David Joyce ContactBack to top
Address: 1535 LHOB, DC 20515
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David Joyce BiographyBack to top
- Elected: 2012, 1st term.
- District: Ohio 14
- Born: Mar. 17, 1957, Cleveland
- Home: Novelty
University of Dayton, B.S., 1979, J.D., 1982
- Professional Career:
Public defender, Geauga Cnty., 1985-88; Public defender, Cuyahoga Cnty., 1983-84
- Political Career:
Prosecutor, Geauga Cnty., 1988-2013
- Family: Married (Kelly Joyce); 3 children
Former prosecutor David Joyce hung onto the 14th District for the Republicans in 2012 when he defeated a weak Democratic opponent to succeed nine-term GOP Rep. Steven LaTourette, who retired.
Joyce, the third of four children in a deeply religious Irish-Catholic family, is the son of a coal salesman. In high school, he ran track and played defensive tackle and fullback on the football team. At one point in his youth he considered the priesthood, but he instead studied accounting at the University of Dayton. In 1982, he earned a law degree, expecting to get a job at one of the “big eight” accounting firms. But during interviews with potential employers, he was told he would have little opportunity for trial work, so he took a job as a public defender in Cuyahoga County, eventually moving to nearby Geauga County.
Joyce rose through the ranks quickly, and in 1988, at age 30, was elected as the youngest prosecutor in the county’s history. During the campaign for prosecutor he met his future wife, Kelly, a nurse, through a friend of his brother’s. (He recalled in an interview with National Journal that she introduced herself by calling his campaign mailers “hokey.”)
As prosecutor, Joyce collaborated with LaTourette, who was then the prosecutor in neighboring Lake County, on a locally famous murder case involving a cult leader, as well as on a failed effort in 1990 to ban from record stores an album by the hip-hop group 2 Live Crew. Joyce got involved in politics by working on phone banks for then-Cleveland Mayor George Voinovich’s reelection bid in 1983 and worked his way up the local Republican organization. In 1999, he organized “Prosecutors for Bush,” in support of George W. Bush’s presidential campaign.
In the 2012 race for LaTourette’s seat, Joyce’s Democratic opponent was Dale Virgil Blanchard, an accountant and a 10-time candidate for Congress, who ran despite pressure from Democrats who preferred a stronger challenger. Joyce raised more than $500,000 by the end of September, despite not entering the race until mid-August. He ran a mostly positive campaign and generally did not engage his opponent. He won, 54% to 39%.
Joyce is more conservative than his predecessor, who ranked as the second most-liberal Republican in the House on fiscal issues, according to National Journal’s vote ratings. But Joyce doesn’t take as hard a line as many conservative newcomers, acknowledging that the federal government plays an important role in providing infrastructure. In addition, Joyce does not rule out raising revenue to rein in the deficit.Show Less