Vivian Houghton graduated
from the University of Delaware in 1976 and from the Delaware Law School at
Widener College in 1979. She is a member of both the Delaware and Maryland
Bars. Additionally, she is admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Houghton has run her own
Wilmington law practice since 1981. During this time she also worked as a
Public Defender for eight years, representing both juveniles and adults.
Regarding voting rights, she has filed and won three suits pertaining to unfair
election practices against the Delaware Election Commission.
In 2001 Delaware Today
named Houghton one of the state’s top lawyers.
Other biographical facts
Houghton was born in
Hedgeville, a Polish-immigrant section of Wilmington, Delaware, in 1942.
After high school
Houghton got married and had her only child, a daughter, Lucia.
The marriage ended in divorce.
Houghton worked her
way through college by holding a series of full-time waitressing jobs.
Growing up in a
working-class community, and then later living the life of a single mother,
motivated Houghton to become not only a lawyer but also a grassroots
activist who fought for people’s rights in a variety of areas.
An early believer in
women’s rights, Houghton led NOW’s state-wide fight against the
cancellation of Delaware's ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and
for Pay Equity for women.
In the 1980s and
1990s, Houghton combined her feminist interest in issues like reproductive
rights and comparable worth with other issues of concern to her:
racial inequality, industrial pollution, and the economic plight of working
class people and the low income.
Before breaking with
the Democratic Party in the early 1990s, Houghton managed ten successful
Democratic Party campaigns for reformers who ran for public office.
In 2000, Houghton was
elected to the Delaware Green Party’s State Coordinating Committee.
April 29, 2002 Houghton announced her candidacy for Delaware Attorney