Janet Howell

Janet Howell
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 32nd district
Assumed office
January 8, 1992
Preceded by Clive L. DuVal II
Personal details
Born ( 1944 -05-07) May 7, 1944
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) A. (for Alfred) Hunt Howell, Ph.D. (1966-present)
Children Eric (m. Theresa, children Ella (~2005), Sylvia (~2008)
Brian (m. Ania)
Parents Edward Fulton and Elsie (Lightbown) Denison
Residence Fairfax County, Virginia
Alma mater Oberlin College (B.A., 1966)
University of Pennsylvania, (M.A., 1968)
Committees Privileges and Elections
Courts of Justice
Education and Health
Religion Unitarianism
Website www.janethowell.com

Janet Denison Howell (born May 7, 1944, in Washington, D.C.) is an American politician. A Democrat, she was elected to the Senate of Virginia in 1991. She still represented the 32nd district in Fairfax County as of June 2011.[1][6]


She was born to Edward Fulton and Elsie (Lightbown) Denison. Her father was a prominent economist at the U. S. Department of Commerce and the Brookings Institution, and fellow Oberlin alumnus.[7]

Mrs. Howell taught in the Philadelphia school district, 1968–1969, and was a legislative assistant in the Virginia State Senate from 1989 to 1991.

The Reston Times named her Restonian of the year in 1984. In 1991 the Virginia Association of Social Workers honored her as Virginian of the year. She was named Senator of the Year (Fraternal Order of Police, 1998), Citizen of Yr. (ARC, 1998). She was Chairman of the Fairfax County (VA) Social Services Board, 1979–82, State Bd. Social Svcs., Va., 1986–91, Reston (Va.) Transp. Com., 1986–91; pres. Reston Community Assn., 1982–85, Citizen of Yr., 1990. [2]

Mrs. Howell reported financial assests in 2010 worth more than $US1.48 million and possibly more than $6 million.[8]

Electoral history


Virginia Senate, District 32: Results 1995 to 2015[9]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct Third Party Party Votes Pct
1995 Janet Howell 26,470 57% Robert M. McDowell 19,738 43%
1999 Janet Howell 25,966 58% Whitney Adams 18,615 42%
2003 Janet Howell 21,252 57% David M. Hunt 16,214 43%
2007 Janet Howell 28,089 97% no candidate Write-ins 818 3%
2011 Janet Howell 26,026 60% Patrick Forrest[10][11] 17,122 40%
2015 Janet Howell 31,156 94% no candidate Write-ins 1,974 6%

2011 election campaign

Janet Howell ran for reelection in Virginia's November 8, 2011 election. The Virginia General Assembly drew new legislative districts to reflect the U.S. Census of 2010. As chairman of the Senate of Virginia's committee on privileges and elections, Mrs. Howell led the process to draw new Senate district boundaries, and she did so to preserve her party's majority and to improve her own reelection prospects within the law. If the U.S. Department of Justice or U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia approves the plan, as required by the voting rights act, she will acquire some reliably Democrat voting precincts and shed others that lean Republican.[12][13][14][15]


  1. 1 2 "Senate of Virginia - Membership". Senate of Virginia. Retrieved 2011-06-03. Born in Washington, D.C., May 7, 1944; educated at Oberlin College (B.A.); The University of Pennsylvania (M.A.); Member of Senate: 1992-.
  2. 1 2 "Janet D. Howell". The Complete Marquis Who's Who (Fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). Marquis Who's Who. 2008. Gale Document Number: GALE|K2014539537. Retrieved 2011-06-03. Gale Biography In Context.
  3. Howell, Janet. "My Family". Retrieved 2011-06-05. Next month Hunt and I are celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary. We met our freshman year in college and married five days after graduation. Hunt has always supported me in every way and has been a huge booster every election cycle. He is an economist and is semi-retired from the Inter-American Development Bank. Hunt has really made a difference in several countries, especially Peru and Jamaica. He is an avid skier and outdoors man.
  4. "VPAP | Candidates | Janet Howell | Personal Finances | Salary/Wages". Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved 2011-06-05. Janet Howell reported that a family member earned salary and wages of more than $10,000 from the following companies: InterAmerican Development Bank (Alfred Hunt Howell)
  5. "Hunt Howell". LinedIn. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
  6. Janet D Howell (in Carroll's State Directory) Reproduced in Biography Resource Center (Fee). Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale. 2008 [2007]. K2416012781. Retrieved 2008-04-18.
  7. Lambert, Bruce (October 24, 1992). "E. F. Denison, Economist, 76; Devised G.N.P.". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
  8. "VPAP | Candidates | Janet Howell | Personal Finances | Securities, Mutual Funds, Investments". Virginia Public Access Project. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
  9. "Election Results". Virginia State Board of Elections.
  10. McCaffrey, Scott; Trompeter, Brian (2 June 2011). "GOP Challenger Makes Push to Unseat Howell in the 32nd". Sun Gazette. Springfield, Virginia: American Community Newspapers. pp. 13–14. In redrawing the state senate map this year, Democrats moved Republican leaning areas of McLean and Great Falls from Howell's district to the 31st District, being vacated by retiring Democrat Mary Margaret Whipple.
  11. "In the 32nd Senate Race (editorial)". Sun Gazette. Springfield, Virginia: American Community Newspapers. 2 June 2011. p. 6. Democratic incumbent Janet Howell and Republican challenger Patrick Forrest are from the not-so-"new town" that is part of the reconfigured 32nd District - a district hand-crafted, so it seems, to allow Howell to ditch the most Republican-leaning areas of her current district, and pick up safely Democrataic ones...
    ...Howell had about $200,000 in the campaign coffers when the last reporting period ended in March, and no doubt has picked up plenty more.
  12. Helderman, Rosalind S. (24 May 2011). "DOJ requests interviews with redistricting legislators". Virginia Politics. Washington Post.
  13. "Sen. Thomas Norment now says he opposes bipartisan redistricting". Politifact.com Virginia. Richmond Times-Dispatch. March 29, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-04. The Senate plan, drawn primarily by Sen. Janet D. Howell, D-Fairfax, would squeeze GOP Sens. Frank W. Wagner and Jeff McWaters, both of Virginia Beach, into the same district. It also would lump Sen. Stephen D. Newman, R-Lynchburg, into the same district as Sen. Ralph K. Smith, R-Botetourt County...
    ...But to our eyes, Howell’s plan uses many of the same criteria Norment endorsed 10 years ago. Just as two Democrats stood to lose their seats in 2001, two Republicans are out of luck in 2011.
  14. Bowman, Bobbi (December 28, 2010). "Our Senator at Center of Redistricting Battle; Sen. Janet Howell Heads Key Committee". McLean Patch. Patch.com. Retrieved 2011-06-04. State Sen. Janet Howell whose 32nd district includes McLean,? will be a key player this year's redistricting battle because she heads the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee. "We are charged with approving a redistricting plan for the state Senate and, along with the House, the US Congressional districts," she said. "We now know the population total for Virginia," said Howell. " We also know that Northern Virginia will pick up a Senate seat. However, since the population growth in uneven the impact on various districts is going to vary. One thing for certain, every Senate seat will have to be changed significantly," she said. "We do not know where the (new) district will be because Census will not send the needed data until February. Lots of people are creating scenarios but I think it is premature," said Howell, who started holding hearings on redistricting this fall.
  15. McCaffrey, Scott; Orrin Konheim (June 3, 2011). "In Re-Election Kickoff, Howell Says She Delivers for Region". Sun Gazette. Springfield, Va. Retrieved 2011-06-06. State Sen. Janet Howell formally kicked off her bid for re-election June 1 by telling Democrats she has delivered for them, and the region, in the General Assembly.
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