATE. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ "H.R. 5309 - All Actions". United States Congress. Retrieved 2014.
  16. ^ a b Marcos, Cristina (September 8, 2014). "House passes bill to authorize tsunami forecasting programs". The Hill. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ "Representative Bonamici Introduces Bipartisan Tsunami Warning Bill". Safer Coastlines. Retrieved 2014.
  18. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  19. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  20. ^ "Members". Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  21. ^ "90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members". Citizen´s Climate Lobby. Retrieved 2018.
  22. ^ "January 31, 2012, Special Election Official Results" (PDF). Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2019.
  23. ^ "Election Statistics, 1920 to Present". History, Art and Archives United States House of Representatives. United States House of Representatives Office of the Historian. Retrieved 2019.
  24. ^ "Voters' Pamphlet, Oregon General Election, November 6, 2012" (PDF). Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2019.
  25. ^ Duin, Steve (August 6, 2011). "In the wake of David Wu case, accusations fly in Oregon's First District". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2011.
  26. ^ "Suzanne Bonamici". The Oregonian. Oregon Special Election voter guide. Retrieved 2012.

External links

Oregon House of Representatives
Preceded by
Brad Avakian
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
from the 34th district

Succeeded by
Chris Harker
Oregon Senate
Preceded by
Brad Avakian
Member of the Oregon Senate
from the 17th district

Succeeded by
Elizabeth Steiner Hayward
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
David Wu
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 1st congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mark Amodei
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Suzan DelBene

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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