|Chair of the New Democrat Coalition|
January 3, 2017 – January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Ron Kind|
|Succeeded by||Derek Kilmer|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Connecticut's 4th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Chris Shays|
James Andrew Himes
July 5, 1966
|Education||Harvard College (AB)|
St Edmund Hall, Oxford (MPhil)
James Andrew Himes (born July 5, 1966) is an American businessman and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Connecticut's 4th congressional district since 2009. A member of the Democratic Party, he chaired the New Democrat Coalition in the 115th Congress (2017–2019).
His district includes most of the southwestern corner of the state and is largely coextensive with the Connecticut side of the New York metropolitan area. It incorporates portions of Fairfield County and New Haven County, including the cities of Bridgeport, Norwalk, Fairfield and Stamford.
Himes was born July 5, 1966 in Lima, Peru, to American parents, where his father worked for the Ford Foundation. His father, James R. Himes, also worked for UNICEF, being the director of the UNICEF Innocenti Center, a research institute on child development in Florence, Italy. His mother, Judith A. Himes, was, until recent years, the director of board activities for the New Jersey Board of Higher Education in Trenton.
He spent his early childhood in Lima and Bogotá, Colombia. After the divorce of his parents, Jim, his mother, and his two sisters moved to Pennington, New Jersey, where Himes attended and graduated from Hopewell Valley Central High School.
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Himes attended Harvard University as an undergraduate where he was the captain of the Lightweight crew and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1988. Himes studied for a degree in Latin American studies as a Rhodes scholar at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and graduated with a Master of Philosophy in 1990. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Bridgeport on May 5, 2012.
In 1995, Himes began working at Goldman Sachs as a banker in Latin America and New York. He was eventually promoted to vice president.
Himes was appointed as Commissioner of the Greenwich Housing Authority in 2002, and served for two years as chairman of the board. He has also served as a board member of Aspira of Connecticut in Bridgeport, a board member of the Fairfield County Community Foundation, and as an advisory board member of Family Assets, LLP of Bridgeport.
He was also an elected member of the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation and served as the Chairman of the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.
Himes has sponsored 33 bills, including:
Planned Parenthood gives Himes a 100% pro-choice rating. He voted against the Stupak-Pitts Amendment in the Affordable Health Care for America Act that was intended to prevent any federal funds from paying for any health care plan with abortion coverage.
Himes states that "we should reduce our presence in Afghanistan as rapidly as possible and reshape our mission to focus exclusively on counterterrorism", yet requiring "presence in the region, but one considerably smaller than that required by our present strategy of nation-building." He believes in a world free of nuclear weapons, and readily supports sanctions against Iran. He voted for the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010. He supports a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.
Himes believes that early childhood education is "the most intelligent investment a nation can make in its future," and voted to double funding for Early Head Start Program. He stated in 2008 that No Child Left Behind "is well-intentioned because it focuses on education, but it must be reformed." Himes also co-authored an amendment to the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act that promoted the financial literacy of students.
Environment America has given Himes a 100% rating. He believes that "By creating the right set of financial incentives and supporting a broad range of research and development, we can deliver the energy our economy requires to thrive while protecting our planet." He also voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act.
Himes voted against H.R. 627 which allowed loaded guns into national parks. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gives him a 100% lifetime score for his support of more gun regulations.
Himes supports the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He believes in preserving Medicare and Medicaid and says we must be "prepared to equitably reform these programs to address the challenging problem of rising health care costs and ensure that these important safety net programs are here to help this generation and the next."
Himes voted against H.R. 2397 which was to defund the NSA domestic phone metadata spying program. As one who is against the NSA's metadata spying program, Himes states that he voted against H.R. 2397 not because he objects to the principle of limiting the NSA's power, but because the bill was created in a reactionary manner and stripped the NSA of too much power.
Himes co-sponsored H.R. 402, The National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2011, which would objectively fund national infrastructure projects. According to Himes, it would also "attract private investment and facilitate private sector partnering with regions, states and localities to borrow from the Bank while adding its own private equity to projects." He has helped bring money to the 4th district, such as "over $70 million for safety improvements, resurfacing, enhancements, and bridge improvements to the Merritt Parkway; over $11 million for infrastructure improvements at the Steel Point project in Bridgeport that will generate thousands of new jobs; and $30 million for upgrades to Metro North’s Danbury Branch line."
In 2009–2010, the Society for Animal Protective legislation gave Himes a rating of 100% for his support of animal protection. In 2009, Himes was given a rating of 100% by the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund for his position on wildlife action.
In 2009–2010, the Human Rights Campaign gave Himes a rating of 100%.
In 2009–2010, the American Immigration Lawyers Association gave Himes a rating of 100% for his stance on the defense of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
Himes lobbied the Electoral College to refuse to vote for Donald Trump and to instead elect Hillary Clinton. On December 12, 2016, in an interview on CNN's New Day, he said that he was troubled by several actions by the president-elect. The issue that "pushed me over the edge" was Trump's criticism of the CIA and the intelligence community. The Congressman did admit that Trump won "fair and square," but he said that Trump proved himself unfit for public office. He cited the intentions behind the creation of the electoral college and he argued that it was created for an instance such as the election of Trump.
Himes faced the ten-term Republican incumbent Chris Shays in the 2008 congressional election, along with Libertarian nominee M.A. Carrano, a professional philosophy writer and systems consultant, and Green Party nominee Richard Duffee. Himes defeated Shays by a margin of 51 percent to 47 percent. While Shays won 14 of the district's 17 towns, Himes won all three of the district's large cities — Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford. Ultimately, he owed his victory to swamping Shays in Bridgeport, winning a staggering 80 percent of the vote there. He was also helped by Barack Obama's massive win in that district; Obama carried the 4th with 60 percent of the vote, one of the largest margins Obama recorded in a Republican-held district.
Himes took office in the 111th United States Congress on January 6, 2009. He is the first Democrat to represent the district since Donald J. Irwin left office in 1969, and only the second since 1943. Shays was the sole Republican congressman from New England, and Himes's win made New England's House delegation entirely Democratic for the first time in history.
In the 2010 election, Himes won reelection against Republican challenger State Senator Dan Debicella. Along with the three towns that he won in 2008, Himes also won Redding, Weston, and Westport, and won Fairfield by nine votes.
The campaign raised $3,660,497.57, $3,603,727 of which was spent. Only 4% of that came from small individual donors, while 60% came from large individual donors. The remaining donations came mostly from Political Action Committees (34%). Himes did not self-finance at all. The majority of his money, 74%, came from in-state. Only 26% came from out of state. Rep. Himes disclosed 97.9% of his donations.
On October 15, 1994, he married Mary Linley Scott, of Toronto, a daughter of Janet and Michael Scott. The ceremony took place at Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and was performed by the Rev. M. Jane Watanabe, an Anglican associate priest.
His wife was an assistant designer at Dorf Associates, a retail design firm in New York. Her father retired as the vice chairman of Scotia McLeod, an investment bank in Toronto.
Himes lives in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich with his wife and their two daughters: Emma and Linley. His daughter Emma attends the University of Pennsylvania. He is fluent in Spanish. He is also a Member of Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich.