Bruce Braley (born October 30, 1957) is the U.S. Representative for Iowa's 1st congressional district, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district lies in northeastern Iowa and includes Davenport, Bettendorf, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Dubuque, and Clinton.
Early life, education and career
Braley was born in Grinnell, Iowa. His family owned a farm in nearby Brooklyn, Iowa. Braley attended college at Iowa State University where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa. While in college, he worked in agribusiness and in highway maintenance. He was admitted to the bar and has served as a trial lawyer in Waterloo since 1983. Braley specialized in representing workers who had been injured on the job or were terminated unfairly.
As an attorney, Braley served as president of the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association. He and his wife were named couple of the year by Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northeastern Iowa.
Braley and his wife, Carolyn, reside in Waterloo and have three children, Lisa, David and Paul.
U.S. House of Representatives
On July 8, 2006, Braley was chosen to deliver the Democrats' weekly radio address. He spoke on the issue of Social Security.
On February 11, 2009 he founded the Populist Caucus within the House of Representatives which now has 27 members. Since 2008, Braley has been a member of the Armenian Caucus within the House of Representatives.
Braley won this open seat after eight-term Republican congressman Jim Nussle stepped down to make an unsuccessful run for Governor in 2006. Although the 1st had been in Republican hands since 1979, it had swung heavily to the Democrats at most other levels like the rest of eastern Iowa.
The district has supported the Democratic candidate for president in every election since 1988. The district, numbered as the 2nd District for most of the time from statehood until 2003, became even more Democratic when Davenport and Bettendorf were shifted there from the old 1st District (now the 2nd). It had been considered very likely that Nussle would be succeeded by a Democrat once he retired.
In the 2006 midterm election, Braley defeated Republican opponent Mike Whalen, a Quad City businessman.
On December 5, 2007, Braley became the first member of Iowa's congressional delegation to issue an endorsement, announcing his support for former North Carolina Senator John Edwards in a press conference in Waterloo. On April 30, 2008, Braley changed his endorsement to support Senator Barack Obama following Edwards' withdrawal from the race.
November 10th, 2011