Debbie Dingell

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Debbie Dingell
Debbie Dingell official portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 12th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceding John Dingell
Personal details
Born Deborah Ann Insley
(1953-11-23) November 23, 1953 (age 61)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) John Dingell
Occupation Lobbyist, political activist
Religion Roman Catholic[1]

Deborah Ann "Debbie" Dingell (née Insley; November 23, 1953) is an American politician who has been the United States Representative for Michigan's 12th congressional district since 2015. She succeeded her husband, John Dingell, in Congress. She is also a figure in the Michigan Democratic Party and worked as a consultant to the American Automobile Policy Council.[2] She was a superdelegate for the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.[3][4]

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.[5] She is a 1975 graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Life and career[edit]

Descended from one of the Fisher brothers, owners of Fisher Body, a GM founder,[6] she has served as president [7] 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.[8]

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.[9] which resulted in Michigan almost losing half its delegates' votes in the Democratic Convention.[10]

She married Michigan Congressman John Dingell in 1981.[11] John Dingell became the longest-serving member of the United States House of Representatives in June 2013 and continued 59 years, 81 days to the end of the 113th Congress.[12]

When Carl Levin announced his retirement from the US Congress at the end of his term in 2015, Dingell indicated that she was interested in running for his seat.[12] 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.[13]

Dingell indicated that she planned to run for her husband's congressional seat after he announced his retirement.[14] On August 5 she won the Democratic primary. On November 4 she won the general election, defeating Republican Terry Bowman.[15] When Dingell was sworn in, she became the first U.S. woman in Congress to succeed her husband - who is the longest-serving member of Congress in history - while he is still alive.[16][17]


  1. ^
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Akers, Mary Ann (February 27, 2008). "Debbie Dingell: Angst-ridden Superdelegate and Congressional Spouse". The Sleuth (blog). The Washington Post. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Congressman John Dingell Makes Washington Quake, but Not His Executive Wife, Debbie". Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Board of Directors". Vital Voices. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Debbie Dingell". Wayne State University. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ Levin, Carl; Dingell, Deborah (March 19, 2008). "New Hampshire Cheated, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ Shear, Michael D. (December 2, 2007). "DNC Punishes Michigan For Early Primary Date". PostPolitics (blog). The Washington Post. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Debbie Dingell". Click. Politico. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Bash, Dana (March 11, 2013). "Debbie Dingell considering Senate bid in Michigan". Political Ticker (blog). CNN. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ Hohmann, James (March 22, 2013). "Jennifer Granholm: No run for Carl Levin’s seat". Politico. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  14. ^ Allen, Mike (February 25, 2014). "Politico Playbook for Feb. 25, 2014". Politico. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  15. ^ Allen, Jeremy (November 4, 2014). "Debbie Dingell defeats Terry Bowman in 12th District U.S. House race". MLive Media Group. 
  16. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (February 26, 2014). "Debbie Dingell Eyes Historic Win in 2014". Smart Politics. 
  17. ^ Catalina Camia, USA TODAY (2 November 2014). "Women poised to break glass ceiling on Election Day". Retrieved 25 November 2014. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Dingell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 12th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mark DeSaulnier
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Tom Emmer