John Shimkus

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John Shimkus
John Shimkus official photo.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois
Assumed office
January 3, 1997
Preceded byDick Durbin
Constituency20th district (1997–2003)
19th district (2003–2013)
15th district (2013–present)
Personal details
Born
John Mondy Shimkus

(1958-02-21) February 21, 1958 (age 62)
Collinsville, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Karen Muth
EducationUnited States Military Academy (BS)
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (MBA)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1980–1986 (Active)
1986–2008 (Reserve)
RankUS-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel
UnitUnited States Army Reserve

John Mondy Shimkus (/ˈʃɪmkəs/, born February 21, 1958) is an American politician currently serving as the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 15th congressional district. He has served in the House since 1997, and is a member of the Republican Party. On August 30, 2019, Shimkus announced that he will not seek re-election for his seat in 2020.[1]

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Shimkus is a lifelong resident of Collinsville, part of the Metro East portion of the St. Louis metropolitan area. He is the son of Kathleen N. (née Mondy) and Gene L. Shimkus. His paternal grandfather was of Lithuanian descent.[2] Shimkus earned his bachelor's degree at the United States Military Academy. After serving his five-year United States Army commitment, he entered the United States Army Reserve, retiring in 2008 as a lieutenant colonel. While in the U.S. Army, Shimkus earned the Expert Infantry Badge, Ranger Tab, and Parachutist Badge. He served overseas with the 54th Infantry Regiment in West Germany.[3]

Shimkus earned a teaching certificate from Christ College Irvine (now Concordia University Irvine) and began teaching at Metro East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville. He earned an MBA from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1987. Shimkus first ran for office in 1989, when he was elected a Collinsville Township trustee. A year later, he was elected as Madison County treasurer—the first Republican elected to a countywide post in 10 years. In 1994, Shimkus became the first Republican to be re-elected as county treasurer in 60 years.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Record[edit]

Shimkus was a key leader in the effort to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act, which was amended in 2016 by the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act.[4] Shimkus voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[5]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Domestic issues[edit]

Climate change[edit]

Congressman John Shimkus speaks at Southern Illinois Levee Summit regarding the importance of flood risk management and regional levee concerns with Congressman Jerry Costello and Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District official

On March 25, 2009, in introductory remarks made to Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, during a United States House Energy Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing, he made the following statement regarding the role of carbon dioxide in global warming:

It's plant food ... So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere? ... So all our good intentions could be for naught. In fact, we could be doing just the opposite of what the people who want to save the world are saying.[10]

Shimkus has quoted the Bible to allay concerns of global warming induced rise in sea levels, stating that God had promised mankind through Noah that the earth would never again be destroyed by a flood.[11] He acknowledged that climate change is real, but questioned the benefit of spending taxpayer money on something that cannot be changed versus the changes that have been occurring forever.[citation needed]

Food safety[edit]

Shimkus has been a proponent of legislation to increase the ability of the Food and Drug Administration to institute recalls of tainted foods. He has served as one of the chief Republican negotiators on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which was passed by Congress and signed by the president. Of the bill, he said: "When you're talking about the health and safety of folks, if the FDA has enough evidence to make a declaration of recall, I think that most Americans would support the government having that authority."[12]

Keystone pipeline[edit]

In May 2013, Shimkus stated he would renew his support for the Keystone pipeline. The project would be an oil pipeline, bringing Canadian crude oil through the Midwest, including Illinois. As a supporter, he stated that he would rather see Canada as an energy partner than ship in oil from overseas.[13]

National security[edit]

Shimkus spoke positively of President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to temporarily curtail immigration from specified countries until better screening methods are devised. He stated that "This temporary halt will give Congress and the new Administration time to evaluate and improve the vetting process, and in the meantime gives Secretary Kelly authority to grant exceptions to the restrictions as needed. One of those exceptions must be to green card holders, who have already undergone extensive screening."[14] In October 2019, he criticized Trump for withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria, and resigned as a co-chair for Trump's 2020 campaign in Illinois.[15]

Social issues[edit]

2006 Mark Foley scandal[edit]

Earlier official photo of Shimkus

Shimkus said "that in late-2005 he learned—through information passed along by Alexander's office—about an e-mail exchange in which Foley asked about the youngster's well-being after Hurricane Katrina and requested a photograph."[16]

Cannabis[edit]

Shimkus has a "D" rating from NORML for his voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. Shimkus opposes veterans having access to medical marijuana if recommended by their Veterans Health Administration doctor and if it is legal for medicinal purposes in their state of residence.[17]

Political campaigns[edit]

In 1992, while still serving as Madison County treasurer, he won the Republican nomination to run for the U.S. House seat in what was then the 20th District. He was defeated by 10-year Democratic incumbent Dick Durbin.

Four years later, Durbin gave up the seat to make what would be a successful run for the United States Senate. Shimkus won a crowded six-way primary, and faced State Representative Jay C. Hoffman in a close general election, which Shimkus won by just over 1,200 votes.

He has only faced one credible Democratic opponent since his initial reelection, in 2002. That year, Illinois lost a district as a result of the 2000 census, and his district was merged with the 19th District, then held by two-term Democratic representative David Phelps. The new district retained Phelps' district number, but was geographically and demographically more similar to the old 20th district, as Shimkus retained 60% of his former territory. The campaign was very bitter, with both men accusing the other's staffers of stalking their families.[18] Despite a Democratic wave that swept through most of the state, Shimkus defeated Phelps with 55% of the vote, making this the only time he received below 60% in a reelection bid.

Shimkus announced in September 2005, that he would run for reelection in 2008, despite making a pledge[19] when first elected in 1996 not to stay in office for more than 12 years.

When seeking his 11th term in 2016, Shimkus faced Illinois State Senator Kyle McCarter in the Republican primary. McCarter ran to the political right of Shimkus[20][21] and criticized his accommodation with the Obama administration as well as national Republican party leadership.[22] Shimkus won the primary with 60.4% of the vote to McCarter's 39.6%.[23][24] He subsequently won the general election unopposed, as no other candidates filed.

FEC records show that the John S. Fund, the PAC for Shimkus, contributed to former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in 2005. The fund also made contributions to Peter Roskam, a Republican candidate for the House from Illinois's 6th district, from 2005 to 2008 and to David McSweeney, a Republican candidate for the House from Illinois's 8th district, in 2006.[25][26][27] In 2006, the funds treasurer, lobbyist Mark Valente, resigned. Shimkus earlier said he was considering removing Valente, but he did not want to act too quickly because it might suggest there was something improper about their relationship.[28]

Electoral history[edit]

The 20th district was disbanded after the 2000 census due to reapportionment and Illinois' loss of a U.S. House seat, which is why Shimkus faced David D. Phelps, incumbent of the 19th district, in the 2002 election. The 19th district was disbanded after the 2010 census, so Shimkus ran in the redistricted 15th district. The 15th district includes a large part of southern and south-western Illinois and a small part of the Metro East, where Shimkus resides.

Illinois 20th Congressional District General Election, 1992[29]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Richard J. Durbin (incumbent) 154,869 56.50
Republican John M. Shimkus 119,219 43.50
Total votes 274,088 100.0
Illinois 20th Congressional District General Election, 1996[30]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus 120,926 50.26
Democratic Jay C. Hoffman 119,688 49.74
Write-in votes Write-in 4 0.00
Total votes 240,618 100.0
Illinois 20th Congressional District General Election, 1998[31]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus (incumbent) 121,103 61.29
Democratic Rick Verticchio 76,475 38.71
Total votes 197,578 100.0
Illinois 20th Congressional District General Election, 2000[32]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus (incumbent) 161,393 63.10
Democratic Jeffrey S. Cooper 94,382 36.90
Total votes 255,775 100.0
Illinois 19th Congressional District General Election, 2002[33]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus 133,956 54.79
Democratic David D. Phelps (incumbent) 110,517 45.21
Total votes 244,473 100.0
Illinois 19th Congressional District General Election, 2004[34]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus (incumbent) 213,451 69.36
Democratic Tim Bagwell 94,303 30.64
Total votes 307,754 100.0
Illinois 19th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2006[35]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus (incumbent) 42,588 99.83
Republican Don Grimes 74 0.17
Total votes 42,662 100.0
Illinois 19th Congressional District General Election, 2006[36]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus (incumbent) 143,491 60.71
Democratic Danny L. Stover 92,861 39.29
Total votes 236,352 100.0
Illinois 19th Congressional District General Election, 2008[37]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus (incumbent) 203,434 64.46
Democratic Daniel Davis 105,338 33.38
Green Troy Dennis 6,817 2.16
Total votes 315,589 100.0
Illinois 19th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2010[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus (incumbent) 48,680 85.34
Republican Michael Firsching 8,363 14.66
Total votes 57,043 100.0
Illinois 19th Congressional District General Election, 2010[39]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus (incumbent) 166,166 71.22
Democratic Tim Bagwell 67,132 28.78
Total votes 233,298 100.0
Illinois 15th Congressional District General Election, 2012[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus 205,775 68.61
Democratic Angela Michael 94,162 31.39
Total votes 299,937 100.0
Illinois 15th Congressional District General Election, 2014[41]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus (incumbent) 166,274 74.92
Democratic Eric Thorsland 55,652 25.08
Total votes 221,926 100.0
Illinois 15th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2016[42]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus (incumbent) 76,547 60.37
Republican Kyle McCarter 50,245 39.63
Total votes 126,792 100.0
Illinois 15th Congressional District General Election, 2016[43]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus (incumbent) 274,554 100.0
Total votes 274,554 100.0
Illinois 15th Congressional District General Election, 2018[44]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John M. Shimkus (incumbent) 181,294 70.93
Democratic Kevin Gaither 74,309 29.07
Write-in votes Tim E. Buckner 5 0.00
Total votes 255,608 100.0

Personal life[edit]

Shimkus has been married to the former Karen Muth since 1987. They have three children: David, Joshua, and Daniel. They are members of Holy Cross Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Collinsville.[45]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lally, Caitlin (August 30, 2019). "KMOX EXCLUSIVE: Illinois GOP congressman John Shimkus will not run in 2020". KMOX-AM. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  2. ^ "shimkus". Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  3. ^ "Once a Soldier ... Always a Soldier" (PDF). Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 21, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  4. ^ "Shimkus Leads Landmark Update of Chemical Safety Law". Congressman John Shimkus. May 24, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  5. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  6. ^ "Biography". house.gov. U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  7. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  8. ^ "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  9. ^ "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  10. ^ Doster, Adam (March 27, 2009). "Shimkus: Capping C02 Emissions Will "Take Away Plant Food"". Progress Illinois. Retrieved April 16, 2009.
  11. ^ "John Shimkus cites Genesis on climate change - Darren Samuelsohn". Politico.com. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  12. ^ Lambrecht, Bill (August 13, 2010). "Durbin-led food safety agreement winning bipartisan support". STLToday.com. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  13. ^ "Illinois Reps. Shimkus and Davis Renew Push For Keystone Pipeline". St. Louis-CBS Local. May 31, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  14. ^ Blake, Aaron. "Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump's travel ban; here's where the rest stand". Denver Post. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  15. ^ https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-republican-john-shimkus-rejects-donald-trump-20191010-zmq5gijad5fcvilg4yhpsvq4qq-story.html
  16. ^ "Sixteen-Year-Old Who Worked as Capitol Hill Page Concerned About E-mail Exchange with Congressman". The Blotter, ABC News. September 28, 2006. Archived from the original on October 4, 2006. Retrieved October 5, 2006.
  17. ^ "Illinois Scorecard". NORML. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  18. ^ [1] Archived January 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ [2] Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Brueggemann, Brian (October 7, 2015). "McCarter kicks off campaign against Shimkus; declares himself more conservative". Belleville News-Democrat. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  21. ^ McDermott, Kevin (February 16, 2016). "A Short Run-Down of Illinois' Primary Situation Headed Toward March 15". stltoday.com. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  22. ^ Greenfield, Jeff (December 31, 2015). "Shimkus among three House incumbent primaries to watch Tuesday". Politico.com. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  23. ^ "Election Results – General Primary – 3/15/2016". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  24. ^ Donaldedonald, Elizabeth (March 15, 2016). "Shimkus holds off challenge from McCarter; Vandersand concedes to Davis | Belleville News-Democrat". Bnd.com. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  25. ^ "Committees and Candidates Supported/Opposed". Query.nictusa.com. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  26. ^ "Committees Who Gave To This Candidate". Query.nictusa.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  27. ^ "Committees Who Gave To This Candidate". Query.nictusa.com. Archived from the original on May 4, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  28. ^ Meinert, Dori. "Lobbyist who raised funds for Shimkus resigns". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved April 21, 2006.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link), The State Journal-Register, March 9, 2006
  29. ^ "Election Statistics, 1920 to Present". History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives. p. 23. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  30. ^ "Election Statistics, 1920 to Present". History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives. p. 22. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  31. ^ "Election Results 1998 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  32. ^ "Election Results 2000 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  33. ^ "Election Results 2002 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  34. ^ "Election Results 2004 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  35. ^ "Election Results 2006 GENERAL PRIMARY". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  36. ^ "Election Results 2006 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 5, 2019.[permanent dead link]
  37. ^ "Election Results 2008 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  38. ^ "Election Results 2010 GENERAL PRIMARY". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  39. ^ "Election Results 2010 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  40. ^ "Election Results 2012 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  41. ^ "Election Results 2014 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  42. ^ "Election Results 2016 GENERAL PRIMARY". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  43. ^ "Election Results 2016 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  44. ^ "Election Results 2018 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 6, 2019.[permanent dead link]
  45. ^ "About John". Shimkus.house.gov. Retrieved March 15, 2015.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dick Durbin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 20th congressional district

1997–2003
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
David D. Phelps
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 19th congressional district

2003–2013
Preceded by
Tim Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 15th congressional district

2003–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Brad Sherman
United States Representatives by seniority
52nd
Succeeded by
Adam Smith