Steve Driehaus

Steve Driehaus
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2009  January 3, 2011
Preceded by Steve Chabot
Succeeded by Steve Chabot
Minority Whip of the Ohio House of Representatives
In office
January 2005  January 2008
Preceded by Dale Miller
Succeeded by Fred Strahorn
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 31st district
In office
January 2003  January 2009
Preceded by Catherine Barrett
Succeeded by Denise Driehaus
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 33rd district
In office
January 2001  January 2003
Preceded by Jerry Luebbers
Succeeded by Tyrone Yates
Personal details
Born (1966-06-24) June 24, 1966
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lucienne Driehaus
Children 3
Residence Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Alma mater Miami University,
Indiana University
Profession Political activist
Religion Roman Catholic

Steven L. "Steve" Driehaus (born June 24, 1966 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is a former U.S. Representative for Ohio's 1st congressional district, serving from 2009 until 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served as the Minority Whip in the Ohio House of Representatives.

The district includes the western four-fifths of Cincinnati, as well as suburbs north and west of the city in Hamilton and Butler counties.[1] He was formerly a four-term member of the Ohio House of Representatives, representing the 31st District from 2001 to 2009. His Ohio State House district included western Cincinnati and all of Addyston, Cheviot, Cleves and North Bend, Ohio.

Early life, education and career

Driehaus (January 21, 2008)

Driehaus, a 1984 graduate and class president of Elder High School in Cincinnati,[2] studied political science at Miami University while earning a B.A. in 1988 and holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Indiana University earned in 1995.[3][4][5] He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal where he worked with village groups and local schools as a natural resource volunteer to promote sustainable environmental practices from 1988-90.[6]

Driehaus then served as Associate Director of the Center for International Education and Development Assistance at Indiana University. While serving in this role, he coordinated the South African Internship Program, which was sponsored by the United States Information Agency that is the largest professional exchange program between the United States and South Africa.[6] He formerly directed and served as consultant to the Community Building Institute, a collaborative effort of Xavier University and United Way & Community Chest that promotes citizen-led, asset-based community development. He is a member of the Price Hill Civic Club and serves on the Board of Seton High School.[6] He was a part-time political science instructor at Xavier University.[7] He began his political career as an aide for Cincinnati City Council Member Todd Portune and former U.S. Rep. Charlie Luken in the 1990s.[7]

Ohio House of Representatives

Driehaus (July 21, 2008)

Driehaus served four consecutive terms.[8] He served as Minority Whip of the Ohio House of Representatives from the beginning of his third term in January 2005 until he resigned from the position to be replaced by Fred Strahorn in December 2007 due to his campaign for the United States House of Representatives.[9]

Driehaus took a leadership role on issues such as election law and redistricting reform.[10] He took issue with information privacy in the state. [11]

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Driehaus has been a highly regarded politician. The Cincinnati Enquirer named him legislative "Rookie of the Year" during his first term. In 2008, the ARC of Ohio and the Ohio Association of Election Officials named him Democratic Legislator of the Year.[6] He had a reputation as a pro-life fiscal conservative.[14]

Political campaigns

Ohio House campaigns

In 2000, Driehaus ran for the Ohio House of Representatives from the 33rd district, which at the time included Delhi Township, Price Hill, Sayler Park and other parts of western Hamilton County.[15][16]

The incumbent, Jerome Luebbers, had surrendered his seat due to term limits.[17] In the 2002 redistricting, Driehaus' district became the 31st district and surrendered many Republican constituents.[18][19] Driehaus has served the 31st Ohio House of Representatives district, which has included wards 19–22, 25 & 26 of Cincinnati as well as Cheviot, Cleves, North Bend, and Addyston since the 2002 redistricting. This district is fully contained within Ohio's 1st congressional district. It is also (along with districts 32 and 33) part of Ohio Senate district 9, which encompasses the south central portion of Hamilton County.[20]

Driehaus did not have an opponent in any of his Democratic primaries,[21][22][23][24][25] and he earned at least 57% shares of the vote in each of his general elections for state legislature.[15][26][27][28]

2006 elections

Driehaus during third term in the Ohio House (October 11, 2005)

Driehaus had been the choice of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to run in Ohio's 1st congressional district for the 2006 United States House of Representatives elections, but he decided to run for re-election in his Ohio House of Representatives seat.[8] He had been elected as the Minority Whip of the Ohio House of Representatives, replacing Dale Miller for the beginning of the 2005 session, in a November 2004 vote after being reelected to his third term.[29][30] Driehaus survived his own challenge from Scott Gehring with a 2:1 victory margin in the 2006 election for his state house seat.[1][28]

Driehaus campaigning in 2008

Based on the 2000 and 2004 United States Presidential election the district has voted 1% more Republican than the nation as a whole.[31] The district is regarded as a Democratically shifting maturing suburban district that is expected to vote more city-like as it becomes more dense.[8] The district was one of four Republican Ohio congressional seats that the party had targeted for takeover, but Chabot held off Cincinnati Councilman John Cranley by a 52% to 48% margin and the Republicans held on to three of the four seats.[8]

2008 congressional campaign

Driehaus outside Great American Ball Park on day of League of Conservation Voters endorsement (July 21, 2008)

Although Driehaus passed on the 2006 race, he began planning a run for the district in 2008 almost as soon as the 2006 election cycle ended. This was largely because he was barred from running for a fifth term in the state house.[32] Ohio's 1st district was very high on the target list for the Democrats in both 2006 and 2008.[33][34] Seven-term Republican incumbent Steve Chabot, elected in the Republican wave of 1994, had won the district consistently, but with varying margins.[1] He had won the seat with less than 55% of the vote in four of his seven previous victories.[8]

Driehaus at IUPAT Obama-Biden rally in Cincinnati, Ohio (October 24, 2008)

In previous elections, the 1st congressional district was hotly contested. It narrowly favored Democratic Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and United States Senator Sherrod Brown in 2006; and United States President George W. Bush narrowly outpaced Democratic nominee John Kerry by just 1 percentage point in the 2004 United States presidential election.[1] Driehaus was recruited for the race by Democratic party officials,[35] and he received early contributions for this race from Nancy Pelosi, Steny H. Hoyer, James E. Clyburn, and Chris Van Hollen, that were included in his 2007 second quarter financial filings.[36] From the time of the first official announcement on May 3, 2007 and first financial filing deadline on July 15, 2007, the race has been closely watched in the national media, and Time described it as one of the 15 Congressional races to watch in the 2008 election.[35][37] The DCCC has named the district's race as one of the thirteen that it is supporting in hopes of ousting a Republican incumbent in the 2008 United States House of Representatives elections.[38]

In the midst of the financial crisis of 2007–2010, especially the subprime mortgage crisis, one of the issues in the race has been the candidates stances on foreclosures.[39] The race was considered to be close. As of October 14, 2008 (three weeks before election day), The Rothenberg Political Report considered the race to be a toss-up.[40] A poll by Survey USA indicated that African-American turnout would probably determine who won the race.[41]

Although a marginally Republican district, 27 percent of the district's voters are African-American — one of the highest percentages for a Republican-held district in the 109th Congress. The district includes nearly all of Cincinnati's African-American voters. In the November 4 election, Driehaus defeated incumbent Chabot with 52 percent of the vote, largely on the strength of a 16,000-vote margin in Hamilton County. Barack Obama carried the district with 55 percent of the vote.

2010 congressional campaign

Driehaus was challenged by Republican nominee and his predecessor, former U.S. Congressman Steve Chabot, as well as Libertarian nominee James Berns, and Green Party nominee Richard Stevenson.[42] As Chabot was ahead in public opinion polls, the DCCC pulled its financial support for TV ads from the Driehaus campaign, indicating to NBC pundit Chuck Todd that they expected Driehaus to be defeated,[43] which he was, 52% to 45%.[44][45]

In October 2012 Driehaus filed a criminal complaint against the Susan B. Anthony List claiming the organization violated Ohio law against making false statements in a campaign advertisement. He later asked that the complaint be dropped. Driehaus later sued the List, claiming the group caused his "loss of livelihood" by "defaming" him by saying he supported taxpayer funded abortion due to his vote for the Affordable Care Act.[46] The case was decided in favor of the Susan B. Anthony List (Defendants) (805 F.Supp.2d 412 (2011)).

Electoral history

Date Office District Democrat Votes Percentage Republican Votes Percentage
November 7, 2000Ohio House of Representatives33[15]Steve Driehaus19,26357.26%Tony Condia14,37742.74%
November 5, 2002Ohio House of Representatives31[26]Steve Driehaus13,91665.21%Sheryl Ross7,42534.79%
November 2, 2004Ohio House of Representatives31[27]Steve Driehaus26,33069.36%Terry Weber11,63430.64%
November 7, 2006Ohio House of Representatives31[28]Steve Driehaus15,55767.33%Scott Gehring7,55032.67%
November 4, 2008U.S. House of RepresentativesOhio's 1st[47]Steve Driehaus155,08952.45%Steve Chabot140,46947.5%
November 2, 2010U.S. House of RepresentativesOhio's 1st[48]Steve Driehaus92,67245.99%Steve Chabot103,77051.49%

Peace Corps

In March 2011, Driehaus was selected for an approximately two and a half years tenure as the Peace Corps' director of HIV and AIDS education in Swaziland. This follows on his prior African Peace Corps experience as a volunteer. His wife and three children moved along with him.[49] On June 29, 2011, he completed his staff training and was sworn in for service.[50]


Driehaus was raised in Green Township by H. Donald and Clare Driehaus, along with his seven siblings.[2] He lives with his wife, Lucienne, and their, in Price Hill, Cincinnati. They are congregants at St. Teresa of Avila parish.[5][51] His father, Don Driehaus, is a former Hamilton County Democratic Party co-chairman.[2][7]

He was succeeded in the Ohio House of Representatives by his sister Denise.[52] Their father died on September 21, 2008, aged 75.[2][2]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Giroux, Greg (2007-05-03). "Democrat Driehaus Targets Republican Chabot in Ohio House Race". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Goodman, Rebecca (2008-11-05). "Loyal Democrat H. Donald Driehaus helped revive once-moribund party". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Newsbank. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  3. "Newcomers trying to replace Luebbers". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Newsbank. 2000-11-01. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  4. "Steve Driehaus (registration required)". DNC Services Corporation. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  5. 1 2 "Representative-elect Steven L. Driehaus (OH)". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Ohio's 1st District". Red to Blue. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  7. 1 2 3 Ludlow, Randy (1999-09-21). "Dems tapping candidates for state seats". The Cincinnati Post. Newsbank. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 Blake, Aaron (2007-05-17). "Democrats call Driehaus the answer to dry spell against Rep. Steve Chabot". The Hill. Capitol Hill Publishing Corp. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  9. "Capital corridors". Dayton Daily News. Newsbank. 2007-12-10. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
  10. "Drawing The Line, Fairly". The Cincinnati Post. Newsbank. 2006-07-05. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  11. Lee, Jennifer (2002-09-05). "Dirty Laundry, Online for All to See". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  12. House Financial Services Committee: Committee Members Retrieved April 21, 2009 Archived April 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. Members of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Retrieved April 21, 2009 Archived July 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. "Steve Driehaus - (OH 1)". Ohio Democratic Party. Archived from the original on July 31, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  15. 1 2 3 "Ohio House Of Representatives: November 7, 2000". Ohio Secretary of State. 2000. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  16. "Driehaus a Candidate". The Cincinnati Post. Newsbank. 1999-11-20. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  17. Moloney, Sharon (2000-09-15). "Five races stem from term limits — GOP control challenged". The Cincinnati Post. Newsbank. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  18. Ludlow, Randy (2001-09-29). "House districts to shift". The Cincinnati Post. Newsbank. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  19. "Redrawing the Legislative Map". The Cincinnati Post. Newsbank. 2001-10-30. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  20. Blackwell, J. Kenneth (2002). "2002–2012 Ohio District Maps" (PDF). Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  21. "Democratic Ohio House Of Representatives: March 7, 2000". Ohio Secretary of State. 2000. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  22. "Democratic State Representative: Official Tabulation: May 7, 2002". Ohio Secretary of State. 2002. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  23. "Democratic Ohio Representative: March 2, 2004". Ohio Secretary of State. 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  24. "Democratic Ohio House Of Representatives: May 2, 2006". Ohio Secretary of State. 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  25. "Democratic U.S. Congress: March 4, 2008". Ohio Secretary of State. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  26. 1 2 "State Representative: Official Tabulation: November 5, 2002". Ohio Secretary of State. 2002. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  27. 1 2 "Ohio House of Representatives: November 2, 2004". Ohio Secretary of State. 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  28. 1 2 3 "Ohio House of Representatives: November 7, 2006". Ohio Secretary of State. 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  29. Fields, Reginald (2004-11-18). "Ohio House votes to require DNA tests for felons". The Plain Dealer. Newsbank. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
  30. "Steven L. Driehaus, Member". Member Details. Ohio House of Representatives. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
  31. "Hot House Races in 2008". Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  32. Giroux, Greg (2007-04-06). "Murtha, Putnam PACs Pitch in Early to Aid Colleagues' Campaigns". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  33. Quarterly, Congressional (2007-04-19). "Democrats Trying Again for Three Ohio Seats That Eluded Them in 2006". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  34. Brush, Silla (2007-04-11). "Democrats Optimistic on Midwest House Seats". U.S.News & World Report. U.S.News & World Report, L.P. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  35. 1 2 Quarterly, Congressional (2007-07-16). "U.S. House, 2008: Who Has Got the Money in the Midwest Races". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  36. Quarterly, Congressional (2007-07-13). "CQPolitics Campaign Money Watch". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  37. Downie, James and Marti Covington (2008-06-17). "Top 15 House and Senate Races to Watch: Ohio, 1st District". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  38. Skiba, Katherine (2008-03-12). "House Democrats Give Extra Help to 13 Challengers to GOP Incumbents". U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, L.P. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  39. Hulse, Carl and David M. Herszenhorn (2008-10-08). "G.O.P. Facing Tougher Battle for Congress". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  40. "2008 House Ratings". The Rothenberg Political Report. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  41. Survey USA poll of Ohio's 1st district, released September 22, 2008
  42. Jacobs, Jeremy P. (2009-02-06). "Chabot to Challenge Driehaus in 2010". The Hill. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
  43. Chuck Todd (2010-10-11). "Dems pull support from first House incumbent this cycle". First Read at NBC.
  44. O'Keefe, P.J. (2010-11-02). "Chabot defeats Driehaus in rematch". Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  45. "Chabot Claims Victory; Driehaus Concedes: Chabot Vows To Repeal Health Care Reform". WLWT. 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  46. "Rep. Driehaus files defamation lawsuit over SBA List's abortion funding claims",; accessed April 21, 2014.
  47. "Election Results". Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved December 28, 2008.
  48. O'Keefe, P.J. (2010-11-02). "Chabot defeats Driehaus in rematch". Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  49. "Driehaus moving to Africa". 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  50. "Nine New Peace Corps Country Directors Sworn In for Service". 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  51. O'Neill, Tom (2002-10-30). "Driehaus faces Ross in newly-created west-side district". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Newsbank. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  52. "Ohio House of Representatives Roundup". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Newsbank. 2008-11-05. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
Ohio House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jerry Luebbers
Ohio House of Representatives 33rd District
Succeeded by
Tyrone Yates
Preceded by
Catherine Barrett
Ohio House of Representatives 31st District
Succeeded by
Denise Driehaus
Political offices
Preceded by
Dale Miller
Minority Whip of the Ohio House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Fred Strahorn
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Steve Chabot
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Steve Chabot

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