Birthdate: Feb. 17, 1962
Birth Place: Selma, AL, United States
Residence: Medina, WA
District: District 1
Suzan DelBene was born in Selma, Ala., and moved at a young age to Bellevue, Wash. She currently resides in Medina. She received a bachelor's degree from Reed College and a master's degree from the University of Washington.
DelBene is a former Microsoft executive, most recently serving as vice president of the company's mobile communications business. She also served as a top executive for two technology startups, including Drugstore.com, which she helped create.
She has consulted with Global Partnerships, a microfinance nonprofit, and directed the Washington State Department of Revenue from 2010 until January 2012.
DelBene and her husband, Kurt, have two children.
Suzan DelBene, a former Microsoft executive, emerged from a costly, rancorous primary campaign for Washington's 1st Congressional District, largely financing her congressional campaign with $2.3 million of her own money.
She will face Republican John Koster in the November 2012 general election for the newly redrawn district, which stretches from Redmond to the Canadian border. The seat was vacated when Rep. Jay Inslee resigned in March 2012 to run for Washington state governor.
The district's boundaries were redrawn in 2011 to give it an even split between Democrats and Republicans. The old 1st Congressional District was largely Democratic. The contested seat is expected to be one of the most expensive congressional races in the country.
The primary battle was so caustic among several Democratic candidates that U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a fellow Democrat, appealed to the candidates for civility.
Adding a nasty edge to the primary campaign, the mother of one of DelBene's Democratic opponents funded a political-action group to attack DelBene's business record. Laura Ruderman's mother, Margaret Rothschild, said she paid for the attack ads because she was frustrated that DelBene could self-fund her campaign and Ruderman could not.
DelBene made a run for Congress in 2010, but was defeated by Republican incumbent Dave Reichert in the 8th Congressional District. She spent millions of her own money on that race.
She resigned as Washington state's revenue director in January 2012 to focus on her congressional bid.
DelBene has focused her message on aiding the middle class, creating jobs and letting tax cuts expire for the wealthy. She supports higher taxes on those who earn more than $1 million and calls for better oversight of Wall Street and financial institutions.
She touts her many years of experience as a businesswoman, building companies from the ground up and working with small businesses.
She has said she'll fight attempts to reduce access to birth control or reproductive health services. Her 2012 general election opponent, Koster, is a social conservative who is anti-abortion.
Source: Associated Press