Sheldon Whitehouse

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Sheldon Whitehouse is the junior senator from the state of Rhode Island

Sheldon Whitehouse is the Junior Senator for the state of Rhode Island. He is a Democrat, and was first elected in 2006. (map)

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Sheldon Whitehouse voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Cornel Young, Jr. Death

When black Providence police officer Cornel Young Jr. was shot by two fellow officers while he was off-duty in January 2000, Whitehouse was criticized for not appointing an independent prosecutor to investigate the shooting. Later that year, Whitehouse was criticized when 15-year-old Jennifer Rivera, a witness in a murder case, was shot by a relative of the man she was to testify against later that year.[1] After Rivera's shooting, Whitehouse strengthened the state's witness protection program.


Born in 1955, Whitehouse is the son of Charles Whitehouse, a WWII veteran and a three-time ambassador. Whitehouse is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia Law School. In 1994 President Bill Clinton appointed Whitehouse to be the U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island. As U.S. Attorney Whitehouse prosecuted the first case the new federal "three strikes" law and began the investigation into what became Operation Plunder Dome, a municipal corruption case that sent Providence Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci to jail on conspiracy charges.

In 1998 Whitehouse was elected Rhode Island's Attorney General. As Attorney General he initiated a lawsuit against the lead paint industry that ended in a mistrial; the state later won a second lawsuit against former lead paint manufacturers Sherwin Williams Co., Millennium Holdings and NL Industries that found them responsible for creating a public nuisance. Whitehouse also founded the Rhode Island Quality Institute, "an organization dedicated to improving health care quality in the State of Rhode Island,"[2] and authorized the first Rhode Island State Police wire tap to investigate public corruption.

In 2002 Whitehouse made a run for the Democratic nomination for Governor. He lost to Sen. Myrth York by 900 votes.

2006 Senate race

When Whitehouse entered the race he initially faced a tight primary against Secretary of State Matt Brown. Whitehouse held a clear fundraising edge and Brown soon dropped out of the race after questions about his fundraising practices brought increasing negative attention.

Whitehouse has used Rhode Island's status as the most Democratic state in the nation as a means to ask voters to send a Democrat to the Senate over his opponent, liberal Republican Lincoln Chafee. Despite Chafee's liberal positions on social issues and the war Whitehouse has been able to use President Bush's unpopularity against the incumbent Senator.

Whitehouse favors bringing "the troops home from Iraq in a reasonable time frame".[3] Whitehouse has labeled the American health care system as "both our biggest national problem and our biggest national opportunity."[4]

Polls showed Whitehouse with a lead throughout the race.[5] In the general election, he defeated Chafee 53%-47%. [6]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00027533&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Sheldon Whitehouse
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


More Background Data

Background information on Lincoln Chafee, whom Sheldon Whitehouse challenged in the 2006 congressional elections:


Washington Office:
Hart Senate Office Building Room 502
Washington, D.C. 20510
202-224-2921 phone
202-228-6362 fax
Web Email

Providence Office:
170 Westminster Street, Suite 1100
Providence, RI 02903
401-453-5294 phone
401-453-5085 fax

Articles and Resources


Local blogs and discussion sites

Audio of Whitehouse Introducing His First Congressional Legislation -- 3 Bills on Health Care Reform


Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. Senate
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: Senate Special Committee on Aging, Senate Committee on the Budget, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works/Subcommittee on Public Sector Solutions to Global Warming Oversight and Children's Health Protection, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works/Subcommittee on Transportation Safety Infrastructure Security and Water Quality, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Senate Committee on the Judiciary/Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts, Senate Committee on the Judiciary/Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law,
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 7, 2006
First Took Current Office:
January 3, 2007
Next Election:
November 6, 2012
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Rhode Island Attorney General, US Attorney,
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 170 Westminster Street, Suite 1100, Providence, RI 02903
Phone: 401-453-5294 / Fax: 401-453-5085

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: October 20, 1955