|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 11th district
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Jerry Weller|
|Succeeded by||Adam Kinzinger|
|Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 40th district
January 8, 1997 – January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Aldo DeAngelis|
|Succeeded by||Toi Hutchinson|
March 1, 1958 |
Chicago Heights, Illinois
|Alma mater||Robert Morris College,
Prairie State College,
Governors State University
|Religion||Lutheran - LCMS|
Deborah L. "Debbie" Halvorson (born March 1, 1958) is the former U.S. Representative for Illinois's 11th congressional district, serving from 2009 until 2011. Previously, she served in the Illinois Senate from 1997 through 2009. She is a member of the Democratic Party. In September 2011, she filed to run in the newly redistricted 2nd congressional district but was defeated in the Democratic primary by the incumbent, Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Early life, education, and early career
Halvorson grew up in Steger, Illinois and graduated from Bloom High School. She and her husband Jim Bush live in Crete and have four children and four grandchildren. She worked 13 years as a cosmetics saleswoman for Mary Kay before entering public service. She has degrees from Robert Morris College, Prairie State College and Governors State University (Bachelor of Arts and Master's in Communication). She became a sales representative, Crete Township Clerk, and an educator at the Governors State University.
Illinois Senate (1997-2009)
Halvorson first ran for the Illinois State Senate in November 1996, defeating incumbent Republican State Senator Aldo DeAngelis 56%-44% in Illinois' 40th Senate District. In 1998, she won re-election to a second term defeating State Representative Flora Ciarlo 66%-34%. In 2002, she won re-election to a third term unopposed. In 2006, she won re-election to a fourth term with 70% of the vote.
After being diagnosed as a high risk for cervical cancer due to HPV, Halvorson gained special notoriety and controversy for her bid to create a program broaden access to HPV testing and vaccination. She did this to help others so that they wouldn't have to go through the pain and struggle of cervical cancer if it was possible to eradicate.
Halvorson had a public dispute with Jesse Jackson, Jr., over the proposed Peotone airport, which led Jackson to attempt to tie Halvorson to Tony Rezko. The airport has never been in Jackson's district.
Following Halvorson's election to the House, there was an ongoing process, narrowed to three possible candidates, for Halvorson's successor in the Illinois Senate; she was eventually replaced by Toi Hutchinson. Just before Halvorson was set to officially resign from her seat, Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested. Halvorson said, "As frustrated and disappointed as I was, I was not surprised." She also called for Blagojevich to resign.
- Senate Committee of the Whole
- Senate Committee on Agriculture & Conservation
- Senate Committee on Transportation
- Senate Subcommittee on Airports (Chairperson)
- Senate Subcommittee on Tollways (Chairperson)
- Subcommittee on Railroad Safety
- Senate Taskforce on Alcoholic Beverages
U.S. House of Representatives (2009-2011)
In September 2007, incumbent Republican U.S. Congressman Jerry Weller announced that he would not seek another term, citing the need to spend more time with his family. Halvorson won the open seat defeating Republican Marty Ozinga with 58% of the vote.
Halvorson was defeated by Republican Adam Kinzinger 58%-42%.
In September 2011, Halvorson filed a candidacy with the FEC to run in the newly redistricted Illinois's 2nd congressional district, against incumbent Democrat Jesse Jackson, Jr.. “He (Jackson) lives in D.C. He doesn’t come home on weekends. His kids go to school in D.C." She also said that “They should be fearing me becoming a congresswoman. I represent the people who live in the (current) 11th district. He’s just nervous that I’m going to become a congresswoman because then his control is over.” The newly drawn district is just 54% African American. Jackson defeated her 71%-29%.
On October 2, 2007, Halvorson announced her decision to run for Illinois's 11th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, after current incumbent Jerry Weller announced in September that he would not be running for re-election. EMILY's List endorsed Halvorson in November. In February 2008, Republican nominee, New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann, withdrew from the race, citing other obligations. He was replaced by Marty Ozinga, whom Halvorson easily defeated in the general election.
Halvorson was appointed to the powerful Steering and Policy Committee as well as a member of Veterans, Small Business and Agriculture. One of her true loves is Economic Development and Transportation. During her time in office she said that one of her main focuses were constituent services. She has agreed with the 2009 Economic Stimulus Act, Cap and Trade of Emissions, and the Federal Health Care Bill.
- Committee on Agriculture
- Committee on Small Business
|2008||Debbie Halvorson||185,652||58.4%||Marty Ozinga||109,608||34.5%||Jason Wallace||22,635||7.1%|
|2010||Debbie Halvorson||94,939||42.5%||Adam Kinzinger||128,250||57.5%|
- Illinois General Assembly - Senator Biography
- Conrad, Dennis (2008-12-05). "Halvorson: From cosmetics sales to Congress". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-12-11.
- Vadala, Greg (2008-11-08). "111th House Freshmen: Debbie Halvorson, D-Ill. (11)". Yahoo News. Retrieved 2008-11-16.[dead link]
- "HealthiNation joins forces with Illinois State Senator Debbie Halvorson to Raise HPV and Cervical Cancer Awareness" (Press release). HealthiNation. 2007-09-17. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
- Slife, Erika (2008-06-21). "Halvorson, Jackson clash on airport". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
- "Halvorson's Legislation is 'Airport Killer'" (Press release). Jackson, Jesse, Jr. 2006-03-01. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
- Zimmer, Nathaniel (2008-12-21). "Halvorson finds herself being a freshman again". SouthtownStar. Retrieved 2009-01-04.[dead link]
- Reeder, Scott; Andrea Zelinski (2008-12-10). "Lawmakers calling for removal". My Web Times. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
- Chicago Sun-Times http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/7423387-522/halvorson-to-challenge-jackson-in-2nd.html
|url=missing title (help).
- Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress/boehner-spokesman-says-he-has-received-letter-of-resignation-from-rep-jesse-jackson-jr/2012/11/21/2867c4f4-3412-11e2-92f0-496af208bf23_story.html
|url=missing title (help).[dead link]
- Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/11/26/halvorson-enters-race-to-replace-jessie-jackson-jr/
|url=missing title (help).
- Darnick, Hal (2008-02-23). "Republican drops out of hotly contested 11th District race". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- Ferrell, Patrick (2008-12-25). "Halvorson wins fight for Weller seat". Southtown Star. Retrieved 2009-01-04.[dead link]
- "2008 General Election" (Excel). Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved 3 April 2009.
- Halvorson for Congress official campaign site
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Collected news and commentary from the Chicago Tribune
- Senator Debbie Halvorson (D) 40th District at the Illinois General Assembly, 95th session
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 11th congressional district