Sue Kelly holds the distinction as being the only florist ever elected to the U.S. Congress. Out of necessity she started and ran three small businesses to work around the needs of raising her family. As a full time mother, wife, and entrepreneur, Sue chose to run for Congress only after all her children graduated from college. Her win was 'to the surprise of many' she said. Her ability to balance family and work while still pursuing her passions paid off. She served the state of New York and its Nineteenth Congressional District for 12 years from 1995 to 2007 in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Sue received her B.A. from Denison University in 1958 and an M.A. from Sarah Lawrence in 1985. She has worked in various health-related fields, including serving as a biomedical researcher at the Boston City Hospital and New England Institute for Medical Research, a patient advocate in the emergency room of St. Luke's Hospital in New York, and a certified New York ombudsman for nursing homes. After beginning her career in public service through health advocacy, she served as a campaign and district aid for her predecessor, Congressman Hamilton Fish Jr., as a campaign manager for Jon Fossel's State Assembly campaign, and also a member of the New York Republican Family Committee. She was an adjunct professor for the Graduate Program in Health Advocacy at Sarah Lawrence College. Sue has been married for 49 years to Edward W. Kelly. They have four children and eight grandchildren.