Hailing from Wilson, North Carolina, Butterfield has dedicated numerous years of service to both his state and country in various roles.
Congressman Butterfield served on the influential Commerce & Energy Committee for the majority of his congressional career, addressing consumer protection, environmental concerns, telecommunications, healthcare, renewable energy, and energy distribution issues that span multiple jurisdictions.
To advance the legislative goals of the Caucus, Butterfield collaborated with the Democratic leadership in shaping policy as a component of the Whip operation. Congressman Butterfield assumed the role of Senior Chief Deputy Whip, working alongside his lifelong friend, Congressman Jim Clyburn.
Congressman Butterfield was unanimously chosen as the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 114th Congress in November 2014. Butterfield, in his role as chairman, collaborated with President Barack Obama and his administration on legislation aimed at tackling poverty, income disparity, and various other matters pertaining to economic fairness.
Additionally, Chairman Butterfield traveled across the country and delivered numerous speeches to his caucus. Throughout his time in office, he played a crucial role in spearheading the efforts to pass legislation that would update the formula outlined in Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Under his guidance, Butterfield assisted in the recruitment of qualified African Americans for nomination to the federal bench. Moreover, with its influential power, CBC Tech 2020 was also utilized to promote meaningful partnerships between corporations and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Butterfield established “CBC Tech 2020” as a means to encourage Fortune 500 companies to diversify their Boards of Directors and include African Americans in senior c-Suite positions. Furthermore,
During his 18 years in Congress, Representative Butterfield has championed many important bipartisan issues, including legislation to recognize the North Carolina Lumbee Indian Tribe as a means of promoting minority broadcast opportunities and to restore the Certificate Tax Minority. He has also championed legislation to address rare pediatric diseases and expand America’s rural high-speed broadband infrastructure, among other significant measures.
North Carolina has 46 counties, and Judge Butterfield presided over both criminal and civil courts in the Superior Court as a Resident Judge. He was elected in 1988 before his election to Congress as a Congressman from North Carolina. Prior to that, he was engaged in private law practice in Wilson, North Carolina, with the legendary firm of Wynn & Butterfield, Fitch.
On July 20, 2004, he effectively campaigned for Congress in a unique election until he assumed the role of Special Superior Court judge, chosen by Governor Easley after being defeated in the 2002 general election to keep his Supreme Court position in a biased, statewide election. In instances concerning judicial sentencing procedures, eminent domain, and the implementation of capital punishment, he wrote over 15 opinions during his two-year tenure on the Court as Associate Justice selected by Governor Michael Easley, in 2001, on the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Congressman Butterfield has been a licensed attorney for 47 years and has received numerous honorary doctorate degrees, as well as many distinguished awards and citations. He graduated from the NCCU Law School in 1974 with a Juris Doctor degree. Congressman Butterfield also holds a degree in Sociology and Political Science from the University of North Carolina Central.
E-4 Specialist Personnel served in the U.S. Army from 1968-1970. Congressman Butterfield is a lifelong member of First Chapel Baptist Church in Jackson. Congressman Butterfield is married to Dr. Sylvia Butterfield, who serves as the Assistant Deputy Director for Education STEM at the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Education (EDU).
Congressman Butterfield is the proud parent of three accomplished daughters and four young grandsons.