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John Edward Sununu (born September 10, 1964) is a former Republican (GOP) United States Senator from New Hampshiremarker. Sununu was the youngest member of the Senate for his entire six year term. He was also its only Arab-American member during his time in office. He is the son of former New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu.

On November 4, 2008, Sununu lost his re-election bid to former governor Jeanne Shaheen.

Personal life and private career

Sununu, one of eight siblings, was born in Boston, Massachusettsmarker, to Nancy Hayes and former Governor of New Hampshire and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu. His father's family came to the United Statesmarker from the Middle East at the turn of the century. Some members of the family were from Beirutmarker and the others were from the Greek Orthodox community in Jerusalemmarker. His father, John, was born in Havanamarker, Cubamarker. Most of the last two generations of Sununus were also born in the United States. Most of his closest relatives in Beirut have died, including an uncle who returned to the Lebanesemarker capital from the United Statesmarker several years ago. [25972]. He also has Lebanese, Palestinian, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. Sununu earned both B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technologymarker in 1987 and an Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Universitymarker in 1991. After graduating, he worked in the high-tech industry, at one time for the company of Dean Kamen and as a management consultant for PRTM.

Sununu and his wife, Catherine ("Kitty"), have three children: John, (Catherine) Grace, and Charlotte.

Career after Senate

Sununu currently sits on the Board of Managers of ConvergEx Holdings, a holding company for BNY ConvergEx Group, an affiliate of Bank of New York Mellon, which holds a 33.8 percent stake in BNY ConvergEx Group.

Sununu was appointed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to serve on the Congressional Oversight Panel (COP) for the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds, whose purpose is to assessing how the TARP program is working, in order to help Congress determine whether to continue injecting capital into the financial sector.

Elected offices

In 1996, Sununu was elected to the United States House of Representatives. He was reelected in 1998 and 2000.

In 2002, Sununu ran for a United States Senate seat from New Hampshire. He defeated the Republican incumbent Bob Smith in the primary, then defeated Governor Jeanne Shaheen in the general election by a margin of 51%–46%.

United States House of Representatives

In 1999, NH's Christian Coalition gave "pro-family" awards to both NH Representatives, Sununu and Charles Bass, honoring the vote by both men to impeach President Bill Clinton.

On November 8, 2000, the Boston Globe noted Sununu's defeat of Democratic newcomer Martha Fuller Clark, noting that Sununu had "one of the House's most conservative voting records"—opposing abortion and increased minimum wages while favoring school vouchers and the death penalty.

In 2001, The New York Times described Sununu as a likely contender for the Senate seat then held by NH's Robert C. Smith, calling Sununu "a three-term conservative considered to be on the fast track in the House." The article noted that Sununu's backers included "some of the biggest Republican names in New Hampshire" as well as small government advocate Grover Norquist.

United States Senate

According to a Washington Post study, Sununu voted with the Republican Party's position 84% of the time. However, he broke with his party on prominent issues, joining Democrats in filibusters of the USA PATRIOT Act and the Bush Administration's 2003 energy bill. Sununu strongly supported greater access to firearms, voting against the proposed renewal of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 2004. He strongly opposed amnesty for illegal aliens, voting against the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill in July 2007. Sununu called for a tougher federal regulator for government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and with Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), he filed a dramatic overhaul of regulation of the insurance industry. A long proponent of technology, in January 2007, Sununu called for a permanent ban on taxes of Internet connections and online sales.

P. J. O'Rourke wrote a tribute to Sununu, calling him a philosopher and suggesting that he was the smartest man in the Senate.Sununu was one of only three senators whose voting record received a score of 100% from the fiscally conservative Club for Growth, which in February 2007 endorsed his bid for re-election.

In 2007, Sununu was the lead Republican co-sponsor of the Clean Air Planning Act of 2007 which sought to address air quality and climate change by establishing a schedule to reduce harmful emissions from power plants—in particular, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide—as well as decrease carbon dioxide emissions through a cap-and-trade system. The legislation also addressed mercury pollution, calling for a 90% reduction in emissions of the chemical by 2015.[25973] He also supported the bipartisan Clean Energy Stimulus Act of 2008 that provides tax incentives for the development of clean and renewable energy sources [25974]. In 2006 Sununu sponsored the bipartisan New England Wilderness Act which added tens of thousand of acres of land to federally protected forests.[25975] Sununu opposed the Climate Stewardship Act of 2003, which would have also created a cap-and-trade program. His vote was criticized by the New Hampshire Democratic Party which claimed that he had acted "against reducing greenhouse gases". The New Hampshire Union Leader praised his decision, citing the Energy Information Agency's estimation that the legislation would cost the American economy $507 billion over 22 years.

Sununu took a few positions contrary to the Bush administration and the Republican leadership. Though he voted for the flag burning amendment, he voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment and he opposed restrictions on travel and trade with Cubamarker, and was one of only two Republicans to vote in favor of terminating funds for TV Martí, which broadcasts anti-Castro programming in Cuba. He was one of a small group of Republicans to vote in favor of banning loans to China for any nuclear projects, and in September 2005 he voted to disapprove a new rule set in place by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delisting coal and other energy sources from the Clean Air Act.

He also became well known as one of the five Republican Senators who joined Democrats in a filibuster of the USA PATRIOT Act renewal conference report. This caused the Republican leadership to extend the original legislation until a compromise bill was forged.

In January 2006, at a hearing in front of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on the Broadcast Flag, Sununu was one of the very few present to criticize the legislation, saying "In all cases [of previous technological advancements in the US], we didn't need to step in with a significant statutory government-regulated mandate on technology that consumers use to enjoy this material."[25976]

In October 2006, Sununu voted against a portion of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that would suspend the right of habeas corpus for non-citizen detainees. After voting in favor of the final bill, he defended his vote by telling reporters "The Constitution is not a suicide pact."

On March 14, 2007, Sununu became the first Republican senator to call for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales after a controversy over U.S. Attorney firings. Sununu cited his anger with the mismanagement by Gonzales and the lack of trustworthiness by GOP Senators towards Gonzales.

In July 2005, Sununu shaved his head to show solidarity with Senator Arlen Specter, who had lost his hair due to chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease.

In September 2008, Sununu became one of twenty senators (ten Democrats and ten Republicans) co-sponsoring a bipartisan energy bill, the New Energy Reform Act of 2008. The bill is offered as an alternative to the Democrats' energy bill, sponsored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Both bills propose to increase offshore drilling, while promoting conservation and alternative energy. The "Gang of Twenty" bill also lets coastal states participate in decisions and in revenue about drilling in the fifty-to-one-hundred-mile range off their coasts. It also differs from the Democrats' bill in allowing drilling off Florida's west coast, a proposal both Florida's senators have protested. To quote the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Nearly every potentially vulnerable Senate Republican, from Norm Coleman [of Minnesota] to Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and John Sununu of New Hampshire, has signed on to the legislation."

Electoral history

: Results 1996–2000
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1996 Joe Keefe 115,462 47% 123,939 50% Gary A. Flanders Libertarian 8,176 3%
1998 Peter Flood 51,783 33% 104,430 67%
2000 128,387 45% 150,609 53% Dan Belforti Libertarian 5,713 2%

New Hampshire Senator (Class II)]] results: 2002-2008
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2002 207,478 46% 227,229 51% Ken Blevens Libertarian 9,835 2% Bob Smith Write-in 2,396 1% *
2008 357,153 52% John E. Sununu 312,601 45% Ken Blevens Libertarian 21,381 3%

*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2002, write-ins received 197 votes.


References

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