Dutch Ruppersberger

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Dutch Ruppersberger
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2003
Preceded by Bob Ehrlich
Baltimore County Executive
In office
Preceded by Roger B. Hayden
Succeeded by James T. Smith Jr.
Member of the Baltimore County Council from District 3
In office
Personal details
Born Charles Albert Ruppersberger III
(1946-01-31) January 31, 1946 (age 72)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kay Ruppersberger
Children 2
Education Baltimore City College
University of Maryland, College Park (BA)
University of Baltimore (JD)

Charles Albert "Dutch" Ruppersberger III /ˈrpərsˌbɜːrɡər/ (born January 31, 1946) is the U.S. Representative for Maryland's 2nd congressional district, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Democratic Party and served as Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 2011-15. The district covers parts of Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Harford County, Howard County and Baltimore City.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Ruppersberger was born in Baltimore, the son of Margaret "Peggy" (née Wilson) and Charles Albert "Al" Ruppersberger, Jr. He is of part German descent.[1] He graduated from Baltimore City College and attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where he played lacrosse. He earned his juris doctor (JD) from the University of Baltimore School of Law.[citation needed]

Ruppersberger began his career as a Baltimore County Assistant State's Attorney. He was soon promoted to the Chief of the State's Attorney Office Investigative Division, pursuing organized crime, political corruption, and drug trafficking. He was elected to the Baltimore County Council in 1985 and again in 1989, chosen twice as council chairman. In December 1994 and again in 1998, he was elected Baltimore County Executive.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Ruppersberger calls on Congress to create a cabinet level intelligence director on August 3, 2004.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]


Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (Ranking Member, 113th and 114th Congresses)

Party leadership[edit]

Ruppersberger was the first Democratic freshman ever to be appointed to the House Intelligence Committee. He was named to this committee because his district is home to the National Security Agency. From January 3, 2011 to January 3, 2015, he served as this committee's ranking Democrat. The position placed Ruppersberger on the elite “Gang of Eight”, which refers to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees along with the Senate majority leader, Senate minority leader, House speaker and House minority leader. By law, the president must keep the Gang of Eight informed of the country's most secret intelligence activities to maintain proper oversight.

Shock trauma[edit]

Ruppersberger decided to run for office after a near-fatal car accident while investigating a drug trafficking case. Thanks to the dedication of doctors at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Ruppersberger survived and began campaigning for office to assist shock trauma after they saved his life. He remains an active supporter of the hospital, serving as vice chairman of its board of visitors. He serves on the United States Naval Academy Board of Visitors.[citation needed]

Operation Hero Miles[edit]

In one of his first acts in Washington in 2003, Ruppersberger created the national “Hero Miles” program to allow Americans to donate their frequent flyer miles to wounded warriors recovering at military or Veterans Administration medical centers as well as to friends and family visiting them. In 2012, he authored legislation expanding the program to enable Americans to donate their hotel reward points to military families. Both the “Hero Miles” and “Hotels for Heroes” programs are administered by Fisher House, a nonprofit organization that opens its homes to military families visiting their injured loved ones at hospitals across the country.[3] He won a Charles Dick Medal of Merit in 2004 for this initiative, thus becoming the last Marylander to win this award, which was previously awarded to U.S. Rep. Beverly Byron (1992), State Senator John Astle (1993), U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (1994), U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (1998) and State Delegate (now State Comptroller) Peter Franchot (1999).

Municipal finance[edit]

Ruppersberger has been a strong advocate of municipal finance and tax-exempt municipal bonds. In 2013, he joined with Congressman Randy Hultgren in securing the signatures of 137 other House Republicans and Democrats in a letter to congressional leaders asking that they "reject any proposal to cap or eliminate the deduction on tax-exempt municipal bonds used to finance the vast majority of infrastructure projects in America’s communities."[4] The two circulated a similar letter in 2015[5] and formed the Municipal Finance Caucus in 2016.[6]


Ruppersberger, along with Michigan Republican Mike Rogers, co-sponsored the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, designed to increase intelligence sharing between private cyber security firms and government agencies.[7] More than 60 businesses and trade organizations submitted letters of support including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Time Warner, Verizon and AT&T, IBM and Intel.[8] Despite several amendments to address privacy concerns, some groups, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have criticized the act for a lack of civil liberties protections, claiming that it authorizes government surveillance of private communications and allows companies to hand over large amounts of personal information on their clients without a warrant or judicial oversight, and thereby creates a cybersecurity loophole in existing privacy laws, such as the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.[9] CISPA passed the House of Representatives on April 26, 2012.[10] It was reintroduced into the House on February 13, 2013, and passed on April 18, 2013, by a bipartisan vote of 288-127. Of the 92 Democrats who supported the bill, many of them cited significant privacy improvements over the 2012 version.[11]


On October 19, 2017 at the Emergent Biosolutions manufacturing facility in Maryland, Ruppersberger received the Congressional Biosecurity Champion Award from the Alliance for Biosecurity, a D.C.-based public-interest organization, for "his leadership and actions taken in Congress to improve U.S. national security, preparedness and response for biosecurity threats." He was one of eight Members of Congress that received the award.[12]

Political campaigns[edit]

Barred from a third term as county executive, Ruppersberger opted to run for Congress in 2002 after 2nd District Congressman Bob Ehrlich made what turned out to be a successful run for governor. The Maryland General Assembly significantly altered the 2nd by shifting most of its share of Harford County to the 1st and 6th Districts. In its place, the legislature added a heavily Democratic portion of Baltimore City that had previously been in the 1st District. This turned the 2nd from a swing district into a strongly Democratic district.[citation needed]

An August 2011 editorial by The Washington Post described the 2nd district as "curlicue territories strung together by impossibly delicate tendrils of land" and "a crazy-quilt confection drawn for the express purpose of ousting the incumbent at the time, Rep. (and later Gov.) Robert L. "Bob" Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, and installing C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat who still holds the job."[13] He defeated Republican opponent Helen Delich Bentley, who had represented the 2nd district from 1985 to 1995, with 55 percent of the vote. He has never faced another close contest since then and has been reelected seven times.

On April 10, 2013, the Baltimore Sun reported that Ruppersberger was considering a run for governor of Maryland in 2014.[14] In January 2014, he announced that he would not run for governor, but instead would seek reelection to the House of Representatives.[15]

Electoral history[edit]

Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1994 Baltimore County Executive General Dutch Ruppersberger Democratic N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1998 Baltimore County Executive General Dutch Ruppersberger Democratic 166,482 70.47 John J. Bishop Republican 69,449 29.4
2002 Maryland's 2nd congressional district General Dutch Ruppersberger Democratic 105,718 54.16 Helen Delich Bentley Republican 88,954 45.57
2004 Maryland's 2nd congressional district General Dutch Ruppersberger Democratic 164,751 66.62 Jane Brooks Republican 75,812 30.66
2006 Maryland's 2nd congressional district General Dutch Ruppersberger Democratic 135,818 69.21 Jimmy Mathis Republican 60,195 30.68
2008 Maryland's 2nd congressional district General Dutch Ruppersberger Democratic 198,578 71.9 Richard Pryce Matthews Republican 68,561 24.8
2010 Maryland's 2nd congressional district General Dutch Ruppersberger Democratic 134,133 64.21 Marcelo Cardarelli Republican 69,523 33.28
2012 Maryland's 2nd congressional district General Dutch Ruppersberger Democratic 194,088 65.6 Nancy C. Jacobs Republican 92,071 31.1
2014 Maryland's 2nd congressional district General Dutch Ruppersberger Democratic 115,586 61.3 David Banach Republican 67,995 36.0
2016 Maryland's 2nd congressional district General Dutch Ruppersberger Democratic 172.324 62.2 Patrick L. McDonough Republican 92.099 33.3

Personal life[edit]

Ruppersberger married his high school sweetheart in 1971 and has two grown children, Cory and Jill, and three grandchildren.[16]


  1. ^ "dutch ruppersberger". Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved June 8, 2018. 
  3. ^ "Ruppersberger Receives Medal For 'Operation Hero Miles'". WBAL-TV. Retrieved August 17, 2011. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Hultgren, Ruppersberger Lead Bipartisan Effort to Keep Municipal Bonds Tax-Exempt". Congressman Randy Hultgren. July 11, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Hultgren, Ruppersberger Lead Bipartisan Effort to Protect Municipal Finance Tax Exemption". Congressman Randy Hultgren. April 15, 2015. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Ruppersberger, Hultgren Launch Bipartisan Caucus to Promote Investment in Local Communities". Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger. March 1, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  7. ^ "House to take up cybersecurity bill with revisions". Reuters. April 11, 2012. 
  8. ^ "H.R. 624 - Letters of Support | The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence". Intelligence.house.gov. Archived from the original on August 13, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  9. ^ "CISPA is Back: FAQ on What it is and Why it's Still Dangerous | Electronic Frontier Foundation". Eff.org. February 25, 2013. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  10. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 192" (XML). Clerk.house.gov. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  11. ^ [1] Archived April 22, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Riley, Kim (October 23, 2017). "Alliance for Biosecurity hails Rep. Ruppersberger's champion efforts around bioterrorism prevention". Homeland Preparedness News. Retrieved October 25, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Maryland Democrats redraw the congressional district map". The Washington Post. August 20, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Ruppersberger considering run for Governor". The Baltimore Sun. April 10, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Congressman Ruppersberger Decides Against Run For Governor". wbal.com. January 22, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  16. ^ Staff (October 25, 2011). "Biography - Congressman Ruppersberger". Dutch.house.gov. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Roger Hayden
Executive of Baltimore County
Succeeded by
James Smith
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bob Ehrlich
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 2nd congressional district

Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Rogers
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Tim Ryan