Marcia Kaptur

Marcy Kaptur
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 9th district
Assumed office
January 3, 1983
Preceded by Ed Weber
Personal details
Born Marcia Carolyn Kaptur
(1946-06-17) June 17, 1946 (age 68)
Toledo, Ohio
Political party Democratic
Residence Toledo, Ohio
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Madison (B.A.),
University of Michigan (M.U.P.),
University of Manchester,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Occupation Urban planner
Religion Roman Catholic

Marcia Carolyn "Marcy" Kaptur (born June 17, 1946) is the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 9th congressional district, serving since 1983. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district, anchored by the city of Toledo, includes all of Ottawa and Erie counties, and part of Lucas and Lorain counties.

Serving her sixteenth term in the House of Representatives, Kaptur is the dean of Ohio's congressional delegation, the longest currently-serving woman in the House and the second longest-serving ever after Edith Rogers; in the Congress, she is currently tied for the second longest-serving woman with Senator Barbara Boxer, behind Senator Barbara Mikulski. She ranks 17th out of 435 members in seniority and serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

Early life, education, and early political career

Kaptur, a Polish-American,[1] was born in Toledo, Ohio, the daughter of Anastasia Delores (née Rogowski) and Stephen Jacob Kaptur.[2] Her family operated a small grocery. Kaptur became a Democratic Party volunteer in the late 1950s, at age 13.

Kaptur graduated from St. Ursula Academy in 1964 and became the first member in her family to attend college. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1968 and a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan in 1974.[3] She did post-graduate study in urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981.

Kaptur served on the Toledo-Lucas County Plan Commissions from 1969 to 1975 and was director of planning for the National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs (1975–1977) founded by the late Msgr. Geno Baroni. She later served as a domestic policy advisor during President Jimmy Carter's Administration.

U.S. House of Representatives


While pursuing a doctorate in urban planning development finance at MIT, Kaptur was recruited to run for Congress in 1982 against freshman Republican Ed Weber, who had upset 26-year incumbent Lud Ashley two years earlier. Despite being outspent by almost 3-1, she defeated Weber 58%-39%.[4][5] Although the 9th had traditionally been a Democratic bastion, Kaptur's win was considered a major upset.

In 1984, Kaptur faced a strong challenge from Republican Frank Venner, longtime anchorman and weatherman at WTVG, but defeated him 55%-44%,[6] even as Ronald Reagan carried the district. Between 1984 and 2004, she won every election with at least 74% of the vote. In 2004, she faced her first serious opponent in 20 years in Lucas County auditor Larry Kaczala. However, Kaptur dispatched him fairly easily, winning by 68%-32%.


Kaptur won her 13th term with 74% of the vote.[7]


Kaptur won her 14th term with 74% of the vote.[8]


Shortly after achieving fame during the 2008 election, conservative figure Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher announced that he was considering challenging Kaptur in the 2010 election.[9][10][11] However, he chose not to run. Kaptur was instead challenged by Republican Rich Iott, a Tea Party movement favorite. Kaptur won re-election to her 15th term with 59% of the vote,[12] which was her worst re-election performance since 1984.


Kaptur ran for re-election to a 16th term. After congressional redistricting, fellow U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) ended up in the 9th District as well, so they ran against one other in the Democratic primary. Graham Veysey, a small business owner from Cleveland, also ran in the primary. Kaptur won the primary with 56% of the vote, while Kucinich received 40%.[13][14] In the general election, she won against Republican Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher and Libertarian Sean Stipe.[15]


Kaptur is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She was once named "Most Valuable Member" of the House by The Nation. In 1996, Kaptur was asked by Ross Perot to be his vice-presidential running mate. She eventually declined.[16]

Patent reform

Kaptur was a dedicated opponent of the America Invents Act that passed into law and changed the U.S. Patent System. Kaptur opposed changing from a "first to invent system" to a "first to file system", claiming it hurt small businesses.[17] Kaptur stated "Our patent system is the finest in the world... the proposed solutions are special fixes that benefit these few giants at the expense of everyone else."[18]

World War II Memorial

Responding to Roger Durbin, a World War II veteran and constituent, Kaptur first suggested the creation of a National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

On December 10, 1987, Kaptur introduced the World War II Memorial Act to the House of Representatives. The legislation authorized the American Battle Monuments Commission to establish a World War II memorial, however, as the bill was not voted on before the end of the session it failed to be enacted into law. Kaptur introduced similar legislation in 1989 and 1991 but these bills also failed to become law.

Kaptur introduced legislation for the fourth time on January 27, 1993. This time the legislation was voted on and passed in the House on May 10, 1993. After a companion bill was passed in the United States Senate, President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law on May 25, 1993. Durbin died before the memorial was built, but Kaptur spoke at the memorial dedication ceremony, along with Durbin's granddaughter, on May 29, 2004.

Kaptur later said that she felt "a great sense of fulfillment" that the memorial was finally built. "This generation was the most unselfish America has ever seen," she said. "They never asked anybody for anything in return."[19]

On April 12, 2011 Marcy Kaptur introduced H.R. 1489 to restore the Glass-Steagall Act. It states "To repeal certain provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and revive the separation between commercial banking and the securities business, in the manner provided in the Banking Act of 1933, the so-called "Glass-Steagall Act", and for other purposes." There are currently 30 co-sponsors.


Though generally reckoned as a liberal-to-progressive Democrat, Kaptur holds moderately conservative views on abortion. She has voted in favor of some proposals to restrict access to abortion but has opposed others. In January 2007, she was the only member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to vote against funding for stem-cell research.[20] Kaptur has expressed support for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, an amendment to America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, and voted in favor of it on November 9.[21] Kaptur was one of only sixteen Democrats to vote in favor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act on May 4, 2011.[22] Kaptur also voted in favor of banning partial-birth abortions in 2000 and 2003.[23][24] Kaptur voted against the Child Custody Protection Act in 1999 and the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act in 2005.[25][26] Kaptur voted against allowing privately funded abortions at overseas military hospitals twice in 1995, as well as 1997, 1998 and 1999.[27][28][29][30][31] Most recently on the issue, in 2005, Kaptur voted in favor of lifting the ban on abortions at overseas military hospitals.[32]

Free trade

Kaptur is a staunch opponent of free trade agreements. She helped lead opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement, Permanent Normal Trade Relations for the People's Republic of China, and fast track authority for the president.

2008 economic crisis

Marcy Kaptur expressed strong opposition to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which provided a bailout for U.S. banks.[33] Addressing Wall Street banks, she said, "You have perpetrated the greatest financial crimes ever on this American Republic."

She also stated, "America doesn't need to bail you out. It needs to secure real assets and property. Federal regional reserve banks should have a new job to help renegotiate . American people should get equity in any companies. Major job creation to rebuild our infrastructure. Regulate, we need a modern Glass–Steagall Act. Refinancing must return a major share of profits to a new Social Security and Medicare lock box."

Kaptur's opposition to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was highlighted in Michael Moore's 2009 documentary Capitalism: A Love Story[34]

The environment

Marcy Kaptur backed The American Clean Energy and Security Act in the U.S. House after she was able to insert an amendment that would authorize the Secretary of Energy to create power marketing authorities in regions where none currently exist. One such area would be the Great Lakes region. Kaptur said the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation could serve as the vehicle for administering up to $3.5 billion in borrowing authority to stimulate economic development through creation of green energy such as solar power and wind power. Kaptur said the $3.5 billion in borrowing authority would promote "regional equity" and serve as a powerful engine for job creation in a region that has suffered from high energy costs, especially expensive electricity.

Other views

She has consistently supported military spending bills.

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

  • Congressional Arts Caucus
  • Congressional Ukrainian Caucus (co-chair)
  • Congressional Caucus on Poland
  • Congressional Caucus on Central and Eastern Europe
  • Congressional Progressive Caucus

Electoral history

Ohio's 9th congressional district: Results 1982–2012[35][36][37]
Year Democratic Votes  % Republican Votes  % Third Party Party Votes  % Third Party Party Votes  %
1982 Marcy Kaptur 95,162 58% Ed Weber 64,459 39% Susan Skinner Independent 1,785 1% James Somers Independent 1,594 1% *
1984 Marcy Kaptur 117,985 55% Frank Venner 93,210 43% Other 3,714 2%
1986 Marcy Kaptur 105,646 78% Mike Shufeldt 30,643 22%
1988 Marcy Kaptur 157,557 81% Al Hawkins 36,183 19%
1990 Marcy Kaptur 117,681 78% Jerry Lammers 33,791 22%
1992 Marcy Kaptur 178,879 74% Ken Brown 53,011 22% Edward Howard Independent 11,162 5%
1994 Marcy Kaptur 118,120 75% Randy Whitman 38,665 25%
1996 Marcy Kaptur 170,617 77% Randy Whitman 46,040 21% Elizabeth Slotnick Natural Law 4,677 2%
1998 Marcy Kaptur 130,793 81% Edward Emery 30,312 19%
2000 Marcy Kaptur 168,547 75% Dwight Bryan 49,446 22% Galen Fries Libertarian 4,239 2% Dennis Slotnick Natural Law 3,096 1%
2002 Marcy Kaptur 132,236 74% Ed Emery 46,481 26%
2004 Marcy Kaptur 205,149 68% Larry Kaczala 95,983 32%
2006 Marcy Kaptur 153,880 74% Bradley Leavitt 55,119 26%
2008 Marcy Kaptur 222,054 74% Bradley Leavitt 76,512 26%
2010 Marcy Kaptur 121,819 59% Rich Iott 83,423 41%
2012 Marcy Kaptur 217,771 73% Samuel Wurzelbacher 68,668 23% Sean Stipe Libertarian 11,725 4%
  • In 1982, Libertarian Brian Muir also received less than one percent of the vote.

See also


External links

  • Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur official U.S. House site
  • Marcy Kaptur for Congress
  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Ballotpedia
  • NNDB
  • Project Vote Smart
  • GovTrack
  • OpenCongress
  • Roll Call
  • Federal Election Commission
  • The Washington Post
  • On the Issues
  • The Library of Congress
  • The Washington Post
  • WorldCat catalog)
  • C-SPAN programs
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Bloomberg News
  • The New York Times
  • The Washington Post
  • SourceWatch
  • Jake Whitney interviews Marcy Kaptur in Guernica magazine, December 2009
Preceded by
Ed Weber
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Steny Hoyer
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Sander Levin

Template:OhioRepresentatives09 Template:Ohio Women's Hall of Fame

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