Jennifer Dunn (politician)

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Jennifer Dunn
Jennifer Dunn.jpg
Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference
In office
July 17, 1997 – January 3, 1999
Leader Newt Gingrich
Preceded by Susan Molinari
Succeeded by Tillie Fowler
Secretary of the House Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 1997 – July 17, 1997
Leader Newt Gingrich
Preceded by Barbara Vucanovich
Succeeded by Tillie Fowler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 8th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Rod Chandler
Succeeded by Dave Reichert
Personal details
Born Jennifer Jill Blackburn
(1941-07-29)July 29, 1941
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Died September 5, 2007(2007-09-05) (aged 66)
Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Dennis Dunn (1965–1977)
Keith Thomson (2003–2007)
Children Bryant
Alma mater University of Washington, Seattle
Stanford University
Religion Roman Catholicism

Jennifer Jill Dunn (née Blackburn; July 29, 1941 – September 5, 2007)[1] was a prominent Republican member of the United States House of Representatives 1993–2005, representing Washington's 8th congressional district.

Early life

Born in Seattle, Washington, Dunn grew up in the nearby city of Bellevue, and graduated from Bellevue High School in 1959. She attended the University of Washington, where she was a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority,[2] and Stanford University, earning business degrees. After graduation, she worked as a systems engineer.

Political career

Dunn was chair of the Washington State Republican Party from 1981 to 1992 and twice a delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (1984 and 1990). Elected to the House in 1992, she was Washington's only Republican representative until the Republican Revolution of 1994 when Republicans swept all but two of Washington's nine House seats. In 1998, she became the first woman ever to run for the position of House Majority Leader.[3]

In 2000, she served on the presidential election exploratory committee for then-Texas Governor George W. Bush. Dunn served as Vice-Chairwoman of the Select Committee on Homeland Security and served on the House Ways and Means Committee and the Joint Economic Committee. On October 10, 2002, Dunn voted in favor of authorizing the invasion of Iraq.[4]

Dunn announced in 2004 she would retire from Congress, choosing not to run for re-election. Her seat was eventually filled by King County Sheriff Dave Reichert. She co-chaired the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation with former Representative Calvin Dooley. She also served as co-chair of the campaign organization "Women for Mitt" for presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the time of her death. She was succeeded in the Romney organization by U.S. Representative Kay Granger of Fort Worth, Texas.[citation needed]


Dunn collapsed and died of a pulmonary embolism in 2007, in her Alexandria, Virginia apartment.[5] Her memorial service was at St. James Cathedral, Seattle.[6]

Electoral history

Washington's 8th congressional district: Results 1992–2004[7]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1992 George O. Tamblyn 87,611 34% Jennifer Dunn 155,874 60% Bob Adams Independent 14,686 6%
1994 Jim Wyrick 44,165 24% Jennifer Dunn 140,409 76%
1996 Dave Little 90,340 35% Jennifer Dunn 170,691 65%
1998 Heidi Behrens-Benedict 91,371 40% Jennifer Dunn 135,539 60%
2000 Heidi Behrens-Benedict 104,944 36% Jennifer Dunn 183,255 62% Bernard McIlroy Libertarian 6,269 2%
2002 Heidi Behrens-Benedict 75,931 37% Jennifer Dunn 121,633 60% Mark A. Taff Libertarian 5,771 3%


  1. "Jennifer Dunn honored in Legacy Project". Washington Secretary of State. February 9, 2010. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  2. "Prominent Members". Gamma Phi Beta. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  3. Jennifer Dunn, former congresswoman, dies September 5, 2006/
  4. 2003 invasion of Iraq votes,; accessed November 9, 2015.
  5. Jennifer Dunn, 66, Former Washington Representative, Is Dead, September 6, 2006.
  6. "Jennifer Dunn Remembered". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. September 12, 2007. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  7. "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Rod Chandler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Dave Reichert
Party political offices
Preceded by
Barbara Vucanovich
Secretary of the House Republican Conference
Succeeded by
Tillie Fowler
Preceded by
Susan Molinari
Vice Chairperson of the House Republican Conference