David D. Phelps

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David D. Phelps
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 19th district
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Glenn Poshard
Succeeded by John Shimkus
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1947-10-26) October 26, 1947 (age 68)
Eldorado, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Leslie Phelps
Religion Baptist

David Dwain Phelps (born October 26, 1947) was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois.

Phelps was born in Eldorado, Illinois. He graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1969. Phelps was trained as an educator. After teaching for several years, he became a school administrator. From 1980 to 1984 he served as Saline County Clerk and Recorder.

Phelps was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1984 until 1998. He was elected to Congress in 1998 from Illinois's 19th congressional district after 10-year incumbent Glenn Poshard made an unsuccessful run for governor. In 2002, Illinois lost a district as a result of the 2000 Census. Phelps' district was dismantled and split between three neighboring districts. His home in Eldorado was drawn into the Champaign-Urbana based 15th District, while Decatur, the heart of his former district, was shifted to the Quad Cities-based 17th District. The bulk of his former district was merged with the neighboring 20th District. Phelps ran against 20th District Republican incumbent John Shimkus in the general election. The new district was numerically Phelps' district—the 19th. However, it was geographically and demographically more Shimkus' district; Phelps only retained 35 percent of his former territory. The campaign was very bitter; both men accused the other's staffers of stalking their families.[1] Shimkus won by over 20,000 votes in this much more conservative district.

Phelps is a Blue Dog Democrat. While in Congress, he was strongly pro-life, pro-gun, and co-sponsored the Federal Marriage Amendment.

A professional songwriter, Phelps toured the nation as a gospel singer, in a quartet with his brothers. While serving in the U.S. House, he was the hymn director for the Congressional Weekly Prayer Breakfast on Capitol Hill.

Currently, the former Congressman is serving as assistant secretary for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). His nephew, Brandon Phelps, is a member of the Illinois House of Representatives.

Phelps is a long time friend of former Harlem Globetrotter Jumpin' Jackie Jackson.

Electoral history[edit]

Illinois's 19th congressional district: Results 1998–2002[2]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
1998 David D. Phelps 122,430 58% Brent Winters 87,614 42%
2000 David D. Phelps 155,101 65% James "Jim" Eatherly 85,137 35%
2002 David D. Phelps 110,517 45% John Shimkus 133,956 55%


  1. ^ Phelps, Shimkus Stay Close, Perhaps too Close. NewsHour, 2002-10-04.
  2. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on July 25, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Glenn Poshard
U.S. Representatives of Illinois' 19th Congressional District
Succeeded by
John Shimkus