Ann McLane Kuster

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Ann McLane Kuster
Anne McLane Kuster, Official Portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 2nd district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byCharles Bass
Personal details
BornAnn McLane
(1956-09-05) September 5, 1956 (age 57)
Concord, New Hampshire
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Brad Kuster
Childrentwo
ResidenceHopkinton, New Hampshire
Alma materDartmouth College,
Georgetown University Law Center
Occupationlawyer, author, lobbyist
WebsiteRepresentative Ann McLane Kuster
 
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Ann McLane Kuster
Anne McLane Kuster, Official Portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 2nd district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byCharles Bass
Personal details
BornAnn McLane
(1956-09-05) September 5, 1956 (age 57)
Concord, New Hampshire
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Brad Kuster
Childrentwo
ResidenceHopkinton, New Hampshire
Alma materDartmouth College,
Georgetown University Law Center
Occupationlawyer, author, lobbyist
WebsiteRepresentative Ann McLane Kuster

Ann "Annie" McLane Kuster (born September 5, 1956) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district since 2013. An attorney, lobbyist, and nonprofit consultant from Hopkinton, New Hampshire, Kuster is a member of the Democratic Party. She was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Kuster was born in Concord in 1956. Both of her parents were politicians. Her father Malcolm McLane was Mayor of Concord and a member of the New Hampshire Executive Council. In 1972, he ran for Governor of New Hampshire as an independent. He got 20 percent of the vote, allowing Republican Mel Thomson to win the election with a plurality of 40 percent of the vote.[2] In the 1976 presidential election, he endorsed Republican Gerald Ford. In the 1980 presidential election, he endorsed Republican turned independent John B. Anderson.[3] Her mother, Susan McLane, was elected to the New Hampshire Senate as a Republican.[4] In 1980, she ran for New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district, but got second place in the crowded Republican primary with 25 percent. Judd Gregg won with 34 percent of the vote.[5] Kuster's great grandfather, John McLane, was Governor of New Hampshire from 1905–1907. He was elected as a Republican in 1904 with 58 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Henry Hollis.[6]

Kuster graduated from Dartmouth College in 1978 with a degree in Environmental Policy and from Georgetown University Law Center in 1984.[7]

Legal career[edit]

After college, Kuster became the director of Rath, Young and Pignatelli's education and nonprofit law practice group.

Kuster was a consultant and owner of Newfound Strategies LLC, "a consulting and training practice that works with nonprofit clients to maximize their effectiveness and sustainability through fundraising, outreach and strategic planning."[7]

She has worked previously as an "of-counsel" partner in the Concord law firm of Rath, Young and Pignatelli. Kuster's legal practice at Rath, Young and Pignatelli focused on education, nonprofit and health care policy.[4] Kuster has also worked for many years as an adoption attorney, having been involved in more than 300 adoptions since 1984, and is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.[8]

Kuster has served as Chair and member of the Board of the Capitol Center for the Arts, as a Founder and Vice Chair of the Women's Fund of New Hampshire and as a member of the Boards of the N.H. Charitable Foundation, New Hampshire Public Radio, Child and Family Services of NH, the Alumni Council and Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College and Womankind Counseling Center.[8]

Kuster's career has also involved many years of lobbying the New Hampshire State Legislature on behalf of clients such as Merck Vaccines; Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) -- with whom she helped created the NH Medication Bridge program, a public-private partnership which provides free prescriptions to patients in need; Fidelity Investments - with whom she helped create the NH UNIQUE College Savings Plan to help families save money for college tax-free; Dartmouth College and Medical School, NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire, Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Center, and the New Hampshire College and University Council.[4][9]

In 2004, Kuster received the 2004 Marilla M. Ricker Achievement Award from the New Hampshire Women's Bar Association.

Early political career[edit]

Kuster served on the New Hampshire steering committees of the presidential campaigns for Barack Obama in 2007-8 and John Kerry in 2003-4. Kuster also served as Co-Chair with Peggo Hodes (the wife of Congressman Paul Hodes) of New Hampshire Women for Obama. Kuster was a 2008 delegate for Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in Denver and a member of the 2004 New Hampshire Delegation in Boston. In 2000, Kuster received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for dedicated service to the Democratic Party at the local, state and national levels.

According to the Concord Monitor, "For 20 years before her campaign announcement, she worked the halls of the New Hampshire State House as a lobbyist representing a range of clients. Kuster's government-relations work accounted for perhaps half of the comprehensive legal services she offered, in addition to her practice arranging private adoptions."[9] Kuster's longtime lobbying clients included Dartmouth Medical School, which receives monies from the State of New Hampshire to reserve places in Dartmouth Medical School for students from New Hampshire.[9] Working on behalf of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Kuster's most prominent project was helping to create the NH Medication Bridge program [10] which provides free prescription medication to low-income patients earning under or near the poverty level. Since Kuster helped create the program in 2001, more than 16,000 New Hampshire residents have received over 1 million prescriptions valued at over $275 million. Kuster also fought proposed legislation that would prohibit drug makers from offering discounted drugs unless the discounts were offered to every buyer; the bill failed in subcommittee to strong bipartisan opposition. Kuster earned an average of $65,000 annually from 1989 to 2009 for this activity, according to reports she filed with the State of New Hampshire.[9]

Kuster's long involvement in lobbying was a source of controversy during the Democratic primary for New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district.,[9][11] and her opponent in the general election, Congressman Charles Bass, also worked for the lobbying arm of a law firm Devine Millimet between his terms in Congress.[12]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2010

In 2010 Kuster ran for New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district against Republican nominee Charles Bass, Libertarian nominee Howard Wilson, and Independent candidate Tim vanBlommesteyn. It was an open seat as Democratic incumbent Paul Hodes was running for the U.S. Senate.

Kuster was defeated by Bass 48%-47%, a difference of just 3,550 votes.[13]

2012

Kuster ran for New Hampshire's Second District against Representative Charles Bass again in the 2012 general election. She received the endorsement of Democracy for America, and was selected as one of their Dean Dozen.

On November 6, 2012, Kuster defeated Bass 50%-45%.[14][1] In doing so, she became a part of the nation's first all-female Congressional delegation. This delegation includes current Senior Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Junior Senator Kelly Ayotte, and Representative Carol Shea-Porter.[1]

Committee assignments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Kuster is married to Brad Kuster, a fellow lawyer. They have two college-age sons.

Kuster and her mother, State Senator Susan McLane, coauthored a book titled The Last Dance: Facing Alzheimer's with Love and Laughter.[15] After her mother's death, Kuster and her father, Malcolm McLane, toured New Hampshire speaking publicly about aging and Alzheimer's disease and the burdens on families and caregivers that result.

In February 2013, WMUR-TV reported that Kuster had been late paying property taxes on a home in Hopkinton starting in 2010 and had failed to pay two tax bills for a property in Jackson in 2012. Following the report, Kuster stated that the bills were being paid.[16]

At a Town Hall meeting located at the New Hampshire Jewish Federation in Manchester, N.H. on November 25, 2013 Kuster fielded questions relating to the Middle East. After reading a written question regarding establishing a select committee to investigate the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Kuster indicated that the questions "should stay focused on the Middle East." Audience members reminded Kuster that Libya is in fact located in the "Middle East". [17] See Rep. Kuster answer questions

Organization memberships

Member, New Hampshire Citizens Commission on the State Courts
Member, The Trust for Public Land N.H. Advisory Council
Member, Board of Trustees, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
Member, Board of Trustees, New Hampshire Public Radio
Member, Board of Trustees, Womankind Counseling Center
Co-Chair, Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association's Capital Campaign for the Hospice House
Member, Healthy Beginnings Advisory Committee, Concord Hospital
Co-Chair, M.T. Mennino Legacy Fund-Capitol Center for the Arts
Former Member and Chair, Board of Directors, Capital Campaign of the Capitol Center for the Arts
Chair, United Way of Merrimack County, 1996
Member, Dartmouth College Alumni Council
Member, Board of Visitors, William Jewett Tucker Foundation, Dartmouth College
Vice-Chair (and a founding member), Women's Fund of New Hampshire
Chair, "Tribute to New Hampshire Women of the 20th Century," 1999
[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles Bass
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district

January 3, 2013 – present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Derek Kilmer
D-Washington
United States Representatives by seniority
398th
Succeeded by
Doug LaMalfa
R-California