Jeff Denham (R-Calif.)

U.S. Representative (since 2011)

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Why He Matters

Denham, a California state senator who touted his conservative values and 16-year military career, was unexpectedly recruited in 2010 by Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.) to replace him at a critical juncture for Republicans seeking to grab control of the U.S. House.

Radanovich, who did not seek a ninth term to be with his dying wife, said he was looking for a candidate who could keep the 19th Congressional District seat in Republican hands without spending a lot of money. Denham, also a business owner and almond rancher, showed his political resiliency and voter confidence in 2008 when he overcame a recall pushed by Democrats after a budget battle.

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GOP push for immigration reform thwarted

A committee chairman says he’ll keep two GOP-written immigration proposals out of a must-pass defense policy bill.


New GOP push for immigration reform blocked

(Evan Vucci / AP)

Committee chairman says he’ll keep GOP-written proposals out of a must-pass defense policy bill.

GOP Rep. Jeff Denham voices support for Senate immigration bill

Denham said the reason the bill won't come to a vote "probably has a lot more to do with politics than policy."

Second House Republican signs on to Democratic immigration plan

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) signed on as a co-sponsor to the proposal Tuesday morning, a spokesman said.

Congress united on one topic: Pets are cute

Republicans and Democrats might not agree on much except for their furry friends.


Jeff Denham (R-Calif.)

U.S. Representative (since 2011)


At a Glance

  • Career History: State senator (2002-2011); Owner, almond ranch (2004-2011); U.S. Air Force (1984-2000); Project manager, Fresh Express (1992-1998); Owner, Denham Plastics (1998-present);
  • Birthday: July 29, 1967
  • Hometown: Atwater, Calif.
  • Alma Mater: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (1991)
  • Spouse: Sonia Denham
  • Religion: Presbyterian
  • Committees: Transportation and Infrastructure , the Natural Resources Committee , and the House Veterans' Affairs Committee
  • DC Office: 1605 Longworth HOBWashington, DC 20515Phone: (202) 225-4540
  • District Office: 1040 E Herndon Avenue #201Fresno, CA 93720Phone: (559) 449-2490
  • Web site

Path To Power

Denham was born July 29, 1967, to teenage parents near Los Angeles, but spent most of his childhood in Pescadero in northern California. His mother worked for car dealerships and his father had a series of jobs as a farmer, construction worker and meat cutter.

Military Service

After Denham's parents divorced while he was in high school, he spent much of his time with his grandparents. At 17, Denham joined the Air Force, following the influence of his grandfather who had served in World War II and the Korean War. He was on active duty for nearly four years before he joined the Air Force Reserves, where he continued his job to prepare and maintain aircraft.

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The Issues

As a California lawmaker for eight years, Denham said he has the experience and conservative record needed to represent the district in Washington.

The Economy

He said the biggest issue Congress needs to tackle is the national debt.

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The Network

Retiring Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.) diligently campaigned for Denham throughout the rough-and-tumble 2010 primary. "My first concern when looking for a qualified candidate to support was an ability to keep this district in Republican hands without having to spend large amounts of funds," he said.

Denham pledged his support to Republicans, helping to raise money for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "He's demonstrating to the caucus that he's interested in being a team player," said Ted Maness, Radanovich's chief of staff. "He does realize that he has an obligation as an incoming member."

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