Martin Hoke

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Martin R. Hoke
Hoke headshot.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 10th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Clarence E. Miller
Succeeded by Dennis Kucinich
Personal details
Born (1952-05-18) May 18, 1952 (age 63)
Lakewood, Ohio
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Alma mater Amherst College, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Martin R. Hoke (born May 18, 1952)[1] is an American Republican politician, member of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, and former member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio.


Hoke was born in Lakewood, Ohio and attended school at the private Western Reserve Academy. He graduated from Amherst College in 1973 and earned a law degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1980.[1] He has been noted for practicing Sikhism.[2] He also founded a cell phone company, "Red Carpet Cellular", in 1985.[3]

In 1992, Hoke won the Republican nomination for Ohio's 10th congressional district, located in Cleveland's west side. Hoke upset heavily favored Democrat Mary Rose Oakar, who had represented the district (formerly the 20th District) for 16 years, in the general election. Oakar was hampered by accusations of check writing at the House of Representatives Bank. Hoke was the first Republican to represent a significant portion of traditionally heavily Democratic Cleveland in over 30 years.

Hoke won re-election in 1994 against Frank Gaul, a Cuyahoga County Treasurer who had recently overseen losses in a county bond fund based on faulty advice from private bond counsel.

In 1996, Hoke was defeated by former Cleveland mayor Dennis Kucinich 49%-46%. Hoke was harmed by several gaffes he had made, the Democratic nature of the district, strong labor support for Kucinich, and a mounting public perception that he would lose.

Hoke was appointed to the Ohio Casino Control Commission by Governor John R. Kasich on February 23, 2011. His term of office will end on February 21, 2017.[4][5][3]


Following the 1994 State of the Union speech by President Bill Clinton, Hoke was being interviewed alongside Democratic Ohio Congressman Eric Fingerhut. When a female television news producer asked Fingerhut if she could ask him to unbutton his jacket, Fingerhut responded "you can ask me to do anything you want." After miking Hoke and Fingerhut, the producer walked away and Hoke remarked, in a mock Italian accent, "She's got ze beega breasts."[6][7] Hoke quickly realized that he was being recorded and had made a major gaffe, saying "we're probably live". Although the cameras were not broadcasting live at that moment, the incident was taped. Local news stations in Cleveland soon broadcast the comment all over the city. Hoke quickly apologized for the remark, stating that he deserved "a 2-by-4 to the head."[7]

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External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Clarence E. Miller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 10th congressional district

Succeeded by
Dennis Kucinich