Carol Shea-Porter

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Carol Shea-Porter
Carol Shea-Porter official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2017 – January 3, 2019
Preceded byFrank Guinta
Succeeded byChris Pappas
In office
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2015
Preceded byFrank Guinta
Succeeded byFrank Guinta
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byJeb Bradley
Succeeded byFrank Guinta
Personal details
Carol Shea

(1952-12-02) December 2, 1952 (age 68)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Gene Porter
EducationUniversity of New Hampshire (BA, MPA)
WebsiteHouse website

Carol Shea-Porter (born December 2, 1952) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who is the former member of the United States House of Representatives for New Hampshire's 1st congressional district. She held the seat from 2007 to 2011, 2013 to 2015, and 2017 to 2019.

Shea-Porter was first elected in 2006, defeating Republican incumbent Jeb Bradley. She beat Bradley 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 election and lost for the second time. On July 2, 2015, she announced she would again run for her old seat. She defeated Guinta for the second time, facing him for the fourth election in a row.

On October 6, 2017, Shea-Porter announced that she would not run for re-election in 2018.[2] Fellow Democrat Chris Pappas was elected on November 6 to succeed Shea-Porter in the 116th United States Congress.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Shea-Porter was born in New York City[3] and grew up in the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire, attending local public schools, and graduating from the University of New Hampshire.[4] She earned a bachelor's degree in social services and a master's degree in public administration.[5][6] Prior to becoming 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.[7]

After returning to New Hampshire, she worked for the Wesley Clark presidential campaign and was a volunteer for John Kerry’s presidential run.[7] She is married to Gene Porter, a former U.S. Army officer, with whom she has two grown children.

Political campaigns[edit]


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 George W. Bush rally wearing a T-shirt that read "Turn Your Back On Bush," ran on a strong anti-Iraq War message.[8][9] In addition to opposition to the Iraq war, Shea-Porter campaigned on a platform of increasing the minimum wage and universal healthcare.[10][11] 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.[12]

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.[13]


Shea-Porter was re-elected to a second term in November 2008, defeating Bradley for the second time, winning by 52% 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.[14]

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."[15]


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 in 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 won the seat back from Frank Guinta, who had 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.[16] 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.[17] The Rothenberg Political Report considered the election a “Toss-up.”[18] 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.[19] She was also being supported in her election campaign by EMILY's List, a political action committee that seeks to elect pro-choice Democratic women.[20] Shea-Porter lost to Guinta again by a margin of 52% to 48%.


Shea-Porter ran again for U.S. Congress in 2016 and was elected on November 8. She ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.[21] She faced incumbent Republican Frank Guinta and independent candidate Shawn O'Connor in the general election,[22] defeating them both with 44.2% of the vote to return to Congress.[23] Shea-Porter has lost to Guinta twice and beat him twice. In January 2017, Shea-Porter announced she would not attend the inauguration of Donald J. Trump according to WMUR-TV and multiple other sources.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Committee assignments[edit]


She was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus,[24] the Congressional Arts Caucus,[25] and the United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus.[26]


Shea-Porter during the 110th Congress

In 2010, Shea-Porter was a lead co-sponsor of a bill aimed to help protect troops in Iraq and Afghanistan from the disposal of toxic waste in open air burn pits.[27] Also in 2010, she co-sponsored legislation to establish a national commission to study urological war injuries.[28] After the 2012 Benghazi attack, Shea-Porter said the U.S. should continue a relationship to achieve democracy in Libya.[29]

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.[30] 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.[29] 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.[31][32] She has advocated for the creation of a federal institute dedicated to reducing dependence on foreign oil.[33]

Shea-Porter voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often better known as Obamacare), saying "We’ll continue to work on that, but this is a good bill.”[29] 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.[34]

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.[35]

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.”[36] She also opposed a vote to freeze federal employee pay.[36]

In August 2014 Shea-Porter voted against an immigration bill that would increase funding for border protection and more administrative support.[37]

Shea-Porter voted for the auto industry bailout[38] and the "Cash for Clunkers" bill.[39]

Shea-Porter was named a vice-chair of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.[40]

Town hall disruptions[edit]

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.”[41][42]

Electoral history[edit]

Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent 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 Robert Kingsbury Libertarian 8,100 2.4
2010 Congress, District 1 General Carol Shea-Porter Democratic 95,503 42.36 Frank Guinta Republican 121,655 53.96 Philip Hodson Libertarian 7,966 3.5
2012 Congress, District 1 General Carol Shea-Porter Democratic 171,356 49.7 Frank Guinta Republican 158,482 46.0 Brendan Kelly Libertarian 14,521 4.2
2014 Congress, District 1 General Carol Shea-Porter Democratic 116,626 48.2 Frank Guinta Republican 125,321 51.8
2016 Congress, District 1 General Carol Shea-Porter Democratic 162,080 44.3 Frank Guinta Republican 157,176 43.0 Shawn O'Connor Independent 34,735 9.5 Others 11,581 3.17

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fahrenthold, David A. (December 9, 2010). "Between Losing and Going Home: The House Basement". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  2. ^ Marcos, Cristina (October 6, 2017). "Vulnerable Democrat won't seek reelection". The Hill. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  3. ^ Sangillo, Gregg (October 5, 2012). "New Hampshire, 1st House District". National Journal. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  4. ^ " "Carol Shea Porter's unusual journey to Congress"". Archived from the original on November 18, 2006. Retrieved November 11, 2006.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) (registration required)
  5. ^ Carol Shea-Porter (2006). Carol Shea Porter for Congress (NH 01). New Hampshire: An early video "audition" introducing herself to the voters for the 2006 Congressional race which she won.
  6. ^ "Carol Shea-Porter (D)". Washington Post. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Carol Shea-Porter (D)". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  8. ^ Weigel, David (August 12, 2010). "Crazy Enough To Win". Slate. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  9. ^ "Carol Shea-Porter (D)". Election 2012. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  10. ^ Mark, David (September 9, 2008). "Shea-Porter faces tough race in N.H." Politico. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  11. ^ Benton Cooney, Jessica (January 17, 2007). "Makeover in New Hampshire 1st District: Freshman Rep. Shea-Porter". New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  12. ^ "Secretary of State Results for New Hampshire 1st Congressional District, Democratic Primary, September 12, 2006". Archived from the original on September 27, 2006. Retrieved September 28, 2006.
  13. ^ Winograd, Morley; Hais, Michael D. (2008). Millennial makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the future of American politics. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-8135-4301-7. OCLC 156994481. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "Shea-Porter best for the 1st"[permanent dead link] Concord Monitor editorial (October 27, 2008)
  15. ^ "Shea-Porter requests DCCC help in race",, May 21, 2008
  16. ^ "DCCC CHAIRMAN STEVE ISRAEL ANNOUNCES 2013–2014 FRONTLINE MEMBERS". DCCC. March 5, 2013. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  17. ^ Center, Shira (November 4, 2013). "Roll Call's 10 Most Vulnerable House Members Revealed". Roll Call. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  18. ^ "House Ratings". Rothenberg Political Report. August 15, 2014. Archived from the original on October 21, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  19. ^ Sullivan, Sean (August 11, 2014). "A leading 'anti-super PAC' just backed three more candidates for Congress". Washington Post. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  20. ^ Jaffe, Alexandra (April 10, 2014). "EMILY's List targets female voters in NH Senate race". The Hill. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  21. ^ DiStaso, John (March 25, 2016). "Innis suspends congressional campaign, says family, business interests come first". WMUR. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  22. ^ Koziol, John (October 31, 2016). "1st Congressional candidates face off in North Conway". New Hampshire Union-Leader. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  23. ^ "New Hampshire U.S. House 1st District Results: Carol Shea-Porter Wins". The New York Times. November 15, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  24. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  25. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  26. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  27. ^ ""Shea-Porter: Bill will protect troops" (January 25, 2010) AP". Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2010.
  28. ^ "Shea-Porter sponsors bill on urological war wounds". Seacoast Online. Associated Press. April 24, 2010. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  29. ^ a b c Berry, Jake (October 10, 2012). "Guinta, Shea-Porter voice vast policy differences in TV debate". The Telegraph.
  30. ^ Shea-Porter, Carol (July 21, 2009). "Carol Shea-Porter: Cap And Trade Will Create Jobs, Improve Our Energy Future" (PDF). New Hampshire Union Leader. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 18, 2010.
  31. ^ FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 477 (American Clean Energy and Security Act)
  32. ^ Quinton, Amy (October 26, 2010). "Candidates Quiet on Climate Change". NHPR. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  33. ^ Sangillo, Greg (November 5, 2012). "New Hampshire, 1st House District". National Journal. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  34. ^ "Medicare 'donut hole' checks in the mail". August 12, 2010. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  35. ^ "'Pain-Capable' babies: Whither Kuster, Shea-Porter?". Union Leader. June 22, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  36. ^ a b Leubsdorf, Ben (September 15, 2013). "Capital Beat: Kuster and Shea-Porter stick together in the U.S. House, except when they don't". Concord Monitor. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  37. ^ "Congressional hopefuls divided on immigration". Eagle Tribune. August 26, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  38. ^ Palermo, Sarah (October 28, 2012). "First District candidate Carol Shea-Porter outlines congressional agenda". Concord Monitor. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  39. ^ Sletten, Phil (June 13, 2009). "Cash for Clunkers Fails to Earn Gregg's Support". NHPR. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
  40. ^ "Democratic National Convention Announces 2020 Convention Officers, Schedule of Events". 2020 Democratic National Convention. July 30, 2020. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  41. ^ "Tempers hot at Shea-Porter health meetings" Union Leader (August 30, 2010) Archived February 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  42. ^ "Protesters Question Shea-Porter On Health Care Law: Tea Party Members Plan Protests At Town Hall Meetings" WMUR (March 31, 2010)

External links[edit]

U.S. 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
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Chris Pappas