Deborah Dingell

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Deborah Dingell
Congressman John Dingell 2011 Ypsilanti Independence Day Parade.JPG
Debbie Dingell and husband John at the 2011 Ypsilanti Independence Day Parade
Born Deborah Insley
1954 (age 59–60)
Nationality American
Occupation Lobbyist, political activist
Known for political activity

Deborah "Debbie" Insley Dingell (born in 1954) is the wife of Congressman John Dingell and a figure in the Michigan Democratic Party. Dingell currently works as a consultant to the American Automobile Policy Council.[1] She was a superdelegate for the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.[2]

She is active in several Michigan and Washington, D.C., charities and serves on a number of charitable boards. She serves as Vice Chair of the Barbara Karmanos Cancer Center and is a member of the Executive Committee, where she co-chairs the Breast Cancer Committee and the Government Relations Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Vital Voices Global Partnership.[3] She is a 1975 graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Descended from one of the Fisher brothers, owners of Fisher Body, a GM founder,[4] she has served as vice chairman of the General Motors Foundation and as executive director of Global Community Relations and Government Relations at GM. She is a member of the Democratic National Committee from Michigan and chaired Vice President Al Gore’s campaign in Michigan in 2000. In 2004, she also helped secure the Michigan Democratic primary and general election vote for John Kerry in Michigan.

In November 2006, Dingell was elected to the Board of Governors of Wayne State University in Detroit.[5] She is scheduled to remain on the board until the expiration of her term at the end of 2014.[5]

Dingell and U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D - MI) were the proponents of moving up Michigan's Presidential Primary before February 5, to attempt to garner greater political influence for Michigan during the 2008 Democratic Primaries.[6] which resulted in Michigan almost losing half its delegates' votes in the Democratic Convention.[7]

She married Michigan Congressman John Dingell in 1981.[8] John Dingell is the longest-serving member of the United States House of Representatives who has served continuously for 58 years, 251 days.[9]

When Carl Levin announced his retirement from the US Senate at the end of his term in 2015, Dingell indicated that she was interested in running for his seat.[9] When former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm declined to run for the seat, a Politico writer declared Dingell to be one of the front-runners for the Democratic nomination, alongside US Representative Gary Peters.[10]

Dingell indicated that she planned to run for her husband's congressional seat after he announced his retirement.[11] On August 5 she won the Democratic party's primary for the seat. If Dingell is elected in the fall, it will mark the first time in history that someone has directly succeeded a living spouse in either legislative chamber.[12]


  1. ^ Beene, Ryan (October 26, 2009). "Debbie Dingell to take new post at American Automotive Policy Council". Crain's Detroit Business. Crain Communications. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ Akers, Mary Ann (February 27, 2008). "Debbie Dingell: Angst-ridden Superdelegate and Congressional Spouse". The Sleuth (blog). The Washington Post. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Board of Directors". Vital Voices. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "Debbie Dingell". Wayne State University. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ Levin, Carl; Dingell, Deborah (March 19, 2008). "New Hampshire Cheated, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  7. ^ Shear, Michael D. (December 2, 2007). "DNC Punishes Michigan For Early Primary Date". PostPolitics (blog). The Washington Post. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Debbie Dingell". Click. Politico. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Bash, Dana (March 11, 2013). "Debbie Dingell considering Senate bid in Michigan". Political Ticker (blog). CNN. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ Hohmann, James (March 22, 2013). "Jennifer Granholm: No run for Carl Levin’s seat". Politico. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  11. ^ Allen, Mike (February 25, 2014). "Politico Playbook for Feb. 25, 2014". Politico. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  12. ^