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Gerry Connolly

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Gerry Connolly

Gerry Connolly
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 11th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2009
Preceded by Thomas M. Davis
Chair of the Fairfax County
Board of Supervisors
In office
Preceded by Katherine Hanley
Succeeded by Sharon Bulova
Member of the Fairfax County
Board of Supervisors
from the Providence district
In office
Succeeded by Linda Smyth
Personal details
Born (1950-03-30) March 30, 1950
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Cathy Connolly
Residence Mantua, Virginia
Alma mater Maryknoll College
Harvard University
Occupation Public Administration
Religion Roman Catholic

Gerald Edward 'Gerry' Connolly (born March 30, 1950) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Virginia's 11th congressional district, first elected in 2008.

Early life, education and career

Connolly graduated from Maryknoll College in Illinois with a B.A. in Literature in 1971, and completed a Master of Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 1979.

Connolly worked from 1979 through 1989 with the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, where he managed committee oversight of international economic issues, international narcotics control, and United Nations and Middle East policies, and published reports on U.S. policy in El Salvador, Central America, Israel and the Persian Gulf region.[1] From 1989 through 1997 he was Vice President of the Washington Office of SRI International. He was also Director of Community Relations for SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation).[2]

In local politics, Gerry served on the Fairfax Government Reorganization Commission from 1992 through 1993. In 1995 he was elected Providence District Supervisor, serving for nine years.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

Connolly's career as a public official began on March 28, 1995 when he was elected Providence District Supervisor on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. He was reelected to a four-year term on the board in November of that same year. Connolly ran unopposed for re-election in November 1999. In 2003, he was elected Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and was reelected in 2007.

As Chairman of the ten-member board, Connolly balanced a $4.5 billion budget and managed a county that, based on size, would make it the nation's thirteenth largest city, twelfth largest school district, and sixth largest office market. He served as Chairman of the County's Legislative Committee and Vice-Chair of the Economic Advisory Committee. Connolly also served as Chairman of the Board of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), Chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC), and was chairman of the Board of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG). He also chaired the region's Emergency Preparedness Taskforce and represented Fairfax County on the Board of the Virginia Association of Counties (VaCo), where he also served as president.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Past committee assignments

Caucus Memberships

  • Congressional Arts Caucus

Legislation sponsored

  • Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (H.R. 1232; 113th Congress) - as the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Connolly co-sponsored this bill with Darrell Issa. It is a proposed bill that would make changes and reforms to the current framework that manages how the federal government buys new technology.[3] One of the requirements would be that the government develop a streamlined plan for its acquisitions.[4] The bill would increase the power of existing Chief Information Officers (CIO) within federal agencies so that they could be more effective.[5] Each agency would also be reduced to having only one CIO in the agency, who is then responsible for the success and failure of all IT projects in that agency.[6] The bill would also require the federal government to make use of private sector best practices.[5] The bill is intended to reduce IT procurement related waste.[7] Explaining the bill, Connolly said that "there are more than 250 identified CIOs in the federal government, yet none possess the necessary authority to effectively manage IT investments" which has "resulted in duplicative and wasteful IT spending."[5] It passed the House in a voice vote on February 25, 2014.[4]
  • Government Reports Elimination Act of 2014 (H.R. 4194; 113th Congress) - as the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Connolly co-sponsored this bill with Darrell Issa. It is a proposed bill that would eliminate approximately 100 required federal agency reports that are considered redundant or wasteful.[8] Connolly argued that "in today's challenging fiscal environment, it is incumbent that we leverage every opportunity to streamline or eliminate antiquated agency reporting requirements that are duplicative, irrelevant or simply ignored."[9] The bill passed in the House in a voice vote on April 28, 2014.[10]

Political positions


Connolly is Pro-Choice.[11] He voted against the Stupak Amendment to the Affordable Care Act, which placed stringent limits on health insurance companies offering abortion services. During the budget amendments process in 2011, he voted against an amendment that would have prevented taxpayer funds from going to Planned Parenthood.[12]

Civil liberties

Connolly has voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 regarding funding the US Armed Forces, including the paychecks delivered to soldiers but also includes a controversial provision that allows the government and the military to detain anyone "who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners", and anyone who commits a "belligerent act" against the United States or its coalition allies in aid of such enemy forces, under the law of war, "without trial, until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization of Use of Military Force." The law would not grant new powers to the President but it does codify federal court rulings on this issue and the detainment of unlawful combatants until hostilities are over is in accordance to the Geneva Conventions.[13][14]


Connolly has voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,[15] the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009,[16] the supplemental appropriations bill that established Cash for Clunkers,[16] and the Cash for Clunkers Extension.[17] Additionally, he voted for all of the 2010 governmental appropriations bills,[18][19][20][21][22][23] and he voted for the Continuing Appropriations Act for 2011.[24] However, he has voted against some large spending bills, including opposing the release of $350 billion in bank bailout funds[25] and a $154 billion spending bill[26] because of concerns these would add to the federal deficit.[27]

He was a cosponsor of pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget legislation that was signed into law in February 2010.[28]

In May, 2011, Connolly voted to increase the debt ceiling, but the measure failed by a significant margin.[29] It was his third such vote.[30]


Connolly voted in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009,[31] saying it would strengthen national security while spurring innovation in the energy industry.[32] In 2010, he voted in favor of ending a moratorium on deepwater drilling rigs that met certain safety standards.[33] Connolly is one of the 35 congressmen who founded the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition.[34]

Gay Rights

Connolly supports gay rights, having campaigned against the Marshall-Newman Amendment to the Virginia Constitution, which banned all gay unions from being performed or recognized in Virginia.[35] In Congress, he voted in favor of repealing the contentious "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law that prohibited gays from serving openly in the military, and has co-sponsored a few bills that would repeal portions of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.[36] In June of 2013, Connolly posed for a picture with the NO H8 Campaign.


While on the Board of Supervisors for Fairfax County, Connolly sponsored an ordinance that would have made it illegal to transport a loaded shotgun in the back of one's car.[37] In Congress, Connolly signed onto a measure that would have closed the "Gun Show Loophole" by requiring that private sellers of firearms at gun shows engage in the same background check and reporting requirements as registered firearms dealers.[38] Connolly opposes allowing concealed weapons in schools and on college campuses.[39]

In November, 2011, Connolly voted against the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act, which would have exempted non-residents of states that prohibit concealed weapons from those restrictions.[40]

Health care

In 2009, Connolly was an early supporter of the Democratic health care plan, which ultimately became the America's Affordable Health Choices Act, as well as the public health insurance option; saying at a live chat with constituents in September to a woman from Washington, D.C. that "One of my principles for health care reform is that it increases the choices you have. By setting up a health insurance exchange, we can give your family more insurance choices, hopefully including one that your daughter's doctor chooses to accept". Connolly voted against the Stupak-Pitts Amendment,[41] and later for the America's Affordable Health Choices Act in March 2010.

Connolly cited deficit reduction in explaining his health care vote.[42][43]

Military veterans

Connolly was a cosponsor of the Helping Active Duty Deployed Act[44] and the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act.[45]


Connolly was a supporter of a Military intervention in Syria.[46]

Political campaigns


Connolly scored a 24 point victory over his closest opponent former Congresswoman Leslie L. Byrne in the 2008 Democratic Primary. Connolly then defeated Republican nominee Keith Fimian by more than ten points for the open seat held by Republican incumbent Tom Davis.[47] The Independent Green Party candidate on the ballot was Joseph P. Oddo.


Connolly was challenged again by Fimian in 2010. Also running were Libertarian David L. Dotson, Independent Green David William Gillis, Jr., and Independent Christopher F. DeCarlo. Connolly barely survived by fewer than a thousand votes.[48]


Connolly was challenged by Republican nominee Chris Perkins, Green nominee Joe Galdo and independent candidates Peter Marchetti, Chris DeCarlo and Mark Gibson. He received 61% of the vote. Connolly was significantly aided by redistricting. The old 11th had been reckoned as a swing district, though Davis had held it without serious difficulty due to his popularity in the area. However, redistricting made the 11th significantly more Democratic than its predecessor. Barack Obama carried the old 11th with 57 percent of the vote in 2008, but would have carried it with 61 percent of the vote under the new lines--making it one of the most Democratic white-majority districts in the South.


Gerry Connolly is facing Republican Suzanne Scholte, Green Joe Galdo, and Libertarian Marc Harrold in his reelection bid.[49]

Electoral history

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors: Results 1995—2007
Year Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1995-Special Gerald Connolly Democratic 4,478 59 Jeannemarie Devolites Davis Republican 3,104 40.9
1995 Gerald Connolly Democratic 10,578 55.8 Jeannemarie Devolites Davis Republican 8,371 44.1
1999 Gerald Connolly Democratic 14,309 N/A Unopposed
2003 Gerald Connolly Democratic 98,419 53.1 Mychele B. Brickner Republican 81,319 43.9 Other 5,465 2.9
2007 Gerald Connolly Democratic 113,830 59.5 Gary H. Baise Republican 68,403 35.8 Gail Parker Independent Green 8,990 4.7
Virginia's 11th congressional district: Results 2008—2010
Year Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
2008 Gerald Connolly Democratic 196,598 54.7 Keith Fimian Republican 154,758 43.0 Joseph P. Oddo Independent Green 7,271 2.0
2010 Gerald Connolly Democratic 111,720 49.2 Keith Fimian Republican 110,739 48.7 Others 4,492 2.0
2012 Gerald Connolly Democratic 202,606 61.0% Christopher Perkins Republican 117,902 35.5% Others 11,735 3.5%

Personal life

Connolly and his wife Cathy have lived in Mantua since 1979. Their daughter is a student at a Virginia university. He serves on the Boards of Directors for Fairfax Partnership for Youth, the American Red Cross of the National Capital Area, the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Washington Initiative Board of Trustees, the Medical Care for Children Partnership, the Institute for Regional Excellence, and the University of Virginia – Virginia Institute of Government. He previously served as president of the Mantua Citizens Association (MCA) president and two terms as president of the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations.

Connolly is also a company member of The Providence Players of Fairfax, a community theatre in Fairfax County, having acted in several of their shows.[50]

In 2004, Connolly was charged with a hit and run after an incident in Tysons Corner, but was found not guilty by a county judge.[51]


  1. ^ "Meet Gerry". Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Representative Gerald E. 'Gerry' Connolly (VA)". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  3. ^ "H.R. 1232 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Kasperowicz, Pete (25 February 2014). "House votes unanimously to fix FOIA process". The Hill. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Hardy, Michael (25 February 2014). "House passes FITARA". Federal Times. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Marks, Joseph (25 February 2014). "IT Reform Act Heads to House Floor Tuesday". Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Washington Technology staff (25 February 2014). "Acquisition reform effort hits the House floor". Washington Technology. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "CBO - H.R. 4194". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Issa, Connolly, Woodall Praise Passage of Government Reports Elimination Act". Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "H.R. 4194 - All Actions". United States Congress. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Virginia District 11 :: NARAL Pro-Choice America". Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Gerry Connolly – Abortion". Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  13. ^ By (2011-12-16). "NDAA Bill: How Did Your Congress Member Vote?". Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  14. ^ 112th Congress, 1st Session, H1540CR.HSE: "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012." pp. 265-266.
  15. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 46". January 28, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "GovTrack: House Vote On Passage: H.R. 2346 [111th]: Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009". May 14, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  17. ^ "GovTrack: House Vote On Passage: H.R. 3435 [111th]: Making supplemental appropriations for fiscal year". July 31, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  18. ^ "GovTrack: House Vote On Passage: H.R. 3288 [111th]: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010". July 23, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  19. ^ "GovTrack: House Vote On Passage: H.R. 2996 [111th]: Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related". June 26, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  20. ^ "GovTrack: House Vote On Passage: H.R. 2892 [111th]: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010". June 24, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  21. ^ "GovTrack: House Vote On Passage: H.R. 2997 [111th]: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug". July 9, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  22. ^ "GovTrack: House Vote On Passage: H.R. 3326 [111th]: Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010". July 30, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  23. ^ "GovTrack: House Vote On Passage: H.R. 3183 [111th]: Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies". July 17, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  24. ^ "GovTrack: House Vote On Passage: H.R. 3081 [111th]: Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011". July 9, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  25. ^ "The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010". May 28, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2010. 
  26. ^ FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 991. 16-Dec-2009
  27. ^ "Connolly Cites Deficit in Voting Against $115 Billion Spending Bill". May 28, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2010. 
  28. ^ "Connolly, Fimian make another swing for Virginia district". July 23, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2010. 
  29. ^ FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 379. 31-May-2011
  30. ^ "Most of Virginia congressmen have backed debt limit increases". PolitiFact. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Project Vote Smart – Representative Connolly on HR 2454 – Energy and Environmental Law Amendments ("Cap and Trade")". 2009-06-26. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  32. ^ "Congressman Gerry Connolly : News : Connolly Statement on American Clean Energy and Security Act". Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  33. ^ "Project Vote Smart – Representative Connolly on H Amdt 773 – Ending Moratorium on Deepwater Drilling Rigs that Meet Certain Safety Standards". Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  34. ^ "Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition". 2010-09-23. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  35. ^ "U.S. House candidates diverge on gay issues in Va. – Gerry Connolly". Zimbio. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  36. ^ "Gerry Connolly – Gay Marriage". Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Blue Virginia:: Rep. Gerry Connolly: Intensity Matters on the Gun Issue". Blue Virginia. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  38. ^ Gerry Connolly on Gun Control. Retrieved on 2012-03-07.
  39. ^ "Keith Fimian Says College Students Should “Pack Heat” - Gerry Connolly For Congress". Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  40. ^ "U.S. House of Representatives Roll Call Votes". Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Washington Post – Rep. Gerald Connolly On Health Reform". The Washington Post. September 24, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2010. 
  42. ^ Stone, Andrea (April 4, 2010). "Congressman in Trouble After Health Care Vote". AOL News. Retrieved April 5, 2010. 
  43. ^ Jessica Banthin & Sarah Masi (2013-05-14). "CBO’s Estimate of the Net Budgetary Impact of the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Coverage Provisions Has Not Changed Much Over Time - CBO". Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  44. ^ Helping Active Duty Deployed Act of 2009
  45. ^ "H.R. 1016: Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009". Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  46. ^ Nakamura, David (September 6, 2013). "Rep. Gerald E. Connolly faces constituents' ire in making the case for striking Syria". The Washington Post. 
  47. ^ "CQ Politics – District Detail: VA-11". CQ Politics. Retrieved February 20, 2010. 
  48. ^ Pershing, Ben (November 8, 2010). "Fimian will concede defeat to Connolly in 11th district".  
  49. ^ "Virginia's 11th Congressional District elections, 2014". Retrieved October 20, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Falls Church News & Notes". Falls Church News Press. Retrieved April 5, 2010. 
  51. ^ "Fairfax Board Chairman Cleared in Accident". Retrieved September 26, 2014. 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Thomas M. Davis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 11th congressional district

2009 – present
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Coffman
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
John Fleming
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