Lisa Blunt Rochester
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Delaware's at-large district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||John Carney|
Lisa LaTrelle Blunt
February 10, 1962
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
(m. 1982; div. 2003)
(m. 2006; died 2014)
|Relatives||Ted Blunt (father)|
|Education||Fairleigh Dickinson University|
University of Delaware (MA)
Lisa LaTrelle Blunt Rochester (née Blunt; born February 10, 1962) is an American politician serving as the U.S. representative for Delaware's at-large congressional district since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, she is the first woman and first African American to represent Delaware in Congress.
Blunt Rochester was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 10, 1962. Her family moved to Wilmington, Delaware, in 1969. Her father, Ted Blunt, was an educator who served on the Wilmington City Council, including as council president. Her mother, Alice LaTrelle, worked in retail.
Blunt Rochester attended Padua Academy, began college at Villanova University, and later transferred to the University of Delaware in her sophomore year. She left college to live in Europe, and later received her bachelor's degree in international relations from Fairleigh Dickinson University and her master's degree in urban affairs and public policy from the University of Delaware.
Blunt Rochester worked for Tom Carper as an intern in 1989, when he served as Delaware's U.S. Representative. After the internship, she continued to work for Carper as a constituent relations caseworker, and worked on his transition team when he was elected governor of Delaware. Carper appointed her deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services in 1993 and Secretary of the Department of Labor in 1998. Governor Ruth Ann Minner named Blunt Rochester the state personnel director in 2001.
In 2004, Blunt Rochester left government service and became the CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League.
Blunt Rochester ran for the United States House of Representatives in Delaware's at-large congressional district in the 2016 election. She won the Democratic Party nomination on September 13 by winning 44% in five-candidate primary, defeating state Senator Bryan Townsend and venture capital firm owner Sean Barney  and the general election against Republican Wyoming Mayor Hans Reigle on November 8. When she was sworn into office on January 3, 2017, she became the first woman and the first African-American to represent Delaware in Congress. During her swearing-in, she carried a scarf imprinted with her great-great-great-grandfather's Reconstruction Era voter registration card. He had been a slave.
On December 18, 2019, Blunt Rochester voted for both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
During the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, Blunt Rochester was ushered into a secure room with fellow members of Congress. Despite House rules on mask mandates, multiple Republican members, including Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, abstained from wearing a mask. A clip went viral of Blunt Rochester offering masks to her Republican colleagues, with some appearing to decline the offer. In the following days, multiple members, Democrats and Republicans alike, tested positive for COVID-19.
Blunt Rochester voted to impeach Trump a second time on January 15, 2021.
Blunt Rochester played an active role in the 2020 presidential election. After Joe Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee in March 2020, his campaign named her one of its co-chairs. At the end of April, Blunt Rochester was named a member of the vetting committee for Biden's vice presidential candidate selection.
Rochester was a 2020 Democratic National Convention speaker.
In 2023, Blunt Rochester was among 56 Democrats to vote in favor of H.Con.Res. 21, which directed President Joe Biden to remove U.S. troops from Syria within 180 days.
For the 118th Congress:
Blunt Rochester was married to her first husband, professional basketball player Alex Bradley, from 1982 to 2003. They met at Villanova University and lived in Europe while he played basketball professionally. They have two children together. She met her second husband, Charles, later in 2003. They married in 2006. Charles died in 2014. He ruptured his Achilles tendon which caused blood clots to go to his heart and lungs.
Blunt Rochester identifies as a Protestant.
While living abroad in China with her then-husband, Blunt Rochester co-authored the book Thrive: 34 Women, 18 Countries, One Goal.
|2016||U.S. House of||General||Lisa Blunt Rochester||Democratic||223,554||55.5%||Hans Reigle||Republican||172,290||41.0%|
|2018||U.S. House of||General||Lisa Blunt Rochester||Democratic||227,333||64.5%||Scott Walker||Republican||125,381||35.6%|
|2020||U.S. House of||General||Lisa Blunt Rochester||Democratic||280,612||57.6%||Lee Murphy||Republican||195,708||40.2%|
|2022||U.S. House of||General||Lisa Blunt Rochester||Democratic||178,416||55.5%||Lee Murphy||Republican||138,201||43%|
For my swearing-in, I carried this with me. Part of this was to remember how far we've come, that a former slave's great-great-granddaughter is now a congresswoman.