Theresa Nangle Obermeyer (born July 25, 1945), is a former Anchorage, Alaska school board member, having served 2 two-year terms from 1990 to 1994. Obermeyer made an unsuccessful run against Republican Ted Stevens for the United States Senate in 1996.
Obermeyer is known in Alaska for her public advocacy on behalf of her husband, Tom Obermeyer, who has failed the state bar exam over 30 times. In 1996 Obermeyer served a thirty-day jail term for disorderly conduct in a federal judge's chambers during a discussion regarding her husband's bar examinations.
Life and career
Obermeyer was born Theresa Nangle in 1945 in St. Louis, Missouri. After studying at Villa Duchesne High School from 1959 until 1963, she received a BA in Political Science from the Maryville University in St. Louis in 1967. A subsequent Master of Education in 1970 and a Ph.D in Education, from St. Louis University followed.
On December 23, 1977 she married Thomas Obermeyer, an attorney in Missouri; they have four children.
She worked in different jobs in education at different colleges in Missouri and Maryland before working as Assistant Director for student activities at St. Louis Community College–Florissant Valley from 1973 until 1978. She then moved to Alaska where she became the Director of Student Services at the Anchorage Community College of University of Alaska Anchorage. Between 1981 and 1993, she was an instructor at Chapman University, and between 1984 and 1990 a teacher at the McLaughlin Youth Center.
In 1996, she ran for the U.S. Senate. She was the highest-placed Democratic candidate in the open primary, receiving 4,072 votes (3.37) and advancing to the general election with Republican incumbent Ted Stevens and Jed Whittaker of the Green Party. The race drew national attention for her erratic behavior: she blamed Stevens for her husband's failure to pass the bar exam and contended that he had passed the bar by fraud. She "trailed" him to campaign events, frequently wearing a prisoner's outfit and once dragging a ball and chain behind her. During the campaign, she was arrested and served 30 days in prison in California and Oregon for probation violations. In the general election, Stevens was re-elected with 177,893 votes (76.71%). Obermeyer received 24,133 (10.51%, finishing behind Whittaker, who took 29,037 votes (12.52%).
- Associated Press. "Election Highlights from coast to coast". The Union Democrat. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
- Ruskin, Liz. "Judge jails Obermeyer for 30 days: Ex-school board member's probation revoked for courthouse altercations". Anchorage Daily News June 12, 1996.
- "Alaska Judicial Council nominate Levy and Menendez for superior judgeship". Juneau Empire. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "Theresa Nangle Obermeyer, Democrat". Alaska Division of Elections.
- "Theresa Nangle Obermeyer". The Obermeyer Website. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
- Schoenfeld, Ed (21 August 2002). "Democrats allege Stevens conspiracy". Juneau Empire. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
- "Aliens From Outer Space and Other Election Tales". The New York Times. November 7, 1996. Retrieved 4 June 2014.