Paul Gillmor

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This article is about the U.S. politician Paul Gillmor. For the actor, see Paul Gilmore (actor).
Paul Gillmor
Paul Gillmor, official Congressional photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1989 – September 5, 2007
Preceded by Del Latta
Succeeded by Bob Latta
President of the Ohio Senate
In office
January 3, 1985-December 31, 1988
Preceded by Harry Meshel
Succeeded by Stanley Aronoff
In office
January 3, 1981-December 31, 1982
Preceded by Oliver Ocasek
Succeeded by Harry Meshel
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1967-December 31, 1988
Preceded by District Created
Succeeded by Betty Montgomery
Personal details
Born February 1, 1939
Tiffin, Ohio
Died September 5, 2007(2007-09-05) (aged 68)
Arlington, Virginia
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Karen L. Gillmor
Residence Old Fort, Ohio (1967-2006)
Tiffin, Ohio (2006-2007)
Alma mater Ohio Wesleyan University
University of Michigan Law School
Occupation attorney
Religion Methodist

Paul Eugene Gillmor (February 1, 1939 – c. September 5, 2007) was an American politician of the Republican Party who served as the U.S. Representative from the 5th congressional district of Ohio from 1989 until his death.

Early life, career, and family[edit]

Gillmor was born in Tiffin, Ohio[1] and grew up in Old Fort; his father owned a trucking business in the area. His mother was Lucy Fry Gillmor. He attended Old Fort High School, graduating in 1957. In 1961 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio Wesleyan University. In 1964, he graduated with a law degree from the University of Michigan.

From 1965 to 1966, Gillmor was on active duty in the U.S. Air Force as a Judge Advocate, attaining the rank of Captain. He then entered the practice of law.

Paul Gillmor married Brenda Lee Luckey, daughter of Helen and Lee Luckey of Fostoria, Ohio. They had two children, Linda and Julie. Gillmor's wife Brenda was killed in a car accident in Fremont, Ohio in September 1972. Daughters Linda and Julie, ages 7 and 5 at the time, were in the car.

Gillmor's 2006 financial disclosure placed his wealth between $6.2 and $27.8 million. Much of that is from an eight-branch local bank, Old Fort Bank, owned by Gillmor and his relatives.[2] He was the 43rd-richest member of Congress, according to Roll Call.[3]

Gillmor married Karen Lako, who also served in the Ohio Senate, in 1983. Gillmor had three sons with his wife Karen, Paul Michael and twins Adam and Connor.[3]

Paul Gillmor tours flood-ravaged Ottawa, Ohio 12 days before his accidental death.

Political career[edit]

Ohio State Senate[edit]

Gillmor was elected as an Ohio state senator in 1967, where he remained until being elected to Congress in 1988. He was the Republican Leader from 1978 to 1980 and from 1983 to 1984. After the Republican Party won a majority in the Ohio Senate, Gillmor was elected President of the Senate and served in that office for three General Assemblies from 1981 to 1982 and from 1985 to 1988. He ran in the 1986 Republican primary for governor, but lost to former governor James A. Rhodes.

U.S. Congress[edit]

Elections[edit]

In 1988, Gillmor entered the Republican primary for the 5th District after 30-year incumbent Del Latta retired. Latta endorsed his son, Bob, as his successor; Gillmor defeated him by only 27 votes. He was then handily elected in November and has been reelected nine times in this heavily Republican district, usually by margins of 2-to-1. He ran unopposed in 1992.

In 2002, Gillmor defeated Republican Rex Damschroder in the primary.

Committees and positions[edit]

Gillmor was the ranking Republican on the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee of the Financial Services Committee. He also served on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and chaired its Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee until the Republicans lost control of Congress following the 2006 elections. In 2006, Gillmor served as a member of a bipartisan reform task force on ethics and congressional mailing practices. He was a member of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership.

The American Conservative Union gave Gillmor's 2005 voting record a rating of 82 points out of a possible 100; the liberal Americans for Democratic Action gave him a 0 rating.[1]

Gillmor joined with Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank to propose the Industrial Bank Holding Company Act of 2006, which was designed to prevent retailers such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot from operating banks to process their credit card transactions.[4] The Toledo Blade noted that as he fought for the interests of the banking community, Gillmor had opened his own bank in Florida, Panther Community Bank, and was heir to an Ohio bank, Old Fort Bank.[5]

Residency and real estate[edit]

Until March 2006, when he bought a condominium in Tiffin for $230,000, Gillmor claimed his boyhood home in Old Fort as his official residence. Both are within his district. Gillmor's wife worked in Columbus as vice chairman of the State Employment Relations Board; prior to being appointed to that position, she was a state senator.[2][6] When asked prior to the November 2006 election how often he stayed at the Tiffin house, Gillmor refused to answer.[6]

Gilmor's opponents in the last three election cycles prior to his death made an issue of his residence, and many of the condominium's residents claim they rarely saw him there.[6] Members of the House are constitutionally required to live only in the state they represent, but it has become a strong convention that they live in the district they represent as well. However, Gillmor long insisted that Seneca County (home to both Old Fort and Tiffin) was his true home.

In March 2007, Gillmor and his family moved into a new house in Dublin. In 2005, Zenith Holding received a construction loan of $967,000, to build the house. Prior to moving into the house, Gillmor and his family lived in a four-bedroom, 3,571-square-foot (331.8 m2) house in Dublin that they bought in 1996 for $364,900.[7]

In a letter to the Toledo Blade in early May 2007, the firm said that Zenith has the new Dublin house and its land in trust "at the request of, and for the benefit of" Gillmor, who pays the mortgage and taxes.[7] In a follow-up letter to the newspaper, Gillmor said he considers the properties outside his district, in Dublin and Arlington, to be "only real estate investments."[6] In his April 2007 letter to The Blade, Gillmor similarly said that the property was in a trust. But in May 2007, Gillmor's spokesman, Brad Mascho, said that a trustlike entity that is "not a trust" controls the house, so there had been no need to notify the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct that Gillmor was transferring assets into a trust in order to purchase the home.[2]

Banking interests[edit]

Gillmor became partial owner of Old Fort Bank in Seneca County, about 60 miles (97 km) southeast of Toledo, after the death of his father, Paul M. Gillmor. In 2006, Gillmor received $540,000 in dividends from the bank, for his share of ownership, out of a total of $2 million paid to all shareholders. The bank had total profits of $3.6 million in 2006.[8]

In 2007, Gillmor received approval from the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct and the offices of two federal regulators to be an initial director and investor in a new Florida bank, the Panther Community Bank.[8]

In May 2007, the House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 371-16, a bill by Gillmor and Representative Barney Frank that blocked retailers such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot from establishing their own industrial loan companies.[9] Industrial loan companies are state-chartered corporations that are potential competitors of community banks.[8]

Death[edit]

On September 5, 2007, Gillmor was found dead in his Arlington County, Virginia townhouse by members of his staff after he failed to show up for a House Financial Services Committee meeting, and did not respond to repeated telephone calls and e-mails.[10] The Virginia state medical examiner's office said in a report that Gillmor died from blunt head and neck trauma consistent with a fall down the stairs. Police assessed the scene and ruled out foul play. Gillmor's death was ruled an accident.[11]

In a special election held in December, Bob Latta, the man Gillmor had narrowly defeated in the 1988 primary, won the seat.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Del Latta
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 5th congressional district

January 3, 1989 – September 5, 2007
Succeeded by
Bob Latta