|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Florida's 2nd district
Assumed office |
January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Steve Southerland|
|Succeeded by||Neal Dunn (Elect)|
January 31, 1963
Miami Lakes, Florida, U.S.
Mark Logan (Married 1985;|
|Children||3 (with Logan)|
University of North Carolina,|
Chapel Hill (BA)
American University (JD)
Gwendolyn "Gwen" Graham (born January 31, 1963) is an American attorney, politician and member of the Democratic Party who is the U.S. Representative for Florida's 2nd congressional district, a district with a Cook partisan voting index of Republican +6.
The daughter of Bob Graham, a former United States Senator and former Governor of Florida, she defeated Republican Congressman Steve Southerland in the 2014 elections 50.4% to 49.6%, one of only two Democrats to defeat incumbent House Republicans in that year's elections, along with Brad Ashford of Nebraska.
Early life and career
Graham received her bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1984 and her law degree from American University's Washington College of Law in 1988. She worked for Andrews & Kurth. She joined her father's 2004 presidential campaign. When he dropped out of the race following a heart attack, Graham joined Howard Dean's presidential campaign. After John Kerry secured the Democratic Party's nomination, she went to work for his campaign. Graham worked as a Leon County school administrator.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 2013, Graham announced her candidacy against incumbent Republican Congressman Steve Southerland in 2014. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced they would target the race and provide support to Graham. Graham defeated Southerland in the November election by just over 2,800 votes.
Prior to her swearing in, Graham said that she would oppose Nancy Pelosi for the top Democratic leadership position. Graham voted for Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee instead. Graham voted for Cooper again when the House voted on the new Speaker after John Boehner announced his resignation.
Graham scores an 8 lifetime rating on the American Conservative Union's scale of 0 to 100. Her score is 1 point more liberal than Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders'. She also scores a 0 on the 2016 Freedom Works ratings and a 7 out of 100 on the Club for Growth scorecard. She has no rating yet from Americans for Democratic Action as 2014, the year of her election, is the most recent year they have made ratings public. She voted to stop accepting Syrian refugees until more stringent safeguards are in place. Graham introduced a bill to help Israel develop an anti-tunneling defense system to detect, map, and destroy underground tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Graham introduced a bill to prohibit members of Congress from using federal funds to pay for first-class airfare.
Graham voted against the Iran nuclear deal that President Barack Obama supported. Graham voted to keep the military detention camp open at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Graham voted against enforcement of an Environmental Protection Agency clean-water rule saying that it would hurt farmers. Graham says that the problems with the Affordable Care Act must be fixed, She supports the legalization of medical marijuana without FDA testing but not recreational marijuana. Graham is pro-choice, supports same-sex marriage, and opposes gun control. She has voted for the Keystone XL pipeline.
- Committee on Agriculture
- Committee on Armed Services
Reaction to redistricting
A court-ordered redistricting shifted most of Tallahassee, which had anchored the 2nd and its predecessors for almost half a century, to the 5th district. Most of Graham's black constituents were drawn into the 5th as well. To make up for the loss in population, the 2nd was pushed to the south to take in territory from the heavily Republican 3rd and 11th districts. Although Graham retained almost 68 percent of her former territory, she found herself in what was, on paper, one of the most Republican districts in the nation. Had it existed under the redrawn lines in 2012, the 2nd would have given Mitt Romney 64 percent of the vote in 2012, making it on paper the third-most Republican district in the state. The new 2nd was over 12 points more Republican than its predecessor; Romney carried the old 2nd in 2012 with 52 percent of the vote. Her only other politically realistic option for staying in Congress would have been to run in the Democratic primary for the heavily Democratic, black-majority 5th District against that district's 24-year incumbent, Corinne Brown. While her home in Tallahassee is just outside the 5th's boundaries, members of Congress are only required to live in the state they wish to represent. However, had she run in the 5th, she would have had to run in territory that she did not know and that did not know her; the reconfigured 5th would have been over 67 percent new to her.
In a YouTube video emailed to her fundraising list, Graham that she would not run for reelection to the House in 2016, denouncing a process that resulted in Tallahassee being split into "two partisan districts." She said that she was considering running for Governor of Florida in the 2018 election. An August 2016 poll placed Graham behind the Democrats' losing 2014 gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, who was once Florida's Governor when he was a Republican.
- "Daughter Of Former Fla. Sen. Bob Graham Running For Congress". NPR. April 2, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- "With Graham name, Democrats see rare chance for Florida win". Reuters. August 25, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- "Sen. Bob Graham's daughter, Gwen, holds fundraiser". Miamilaker.com. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- "Steve Southerland says Gwen Graham 'was a Washington lobbyist'". @politifact. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- Ledyard King (September 14, 2014). "Florida District 2 race heats up between Steve Southerland, Gwen Graham". PolitiFact. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- "Graham's Daughter Steps Into Politics". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- "State: New Graham rising on political horizon". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- King, Ledyard (May 5, 2013). "Southerland faces tough 2014 re-election bid". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- Isenstadt, Alex (May 9, 2013). "DCCC unveils plan to boost top prospects in 2014". Politico. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- Karl Etters, Tallahassee Democrat (November 4, 2014). "Gwen Graham defeats Steve Southerland". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- Sherman, Jake. "Gwen Graham: 'I am not Nancy Pelosi'". Politico. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
- "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 2". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. January 6, 2015.
- King, Ledyard. "Rep. Gwen Graham votes against Pelosi – again". Tallahassee Democrat. October 29, 2015.
- Leary, Alex. "Gwen Graham, Patrick Murphy only two Florida Dems to vote for Syrian refugee crackdown". Tampa Bay Times. November 19, 2015.
- "H.R. 1349: United States-Israel Anti-Tunnel Defense Cooperation Act". govtrack.us. March 10, 2015.
- "H.R.1339 - To prohibit the use of official funds for airline accommodations for Members of Congress which are not coach-class accommodations or for long-term vehicle leases for Members of Congress, and for other purposes". Library of Congress. March 6, 2015.
- King, Ledyard. "Graham's independence confounds some Democrats". USA Today. September 18, 2015.
- "Rep. Gwen Graham Talks Obamacare and Dep. of Homeland Security". WJHG-TV. March 4, 2015.
- "Steve Southerland vs. Gwen Graham Nonpartisan Candidate Guide For Florida District 2 Congressional Race 2014". Huffington Post. October 29, 2014.
- Leary, Alex (January 24, 2015). "Democrat Gwen Graham takes heat for right-leaning votes". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
- Daily Kos Elections congressional district redistribution analysis (post-2010 census)
- Florida election results by congressional district
- Daily Kos Elections 2008 & 2012 presidential election results for congressional districts used in 2012 & 2014 elections
- "Gwen Graham might run for governor". Tallahassee Democrat. April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
- "Democrats recruiting Gwen Graham, daughter of former governor Bob Graham, to challenge Steve Southerland". SaintPetersBlog. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- Representative Gwen Graham
- Gwen Graham for Congress campaign website
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 2nd congressional district
| Succeeded by|
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority
| Succeeded by|