Mary Jo Kilroy

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Mary Jo Kilroy is a first-term Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the 15th Congressional District of Ohio. The 15th District is centered on Columbus, Ohio.

Committee assignments

Congressional caucuses

She has not joined any of the Democratic ideological caucuses (Blue Dog Coalition, New Democrat Coalition, Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congressional Populist Caucus), but worked closely with the Ohio Democratic delegation. She, Charlie Wilson, Tim Ryan, Betty Sutton, Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur wrote letters to Chase bank about potential job displacements, and opposing the Panama Free Trade Agreement.



J Street, positioned as a liberal alternative to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, endorses her, for support of

pursuing a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as an expression of strong American support for the state of Israel. She also stated her commitment to the "unique and strong partnership between the United States and the state of Israel." Rep. Kilroy signed the Cohen-Boustany-Carnahan letter supporting President Obama's Middle East peace policies and co-sponsored a House Resolution expressing support for the appointment of former Senator George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace. [1]

She signed a letter to the President, organized by J Street and Americans for Peace Now cosponsored a letter from 54 House Democrats to President Obama, calling for lifting sanctions on Gaza. The lead authors were Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Washington (U.S. state)) and Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota)[2]

When she and other Congressmen (led by Bill Delahunt (Massachusetts), and Bob Filner and Lois Capps of California (U.S. state) and Donald Payne (New Jersey) visited Israel in February 2010, sponsored by J Street and Churches for Middle East Peace, the Deputy Foreign Minister, refused to meet with them as long as staff from the sponsors would be present. Israeli Defense Forces prevented them from going to Gaza. They did meet with Palestinian officials, the king and prime minister of Jordan, and members of the Knesset including the leader of the opposition, Tzipi Livni (Kadima). [3]

Homeland security

She introduced the Strengthening and Updating Resources and Equipment (SURE) Act, to allow first responders to maintain the capabilities necessary to prepare and protect their communities against acts of terrorism and other emergencies. It passed the Homeland Security Committee in November 2009.

Steven Emerson and the Investigative Project on Terrorism have suggested she is soft on terrorism. IPT published a letter from Kilroy and six other Democrats to Attorney General Eric Holder,[4] asking he meet with representatives of Islamic groups, all of which it describes as linked to radical Islam. The signers indicated the meetings could improve relations in the U.S., and expressed concern over due process in law enforcement.[5]

Health care

She voted for the Democratic health care reform bills in November 2009 and March 2010, and also cosponsored the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act.

There was much coverage of a video showing a protester, Chris Reichert, associated with the Tea Party Movement, throwing money at a counterdemonstrator with Parkinson's disease outside her Ohio office. She called on "the organizations that promoted the rally — including the Columbus Tea Party, and Americans for Prosperity – and those who attended to condemn what happened.”[6] Reichert subsequently apologized, and both sides denounced the action [7]

Voting ratings

Organization Rating Date
American Civil Liberties Union
American Conservative Union
Americans for Democratic Action
Cato Institute
Christian Coalition
Human Rights Campaign
League of Conservation Voters
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Rifle Association
National Right to Life Committee
National Taxpayers Union
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Sources: Links to the voting ratings guides of the above organizations together with brief descriptive information on the organizations themselves, may be found at:

2008 Election

Candidate Party Vote total Percentage
Mary Jo Kilroy Democrat 139,584 45.94%
Steve R. Stivers Republican 137,272 45.18%
Mark Noble Libertarian 14,061 4.63%
Don Eckhart Independent 12,915 4.25%
Travis W. Casper' Write-in 6 0.00%

Source: Federal Election Results - final official tally

2010 Elections


  • Bachelor's degree in political science, Cleveland State University, 1977
  • J.D., Ohio State University, 1980


  1. Mary Jo Kilroy, Democrat (OH-15), J Street PAC
  2. Natasha Mozgovaya (26 January 2010), "U.S. lawmakers to Obama: Press Israel to ease Gaza siege", Haaretz
  3. "J Street congressional group snubbed, blocked from Gaza", Jewish Telegraph Agency, 17 February 2010
  4. Letter to Eric Holder, 24 July 2009
  5. "The Investigative Project on Terrorism: Radical Islamic Groups Backed by Members of Congress", Reuters, 29 July 2009
  6. David Weigel (18 March 2010), "Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy Gets a Gift From Tea Partiers", Washington Independent
  7. Catherine Candisky (24 March 2010), Columbus Dispatch