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Gerry Connolly

Gerry Connolly U.S. Congressman from Virginia

U.S. Congressman from Virginia
Gerry Connolly
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro U.S. Congressman from Virginia
Is Politician Businessperson Business executive Film director
From United States of America
Type Business Film, Television, Stage and Radio Politics
Gender male
Birth 30 March 1950, Boston, USA
Age: 70 years
Star sign AriesAries
Politics Democratic Party
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University Master of Public Administration 1979
The details


Gerald Edward Connolly (born March 30, 1950) is an American politician serving as the United States Representative from Virginia's 11th congressional district, first elected in 2008. The district is anchored in Fairfax County, an affluent suburban county west of Washington, D. C. Connolly is a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life, education, and career

Connolly graduated from Maryknoll College in Glen Ellyn, 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 to 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. From 1989 to 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).

In local politics, Connolly served on the Fairfax Government Reorganization Commission from 1992 to 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 won a special election for the Providence District seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, defeating Republican Jeannemarie A. Devolites. A rematch against Devolites in November of that same year saw Connolly reelected to a full four-year term on the Board. Connolly ran unopposed for reelection in November 1999. He was elected Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2003 and reelected in 2007.

As Chairman of the ten-member board, Connolly balanced a $4.5 billion budget and managed a county that would be the nation's 13th-largest city, 12th-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

  • Committee on Foreign Affairs (2009–present)
    • Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia (2009–present)
    • Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific (2013–present)
  • Committee on Oversight and Reform (2009–present)
    • Subcommittee on Government Operations (Chairman; 2013-present)
    • Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs (2013–present)
  • U.S. Delegation to NATO Parliamentary Assembly (Chairman; 2013-present)
Past committee assignments
  • Committee on the Budget (2009-2011)
  • Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade (2011-2013)
  • Oversight Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Post Office, and the District of Columbia (2011-2013)
  • Oversight Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement (2011-2013)

Caucus Memberships

  • American Sikh Congressional Caucus
  • Congressional Arts Caucus

Caucus memberships

  • Congressional Taiwan Caucus (Co-Chair)
  • Congressional Cloud Computing Caucus (Co-Chair)
  • Congressional Cement Caucus
  • New Democrat Coalition
  • House Baltic Caucus
  • Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
  • U.S.-Japan 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. One of the requirements would be that the government develop a streamlined plan for its acquisitions. The bill would increase the power of existing Chief Information Officers (CIO) within federal agencies so that they could be more effective. 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. The bill would also require the federal government to make use of private sector best practices. The bill is intended to reduce IT procurement related waste. 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." It passed the House in a voice vote on February 25, 2014.
  • 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. 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." The bill passed in the House in a voice vote on April 28, 2014.

Political positions


Connolly is pro-choice. 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.

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 including 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 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.


Connolly has voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, the supplemental appropriations bill that established Cash for Clunkers, and the Cash for Clunkers Extension. Additionally, he voted for all of the 2010 governmental appropriations bills, and he voted for the Continuing Appropriations Act for 2011. He has voted against some large spending bills, including the release of $350 billion in bank bailout funds and a $154 billion spending bill because of concerns these would add to the federal deficit.

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

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


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

LGBT issues

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. 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.


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. In Congress, Connolly signed on to 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. Connolly opposes allowing concealed weapons in schools and on college campuses.

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.

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, and in 2010 for the America's Affordable Health Choices Act.

Connolly cited deficit reduction in explaining his health care vote.


Connolly supports rescheduling marijuana to expand its availability for research and medicine. .

Military veterans

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


Connolly supported military intervention in Syria.

Political campaigns


Connolly scored a 24-point victory over his closest opponent, former Congresswoman Leslie L. Byrne, in the 2008 Democratic primary. He then defeated Republican nominee Keith Fimian by more than ten points for the open seat held by Republican incumbent Tom Davis. The Independent Green Party candidate 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 won by fewer than a thousand votes.


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 a swing district, though Davis had held it without serious difficulty due to his popularity in the area. Redistricting made the 11th significantly more Democratic than its predecessor. Barack Obama carried the old 11th with 57% of the vote in 2008, but would have carried it with 61% of the vote under the new lines—making it one of the most Democratic white-majority districts in the South.


Connolly faced Republican Suzanne Scholte, Green Joe Galdo, and Libertarian Marc Harrold in his reelection bid, winning with 56.86% of the vote.


Connolly ran unopposed for reelection in 2016. He was reelected with 87.89% of the vote.


Connolly faced Republican challenger, U.S. Army veteran Jeff Dove and Libertarian Stevan Porter in the 2018 election.

Electoral history

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 14,309 100% 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
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
2014 Gerald Connolly Democratic 106,780 56.9 Suzanne Scholte Republican 75,796 40.4 Others 5,229 2.8
2016 Gerald Connolly Democratic 247,818 87.88 Unopposed Others 34,185 12.12
2018 Gerald Connolly Democratic 219,191 71.1 Jeff Dove Republican 83,023 26.9 Others 6,052 2.0

Personal life

Connolly and his wife Cathy have lived in Mantua since 1979. Their daughter is a graduate of University of Virginia. 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 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.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 16 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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