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Carol Shea-Porter


Carol Shea-Porter

Carol Shea-Porter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by Frank Guinta
Succeeded by Frank Guinta
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Jeb Bradley
Succeeded by Frank Guinta
Personal details
Born (1952-12-02) December 2, 1952
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of New Hampshire
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website House website

Carol Shea-Porter (born December 2, 1952) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who has served as the U.S. Representative for New Hampshire's 1st congressional district from 2007 to 2011 and from 2013 to 2015.

Shea-Porter was first elected in 2006, defeating Republican incumbent Jeb Bradley. She beat him again in 2008 but was defeated in 2010 by former Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta and left Congress in January 2011.[1] In 2012, Shea-Porter reclaimed her seat as she beat Guinta in a rematch. She faced Guinta for a third time in the 2014 elections and lost for the second time.


  • Early life, education and career 1
  • U.S. House of Representatives 2
    • Committee assignments 2.1
  • Political positions 3
  • Town hall disruptions 4
  • Political campaigns 5
    • 2006 5.1
    • 2008 5.2
    • 2010 5.3
    • 2012 5.4
    • 2014 5.5
  • Electoral history 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life, education and career

Shea-Porter was born in New York[2] and grew up in the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire, attending local public schools, and graduating from the University of New Hampshire.[3] She earned a bachelor's degree in social services and a master's degree in public administration.[4][5] Prior to getting involved in politics, she and her family lived in Colorado, Louisiana, and Maryland, during which time she was a social worker and community college instructor.[6]

After returning to New Hampshire, she worked for the Wesley Clark presidential campaign and was a volunteer for John Kerry’s presidential run.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments


Political positions

Earlier photo of Shea-Porter

In 2010, Shea-Porter was a lead co-sponsor of a bill to protect US troops from the disposal of toxic waste in open burn pits.[7] Also in 2010, she co-sponsored legislation to establish a national commission to study urological war injuries.[8] After the 2012 Benghazi attack, Shea-Porter said the U.S. should continue a relationship to achieve democracy in Libya.[9]

Shea-Porter supports decreasing U.S. reliance on foreign energy sources and agrees with a number of the objectives of financier and oil magnate T. Boone Pickens on these matters including continuance of emissions trading measures, a system already in effect for her constituency in the form of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.[10] Shea-Porter opposes the Keystone XL pipeline and believes that the United States needs a policy that moves away from oil as a primary energy source.[9] She voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which proposed a cap and trade system under which the government would allocate carbon permits and credits to companies.[11][12] She has advocated for the creation of a federal institute dedicated to reducing dependence on foreign oil.[13]

Shea-Porter voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, saying "We’ll continue to work on that, but this is a good bill.”[9] She led an effort to pass the Affordable Care Act and stated her support for closing the "donut hole" in Medicare reimbursements for senior citizens.[14]

In June 2013, Shea-Porter voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions that take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[15]

Shea-Porter voted against the No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013, which would have “docked pay for members of Congress if they didn’t make progress on passing a budget.”[16] She also opposed a vote to freeze federal employee pay.[16]

In August 2014 Shea-Porter voted against an immigration bill that would increase funding for border protection and more administrative support.[17]

Shea-Porter voted for the auto industry bailout[18] and the "Cash for Clunkers" bill.[19]

Town hall disruptions

Following the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, many members of Congress held town hall meetings throughout their districts in an effort to explain and, in some cases, defend their votes. Shea-Porter, like several of her colleagues, found herself on the defensive at two such events held in Portsmouth and Bedford. She took about a dozen questions at each, the majority of which “were in opposition to Shea-Porter's health care vote.”[20][21]

Political campaigns


In 2006, Shea-Porter was a liberal community activist who had never held public office. Shea-Porter, who had won some fame for being escorted from a [22][23] In addition to opposition to the Iraq war, Shea-Porter campaigned on a platform of increasing the minimum wage and universal healthcare.[24][25] In the five-way Democratic primary, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee put its weight behind state legislator Jim Craig. Shea-Porter won the September 12, 2006, primary with 54% of the vote. Craig finished second with 34% of the vote.[26]

On November 7, 2006, Shea-Porter narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Jeb Bradley in the 2006 midterm elections to become the first woman elected to Congress from New Hampshire. Shea-Porter received 100,899 votes (51%) to Bradley's 94,869 votes (49%). She received no financial support from either the Democratic National Committee or the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and was outspent by her opponent three to one.[27]


Shea-Porter was re-elected to a second term in November 2008, defeating Bradley for the second time, winning by 54% to 46% margin. The Concord Monitor in 2008 changed its endorsement, which had gone to Bradley in 2006, to support Shea-Porter, citing her positions in favor of increased minimum wage, ending the Bush tax cuts, and veterans issues.[28]

During her 2008 re-election campaign, she reversed course and requested financial support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The Committee enrolled Congresswoman Shea-Porter in their "Frontline" program "which helps vulnerable incumbents with fundraising and campaign infrastructure."[29]


Shea-Porter was defeated by her Republican opponent, former Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta, who won by a 54% to 42% margin, larger than Shea-Porter has won to date.


Shea-Porter launched a 2012 campaign for her old House seat of New Hampshire's 1st District. She received the endorsement of Democracy for America, and was selected as one of their Dean Dozen. In the general election she narrowly wrested the seat back from Frank Guinta, who won in the 2010 election.


Shea-Porter ran for re-election. She was once again a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program, which is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[30] Shea-Porter made Roll Call's "Ten Most Vulnerable" list for the third quarter. According to Roll Call, New Hampshire is a swing state and could be susceptible to national political trends.[31] The Rothenberg Political Report considered the election a “Toss-up.”[32] Mayday PAC, a super PAC seeking to reduce the role of money in politics, announced its endorsement of Shea-Porter because of her support of campaign finance reform.[33] She was also being supported in her election campaign by Emily’s List, a political action committee that seeks to elect pro-choice Democrats.[34] Shea-Porter narrowly lost to Guinta, 52% to 48%.

Electoral history

Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
2006 Congress, District 1 General Carol Shea-Porter Democratic 100,837 51.31 Jeb Bradley Republican 95,538 48.61
2008 Congress, District 1 General Carol Shea-Porter Democratic 176,461 51.78 Jeb Bradley Republican 156,394 45.89
2010 Congress, District 1 General Carol Shea-Porter Democratic 95,503 42.36 Frank Guinta Republican 121,655 53.96
2012 Congress, District 1 General Carol Shea-Porter Democratic 171,356 49.7 Frank Guinta Republican 158,482 46.0
2014 Congress, District 1 General Carol Shea-Porter Democratic 116,626 48.2 Frank Guinta Republican 125,321 51.8


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Carol Shea Porter's unusual journey to Congress" at the Wayback Machine (archived November 18, 2006) (registration required)
  4. ^ An early video "audition" introducing herself to the voters for the 2006 Congressional race which she won.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ "Shea-Porter: Bill will protect troops" (January 25, 2010) AP
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b c
  10. ^
  11. ^ FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 477 (American Clean Energy and Security Act)
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Tempers hot at Shea-Porter health meetings" Union Leader (August 30, 2010)
  21. ^ "Protesters Question Shea-Porter On Health Care Law: Tea Party Members Plan Protests At Town Hall Meetings" WMUR (March 31, 2010)
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Secretary of State Results for New Hampshire 1st Congressional District, Democratic Primary, September 12, 2006
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Shea-Porter best for the 1st" Concord Monitor editorial (October 27, 2008)
  29. ^ "Shea-Porter requests DCCC help in race",, May 21, 2008
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jeb Bradley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Frank Guinta
Preceded by
Frank Guinta
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Frank Guinta
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