At a Glance
- Career History: North Carolina Superior Court, (1988-2001), (2002-04); North Carolina Supreme Court, (2001-2002); Practicing attorney, (1974-1988)
- Birthday: April 27, 1947
- Hometown: Wilson, North Carolina
- Alma Mater: North Carolina Central University, B.A. 1971; J.D. 1974
- Spouse: Divorced
- Religion: Baptist
- Committees: Energy and Commerce ; Ethics
- DC Office: 413 Cannon House Office Building, 202-225-3101
- State/District Office: WIlson, 252-237-9816; Weldon, 252-538-4123
- Web site
Path to Power
Butterfield wsas born in 1947 in Wilson, N.C., where his African-American family broke political barriers.
Butterfield's father, G.K. Butterfield Sr., was a dentist from Bermuda and elected a Wilson city alderman in 1953. "It sent shock waves not only through Wilson, but through the state," the younger Butterfield would say decades later. "The shivers that ran down the spine of the white power structure, set us on our course." Butterfield Sr. was defeated in 1957 after the other aldermen changed the city's structure from ward-based to at-large elections to shut out the possibility of a black candidate's win.
A reliable Democrat, Butterfield voted with House Democrats 97 percent of the time during the 111th Congress.
In 2009, The News & Observer reported that Butterfield and two other North Carolina Democrats, Brad Miller and Mike McIntyre, began voting a stricter line on issues related to Cuba after receiving campaign funds in 2004 from the country's largest Cuban-American political action committee. "My position fully galvanized after learning the extent of repression and suffering in Cuba," Butterfield said about his shift, adding that lifting sanctions would bolster the dictatorship.
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) credited Butterfield with playing an important role in his 2006 campaign to become the majority whip.
Butterfield is close friends with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.