Charles Albert "Dutch" Ruppersberger III (born January 31, 1946) is the U.S. Representative for Maryland's 2nd congressional district, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
The district covers parts of Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Harford County and Baltimore City, including Dundalk, Towson and Severn.
Early life, education and career
Ruppersberger attended Baltimore City College and the University of Maryland, College Park, where he played varsity lacrosse. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
In 1975, Ruppersberger was involved in a near-fatal car accident while investigating a drug trafficking case. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Visitors at the University of Maryland hospital where he was treated.
Ruppersberger began his career as a Baltimore County Assistant State's Attorney. He was soon promoted to the Chief of the State's Attorney Office Investigative Division, pursuing organized crime, political corruption, and drug trafficking.
He was elected to the Baltimore County Council in 1985 and was twice chosen as council chairman.
In December 1994 and again in 1998, Ruppersberger was elected Baltimore County Executive.
U.S. House of Representatives
Ruppersberger was the first Democratic freshman ever to be appointed to the House Select Committee on Intelligence.
As the ranking Democratic member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Ruppersberger is a member of the Gang of Eight, a group of the Congressional leaders whom the President is required to keep informed about national intelligence activities.
On August 25, 2007, Ruppersberger joined Rep. Silvestre Reyes, chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Armed Services Committee, and four other members of Congress visited American troops deployed in the southern Philippines to overview the US-Philippines relationship. They drove to the base of the Joint Special Operation Task Force Philippines (JSOTFP), a US-led body, which trains Filipino soldiers against terror, in Barangay Upper Calarian.
Ruppersberger created the "Operation Hero Miles" program, which encourages people to donate unused frequent flyer miles to U.S. armed forces personnel and families.
He won a Charles Dick Medal of Merit for this initiative.
Barred from a third term as County Executive, Ruppersberger opted to run for Congress in 2002 after 2nd District Congressman Bob Ehrlich made what turned out to be a successful run for governor. The Maryland General Assembly significantly altered the 2nd by shifting most of its share of Harford County to the 1st and 6th Districts. In its place, the legislature added a heavily Democratic portion of Baltimore City that had previously been in the 1st District. This turned the 2nd from a swing district into a strongly Democratic district. It was an open secret that the district was drawn for Ruppersberger; local media called the new district "the Dutch district." An August 2011 editorial by The Washington Post describes the 2nd district as "curlicue territories strung together by impossibly delicate tendrils of land" and "a crazy-quilt confection drawn for the express purpose of ousting the incumbent at the time, Rep.
(and later Gov.) Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, and installing C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat who still holds the job." He defeated Republican opponent Helen Delich Bentley, who had represented the 2nd district from 1985 to 1995, with 55 percent of the vote. Ruppersberger has never faced another contest even that close, and has been reelected four times.
Ruppersberger married in 1971 and has two grown children, Cory and Jill.
November 21st, 2011