Paul Strauss

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Paul Strauss
Paul Strauss.jpg
United States Shadow Senator
from the District of Columbia
Assumed office
January 3, 1997
Serving with Michael D. Brown
Preceded by Jesse Jackson
Personal details
Born Paul Eric Strauss
(1964-04-11) April 11, 1964 (age 51)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kathy Strauss
Children 2
Alma mater American University
Website Official website

Paul Eric Strauss[1] (born April 11, 1964[2]) is a shadow senator from the District of Columbia.[3]

Political career[edit]

As one of the District of Columbia's two Shadow Senators, Strauss lobbies the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives on behalf of the citizens of D.C. in their attempt to gain full federal representation,[4] self-determination, and eventually admittance to the Union as the 51st state.[4]

Strauss opposed efforts by various members of the United States Congress to overturn the District's ban on handguns, institute school vouchers in the District, and institute a flat tax in the District.[5]

In 2006, Strauss ran for the District's City Council to represent Ward 3.[5] He came in second place in the Democratic primary, receiving 15% of the vote, while Mary Cheh received 44% of the vote.[6]

Strauss was selected to be a superdelegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention where he endorsed Barack Obama.[7]

Strauss was re-elected in 2008. Strauss received 65% of the vote in the September Democratic primary, while Democratic challenger Phil Pannell received 33%.[8] In the November general election, Strauss faced Republican Nelson F. Rimensnyder, D.C. Statehood Green Party candidate Keith Ware, and Libertarian Party Candidate Damien Lincoln Ober. Strauss received 82% of the vote, giving him his largest margin of victory ever.

Strauss was again re-elected in 2014, with 77.3% of the vote.[9]

Strauss' trips to Iowa in early 2015 prompted speculation that he was considering running for President in the 2016 election.[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

Strauss was born in Brooklyn, was raised in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He moved to Washington, D.C. in 1982,[5] earning his bachelor's degree (1986) and Juris Doctor (1993) at American University.[12][13] Strauss lives in the Observatory Circle/Glover Park neighborhood in the District.[14] Strauss is an attorney and principal of the Law Offices of Paul Strauss & Associates, P.C.,[12] a law firm specializing in real estate, business, and family law. Strauss is a former Chairperson of the District's Board of Real Property Assessments and Appeals.[5][15]

He has been a union organizer for Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union Local 25.[16]

As a youth, Strauss was volunteer in election campaigns of Mario Biaggi, Hugh Carey, and Jimmy Carter.[17] At 17, he interned for New York City Mayor Ed Koch with his own desk in the Tweed Courthouse.[17] In his first political campaign in Washington, D.C., he mobilized other college students to register to vote against raising the drinking age to 21.[17] He is a former at-large member of Washington, D.C.'s Democrat State Committee and Chairman of its Statehood Committee.[16]

On October 1, 2008, Strauss was arrested for drunken driving.[18] He was found to have a blood-alcohol level at twice the legal level of intoxication.[19] On May 29, 2009, he pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to a 60-day suspended jail sentence, 11 months of supervised probation, a $300 fine, and $100 fine to be paid to the victims of violent crime compensation fund.[20]

Election history[edit]

1996 Shadow Senator, D.C., Democratic Primary Election[21]

Paul Strauss (D) 74%
Eduardo Burkhart (D) 22%
Write-in 4%

1996 Shadow Senator, D.C., General Election[22]

Paul Strauss (D) 76%
Gloria R. Corn (R) 14%
George Pope (Umoja) 9%
Write-in 1%

2002 Shadow Senator, D.C., Democratic Primary Election[23]

Paul Strauss (D) 66%
Pete Ross (D) 31%
Write-in 3%

2002 Shadow Senator, D.C., General Election[24]

Paul Strauss (D) 73%
Norma M. Sasaki (R) 8%
Joyce Robinson-Paul (Statehood-Green) 18%
Write-in 1%

2006 Representative for Ward 3 in the D.C. Council, Democratic Primary Election[23]

Mary M. Cheh (D) 44%
Paul Strauss (D) 14%
Sam Brooks (D) 8%
Robert Gordon (D) 8%
Cathy Wiss (D) 8%
Erik S. Gaull (D) 7%
Bill Rice (D) 7%
Eric Goulet (D) 3%
Jonathan Rees (D) 0%
Write-in 0%

2008 Shadow Senator, D.C., Democratic Primary Election[25]

Paul Strauss (D) 65%
Phillip Pannell (D) 34%
Write-in 1%

2008 Shadow Senator, D.C., General Election[26]

Paul Strauss (D) 81%
Nelson F. Rimensnyder (R) 8%
Keith Ware (Statehood-Green) 7%
Damien Lincoln Ober (L) 3%
Write-in 1%


  1. ^ "District of Columbia v. Strauss, Paul Eric: Gerstein Affidavit" (pdf). Superior Court of the District of Columbia. via Washington City Paper. November 6, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Voters Guide 2006 Supplement" (PDF). The Washington Informer. September 24, 2006. 
  3. ^ "Congressional Delegation (Shadow)". Government of the District of Columbia. Retrieved February 15, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Ponder, Meredith (September 27, 2006). "Shadow delegates: Emerging from the dark". The Georgetown Independent. 
  5. ^ a b c d Dufour, Jeff (May 31, 2006). "Paul Strauss: From senator to D.C. councilmember?". The Hill (newspaper). 
  6. ^ "Democratic, Republican News, Elections and Results". NBC4 (NBCUniversal). February 26, 2006. 
  7. ^ Stone, Peter H. (February 22, 2008). "The K-Street Superdelegates". National Journal. 
  8. ^ "Election Night Unofficial Results". District of Columbia Board of Ethics and Elections. September 10, 2008. Retrieved September 16, 2008.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Bowman, Bridget (February 19, 2015). "Shadow Senator Visits Iowa, Leaves Trip Open to Speculation". Roll Call. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  11. ^ Seitz-Wald, Alex (February 18, 2015). "What is D.C.’s ‘shadow senator’ doing in Iowa?". MSNBC. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "The Washington Informer Voter's Guide 2006 Supplement" (pdf). The Washington Informer. August 24, 2006. p. 10. 
  13. ^ "Notable Alumni". American University School of Public Affairs. 
  14. ^ "D.C. Primaries: Paul Strauss". The Washington Post. 2006. 
  15. ^ "Composition of the Board". District of Columbia Board of Real Property Assessments and Appeals. Retrieved February 26, 2008. 
  16. ^ a b "Paul Strauss". Marquis Who's Who TM. Marquis Who's Who, 2008. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. Document Number: K2017719070.
  17. ^ a b c Vest, Jason (January 25, 2000). "Shadow in Doubt". Village Voice. 
  18. ^ Yehle, Emily (October 31, 2008). "Shadow Senator Arrested for Drunken Driving". Roll Call. Retrieved November 30, 2008. 
  19. ^ Cherkis, Jason and DeBonis, Mike. "Strauss Flashed Senate ID to Cops Before Arrest". WRC-TV. November 14, 2008. Retrieved on November 30, 2008.
  20. ^ Cherkis, Jason (June 1, 2009). "Shadow Senator Paul Strauss Pleads Guilty To DUI". Washington City Paper (Washington, DC). Retrieved June 3, 2009. 
  21. ^ "Final and Complete Election Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. September 10, 1996. 
  22. ^ "Final and Complete Election Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. November 5, 1996. 
  23. ^ a b "Certified Election Results for the September 10, 2002 Primary Election". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. September 20, 2002. 
  24. ^ "Final and Complete Election Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. June 3, 2008. 
  25. ^ "Certified Election Results for the September 09, 2008 Primary Election". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. June 3, 2009. 
  26. ^ "Final and Complete Election Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. June 3, 2008. 
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jesse Jackson
Democratic nominee for U.S. Shadow Senator from the District of Columbia
(Seat 2)

1996, 2002, 2008, 2014
Most recent
United States Senate
Preceded by
Jesse Jackson
U.S. Shadow Senator (Seat 2) from the District of Columbia
Served alongside: Florence Pendleton, Michael Brown