Ann Marie Buerkle

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Ann Marie Buerkle
Ann Marie Buerkle, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Acting Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Assumed office
July 23, 2013
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by Elliot F. Kaye
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 25th district
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Dan Maffei
Succeeded by Louise Slaughter
In office
Syracuse Common Council
In office
Personal details
Born Ann Marie Colella
(1951-05-08) May 8, 1951 (age 66)
Auburn, New York
Political party Republican/Conservative Party of New York
Spouse(s) Dr. August R. Buerkle (divorced)
Children Six children
Residence Syracuse, New York[1]
Alma mater St. Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing (RN, 1972)
Le Moyne College (B.S., 1977)
Syracuse University College of Law (J.D., 1994)[1]
Occupation Politician, Nurse, Attorney, Assistant Attorney General of New York, Homemaker[1]

Ann Marie Buerkle (/ˈbɜːrkəl/ BUR-kəl; née Colella;[2] born May 8, 1951) is the acting chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,[3] and also serves as a commissioner on the CPSC. She formerly served U.S. Representative for the New York's 25th congressional district, elected in 2010 in an upset of a Democratic incumbent. She is a member of the Republican Party. In a rematch of her 2010 contest, Buerkle was defeated by former Congressman Dan Maffei.[4]

Early life and career[edit]

Buerkle was born Ann Marie Colella in 1951 in Auburn, New York,[1] the daughter of Sadie M. (née Fiduccia) and Alfred D. "Al" Colella. All of her grandparents were born in Italy.[5] After graduating as a registered nurse from St. Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing in Syracuse, New York, she worked at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and at St. Joseph's. She was a substitute school nurse for many years before obtaining her law degree from Syracuse University School of Law.

She served as an Assistant New York State Attorney General from 1997 to 2010. She also served one term on the Syracuse, New York Common Council.[1] Buerkle is divorced and has six children: August, Betsy, Tom, Amy, Christine, and Caroline.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2010 election[edit]

Ann Marie Buerkle, 2010

Buerkle defeated turkey farm owner Mark Bitz and activist Paul Bertan to win the Republican nomination.

Buerkle defeated incumbent Dan Maffei in the 2010 midterm election,[6] an outcome determined after weeks of absentee ballot counting and precinct recanvassing; Buerkle emerged victorious by a narrow 567-vote margin of over 200,000 ballots cast. Maffei conceded the race on November 23, 2010, when it became clear that challenged votes would not change the outcome of the race.[7]

Maffei had been favored to retain the seat. In addition to rating the district as "Leans Democratic", RealClearPolitics and other pundits thought it was an unlikely Congressional district to switch parties. Going into the election, other pundits from CQ Politics, The Cook Report, and the Rothenberg Report ranked it as "Lean Democrat" to "Democrat Favored".[8]

Buerkle was endorsed by former Alaska Governor and 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin (who labeled Buerkle a "Mama Grizzly"[9]), as well as by former Massachusetts Governor and Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.[10] Buerkle, who received substantial Tea Party support in 2010,[11] has been described as having "[ridden] the tea party wave to Washington, winning an upstate New York district that leans Democratic on promises of reducing the size of government and repealing the health care overhaul."[12]

Major issues[edit]

Although she represented a district that had been trending Democratic for some time, Buerkle had an unshakably conservative voting record. She opposed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which she considered “federal take over” of the healthcare sector. She favored market-based solutions that lowered the cost of healthcare by promoting competition and tort reform.

She favored decreasing spending to eliminate the deficit and begin paying down the national debt. Moreover, she supported broad-based tax reform to lower rates on businesses and families by eliminating loopholes that favor individual corporations and special interest groups.

Buerkle was outspoken and definitive in her support for the right to bear arms. Throughout her campaign, one of her top endorsers was the National Rifle Association (NRA). She earned an “A” rating after her ‘yea’ vote to pass the November National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011.[13]

In May 2012, Buerkle stated that she opposed the current procurement practices of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with regard to security screening equipment. Speaking of a report by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (T&I) and Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR), of which Buerkle was a member, she wrote, “This report is evidence that TSA is a flawed agency and is wasting the taxpayers’ money. TSA has repeatedly failed to effectively procure and deploy screening equipment that actually detects threats. Making matters worse is that as complaints about the invasiveness of TSA searches continue to increase, significant amounts of state-of-the-art technology is sitting, unused in warehouses in Texas".[14]

In addition to being a congresswoman, Buerkle is also a registered nurse. Buerkle is pro-life,[15] and she supported laws limiting access to abortion, such as the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and various attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. Among Rep. Buerkle's donors was the Susan B. Anthony List, a group that supports pro-life women running for office. Buerkle is active in what she calls the “fight for the unborn”, describing “the right to life....(as the) most fundamental unalienable right”. Buerkle additionally sponsored legislation to prohibit abortion coverage in government-funded health care.

She was a member of the Republican Study Committee.


In 2011 Buerkle voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.[16] In 2011 Buerkle voted to renew the Patriot Act.[17] On September 16, 2011 President Obama named Buerkle to serve as a U.S. Representative to the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, which started late 2011. Buerkle was previously selected by John Boehner to represent the Republicans.[18]


In redistricting, Buerkle's district was renumbered as the 24th district and made more Democratic. She faced a rematch against Maffei and lost, 48.7 percent to 43.3 percent.

Committee assignments[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

US House election, 2010: New York District 25[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Ann Marie Buerkle 104,374 50.2 +8.0
Democratic Dan Maffei 103,807 49.8 -4.7
Majority 567 0.3 -10.4
Turnout 208,181 100 +23.4
US House election, 2012: New York District 24[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Dan Maffei 143,044 48.8 -1.0
Republican Ann Marie Buerkle 127,054 43.4 -6.8
Green Ursula Rozum 22,670 7.7 +7.7
Majority 15,990 5.5 +5.2
Turnout 292,988 100 +40.7

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). CQ Roll Call. 2010-11-04. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b "New York Election Results". New York Times. 2010-11-03. Archived from the original on 5 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  7. ^ Goodin, Emily (2010-11-23). "Rep. Maffei concedes, GOP gains 63rd seat". The Hill. Retrieved 2010-11-23. Rep. Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.) conceded to his GOP challenger Tuesday afternoon, giving Republicans their 63rd pickup in the House. 
  8. ^ CQ Politics Projected Landscape, New York's Delegation to the U.S. House
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ McAndrew, Mike. "Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney endorses CNY congressional candidate Ann Marie Buerkle". Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  11. ^ Heffner, Alexander (July 27, 2012). "New York's Tea-Party Rematch". The Wall Street Journal. 
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ Harding, Robert (10 October 2012). "Buerkle endorsed by National Rifle Association". Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  15. ^ [3]
  16. ^ Eisenstadt, Marnie (February 3, 2011). "People pack Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle's first town hall meeting in Wayne County". The Post-Standard. Syracuse, New York. Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  17. ^ "H.R.514 - Roll Call #26 in the House". Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  18. ^
  19. ^

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dan Maffei
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 25th congressional district

Succeeded by
Louise Slaughter