Lisa Blunt Rochester

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Lisa Blunt Rochester
Lisa Blunt Rochester official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's at-large district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byJohn Carney
Delaware Secretary of Labor
In office
GovernorTom Carper
Personal details
Lisa LaTrelle Blunt

(1962-02-10) February 10, 1962 (age 58)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 1982; div. 2003)

Charles Rochester
(m. 2006; died 2014)
RelativesTed Blunt (father)
EducationFairleigh Dickinson University
University of Delaware (MA)
WebsiteHouse website

Lisa LaTrelle Blunt Rochester (née Blunt;[1] February 10, 1962) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Delaware's at-large congressional district since 2017. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life and education[edit]

Blunt Rochester was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 10, 1962.[2] Her family moved to Wilmington, Delaware, in 1969.[3] Her father, Ted Blunt, served on the Wilmington City Council, including as council president.[4] Her mother, Alice LaTrelle, worked in retail.[5]

Blunt Rochester attended Padua Academy, began college at Villanova University, and later transferred to the University of Delaware in her sophomore year.[5] She left college to live in Europe, and later received her bachelor's degree in international relations from Fairleigh Dickinson University and her master's degree in urban affairs and public policy from the University of Delaware.[3][5]

Early political career[edit]

Blunt Rochester worked for Tom Carper as an intern in 1989, when he served as Delaware's U.S. Representative. After the internship, she continued to work for Carper as a constituent relations caseworker, and worked on his transition team when he was elected governor of Delaware.[5][6][7] Carper appointed her deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services in 1993 and Secretary of the Department of Labor in 1998. Governor Ruth Ann Minner named Blunt Rochester the state personnel director in 2001.[5]

In 2004, Blunt Rochester left government service and became the CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League.[5][3]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


Lisa Blunt Rochester questioning U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during a hearing in front of the House Committee on Agriculture in Washington, D.C., May 17, 2017.

Blunt Rochester ran for the United States House of Representatives in Delaware's at-large congressional district in the 2016 election.[8] She won the Democratic Party nomination on September 13[9] and the general election against Republican Hans Reigle on November 8.[10] When she was sworn into office on January 3, 2017, she became the first woman and the first African-American to represent Delaware in Congress.[10] During her swearing-in, she carried a scarf imprinted with her great-great-great-grandfather's Reconstruction Era voter registration card. He had been a slave.[7]


On December 18, 2019, Blunt Rochester voted for both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.[11]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

2020 presidential election[edit]

In March 2020, Joe Biden's presidential campaign named Blunt Rochester as one of its co-chairs.[16] At the end of April, Blunt Rochester was named a member of the vetting committee for Biden's vice presidential candidate selection.[17]

Rochester was scheduled to be a 2020 Democratic National Convention speaker.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Blunt Rochester was married to her first husband, basketball player Alex Bradley, from 1982 to 2003. They met at Villanova and lived in Europe while he played basketball professionally. They have two children together.[5] She met her second husband, Charles, later in 2003. They married in 2006.[5] Charles died in 2014.[19][1][7][4] He ruptured his Achilles tendon which caused blood clots to go to his heart and lungs.

While living abroad in China with her late husband, Blunt Rochester co-authored the book THRIVE: 34 Women, 18 Countries, One Goal.[20]

Electoral history[edit]

Election results
Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
2016 U.S House of


General Lisa Blunt Rochester Democratic 223,554 55.5% Hans Reigle Republican 172,290 41.0%
2018 U.S House of


General Lisa Blunt Rochester Democratic 227,333 64.5% Scott Walker Republican 125,381 35.6%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Weddings". The News Journal. June 20, 1982. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  2. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). Roll Call. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Running for Congress, Rochester draws on experience". The News Journal. May 21, 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Duvernay, Adam (November 10, 2016). "Rochester wins Delaware congressional race". The News Journal. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Nagengast, Larry (June 2017). "Lisa Blunt Rochester is Ready to Shake Things Up: Get to know Delaware's first black, first female congresswoman". Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  6. ^ Gaudiano, Nicole (January 3, 2017). "Lisa Blunt Rochester sworn in, makes history". The News Journal. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Page, Susan (March 16, 2017). "Groundbreaking congresswoman on race, gender and the Joe Biden Hybrid". USA Today. Archived from the original on March 18, 2017. For my swearing-in, I carried this with me. Part of this was to remember how far we've come, that a former slave's great-great-granddaughter is now a congresswoman.
  8. ^ Offredo, Jon; Jonathan, Starkey (October 26, 2015). "Former state labor secretary enters congressional race". The News Journal. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  9. ^ "Former Delaware Labor Secretary Lisa Blunt Rochester wins Democratic primary for U.S. House seat". The Washington Post. September 13, 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Lisa Blunt Rochester Is Delaware's First Female and the First African American Representative – Rochester Elected to Congress". October 17, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  13. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  14. ^ "Lawmakers Launch Caucus to Address Emerging Tech's Impact on Work". Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  15. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  16. ^ "Delaware Rep. Blunt Rochester joins Biden's campaign team: Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester will serve as co-chair for former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign". ABC News. Associated Press. March 6, 2020. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  17. ^ O'Keefe, Ed (April 30, 2020). "Biden announces running mate vetting committee". CBS News. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  18. ^ "Democrats Announce Additional Speakers and Schedule Updates for 2020 Democratic National Convention: "Uniting America"". 2020 Democratic National Convention. August 11, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  19. ^ "Charles Rochester Obituary - Wilmington, DE | The News Journal". Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  20. ^ "About Lisa". Lisa Blunt Democrat for Congress. January 10, 2016.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Carney
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's at-large congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Andy Biggs
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Anthony G. Brown