Democrat Rochelle 'Chellie' Johnson Pingree

House
Rochelle 'Chellie' Johnson Pingree

Birthdate: April 2, 1955
Birth Place: Minneapolis, MN, United States
Residence: North Haven Island, ME
Religion: Lutheran
First Elected: 2008
Gender: Female

Candidacy

Party: Democratic
State: Maine
Office: House
District: District 1

Education

Undergraduate: College of the Atlantic

Degree: BA

Chellie Pingree was born in Minneapolis and now resides on North Haven Island, Maine. She earned a bachelor's degree from the College of the Atlantic.

Pingree moved to North Haven Island and ran a small farm with her former husband. She started a yarn business in 1981 and sold it in 1993. She is a co-owner of a bed-and-breakfast and restaurant on North Haven.

Pingree was a member of the local school board and tax assessor before serving in the Maine Senate from 1993 to 2000. She was the national president and CEO of Common Cause from 2003 to 2007.

Pingree was elected to the U.S. House in 2008.

In 2011, Pingree married North Haven resident S. Donald Sussman, a wealthy financier and philanthropist who also owns a 5 percent stake in Maine Today Media, owner of several Maine newspapers and media outlets.

Her daughter, Hannah, has served in the Maine House since 2002 and was the state House speaker from 2009 to 2010.

Profile

Chellie Pingree is the first Democratic woman elected to represent Maine on Capitol Hill. She was elected to the 1st District in the U.S. House in 2008, filling the seat vacated by six-term Democratic Rep. Tom Allen.

The 2012 race pits Pingree against Jonathan Courtney, a state senator who barely squeaked by an unknown challenger in the GOP primary. Pingree's campaign is far better financed than Courtney and she appears well positioned in the race.

Pingree supported the 2010 health care reform bill and has been an outspoken critic of what she sees as excessive rate increases by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

In 2012, she drew the ire of Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage after urging Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to reject Medicaid cuts approved by the Legislature that will eliminate coverage for more than 20,000 Maine residents. LePage contends the cuts are legal because the June 2012 Supreme Court decision that upheld the 2010 health care reform bill limited congressional power to expand Medicaid.

In January 2012, Pingree trumpeted the House Agriculture Committee's approval of legislation of promote local food produced on small farms.

In August 2012, she voted for a bill to reduce tax rates only for households earning less than $250,000 or for individuals under $200,000. "It's not millionaires who need a tax break, it's average families," Pingree said.

Pingree, as a state senator, authored a prescription drug law that was a pioneering approach to lowering prescription drug prices. The legislation drew attention well beyond Maine's borders and was eventually upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Her 2008 election followed a 2002 run for U.S. Senate in which she was soundly defeated by Republican Sen. Susan Collins.

Source: Associated Press

Paid Advertisement

113th Congress on Twitter

Paid Advertisement

      Paid Advertisement