Bill Delahunt

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Bill Delahunt
Bill Delahunt

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 10th district
Assumed office 
January 7, 1997
Preceded by Gerry Studds
Succeeded by Incumbent

Born July 18, 1941 (age 65)
Quincy, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic
Spouse divorced
Religion Roman Catholic

William D. (Bill) Delahunt (born July 18, 1941) has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1997, representing the 10th District of Massachusetts.

Born in Quincy, Massachusetts, Delahunt was educated at Thayer Academy, Middlebury College and Boston College Law School and later served in the United States Coast Guard Reserve. He served a term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1973-75) before serving as a district attorney of Norfolk County for more than 20 years.

Delahunt was first elected to Congress after a primary battle against Phil Johnston of Marshfield and Ian Bowles of Woods Hole. Johnston was initially declared the winner. A recount conducted in a handful of contested towns preserved Johnston's victory though by a narrower margin. Following the recount, Delahunt sought judicial review in the Massachusetts Superior Court and Judge Elizabeth Donvan conducted a de novo review of the contested ballots and declared Delahunt the victor by a 108-vote margin. The case appealed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court which upheld the lower court ruling. The case is also noteworthy for the issue of "hanging chads" in punch-card voting machines.

Delahunt is a member of the International Relations Committee; Judiciary Committee; and also serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Coast Guard Caucus, House Older Americans Caucus, and the Congressional Working Group on Cuba.

As one of his first initiatives in Congress, he created the bipartisan caucus on the United States Coast Guard, which he now co-chairs with two other Coast Guard veterans, Reps. Howard Coble (R-NC) and Gene Taylor (D-MS). This has benefited his district through getting the problems of outpaced resources and security recognized at the ports of Massachusetts.

As a part of the Older Americans Caucus, his goal is to keep the House focused on the challenges facing the aging population and to alert seniors to available resources, including online. The Older American Caucus is a bipartisan player in Congress, with influence over resources such as long-term care, affordable housing, prescription drug pricing, retirement security, telemarketing fraud, and Social Security.

Delahunt has paid close attention to events in, and US relations to Venezuela. In November 2005, he met with Hugo Chavez and engineered a deal in which Venezuela would supply winter home heating oil at a 40% price reduction to thousands of low-income Massachusetts residents. The deal was carried out via the Venezuelan owned Citgo, and brought accusations that Delahunt was assisting an Anti-American tyrant. The congressman, however, has sometimes criticized the Venezuelan president such as in a September 2006 letter expressing "profound disgust" at a speech given by Chavez to the United Nations, in which he personally attacked president Bush. In the letter he urged that Chavez express disagreements "in a more constructive manner," and work with the US to solve problems such as drug trafficking.

Delahunt also participates occasionally in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's working group "30 Something" which aims to engage the next generation of Americans further in government and the political process.

In the 110th Congress, Delahunt serves as Chairman of the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee of the International Relations Committee.

Delahunt divorced his wife, Katharina E. Delahunt, in 1986. They had one daughter, Kristin, and adopted another, Kara Mai (née Nguyen Mai Tai Trang), from Vietnam in 1975.

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Preceded by
Gerry Studds
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 10th congressional district

1997 – present