John Shimkus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Shimkus
Rep. John Shimkus.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 15th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Tim Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from 's 19th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by David D. Phelps
Succeeded by District Eliminated
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from 's 20th district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Richard J. Durbin
Succeeded by District Eliminated
Personal details
Born John Mondy Shimkus
(1958-02-21) February 21, 1958 (age 56)
Collinsville, Illinois
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Karen Shimkus
Residence Collinsville, Illinois
Alma mater US Military Academy, Concordia University Irvine, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Occupation High school teacher
Religion Lutheran - LCMS
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service active 1980-1986, reserves 1986-2008
Rank Lieutenant Colonel

John Mondy Shimkus (born February 21, 1958) is the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 15th congressional district, since 1997. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district was numbered as the 20th from 1997 to 2003 and the 19th from 2003 to 2013.

The district includes much of the southern portion of the state, taking in part of Springfield and a portion of the Metro-East, which is the Illinois side of the St. Louis area.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Shimkus is a lifelong resident of Collinsville, a suburb of St. Louis. He is the son of Kathleen N. (née Mondy) and Gene L. Shimkus. His paternal grandfather was of Lithuanian descent.[1] While in the Army, he earned the Expert Infantry Badge, Ranger tab, and Parachutist Badge as well as served overseas with the 54th Infantry Regiment in West Germany.[2]

He first ran for office in 1989, when he was elected a Collinsville Township trustee. A year later, he was elected as Madison County treasurer.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Committee assignments[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Food safety[edit]

Shimkus has recently[when?] been a proponent of legislation to increase the ability of the Food and Drug Administration to institute recalls of tainted foods. He has served as one of the chief Republican negotiators on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which was recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Of the bill, he said: "When you're talking about the health and safety of folks, if the FDA has enough evidence to make a declaration of recall, I think that most Americans would support the government having that authority."[3]

Climate Change[edit]

Shimkus rejects the human-induced theory of climate change and opposes emissions trading legislation. On March 25, 2009, in introductory remarks made to Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, during a United States House Energy Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing, he made the following statement regarding the role of carbon dioxide in global warming:

"It's plant food ... So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere? ... So all our good intentions could be for naught. In fact, we could be doing just the opposite of what the people who want to save the world are saying."[4]

He then quoted the Bible in attempting to allay concerns of global warming induced rise in sea levels, stating that God had promised mankind through Noah that the earth would never again be destroyed by a flood.[5] He acknowledged that climate change is real, but questioned the benefit of spending taxpayer money on something that cannot be changed versus the changes that have been occurring forever.[6]

2006 Mark Foley scandal[edit]

Earlier official photo of Shimkus

Shimkus said "that in late-2005 he learned--through information passed along by Alexander's office--about an e-mail exchange in which Foley asked about the youngster's well-being after Hurricane Katrina and requested a photograph."[7]

Keystone pipeline[edit]

In May 2013, Shimkus stated he wants to renew his support for the Keystone pipeline. The project would be an oil pipeline, bringing Canadian crude oil through the Midwest—through Illinois. As a supporter, he stated that he would rather see Canada as an energy partner than ship in oil from overseas.[8]

Political campaigns[edit]

In 1992, while still serving as Madison County treasurer, he won the Republican nomination in what was then the 20th District. He was defeated by 10-year Democratic incumbent Dick Durbin.

Four years later, Durbin gave up the seat to make what would be a successful run for the United States Senate. Shimkus won a crowded six-way primary, and faced State Representative Jay C. Hoffman in a close general election for U.S. Representative in the then 20th Congressional District of Illinois, which Shimkus won.

He has only faced one credible opponent since his initial reelection, in 2002. That year, Illinois lost a district as a result of the 2000 census, and his district was merged with the 19th District of two-term Democratic representative David D. Phelps. The new district retained Phelps' district number, but geographically and demographically was more Shimkus' district, as he retained 60 percent of his former territory. The campaign was very bitter, with both men accusing the other's staffers of stalking their families.[9] Despite a Democratic wave that swept through most of the state, he was reelected.

He announced in September 2005, that he would run for reelection in 2008, despite making a pledge[10] when first elected in 1996 not to stay in office for more than 12 years.

FEC records show that the John S. Fund, the PAC for Shimkus, contributed to former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in 2005. The fund also made contributions to Peter Roskam, a Republican candidate for the House from Illinois's 6th district, from 2005 to 2008 and to David McSweeney, a Republican candidate for the House from Illinois's 8th district, in 2006.[11][12][13] Recently the funds treasurer, lobbyist Mark Valente, resigned. Shimkus earlier said he was considering removing Valente, but he didn't want to act too quickly because it might suggest there was something improper about their relationship.[14]

Electoral history[edit]

The 20th district was disbanded after the 2000 census, which is why Shimkus faced David D. Phelps, incumbent of the 19th district, in the 2002 election.

Illinois's 20th congressional district: Results 1992, 1996–2000[15]
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
1992 Richard J. Durbin 154,869 57% John Shimkus 119,219 43%
1996 Jay C. Hoffman 119,688 50% John Shimkus 120,926 50% *
1998 Rick Verticchio 76,475 38% John Shimkus 121,103 61%
2000 Jeffrey S. Cooper 94,382 37% John Shimkus 161,393 63%
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1996, write-ins received 4 votes.
Illinois's 19th congressional district: Results 2002–2008[15]
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2002 David D. Phelps 110,517 45% John Shimkus 133,956 55%
2004 Tim Bagwell 94,303 31% John Shimkus 213,451 69%
2006 Danny L. Stover 92,861 39% John Shimkus 143,491 61%
2008 Daniel Davis 104,908 33% John Shimkus 202,373 64% Troy Dennis Green 6,654 2%
2010 Tim Bagwell 67,132 29% John Shimkus 166,166 71%

Personal life[edit]

He has been married to the former Karen Muth since 1987. They have three children. They are members of Holy Cross Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Collinsville.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard J. Durbin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 20th congressional district

1997–2003
District eliminated
Preceded by
David D. Phelps
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 19th congressional district

2003–present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Brad Sherman
D-California
United States Representatives by seniority
104th
Succeeded by
Adam Smith
D-Washington