ROBERT TAKEO MATSUI (松井 ロバート武男, Matsui Robāto Takeo)
(September 17, 1941 – January 1, 2005 ) was an American politician
from the state of
California . Matsui was a member of the Democratic
Party and served in the U.S. House of Representatives as the
congressman for California\'s 5th congressional district until his
death midway through his 14th consecutive term. The Robert T. Matsui
United States Courthouse is named in his honor.
* 1 Early life
* 2 Political career
* 3 Personal life
* 4 Death
* 5 Succession by his wife
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links
Japanese American , Matsui was born in Sacramento,
California , and was six months old when he and his family were taken
from Sacramento and interned by the U.S. government at the Tule Lake
War Relocation Center in 1942.
Matsui graduated from the
University of California, Berkeley , in
1963 with a BA in political science, and then graduated from Hastings
College of Law in 1966. He founded his own Sacramento law practice in
In 1971 Matsui was elected to the
Sacramento City Council . He won
re-election in 1975, and became vice mayor of the city in 1977.
In 1978, Matsui ran for the Democratic nomination in what was then
the 3rd District after 12-term incumbent
John E. Moss
John E. Moss announced his
retirement. He won a five-way Democratic primary with 36 percent of
the vote, besting a field that included State Assemblyman Eugene
Gualco and Sacramento Mayor Phil Isenberg .
He defeated Republican Sandy Smolley with 53 percent of the vote. He
would never face another contest nearly that close in what has long
been the most Democratic district in interior California, and would be
reelected 13 times. After his initial contest, he never dropped below
68 percent of the vote. He was reelected in 1982 with no major-party
opposition, and was unopposed in 1984. His district was renumbered as
the 5th District after the 1990 Census. Congressman Bob Matsui
with Geraldine Ferraro and Tom Hsieh at the 1984 Democratic National
Convention in San Francisco.
In 1988, Matsui succeeded in helping pass the Civil Liberties Act of
1988 , which produced an official apology from the Federal government
World War II
World War II internment program and offered token compensation
to victims. He was also instrumental in the designation of Manzanar
internment camp as a national historic site and in obtaining land in
Washington, D.C. for the memorial to Japanese-American patriotism in
World War II.
He was a chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
, ranking member of the
United States House Committee on Ways and
Means , and third-ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee .
During his term he was noted for his staunch opposition to
privatization of Social Security . He had a mostly liberal voting
record having opposed the Defense of Marriage Act, the ban on
partial-birth abortions, and the Private Securities and Litigations
In what would be his last election, 2004 , he faced Republican Mike
Dugas and easily won a 14th term with 71.4% of the vote, compared to
Dugas' 23.4%. Opponents Pat Driscoll (Green Party ) and John Reiger
(Peace and Freedom Party ), won 3.4% and 1.8% of the vote,
respectively. (DCCC chairs are chosen in part because they are not
expected to face serious competition for re-election.)
He was married to the former Doris Okada who, until December 1998,
worked as deputy assistant to the President and Deputy Director of
Public Liaison for President
Bill Clinton , leaving to become senior
advisor and director of government relations at the firm of Collier
Shannon Scott, PLLC before winning election to her late husband's
seat. The Matsuis had one son, Brian, who received his undergraduate
and law degrees from
Stanford University .
Bethesda Naval Hospital
Bethesda Naval Hospital on December 24, 2004 with
pneumonia . It was a complication from
Myelodysplastic syndrome , a
rare stem cell disorder that causes an inability of the bone marrow to
produce blood products, such as red blood cells , white blood cells
and platelets . He died of pneumonia on January 1, 2005.
SUCCESSION BY HIS WIFE
In the special election held on March 8, 2005 to fill the vacant 5th
Congressional District seat, Matsui's widow Doris won with more than
68 percent of the vote. She was sworn in on March 10, 2005.
* List of Asian Americans and Pacific Islands Americans in the
United States Congress
* List of
United States Congress members who died in office
* ^ A B C D "Biographical Directory of the
United States Congress".
Library of Congress. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
* ^ A B "Congressman dies of rare disease". CNN.com. 2005-01-03.
* ^ "The Voter\'s Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved 13
* ^ A B C D "Official biography". Archived from the original on
December 8, 2004. Retrieved 2017-04-18. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url
status unknown (link ) , house.gov/matsui; retrieved January 9, 2007.
* ^ 1978 Democratic primary results in California\'s 3rd
congressional district, Ourcampaigns.com; accessed January 13, 2018.
* ^ "Our Campaigns - CA District 3 Race - Nov 07, 1978".
Ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
* ^ "Our Campaigns - Candidate - Robert T. Matsui".
Ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
* ^ "General Election results, U.S. Congressional district 5".
California Secretary of State. 2004-12-07. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
* ^ Harris, Gardiner (13 January 2018). "Representative Robert T.
Matsui, 63, Dies". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
* ^ "
Special Election Results,
United States Congress, District 5"
California Secretary of State. 2005-03-08. Archived from the
original (pdf) on 2006-12-15. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
* ^ Doris Matsui\'s official biography Archived December 27, 2006,
Wayback Machine ., retrieved on January 9, 2007