Elizabeth Esty was born in Oak Park, Ill., and raised in Minnesota. She currently resides in Cheshire, Conn. She received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and a law degree from Yale University.
While in college she volunteered for Planned Parenthood.
Esty worked as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Robert Keetonin in the District of Massachusetts, before working as a private attorney at Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, D.C. She has said her work included writing legal briefs defending women's reproductive rights in several cases before the Supreme Court.
Esty also worked as an adjunct professor in the Justice, Law, and Society Program at American University. She also was a self-employed health care policy consultant.
She worked as a research scholar for Yale University, focusing on health care policy.
Esty served on the Cheshire Town Council and she served one term in the Connecticut House, from 2009 to 2011.
Esty and her husband, Dan, a Yale University professor and the commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection under Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy, have three children.
Elizabeth Esty emerged from a tough, three-way Democratic primary in 2012, claiming the nomination for Connecticut's 5th Congressional District seat by defeating the party's endorsed candidate, state House Speaker Chris Donovan. Incumbent Rep. Chris Murphy left the seat open when he decided to run for the U.S. Senate.
Donovan was originally the favorite to win the 2012 nomination, but his campaign became ensnared in a campaign financing scandal, resulting in the arrest of two former top campaign aides. Unlike the third candidate in the primary battle, Daniel Roberti, Esty did not call on Donovan to step down from the race.
Esty won one term to the Connecticut House in 2008, defeating incumbent Republican Al Adinolfi, 51 percent to 49 percent, but was ousted by Adinolfi in 2010.
Her defeat followed a highly publicized and brutal home invasion in Cheshire that left a woman and her two daughters dead. Adinolfi was a neighbor of the slain family and a strong proponent of the death penalty. Esty, a death penalty opponent, supported repealing the state's capital punishment law.
During her one term in the General Assembly, Esty, a Democrat, was considered fiscally moderate. She was among a group of House members who supported an alternative budget that cut state spending, mostly in education and human services. The proposal did not include a so-called millionaires' tax. Her support of that plan drew strong criticism from state unions, which originally backed Donovan. They pointed to how the plan included cutting dental coverage for poor adults. However, some unions endorsed Esty after the 2012 primary.
Esty also was criticized by liberal groups for voting against mandatory paid sick leave legislation. After the Connecticut Working Families Party endorsed Esty following Donovan's primary defeat, Esty said she was committed to passing federal paid sick leave legislation. She also voiced strong support for preserving Medicare and Social Security.
When accepting the organized labor-backed Working Families Party endorsement, which allows her to appear twice on the November ballot, she accused the Republican Party of "seeking to end Medicare's guarantee of health care coverage for seniors while protecting tax cuts for millionaires."
Esty has been a vocal advocate of women's reproductive rights. She was endorsed during the primary by the national abortion rights organization Emily's List.
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Elizabeth Esty won her August 2014 primary, she will face Mark Greenberg in November.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on August 13, 2014.)