BONO, Mary, (wife of former astronaut and Rear Admiral Steve Oswald, USN-Ret. and widow of Congressman Sonny Bono and former wife of Connie Mack IV, elected under the name Mary Bono Mack in the One Hundred Eleventh and one succeeding Congress), a Representative from California; born Mary Whitaker in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, October 24, 1961; B.A., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.; restaurant business owner and manager.
Mary was first elected as a Republican to the One Hundred Fifth Congress, by special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of her husband, United States Representative Sonny Bono, reelected to the seven succeeding Congresses (April 7, 1998-January 3, 2013); unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress in 2012. Mary was the first Republican woman to chair a subcommittee on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Upon leaving Congress, Mary was recruited to join the international law firm Faegre Baker Daniels as a consultant in their Washington DC office. She has developed a robust practice advising businesses and other entities nationwide on legislative, regulatory and policy matters.
In Congress, Mary was known for her skill and passion for building bipartisan consensus and developing win-win solutions that benefitted all parties. As a result, legislation she authored was signed into law by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. At Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, Mary utilizes the same results-focused approach to help organizations achieve their policy objectives. She has particular expertise in the telecommunications, energy, health care, land management and water policy sectors.
Mary is well known for her willingness to step to the forefront of the nationwide fight against prescription drug abuse. While in Congress, she co-founded the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse. She continues to be instrumental in promoting drug addiction treatment and recovery through legislative advocacy, communications strategy and education of health care professionals. Her civic duties include:
· Council for a Strong America — Senior Policy Council Member
· Bipartisan Policy Center Task Force on Paid Family Leave — Co-Chair
· Faces and Voices of Recovery — Board Member
· Former Members of Congress Association — Board Member
· PGA REACH — Board of Trustees (2015-2017)
· Navy Seal Foundation — Tribute Committee
· Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America — Board Member
· Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse— Co-Founder, Honorary Chairman
· Palm Springs International Film Festival — Honorary Chair (1998-2014)