Mike Bost

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Mike Bost
Mike Bost official photo.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 12th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by William Enyart
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 115th district
In office
January 1995 – January 2, 2015
Preceded by Gerald Hawkins[1]
Succeeded by Terri Bryant
Personal details
Born (1960-12-30) December 30, 1960 (age 56)
Murphysboro, Illinois
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Tracy
Residence Murphysboro, Illinois
Profession Firefighter, businessman
Religion Baptist[2]
Website bost.house.gov
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1979–1982

Michael J. "Mike" Bost /ˈbɔːst/ (born December 30, 1960)[3] is an American politician and businessman. A member of the Republican Party, he has served as the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 12th congressional district since winning election in 2014. Previously, Bost was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 115th district from 1995 to 2015. Prior to winning elective office, Bost was a firefighter.

Early life and career[edit]

Bost graduated from Murphysboro High School[4] and attended the University of Illinois Certified Firefighter II Academy, later becoming a firefighter. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1979-82.[5]

Bost ran his family's Murphysboro-based trucking business for ten years. Since 1989, Bost and his wife Tracy have owned and operated White House Beauty Salon in Murphysboro.[6]

Bost was a member of the Jackson County Board from 1984–88, the treasurer of Murphysboro Township from 1989–92, and trustee of Murphysboro Township from 1993–95, until his election to the Illinois House of Representatives.[3]

Illinois State Legislature[edit]

Bost was first elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in November 1994, having lost his first campaign in 1992. In his 1994 campaign against incumbent Gerald Hawkins, he was endorsed by the Chicago Tribune.[1]

In May 2012, members of the Illinois House were given just twenty minutes to review and vote on a two-hundred page pension overhaul bill. Displeased with the situation, Bost ranted on the House floor.[7][8] Bost's rant earned him the runner-up spot on CNN's list of “Best Celebrity Flip-Outs of All-Time".[9] Bost joked about his inclusion on the list, saying "I thought I was going to be No. 1."[10]

In November 2013, Bost presented fellow U.S. Marine Archibald Mosley with Illinois House Resolution 706 for his lifetime accomplishments, including being among the first African-Americans to serve in the U.S. Marines. The presentation was part of a NAACP program.[11][12]

After the 2014 elections, Bost resigned early from the House so he could take office in Congress.[13] He was succeeded by Terri Bryant.[14]


Bost served on the following state legislative committees:[15]

  • Appropriations-Higher Education
  • Bio-Technology
  • Higher Education
  • Public Utilities

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



Bost ran for U.S. Congress in Illinois's 12th congressional district. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary, and he faced incumbent Democratic Representative William Enyart in the general election.[16]

Illinois' largely agricultural 12th district leans Democratic, although it is home to many undecided voters, and Enyart was considered vulnerable in the 2014 race.[10] The Cook Political Report rated this race as "Toss Up" and the National Journal believed this district was the 21st most likely to flip Republican in 2014.[10]

In a 2014 radio interview, Bost said some scientists believe in anthropogenic climate change while other scientists do not.[17]

Bost said he ran because "the federal government has basically blown everything they are doing right now." He says he intends to fight for job growth and immigration reform.[18] Bost challenged opponent Enyart to as many as a dozen debates, though Enyart “has thus far replied vaguely to forums.”[19]

Bost was endorsed by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.[20]

Bost won the election, taking 53% of the vote to Enyart's 42%, with independent candidate Paula Bradshaw taking 6% of the vote.[21]


Bost ran for re-election in 2016. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary election, and faced Democrat C.J. Baricevic and Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw in the general election.[22] Bost won the general election on November 8, 2016, with 54% of the vote.[23]

Bost was endorsed by the Illinois Education Association, the largest labor union in Illinois. In its endorsement, the union cited Bost's "strong record in support of public education in the Metro East and Southern Illinois."[24]


Bost was sworn into office on January 6, 2015.[25]

In April 2016, a Bost bill to change how the government defines farms and ranches as small businesses passed the U.S. House with bipartisan support.[26]

Committee assignments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Bost and his wife Tracy have three children and nine grandchildren.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Final Illinois House Endorsements". Chicago Tribune. October 21, 1994. Retrieved May 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Illinois-12: Mike Bost (R)". NationalJournal.com. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  3. ^ a b "BOST, Mike". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress; retrieved April 2, 2015.
  4. ^ Moser, Whet (May 31, 2012). "The Politics of Mike Bost's Pension Rant: Upstate, Downstate". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Representative Mike Bost (R)". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Vaughn, Lindsey Rae (July 10, 2014). "Candidate makes stops in Union County". Gazette-Democrat. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Bost rant on House floor goes viral". The Southern. May 30, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Watch: Ill. lawmaker loses cool over pension bill". CBS News. May 30, 2012. 
  9. ^ Moos, Jeanne (January 20, 2014). "Richard Sherman's rant now among the best celebrity flip outs of all-time". CNN. Retrieved May 22, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c Wicklander, Carl (March 2, 2014). "Large Percentage of Undecided Voters in IL-12 Leaves Election a Toss-Up". Independent Voter Network. Retrieved May 22, 2014. 
  11. ^ Mariano, Nick (November 25, 2013). "Salute to success: NAACP gather for banquet; reminder of work that remains". The Southern. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Bill Status of HR0706 98th General Assembly". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  13. ^ Parker, Molly (December 5, 2014) – "Bost to Resign Early From State House, Heading to DC". The Southern Illinoisian; retrieved January 3, 2015.
  14. ^ (January 2, 2015) – "Murphysboro's Bryant Sworn In As State Rep", Murphysboro American; retrieved January 3, 2015.
  15. ^ "Representative Mike Bost (R)". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved July 11, 2014. 
  16. ^ McDermott, Kevin (March 26, 2014). "Paper-flinging Illinois candidate Mike Bost being highlighted by national Republicans". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved May 22, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Illinois' 12th District Contenders Highlight Differences". News.stlpublicradio.org. 2014-10-16. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  18. ^ Hale, Caleb (July 27, 2013). "Murphysboro state legislator says it's time". The Southern. Retrieved May 22, 2014. 
  19. ^ Wicklander, Carl (July 14, 2014). "Ill. GOP Hopeful Mike Bost Forms Small Business Coalition to Compete in CD-12". Independent Voter News. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  20. ^ Grimm, Nathan (August 7, 2014). "Illinois Chamber endorses Bost for representative". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on October 20, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Illinois Election Results". New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  22. ^ Croessman, John (March 29, 2016). "Baricevic challenges Mike Bost". Benton Evening News. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  23. ^ Wall, Tobias (November 8, 2016). "Bost holds off Baricevic, Bradshaw in 12th Congressional District". Belleville News-Democrat. Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  24. ^ Davenport, Cory. "U.S. Congressman Mike Bost accepts teachers' union endorsement". River Bender. Retrieved October 20, 2016. 
  25. ^ Raasch, Chuck (January 6, 2015). "Mike Bost sworn in as area's only new U.S. House member". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  26. ^ Raasch, Chuck (April 19, 2016). "House passes Bost bill updating definition of small farm businesses". St. Louis Post Dispatch. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Enyart
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 12th congressional district

January 3, 2015–present
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Rod Blum
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Brendan F. Boyle