Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: Dec. 2007, 3rd full term.

Born: April 18, 1956, Bluffton

Home: Bowling Green

Education: Bowling Green St. U., B.A. 1978, U. of Toledo, J.D. 1981.

Professional Career: Attorney, 1981-91.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: married (Marcia) , 2 children

Republican Bob Latta, who won a special election for his seat in 2007, is the son of Delbert Latta, who held the seat for 30 years, from 1959 to 1989. The younger Latta is far more conservative than his father and meshes well with the younger, like-minded Republicans who arrived in subsequent House elections.

Bob Latta was born in Ohio but split his early years between his native Bluffton, Ohio and Washington D.C. Growing up helping in his father’s campaigns, Latta says he learned the business of catering to constituents. Young Latta was frequently interrupted during his homework to answer their phone calls and remembers his father following up with federal agencies to try to get results from the vast government bureaucracy. Latta also spent time driving around the district with his dad, going to meetings and events. During college at Bowling Green State University, Latta volunteered in his father’s office, where he met his wife, Marcia, who worked for his father. When he graduated from law school at the University of Toledo, his father had one bit of career advice for him: Don’t get into politics.

He did his best to follow that guidance and practiced law for several years. But when his father announced his retirement from Congress in 1988, the 31-year-old couldn’t pass on the opportunity to try to follow in his footsteps. However, he first had to get by Paul Gillmor, a Republican state senator who had been waiting for a congressional seat to open up during Del Latta’s long tenure. In the primary contest with Gillmor, Bob Latta argued that, like his father, he would start out young and eventually gain enough seniority to preside over powerful committees. After a spirited race, Gillmor beat Latta by just 27 votes out of 57,361 cast.

Latta focused on local politics, first getting elected to the Wood County Commission and then to the Ohio Legislature, where he served in both the Senate and the state Assembly. One of his major efforts was to repeal the Ohio estate tax, which he succeeded in doing for 78% of Ohioans. An avid hunter, Latta also championed conservation issues, including lengthening hunting seasons and expanding wildlife reserves.

On September 5, 2007, Gillmor died at his Washington home, apparently from a fall down stairs. Latta got into the contest for a successor, but had to overcome a hard-fought Republican primary and a Democratic challenger heavily financed by the national party. Latta’s major primary opponent was state Sen. Steve Buehrer, who was backed by the national anti-tax group Club for Growth, which ran several ads attacking Latta as an advocate of higher taxes. Latta attacked Buehrer for accepting donations from a former fundraiser for President George W. Bush in Ohio, Tom Noe, a convicted money launderer. But it came to light that Latta had also taken money from Noe. In the end, Latta defeated Buehrer by only 2,542 votes out of 74,191 cast.

Latta’s Democratic opponent, Robin Weirauch, a former public administrator who had twice run against Gillmor, had backing from national labor unions and the fundraising group EMILY’s list. She attacked Latta on economic issues and on his support for the Iraq war. Still, despite Weirauch’s best efforts to capitalize on the anti-incumbent, anti-Washington sentiment that year, she came up short in the solidly Republican district. Latta won 57%-43%.

In the House, Latta has been staunchly conservative, often dismissing Democratic proposals as “socialist.” He has introduced bills to eliminate automatic pay raises for lawmakers, to permanently repeal the estate tax, and to issue a Ronald Reagan commemorative coin. He took a prized seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee in April 2010, having earlier made energy independence his central issue. He successfully amended a House-passed air-quality bill in September 2011 to require the Environmental Protection Agency to take industry costs into account in setting standards under the Clean Air Act. The proposal never moved in the Senate, and it landed Latta on the Los Angeles Times editorial board’s list of the “10 biggest enemies of the Earth” that December.

Latta has taken an increasing interest in technology. He was the first House member to release an iPhone app in 2010 and became vice chairman of Energy and Commerce’s communications and technology subcommittee in 2013. He tried unsuccessfully in February 2011 to amend a spending bill to cut the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s budget by $10 million and introduced a resolution the following month declaring that to continue aggressive growth in the telecommunications and technology industries, the federal government “should get out of the way and stay out of the way.”

As vice chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Latta drew headlines in 2009 for castigating an Obama administration proposal to reclassify pocketknives that can be sprung open with one hand as switchblades. Both chambers passed bills overturning the idea, and it was signed into law.

Latta has won reelection by wide margins. His father was known for his constituent-service work, and his son has sought to replicate that by personally reading and signing each piece of outgoing mail from his office. His closest race was in 2012. The Toledo Blade endorsed his Democratic opponent Angela Zimmann, a college professor, and said Latta “has not been pragmatic or constructive.” But he still won convincingly, 57%-39%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6405

(202) 225-1985

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2448
Washington, DC 20515-3505

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6405

(202) 225-1985

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2448
Washington, DC 20515-3505

DISTRICT OFFICE

(419) 354-8700

(419) 344-8702

1045 North Main Street Suite 6
Bowling Green, OH 43402-1361

DISTRICT OFFICE

(419) 354-8700

(419) 344-8702

1045 North Main Street Suite 6
Bowling Green, OH 43402-1361

DISTRICT OFFICE

(419) 782-1996

(419) 784-9808

101 Clinton Street Suite 1200
Defiance, OH 43512-2165

DISTRICT OFFICE

(419) 782-1996

(419) 784-9808

101 Clinton Street Suite 1200
Defiance, OH 43512-2165

DISTRICT OFFICE

(419) 422-7791

(419) 422-7793

318 Dorney Plaza Room 302
Findlay, OH 45840

DISTRICT OFFICE

(419) 422-7791

(419) 422-7793

318 Dorney Plaza Room 302
Findlay, OH 45840

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(419) 455-6495

1528 Muirfield Drive
Bowling Green, OH 43402-5211

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

1528 Muirfield Drive
Bowling Green, OH 43402-5211

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Aerospace

Jason Isakovic
Legislative Director

Agriculture

Madeline Barter
Legislative Counsel

Arts

Rachel Blue
Legislative Assistant

Education

Rachel Blue
Legislative Assistant

Michael Davin
Legislative Assistant

mike.davin@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6405

Energy

Jason Isakovic
Legislative Director

Madeline Barter
Legislative Counsel

Environment

Jason Isakovic
Legislative Director

Madeline Barter
Legislative Counsel

Family

Rachel Blue
Legislative Assistant

Finance

Jason Isakovic
Legislative Director

Michael Davin
Legislative Assistant

mike.davin@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6405

Foreign

Jason Isakovic
Legislative Director

Govt Ops

Rachel Blue
Legislative Assistant

Michael Davin
Legislative Assistant

mike.davin@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6405

Gun Issues

Michael Davin
Legislative Assistant

mike.davin@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6405

Homeland Security

Jason Isakovic
Legislative Director

Madeline Barter
Legislative Counsel

Housing

Jason Isakovic
Legislative Director

Michael Davin
Legislative Assistant

mike.davin@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6405

Immigration

Madeline Barter
Legislative Counsel

Internet

Rachel Blue
Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Rachel Blue
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Jason Isakovic
Legislative Director

Madeline Barter
Legislative Counsel

Michael Davin
Legislative Assistant

mike.davin@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6405

Military

Jason Isakovic
Legislative Director

Science

Michael Davin
Legislative Assistant

mike.davin@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6405

Small Business

Jason Isakovic
Legislative Director

Social Security

Jason Isakovic
Legislative Director

Michael Davin
Legislative Assistant

mike.davin@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6405

Technology

Michael Davin
Legislative Assistant

mike.davin@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6405

Telecommunications

Rachel Blue
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Madeline Barter
Legislative Counsel

Transportation

Jason Isakovic
Legislative Director

Michael Davin
Legislative Assistant

mike.davin@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6405

Veterans

Jason Isakovic
Legislative Director

Welfare

Rachel Blue
Legislative Assistant

Women

Rachel Blue
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Bob Latta
Votes: 201,514
Percent: 57.27%
Angela Zimmann
Votes: 137,806
Percent: 39.16%
2012 PRIMARY
Bob Latta
Votes: 76,477
Percent: 82.58%
Bob Wallis
Votes: 16,135
Percent: 17.42%
2010 GENERAL
Bob Latta
Votes: 140,703
Percent: 67.82%
Caleb Finkenbiner
Votes: 54,919
Percent: 26.47%
Brian Smith
Votes: 11,831
Percent: 5.7%
2010 PRIMARY
Bob Latta
Votes: 42,827
Percent: 83.03%
Robert Wallis
Votes: 8,754
Percent: 16.97%
2008 GENERAL
Bob Latta
Votes: 188,905
Percent: 64.09%
George Mays
Votes: 105,840
Percent: 35.91%
2008 PRIMARY
Bob Latta
Votes: 54,093
Percent: 74.8%
Scott Radcliffe
Votes: 12,347
Percent: 17.07%
Michael Reynolds
Votes: 5,873
Percent: 8.12%
2007 SPECIAL
Bob Latta
Votes: 56,114
Percent: 57.0%
Robin Weirauch
Votes: 42,229
Percent: 43.0%
2007 PRIMARY
Bob Latta
Votes: 32,392
Percent: 44.0%
Steve Buehrer
Votes: 29,850
Percent: 40.0%
Mark Hollenbaugh
Votes: 4,955
Percent: 7.0%
Fred Pieper
Votes: 4,252
Percent: 6.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (68%), 2008 (64%), 2007 special (57%)

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