Chris Donovan is a proven and recognized Democratic leader, with a broad, deep history of fighting for health care, promoting job growth, improving the environment, standing up for women’s issues, and fighting for clean government.
Chris’s work on behalf of Connecticut’s working families, in the legislature and in the community, has produced landmark results, including a first-in-the-nation statewide paid sick leave law to ensure workers have access to paid leave to care for themselves and their families, a statewide healthcare pooling plan that uses bulk purchasing power to decrease risk and lower premiums, one of the strongest public campaign finance systems in the nation for all elections to state offices, increased protections for domestic violence victims by expanding access to protective orders and critical information, and protecting Medicare and Medicaid eligibility and benefit levels from cuts. In Congress, Chris’ top priorities will be to fight to bring jobs to Connecticut and to preserve Medicare and Social Security.
Chris has been Speaker of the House since 2009, and has represented Meriden as a Democrat in the State House of Representatives for 19 years. In addition to his legislative work, Chris is a faculty member in the political science and sociology departments at the University of Hartford.
Chris is a member of the University of Connecticut School of Social Work Advisory Committee and the Collegiate Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons Advisory Board. He has also worked with the Connecticut Family Leave Task Force.
The fifth of eight children born to a large, close-knit family, Chris learned the value of hard work at an early age, working at various times as a paper boy, cutting grass, as a drug store clerk, and as an orderly. He worked his way through Villanova University, graduating with a degree in Biology, and the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work, specializing in community organizing. As a community organizer in Meriden, Chris fought for progressive outcomes on environmental, energy and housing issues.
Chris lives in Meriden with his wife, Elaine Gallen Donovan. Elaine is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse specializing in work with persons with HIV. Chris and Elaine have a daughter, Sarah, who is a sophomore at George Washington University, and a son, Aaron, who is a graduate of Tufts University and lives in Massachusetts.