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Ted Yoho

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Ted Yoho
Official portrait, 2012
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2021
Preceded byCliff Stearns
Succeeded byKat Cammack
Personal details
Theodore Scott Yoho

(1955-04-13) April 13, 1955 (age 69)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseCarolyn Yoho
EducationBroward College (AA)
University of Florida (BS, DVM)

Theodore Scott Yoho (/ˈjh/ YOH-hoh; born April 13, 1955) is an American politician, veterinarian, and businessman, who served as the U.S. representative from Florida's 3rd congressional district from 2013 until 2021.[1] He is a member of the Republican Party.

In the 2012 Republican primary election for the district, Yoho pulled a major upset[tone] against long-term incumbent Congressman Cliff Stearns, who had first been elected in 1988. Before being elected to Congress, Yoho had been a veterinarian and small business owner in North Central Florida for 30 years.[2]

In December 2019, Yoho announced that, honoring his term-limit pledge, he would not run for re-election to Congress in 2020.[3]

Early life, education, and veterinarian career[edit]

Yoho was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on April 13, 1955.[4] At age 11, he moved with his family to Florida, where he attended school with his future wife, Carolyn, in the 4th grade.

Yoho earned his associate-of-arts degree at Broward Community College.[5] He earned a bachelor's degree in animal science at the University of Florida in 1983 and thereafter attended the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, from which he received a doctorate in veterinary medicine. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, the Florida Association of Equine Practitioners, the Florida Cattlemen's Association, and the National Rifle Association of America.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2012 election[edit]

Yoho ran for the newly redrawn Florida's 3rd congressional district. In the Republican primary, he defeated longtime incumbent Cliff Stearns, first elected in 1988; State Senator Steve Oelrich; and James Jett, the Clay County clerk of court—34%–33%–19%–14%.[6][7] Yoho defeated Stearns by 829 votes, a margin of 1.1 percentage points.[8] Yoho won 11 of the district's 13 counties.[9]

Yoho won the November general election, 65% to 32%, against Democratic candidate J.R. Gaillot.[10][11]


Congressman Ted Yoho speaking at the 2013 Young Americans for Liberty National Convention

Yoho took office on January 3, 2013. He is a member of the Tea Party Caucus and the House Liberty Caucus. He says that he supports reduction in taxes: replacing the current tax code with the Fair Tax (a broad national consumption tax on retail sales),[12] reducing corporate tax rates, and eliminating federal programs that cannot be balanced with revenues.[13] According to the CBO, there would still be a deficit even if all discretionary spending (all Federal programs except pensions, Medicare and Social Security) were stopped.[14] Yoho advocates reducing spending and taxes, though has not yet introduced a plan that will lead to a balanced budget.[15]

Yoho also is opposed to raising the debt ceiling unless significant spending cuts are made; he is also opposed to earmarks in legislation. His district is one of the lowest-taxed in Florida, located primarily within Suwannee River Management District (lower proportion of property taxes), per capita retail sales in the district are significantly lower than the state average, and it has the fewest non-farm related businesses of Florida's congressional districts.[16] Yoho has not made any indication on his level support of the farm bill.[13]

In 2014, Yoho was challenged by conservative Republican Jake Rush for his seat. Rush painted Yoho as a "liberal" and appealed to voters' conservatism to try to win the Republican nomination.[17]

In 2015, Yoho mounted a campaign to challenge John Boehner for the Speakership of the US House of Representatives in an attempt to get the conference to the second ballot. The bloc of dissenting members were four votes shy of achieving their goal.[18]

He and his Democratic colleague John Conyers offered bipartisan amendments to block the U.S. military training of Ukraine's Azov Battalion of the Ukrainian National Guard. Some members of the battalion are openly white supremacists.[19][20]


Yoho has been described as "crazy" and as someone who "destroyed" America by GQ and Rolling Stone magazines.[21][22]

While running for Congress in 2012, Yoho supported Florida Governor Rick Scott's controversial reduction of early voting while backing further reductions. Yoho later joked about limiting the right to vote once again exclusively to property owners. He also expressed support for the Bilderberg conspiracy theory.[23]

In 2013, he became widely known for stating that breaching the debt ceiling and defaulting on the national debt "would bring stability to the world markets".[24] This position was widely panned by Democrats as well as some of his fellow Republicans, such as Representative Reid Ribble, who called the position "crazy talk".[25]

Verbal assault[edit]

In July 2020, Yoho accosted Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over her public comments that an increase of crime in New York City was due to the high rise in poverty. According to a reporter from The Hill who overheard the conversation, the congressman called her "disgusting" and "out of your freaking mind." Ocasio-Cortez called him "rude," and reporters overheard Yoho calling her a "fucking bitch" as he walked away from the conversation.[26] Ocasio-Cortez confirmed the incident on Twitter and on the House floor, but Yoho's office denied his comments, claiming that he "made a brief comment to himself as he walked away summarizing what he believes her policies to be: bullshit."[27] He later addressed the incident on the House floor, saying, "Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I'm very cognizant of my language. The offensive name calling, words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleagues and if they were construed that way, I apologize for their misunderstanding."[28] Though later in an interview with comedian Ben Palmer he confessed “truth is, as I walked away by myself, I said what an F’in B”.[29]

Ocasio-Cortez addressed Congress and rebuked Yoho for having called her "a fucking bitch".[30] In response, Ocasio-Cortez said, "Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man."[31][32] On July 25, 2020, Bread for the World, a Christian non-profit organization, announced Yoho would no longer serve on its board, noting that Yoho's "recent actions and words as reported in the media are not reflective of the ethical standards expected of members of our Board of Directors."[33]


During his first term of office, Yoho sponsored eighteen bills.[34] One of the bills introduced during his first term, the Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014, was passed by the House, but never voted on by the Senate.[35]

Yoho co-authored the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2014 (H.R. 1528; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend the Controlled Substances Act to clarify that veterinarians are not required to have separate registrations to dispense controlled substances outside of their principal place of business, such as when treating animals on a farm.[36][37][38]

Yoho is a co-sponsor of the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015 (H.R. 3134).[39] It has not moved since passing the House on September 18, 2015.

On June 9, 2016, Yoho voted Nay on the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA, H.R. 5278) to restructure Puerto Rican debt.[40] The Republican-authored bill passed the House with bipartisan support.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Gun policy[edit]

Yoho has stated that "the right to bear arms is a birthright and should never be threatened."[45] Yoho is a gun owner. He supports concealed carry laws and carries his gun with him when at home in Florida. Yoho has compared carrying a gun to carrying a cell phone in one's pocket. He says "I have the right to protect myself," regarding concealed carry and "I feel like I have a very good aim. My wife is better." He has co-sponsored bills to allow lawmakers to carry guns at the US Capitol and additional bills to allow individuals to carry guns nationwide, regardless of state law.[46] In 2012, Yoho stated, "I am proud to say I hold an A rating from the NRA".[45] From 2015 to 2016, Yoho accepted US$1,000 in direct campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund;[47] from 2012 to 2018, his total is US$4,000 from NRA sources.[45]

In March 2017, Yoho voted in favor of the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, which would have allowed veterans who are considered "mentally incompetent" to purchase ammunition and firearms unless declared a danger by a judge.[45] The measure passed the House of Representatives, but ultimately stalled in the Senate. Yoho was one of the original co-sponsors of H.J.Res.40, which successfully used the Congressional Review Act to block implementation of an Obama-era amendment to the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 that was aimed at preventing the mentally-infirm from legally purchasing firearms.[48]

LGBT rights[edit]

Yoho has a "0" rating from the Human Rights Campaign, indicating an anti-LGBT voting history.[49]


Yoho is anti-abortion. He believes there should be strict protection laws for fetuses.[50] He has described abortion as a "hideous practice" which "needs to stop."[51]

Foreign policy[edit]

Yoho urged the Trump administration to impose sanctions against Chinese officials who are responsible for human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. In March 2019, Yoho and other lawmakers wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that read in part, "This issue is bigger than just China. It is about demonstrating to strongmen globally that the world will hold them accountable for their actions."[52] He also delivered a speech on East Turkistan (Xinjiang) on the House floor, describing East Turkistan as an "occupied country" and condemned China for what he says is its genocide of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples.[53][54]

Drug policy[edit]

Yoho has a "B" rating from NORML, indicating a mixed voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. Yoho is not against 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. He supports industrial hemp farming.[55] He voted in favor of preventing the DEA from funding the stop of medical marijuana operations in the states where they are legally operating.[56]

Economic issues[edit]

Yoho voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Yoho acknowledges that the bill is "not perfect." He believes the bill will "simplify the tax code" and "lighten the burden on all Americans (including middle-class families)."[57]


On February 26, 2020, Yoho voted against making lynching a federal hate crime. He stated that he believed it was an "overreach of the federal government and tramples on states' rights to make their own legislation on the subject".[58][59]

Texas v. Pennsylvania[edit]

In December 2020, Yoho was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives who signed an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, an unsuccessful lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden prevailed[60] over incumbent Donald Trump.[61]

Personal life[edit]

Yoho married his wife Carolyn when they were 19 years old. They have two daughters and a son.[2] Yoho is Roman Catholic.[62]


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  2. ^ a b "Full Biography". December 11, 2012. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  3. ^ Akin, Stephanie (December 10, 2019). "Florida Republican Ted Yoho announces he won't seek a fifth term". Roll Call. Washington, D.C. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  4. ^ Congress (US) Joint Committee on Print (2014). Official Congressional Directory 2013–2014: 113th Congress. Government Printing Office. p. 59.
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  6. ^ "AP Election Results | Campaign 2012 | C-SPAN". Associated Press. August 16, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
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  8. ^ Mahtesian, Charles (August 15, 2012). "Who is Ted Yoho?". Politico. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  9. ^ Dixon, Matt (August 14, 2012). "Shocker in U.S. House 3: Ted Yoho upsets 12-term incumbent Cliff Stearns". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  10. ^ "2012 Election Results – Presidential, Senate & Congressional Races". ABC News. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  11. ^ Thompson, Bill (October 19, 2012). "3-way race for District 3, new congressman assured (Ted Yoho, J.R. Gallot, Phillip Dodds)". The Gainesville Sun. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  12. ^ "Issues". Tedyoho.com. Archived from the original on November 17, 2014. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Issues | Ted Yoho for Congress | Florida's 3rd District". Tedyoho.com. Archived from the original on October 9, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  14. ^ "CBO | The U.S. Federal Budget: Infographic". Cbo.gov. December 12, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  15. ^ "Ted Yoho – Political Positions – Project Vote Smart". Vote Smart. August 14, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  16. ^ "County Business and Demographics Interactive Map – US Census Bureau". Census.gov. August 27, 2012. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  17. ^ Weigel, David (April 1, 2014). "Vampire-LARPing Candidate Accuses His Republican Opponent of Being Too Liberal". Slate. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  18. ^ Klimas, Jacqueline (January 4, 2015). "Ted Yoho joins Louie Gohmert in challenge of John Boehner's House leadership". Washington Times. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  19. ^ Bershidsky, Leonid (June 12, 2015). "Ukraine's Neo-Nazis Won't Get U.S. Money". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on November 20, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
  20. ^ "Ukrainian unit accused of Neo-Nazi links wants Canada's help". ottawacitizen. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  21. ^ "Eight Tea Party Morons Destroying America". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  22. ^ Sherrill, Stephen; Sutton, Ward (December 1, 2014). "GQ Presents: America's 20 Craziest Politicians". GQ. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  23. ^ Tashman, Brian (May 20, 2014). "As Candidate For Congress, Ted Yoho Suggested Limiting The Right To Vote To Property Owners". Right Wing Watch. People For the American Way. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  24. ^ Philips, Matthew (October 7, 2013). "The Dumbest Thing Said About the Debt Ceiling ... So Far". Bloomberg. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  25. ^ Alman, Ashley (October 8, 2013). "GOP Rep Hurls 'Crazy Talk' Claim At Fellow Republican". HuffPost. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  26. ^ Lillis, Mike (July 21, 2020). "Ocasio-Cortez accosted by GOP lawmaker over remarks: 'That kind of confrontation hasn't ever happened to me'". The Hill.
  27. ^ Byrd, Haley (July 22, 2020). "Ted Yoho apologizes after reportedly verbally accosting Ocasio-Cortez over stance on unemployment, crime in New York". CNN. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  28. ^ Cillizza, Chris (July 22, 2020). "This Florida Republican just delivered a master class in how *not* to apologize". CNN. Retrieved July 24, 2020. (special thanks to CNN's Ali Main for this transcript)
  29. ^ Palmer, Ben (May 1, 2024). "A congressman accidentally made me his right hand man". YouTube. Retrieved May 22, 2024.
  30. ^ "'I Could Not Allow That To Stand': Ocasio-Cortez Rebukes Republican For Vulgar Insult". NPR.org. July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  31. ^ "Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) Responds to Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL)". C-Span. July 23, 2020.
  32. ^ Ocasio-Cortez delivers powerful speech after Republican's sexist remarks The Guardian
  33. ^ Itkowitz, Colby (July 25, 2020). "Rep. Ted Yoho removed from board of Christian charity over his comments about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  34. ^ "Congressman Ted Yoho - As we begin the new Congress, I'd like to take a look back at some highlights from my first term. I look forward to serving you in the 114th Congress! | Facebook". www.facebook.com.
  35. ^ Yoho, Ted (December 9, 2014). "H.R.5759 – 113th Congress (2013–2014): Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014". www.congress.gov. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  36. ^ "H.R. 1528 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  37. ^ "CBO – H.R. 1528". Congressional Budget Office. April 18, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  38. ^ Kellogg, Barry (May 15, 2013). "Protect Mobile Veterinary Services and Public Health and Safety: Support the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act". Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
  39. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart.
  40. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart.
  41. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  42. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  43. ^ "What is the House Freedom Caucus, and who's in it?". Pew Research Center. October 20, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  44. ^ "Members of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus". Veterinary Medicine Caucus. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  45. ^ a b c d Caplan, Andrew (February 21, 2018). "Your leaders: 4–1 against stricter gun laws". The Gainesville Sun. Gannett. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  46. ^ Liebelson, Dana (July 14, 2017). "Some GOP Lawmakers Really Want To Carry Guns In The Capitol". HuffPost. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  47. ^ Grinberg, Emanuella (February 21, 2018). "These Florida lawmakers accepted money from the National Rifle Association". CNN. Atlanta, Georgia: Turner Broadcasting Systems. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  48. ^ Sun Sentinel Editorial Board (February 18, 2018). "In the wake of school shooting, follow the money". Sun-Sentinel. Deerfield Beach, Florida: Tribune Publishing. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  49. ^ Johnson, Chris (October 7, 2016). "Rubio's score plummets to '0' in HRC congressional ratings". Washington Blade. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  50. ^ Carpenter, Zoë (January 22, 2015). "Don't Be Fooled: Republicans Are Still as Extreme on Abortion as Ever". The Nation. Archived from the original on December 29, 2015. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  51. ^ Rogers, Alex (January 22, 2015). "House GOP Pulls Anti-Abortion Bill on Roe v. Wade Anniversary". Time. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  52. ^ "U.S. lawmakers complain Trump has taken 'no meaningful action' on abuse of China Muslims". Reuters. March 4, 2019.
  53. ^ "Congressman Ted Yoho's Speech on China's Oppression in East Turkistan". YouTube. C-SPAN. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  54. ^ Congress, US (March 11, 2020). "House of Representatives" (PDF). Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 116th Congress, Second Session. 166 (47): 1815. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  55. ^ "Florida Scorecard – NORML.org – Working to Reform Marijuana Laws". NORML. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  56. ^ Weigel, David (May 30, 2014). "The House Votes to Stop Medical Marijuana Busts by the Feds". Slate. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  57. ^ Brown, Stephanie (December 19, 2017). "Northeast Florida lawmakers divided on impact of tax reform plan". WOKV. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  58. ^ Grisales, Claudia (February 26, 2020). "'It's About Time': House Approves Historic Bill Making Lynching A Federal Crime". NPR.
  59. ^ Gustavo, Solomon. "Florida Rep. Ted Yoho one of only four in Congress to vote against lynching act". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  60. ^ Blood, Michael R.; Riccardi, Nicholas (December 5, 2020). "Biden officially secures enough electors to become president". AP News. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
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External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative