ENG: Nicola Dickson "Niki" Sauvage Tsongas (born April 26, 1946) is an American politician and the U.S. Representative for Massachusetts's 3rd congressional district. She is a member of the Democratic Party.
She is the widow of U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas, who represented the 5th district in the 1970s. She became the first woman from Massachusetts elected to Congress in 25 years.
Early life, education and career
Tsongas was born Nicola Dickson Sauvage on April 26, 1946 in Chico, California, the daughter of Marian Susan (née Wyman), an artist and copywriter, and Colonel Russell Elmer Sauvage, an engineer in the United States Army Air Forces (predecessor to the United States Air Force) who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor. Tsongas graduated in 1964 from Narimasu American High School in Japan, where her father was stationed at Fuchu Air Force Base.
Tsongas went on to spend one year at Michigan State, then transferred to Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she graduated from in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts in religion. After graduating from Smith in 1968, she moved to New York City, where she took a job as a social worker for the Department of Welfare.
Tsongas earned her Juris Doctor from Boston University and started Lowell's first all-female law practice. In 1967 while spending a summer in Arlington, Virginia interning for presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, she met Paul Tsongas, then an aide to Republican Congressman Brad Morse, at a party. In 1969, she married Paul and they had three daughters: Ashley, Katina, and Molly. In 1997 Paul died due to complications from non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
U.S. House of Representatives
Prior to being elected to the House, Tsongas worked as the Dean of External Affairs at Middlesex Community College, as a Board Member of Fallon Community Health Plan and served on the Lowell Civic Stadium and Arena Commission (which oversees several sites including the Tsongas Arena). In 2001, she was appointed by Representative Marty Meehan to head a foundation to provide education funding for the children of the victims of the September 11 attacks.
When Marty Meehan resigned in 2007 in order to serve as Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Tsongas chose to run in the 2007 special election. Tsongas won the Democratic primary with a 36% plurality of the vote, defeating four other opponents. Tsongas received endorsements from the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, and the Lowell Sun during her campaign. Tsongas won the special election against Republican Jim Ogonowski with 51% of the vote.
Tsongas ran unopposed in 2008, but was challenged by Republican Jon Golnik, a former Wall Street currency trader and small businessman, in 2010 and won. Following redistricting after the 2010 census, Tsongas ran for re-election in the reconfigured 3rd congressional district in 2012. In a rematch she again face Golnick, and defeated him.
February 12, 2013