Deborah Pryce

Last updated
Deborah Pryce
Deborah Pryce.jpg
Chair of the House Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 2003 January 3, 2007
Deputy Jack Kingston
Leader Dennis Hastert
Preceded by J. C. Watts
Succeeded by Adam Putnam
Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 2001 January 3, 2003
Leader Dennis Hastert
Preceded by Tillie Fowler
Succeeded byJack Kingston
Secretary of the House Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 1999 January 3, 2001
Leader Dennis Hastert
Preceded by Tillie Fowler
Succeeded by Barbara Cubin
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Ohio's 15th district
In office
January 3, 1993 January 3, 2009
Preceded by Chalmers Wylie
Succeeded by Mary Jo Kilroy
Personal details
Born (1951-07-29) July 29, 1951 (age 69)
Warren, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education Ohio State University (BA)
Capital University (JD)

Deborah Denine Pryce [1] (born July 29, 1951) is an American politician from Ohio who was the member of the United States House of Representatives for Ohio's 15th congressional district, which includes the western half of Columbus and the surrounding suburbs, from 1993 to 2009. She is a Republican.


Education and early career

Born in Warren, Ohio, Pryce is a 1973 graduate of Ohio State University, where she was a member of Alpha Xi Delta. In 1976, she graduated from Capital University Law School.

Pryce was an administrative law judge for the Ohio State Department of Insurance for 1976–1978. From 1978 to 1985 she worked for the city of Columbus, Ohio, first as an assistant city prosecutor, then as a senior assistant city attorney, and finally as an assistant city manager.

Pryce was a judge in the Franklin County Municipal Court from 1985 to 1992, ending as presiding judge.

Congressional career

Pryce was first elected to the U.S. House in November 1992. Until the election of 2006, she was the Chair of the House Republican Conference, which is the fourth-highest Republican position in the United States House of Representatives. This position has been held by J. C. Watts, Dick Cheney and Jack Kemp, among others. She also served as a deputy Republican whip.

Pryce was a member of the House Committee on Financial Services and was ranking minority member of the Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government-Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee. She returned to the committee after spending ten years on the House Rules Committee.

Pryce is a fiscally and socially conservative Republican, although she was a member of multiple center right groups such as the Republican Main Street Partnership, Republicans For Environmental Protection, the Republican Majority For Choice, Republicans for Choice and The Wish List (a pro-choice women's group). She does not favor banning abortion, saying "the Government should not interfere in decisions a woman makes about her pregnancy."

In November 2006, when asked about the war in Iraq, Pryce ended an interview with CNN by walking away. In a statement later issued to CNN, Pryce said: "What's happening in Iraq is not a direct reflection on me." The statement also said that "I voted to give the president the authority to use force in Iraq; that doesn't mean I'm always happy with what I see, but I can think of nothing worse for our troops or our prospects for success than having 435 members of Congress second-guessing our commanders." [2]

Pryce voted to make the United States Environmental Protection Agency a cabinet department, to expedite forest thinning projects, and to de-authorize "critical habitat" designated by the Endangered Species Act. [3] The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has named her to its "Dirty Dozen" list of environmentally irresponsible federal officeholders; the organization gave Pryce an environmental score of 13 out of 100 for 2006 and 16 out of 100 for her career record. [4] LCV also criticized Price for accepting more than $90,000 from oil and gas companies and for voting in accordance with energy interests. [5]

Votes in the 110th Congress

Formerly in charge of keeping GOP House members in line with the party's message, Pryce appeared in early 2007 to be changing her voting record, according to The Washington Post, on January 14, 2007: "After narrowly escaping defeat in November, the swing-district Republican bolted from her party's leadership last year. Last week, she virtually bolted from the party. With just one exception, Pryce sided with the new Democratic majority on every major bill and rule change that came to a vote in the past two weeks, even voting against her party on a procedural vote, a move considered heretical in the years of GOP control."

However, on the topic of Iraq, which the House discussed in detail in winter and early spring of 2007, Pryce sided firmly with her Republican colleagues, supporting Ohio Republican congressman John Boehner's H.R. 1062, "holding the Administration and the Iraqi government accountable for progress in the prosecution of the war in Iraq." The bill "requires the President to submit a status report to Congress every 30 days detailing the success of the recent 21,500 troop increase and the extent to which the Iraqi government is cooperating with the US stability efforts. It also creates a bipartisan panel to study proposals from relevant committees, the executive branch, and private sector entities concerning the development of US policy and strategy in Iraq."

During her successful 2006 campaign to retain her seat, Pryce distanced herself from the Bush administration by stating on CNN radio that, "What's happening in Iraq is not a direct reflection on me."


In her first election in 1992, Pryce won in a three-way race in which an independent conservative, pro-life candidate, Linda Reidelbach, received almost 20% of the vote; Pryce got slightly over 45%. Between 1994 and 2002, Pryce won with at least 2/3 of the vote each election.

In the 2004 Republican party primary, Pryce defeated Charles R. Morrison II, 84%–16%. She won the general election with 62% of the vote, defeating Democrat Mark P. Brown. She had previously defeated Brown in the November 2002 election.

2006 race

In the November 2006 general election, Pryce faced Democratic Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy .

The race in Ohio's 15th district gained significant national attention as one of a handful of seats that Democrats had an opportunity to gain from Republicans. In mid-October 2006, the race was generally considered to be a toss-up largely due to Pryce's high-ranking post in the Republican leadership [6] [7] as well as the strong anti-Republican mood in Ohio. The 15th had long been considered the more Republican of the two districts that divide Columbus but had become slightly less Republican as a result of the 2000 round of redistricting.

In an article titled "Pork No Longer Paves the Way to Reelection," the Amherst Times cited Deborah Pryce as a counterexample of that thesis:

"[In] several races... the ability to bring home hundreds of federal projects might have made enough of a difference to withstand a Democratic tide. Representative Deborah Pryce of Ohio, the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, issued dozens of news releases over the last 18 months boasting of the projects she brought home to a district that is considered evenly divided between the two parties[:] $2.27 million to convert a mountain of garbage into a green energy center, $1.1 million to help keep residents of a fast-growing suburb from having to pay more in user fees for a new sewage system, and the latest installment in $2.7 million in federal disbursements to 'evaluate freeze-dried berries for their ability to inhibit cancer'.... [At one point] Ms. Pryce's district stood to get the largest single earmark in Ohio—$1.75 million for a health research institute. In total, the Columbus area lined up about $4.5 million in special money.... By comparison, Portland, Ore.—a similar-sized metropolitan area with no contested Congressional seats—was to receive $625,000 in earmarks."

Two debates were held for the 2006 congressional race. The first took place September 18 [8] and the second was held on October 12. [9] [10] In the first debate Pryce and her challenger, Kilroy discussed the war in Iraq, the war on terror, taxes, social security, the federal deficit and President Bush.

The second debate was marked by a more heated exchange from both participants. Kilroy referred to Pryce as a "right-wing apologist" and said that "Deborah Pryce continues to distort my record." [10] Pryce countered by describing her opponent as a "far left fringe Democrat" and said that Kilroy, "spews lies and misinformation." [10] The debate was attended by 400 people at the Ohio State University Fawcett Center and reporters from as far away as Ireland.

Pryce received a number of endorsements for the 15th District race in 2006, including: the Business and Professional Women, the Franklin County Republican Party, Union County Republican Party Executive Committee, National Federation of Independent Business, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Fraternal Order of Police. The Human Rights Campaign gave a dual endorsement to both Pryce and her opponent, Kilroy.

Pryce's 2006 race against Kilroy was very close, as she held a lead of 3,536 votes after an initial count. Complete tallies found Pryce winning rural Madison and Union counties but losing her portion of Franklin County (urban Columbus) by several thousand votes. Pryce ended Election Night 1,055 votes ahead of Kilroy, but the difference was within a half-percentage point, which triggered an automatic recount under Ohio law.

After the mandatory recount resulted in 110,739 Pryce votes to 109,677 for Kilroy, Pryce was certified the winner.


On August 16, 2007, Pryce announced she would not run for a ninth term, citing a desire to spend more time with her daughter and aging parents. [11]

Pryce's term ended on January 3, 2009. Price was succeeded by Mary Jo Kilroy, who had lost to her two years before.

In 2013, Pryce was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case. [12]

See also

Related Research Articles

Anne Northup Kentucky politician

Anne Meagher Northup is an American Republican politician and educator from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. From 1997 to 2007, she represented the Louisville-centered 3rd congressional district of Kentucky in the United States House of Representatives, where she served on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. She lost reelection to Democrat John Yarmuth in the 2006 election. She then ran for governor, losing by 15 points to embattled Governor of Kentucky Ernie Fletcher in the Republican primary election for the 2007 Kentucky gubernatorial election. Prior to her election to the United States House of Representatives, Northup had served in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Deborah K. Ross

Deborah Ross née Koff is an American lawyer and politician who is the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 2nd congressional district, based in the state capital of Raleigh. Ross previously served as a Democratic member of the North Carolina House of Representatives representing the state's thirty-eighth and then thirty-fourth House district, including much of northern Raleigh and surrounding suburbs in Wake County.

Steve Chabot American politician

Steven Joseph Chabot is an American politician and lawyer who has been the United States Representative for Ohio's 1st congressional district since 2011. Chabot, a member of the Republican Party, previously represented the district from 1995 to 2009.

Joyce Beatty U.S. Representative from Ohio

Joyce Marie Beatty is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 3rd congressional district since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously was the Senior Vice-President for Outreach and Engagement at Ohio State University. Beatty was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1999 to 2008, representing the 27th district; during her tenure, she served for a time as minority leader. Her husband is Otto Beatty Jr., who is also a former Ohio State Representative.

2006 United States House of Representatives elections House elections for the 110th U.S. Congress

The 2006 United States House of Representatives elections were held on November 7, 2006, to elect members to the United States House of Representatives. It took place in the middle of President George W. Bush's second term in office. All 435 seats of the House were up for election. Those elected served in the 110th United States Congress from January 3, 2007, until January 3, 2009. The incumbent majority party, the Republicans, had won majorities in the House consecutively since 1994, and were defeated by the Democrats who won a majority in the chamber, ending 12 years of Republican control in the House.

Jean Schmidt

Jeannette Mary Schmidt is an American politician who is a state representative in Ohio's 65th district. She was a U.S. Representative for Ohio's 2nd congressional district, serving from 2005 to 2013. She is a member of the Republican Party.

2005 Ohios 2nd congressional district special election

On August 2, 2005, elections were held in Ohio's 2nd congressional district to choose a United States Representative to replace Rob Portman, who had resigned his seat in April to become United States Trade Representative. Jean Schmidt, the Republican Party candidate, defeated Democrat Paul Hackett, in a surprisingly close election as the district has not elected a Democrat since Tom Luken won a 1974 special election.

Paul Hackett (politician)

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Lewis Hackett III is a lawyer and veteran of the Iraq War who unsuccessfully sought election to the United States Congress from the Second District of Ohio in the August 2, 2005, special election. Hackett, a Democrat, narrowly lost to Republican Jean Schmidt, a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives, providing the best showing in the usually solidly Republican district by any Democrat since the 1974 election. Hackett's campaign attracted national attention and substantial expenditures by both parties. It was viewed by some observers as the first round of the 2006 elections. In October 2005, Hackett said he would seek the Democratic nomination in 2006 to challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Mike DeWine; however, he dropped out of the race on February 14, 2006, and said that he would return to his law practice.

Steve Stivers American politician

Steven Ernst Stivers is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 15th congressional district since 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party, and became chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2017. Stivers previously served in the Ohio Senate, representing the 15th district. He is a brigadier general in the Ohio Army National Guard and served active duty in Iraq as Battalion Commander until December 2005.

2008 United States House of Representatives elections House elections for the 111th U.S. Congress

The 2008 United States House of Representatives elections were held on November 4, 2008, to elect members to the United States House of Representatives to serve in the 111th United States Congress from January 3, 2009, until January 3, 2011. It coincided with the election of Barack Obama as President. All 435 voting seats, as well as all 6 non-voting seats, were up for election. The Democratic Party, which won a majority of seats in the 2006 election, expanded its control in 2008. The Republican Party, hoping to regain the majority it lost in the 2006 election or at least expand its congressional membership, lost additional seats. With one exception, the only seats to switch from Democratic to Republican had been Republican-held prior to the 2006 elections. Republicans gained five Democratic seats total, while losing 26 of their own, giving the Democrats a net gain of 21 seats, effectively erasing all gains made by the GOP since 1994.

2006 Ohios 2nd congressional district election

The Ohio 2nd congressional district election, 2006 is an election for the United States House of Representatives that took place on November 7, 2006. Incumbent Jean Schmidt, who won the seat in a special election in 2005, ran for reelection. She faced Democrat Victoria Wells Wulsin, a doctor from Indian Hill, in the general election. Results showed that Schmidt won reelection by 1.26%, and Wulsin conceded the race.

Mary Jo Kilroy

Mary Jo Kilroy is the former U.S. Representative for Ohio's 15th congressional district, serving from 2009 until 2011. She is a member of the Democratic Party from Ohio. In her first term she introduced a bill to lend $20 million per year to small businesses (HR5322) and an amendment to assign liability to credit reporting agencies. She also contributed to legislation on executive pay. She was defeated in her November 2, 2010 re-election bid. In 2012 she ran in the newly redrawn, Columbus-based 3rd congressional district but lost in the primary.

Sue W. Kelly

Sue Weisenbarger Kelly is an American businesswoman and politician who served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 2007, representing New York's 19th District. She was elected to the seat that had been held by Republican Hamilton Fish IV after he dropped out of the 1994 race due to prostate cancer. Kelly defeated his son, Hamilton Fish V, in that race and served until John Hall defeated her in the 2006 congressional election.

2008 United States House of Representatives elections in Kentucky

The 2008 congressional elections in Kentucky were held on November 4, 2008 to determine who would represent the state of Kentucky in the United States House of Representatives. Kentucky has six seats in the House, apportioned according to the 2000 United States Census. Representatives are elected for two-year terms; those elected will serve in the 111th Congress from January 4, 2009 until January 3, 2011. The election coincides with the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

2008 United States House of Representatives elections in Ohio

The 2008 congressional elections in Ohio were held on November 4, 2008 and determined who will represent the state of Ohio in the United States House of Representatives. The primary election was held on March 4, 2008.

2010 United States House of Representatives elections in Ohio

The 2010 congressional elections in Ohio was held on November 2, 2010. Ohio had eighteen seats in the United States House of Representatives, and all eighteen incumbent Representatives were seeking re-election in 2010. The election was held on the same day as many other Ohio elections, and the same day as House of Representatives elections in other states.

Linda Reidelbach is a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives, who served six years.

Brad Wenstrup

Brad Robert Wenstrup is an American politician, U.S. Army Reserve officer, and Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, who has been the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 2nd congressional district since 2013. A Republican, he upset incumbent U.S. Representative Jean Schmidt to win the 2012 Republican primary election.

2020 United States House of Representatives elections in Ohio Upcoming House elections in Ohio

The 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in Ohio was held on November 3, 2020, to elect the 16 U.S. Representatives from the state of Ohio, one from each of the state's 16 congressional districts. The elections coincided with the 2020 U.S. presidential election, as well as other elections to the House of Representatives, elections to the United States Senate and various state and local elections.

2018 Ohios 12th congressional district special election

A special election for Ohio's 12th congressional district was held August 7, 2018, following the resignation of Republican U.S. Representative Pat Tiberi. The Republican Party nominated State Senator Troy Balderson for the seat while the Democratic Party nominated Franklin County Recorder Danny O'Connor. Balderson led O'Connor in preliminary results; however, the race was not officially called on election night. Counting of outstanding ballots began on August 18 and was completed on August 24. The outstanding ballots did not change the margin enough to trigger an automatic recount, so Balderson was declared the winner on August 24.


  2. Lisa Godard, "Leading House Republican: Iraq not a reflection on me", CNN, November 2, 2006
  3. "Deborah Pryce on Environment". Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  4. LCV Scorecard Archived November 1, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  5. LCV Press Release Archived 2007-10-07 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Giroux, Greg (October 13, 2006). "Pryce's Role in GOP Leadership Contributes to Race's Tossup Status". The New York Times .
  7. Tumulty, Karen (October 16, 2006). "CampaCampaign '06: No Politics Is Local in Ohio". .
  8. James Nash, Pryce, Kilroy trade jabs on Iraq, Bush, tax cuts [ permanent dead link ], (report on the first of two debates scheduled) Columbus Dispatch , Sept. 19, 2006
  9. Ohio News Network , "Kilroy, Pryce Square Off in Debate", (includes video clips) October 13, 2006
  10. 1 2 3 Darrel Rowland, "Sparks fly as Kilroy, Pryce spar", Columbus Dispatch , October 13, 2006 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  11. Pryce Announces Retirement from Congress. Congresswoman Deborah Pryce. August 16, 2007. Archived from the original Archived December 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine on December 5, 2008.
  12. Avlon, John (28 February 2013). "The Pro-Freedom Republicans Are Coming: 131 Sign Gay Marriage Brief" . Retrieved 25 July 2018 via
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Chalmers Wylie
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 15th congressional district

Succeeded by
Mary Jo Kilroy
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tillie Fowler
Secretary of the House Republican Conference
Succeeded by
Barbara Cubin
Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference
Succeeded by
Jack Kingston
Preceded by
J. C. Watts
Chair of the House Republican Conference
Succeeded by
Adam Putnam