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Biography Betty Sutton

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Betty Sutton Betty Sutton
Betty Sutton
Former U.S. Representative for Ohio's 13th congressional district,from 2007 to 2013.


Betty Sutton Biography

ENG: Betty Sue Sutton (born July 31, 1963) served as a U.S. Representative for Ohio's 13th congressional district,from 2007 to 2013. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

Betty Sutton lost her 2012 re-election campaign after she was redistricted to the 16th District, losing to fellow incumbent Jim Renacci in the Republican leaning district.


Early life and education

Sutton was born and raised the youngest of six children in Barberton, just outside Akron. She attended public schools, going on to graduate from Kent State University with a degree in political science. Sutton went on to study for a Juris Doctor at the University of Akron School of Law, where she received a Dean's Club Scholarship and earned both the American Jurisprudence Award and Federal Bar Association Award for Outstanding Performance in Constitutional Law.


Early political career

During her first year of law school, Sutton successfully ran for her first public office which earned her an at-large seat on the Barberton City Council in 1990.

A year later, Sutton was appointed to fill an at-large seat on the Summit County Council, where she served until 1992. During her second year in office, Sutton was elected vice president of the council.

In 1992, at age 29, she was the youngest woman ever to be elected to the Ohio House of Representatives. She served for eight years and could not run again due to term limits.

In 2006, Sutton successfully ran for the seat vacated by Sherrod Brown in the U.S. House of Representatives in Ohio's 13th congressional district.


U.S. House of Representatives - 111th Congress

Sutton was also recognized as a "key House architect" in the American Clean Energy and Security Act that passed the House in June 2009. An amendment she offered established the "Cash for Clunkers" program. Sutton received wide media attention in 2009 as a result of her lead sponsorship of the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act, which mandated the "Cash for Clunkers" program that went into effect during the summer of 2009. Her 2010 Republican opponent, Tom Ganley, sold 876 cars under this program. At the time, August 2009, his only complaint was about the speed of payment.

Sutton was the lead sponsor of the Josh Miller HEARTS Act, which mandates that the Department of Education provide funding to local schools for the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). The bill was named after one of Sutton's constituents, a 15-year-old honor student, football player, and wrestler from Barberton, Ohio who collapsed and died on the football field after suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.

Other bills that Sutton has sponsored include the Protect Consumers Act of 2009, which calls for stricter action to protect consumers in the event of a product's mandatory recall by the FDA, the Disability Equity Act, which eliminates the 5-month waiting period currently in place for Social Security disability benefits, and the Contractor Accountability Act, which tightens public oversight of federal expenditures.

Sutton was a member of the all-female, bipartisan softball team created by fellow House members Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) over the summer of 2009. The team played against a team consisting of staff from the National Republican Congressional Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee, and the game benefited the Young Survival Coalition, a foundation dedicated to young women with breast cancer.

On July 16, 2009, Sutton came out in favor of a public option in any healthcare reform package.

Sutton participated in a Occupy Wall Street rally in New York in October 2011.

She supported the federal government bail out for the auto industries in 2009.


Political campaigns - 2006

After sitting Rep. Sherrod Brown of Ohio's 13th congressional district declared his intention to run against Mike DeWine for his seat in the U.S. Senate, Betty Sutton took part in the Democratic primary for his open seat. She defeated notables such as former U.S. Rep. Thomas C. Sawyer, who had previously been redistricted out of Congress, and Capri Cafaro, who had run against Rep. Steven LaTourette in the neighboring 14th District during the previous election cycle. Sutton capitalized on the anti-corruption theme of Ohio's 2006 elections to make a strong showing late in the primary season, and held it to win the primary with the strong support of organized labor.

Sutton went on to win the November general election against Craig L. Foltin, the Republican mayor of Lorain, Ohio. The Republicans had high hopes for Foltin, who was the popular Republican mayor of a heavily Democratic city, and despite the local newspaper Akron Beacon Journal's reluctant endorsement of Foltin, Sutton defeated him 61.22 percent to 38.78 percent, or 135,639 votes to 85,922 votes.

Her campaign received support from the pro-choice political action committee EMILY's List.



Sutton won against Republican nominee David Potter.

Sutton endorsed Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic primaries after Clinton won the Ohio primaries, stating that she was following the lead of her constituents. Sutton went on to campaign for Barack Obama after he secured the nomination.



Sutton defeated Republican nominee car dealer Tom Ganley.



The Plain Dealer reported in September 2011 that the new district map of Ohio would place Sutton in “a largely Republican district that's being constructed to favor the re-election of freshman GOP Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth.” In December, Sutton filed to run against Renacci. Later that month, Roll Call reported that a poll taken at least two months earlier showed the two congress members “neck and neck at 45 percent.” On the Washington Post's list of top 10 House races in 2012, Sutton's was at #8.

According to the Sunlight Foundation, Sutton has the highest staff turnover rate in the House. “The group's examination of House pay records for two years ending in the third quarter of 2011.” reported the Plain Dealer, “found that just 19 percent of Sutton's staffers remained throughout the period. The average House office had a 64.2 percent retention rate during that time, the study found.”

Renacci defeated Sutton by a 52% to 48% margin on Election Day.


Personal life

Sutton is an attorney specializing in labor law. Between her time in the Ohio and United States legislatures, Sutton worked as a labor lawyer with the firm of Faulkner, Muskovitz & Phillips LLP (FMP).

She currently lives in Copley Township with her husband Doug Corwon, a mediator with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.





January 15, 2013

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