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

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: April 29, 1954, Charleston, SC

Home: Huntsville, AL

Education: Duke U., B.A. 1975; U. of AL, J.D. 1978.

Professional Career: Tuscaloosa Cnty. asst. district atty., 1978-80; Madison Cnty. district atty., 1991-93; AL special asst. atty. gen., 1995-2002; practicing atty., 1993-2010.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Christian Church

Family: Married (Martha Jenkins) , 4 children ; 3 grandchildren

Mo Brooks, the 5th District congressman, in 2010 became the first Republican to be elected to the seat since 1868. As a member of that year’s boisterous freshman GOP class, he occasionally has drawn Democratic barbs for his blunt speaking style.

Brooks was born in Charleston, S.C. His father, Jack Brooks, was raised “dirt poor” in Chattanooga, Tenn., and his mother, Betty Brooks, grew up without electricity or indoor plumbing. “Out of that poverty, my parents learned that you’d better work, and work hard,” Brooks said. In 1963, when Mo was 9, the family moved to Huntsville, Ala., where Jack worked as an electrical engineer and Betty taught high school economics and government. Brooks was a student at Grissom High School during the Vietnam War, and he says the experience influenced his decision to make a career in government. He quit the basketball team to join the debate team and wound up participating in two state-championship debates. Brooks went on to study economics and political science at Duke University, graduating in three years. While he was a senior, he met Martha Jenkins of Ohio at a fraternity event, and a few years later, the two married.

In 1980, they moved to Brooks’ hometown of Huntsville, where he landed a circuit court clerkship. Two years later, he ran for the Alabama House, becoming one of only 11 Republicans elected that year out of 147 legislators. Brooks was reelected three times, and says he was most proud of his No. 1 ranking from the Alabama Taxpayers’ Defense Fund for his efforts to fight tax increases. He left the legislature when Republican Gov. Guy Hunt appointed him Madison County district attorney in 1991. He succeeded Democrat Bud Cramer, who had been elected to the U.S. House. Brooks lost a bid to keep the D.A.’s job two years later, hampered by Cramer’s endorsement of his Democratic opponent. He returned to public office in 1996, when he was elected to the Madison County Commission. In spite of Alabama’s history of electing conservative Democrats until relatively recently, Brooks says he has always felt more at home in the Republican Party. “It’s the difference between Jimmy Carter and policies that fail, and Ronald Reagan and policies that work,” he says.

Brooks won his U.S. House seat following hard-fought primary and general election battles in 2010. Within four months of taking the seat, he landed in the headlines when multiple deadly tornadoes struck his district. He worked to obtain disaster funds as a member of the committees on Armed Services and Homeland Security, but drew more attention for his subsequent tart-tongued remarks on other issues. In April, he charged in a floor speech that the United States is at “risk of insolvency and bankruptcy because the socialist members of this body choose to spend money that we do not have.” After Democrats protested, Brooks asked that his remarks be stricken from the record, but did not apologize for them. Several months later, at a forum back home, Brooks said he supported any measure “short of shooting them” to force illegal immigrants back to their home countries. Latino lawmakers and groups condemned his remarks.

When he circulated a letter in November 2011 urging House GOP leaders to hold a vote on a Senate-passed Chinese currency manipulation measure, the conservative anti-tax group Club for Growth assailed Brooks for “standing with Senate liberals like (Democratic Sens.) Sherrod Brown and Chuck Schumer.” Brooks was unapologetic: “Americans cannot stand idly by and watch Communist China undermine our economy via unfair trade practices,” he said.

Brooks landed in an even bigger controversy in August 2014. Asked by conservative radio host Laura Ingraham about a statement that the Republican Party was alienating non-white voters, Brooks responded: "This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else. It’s a part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things."

Ingraham responded that the characterization was "a little out there," and numerous Democrats blasted Brooks for what they called wrongly playing the race card. Democratic Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell, who is African-American, said his comments were "insensitive" and "do not represent the views of the state of Alabama." But Brooks was unapologetic. "Look at what the Democrats do on a regular basis," he said a few days later. "They appeal to specific racial groups by saying we will protect you, that particular racial group -- well, who are they talking about protecting them from? Well, they're talking about protecting them from Republicans."

Brooks claimed the House seat by defeating one-term Democratic incumbent Parker Griffith. With Southern Democrats losing their seats by the bucketful in recent elections, Griffith tried to hang onto his by announcing in December 2009 that he was switching parties and that he would seek reelection in 2010 as a Republican. During the GOP primary campaign, Brooks campaigned on the theme that the district “deserves a congressman who acts honorably.” He won with 51% of the vote to Griffith’s 33% and was able to avoid a runoff.

In the general election, Brooks' opponent was Steve Raby, the longtime chief of staff to former Sen. Howell Heflin of Alabama. The Democrat shunned his party label in most of his ads, focusing almost exclusively on local issues. Brooks, for his part, took on hot-button issues, declaring that he favored repealing President Barack Obama’s health care legislation and deporting all illegal immigrants. He says that the country is veering dangerously toward socialism and that the trend must be reversed.

Brooks won with 58% of the vote to Raby’s 42%. In seeking reelection two years later, he dispatched Griffith again in the Republican primary with 71% of the vote, winning each of the district’s five counties. He had an even easier time in the general election against Democrat Charlie Holley, outraising him by 16-to-1 and taking 65%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4801

(202) 225-4392

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1230
Washington, DC 20515-0105

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4801

(202) 225-4392

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1230
Washington, DC 20515-0105

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-4801

(202) 225-4392

302 Lee Street Room 86
Decatur, AL 35601-1926

DISTRICT OFFICE

(256) 355-9400

(256) 355-9406

302 Lee Street Room 86
Decatur, AL 35601-1926

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-4801

(202) 225-4392

2101 West Clinton Avenue Suite 302
Huntsville, AL 35805-3109

DISTRICT OFFICE

(256) 551-0190

(256) 551-0194

2101 West Clinton Avenue Suite 302
Huntsville, AL 35805-3109

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-4801

(202) 225-4392

102 South Court Street Suite 310
Florence, AL 35630-5633

DISTRICT OFFICE

(256) 718-5155

(256) 718-5156

102 South Court Street Suite 310
Florence, AL 35630-5633

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

7610 Foxfire Drive
Huntsville, AL 35802

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(202) 225-4801

(202) 225-4392

7610 Foxfire Drive
Huntsville, AL 35802

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Aerospace

Peter White
Legislative Counsel

Agriculture

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Appropriations

Andrew Tharp
Military Legislative Assistant

Banking

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Budget

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Campaign

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Communication

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Economics

Andrew Tharp
Military Legislative Assistant

Education

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Energy

Peter White
Legislative Counsel

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Environment

Peter White
Legislative Counsel

Finance

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Foreign

Andrew Tharp
Military Legislative Assistant

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Govt Ops

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Andrew Tharp
Military Legislative Assistant

Grants

Kathy Murray
Field Representative; Grants Coordinator

Health

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Homeland Security

Andrew Tharp
Military Legislative Assistant

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Housing

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Peter White
Legislative Counsel

Intelligence

Andrew Tharp
Military Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Peter White
Legislative Counsel

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Labor

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Military

Andrew Tharp
Military Legislative Assistant

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Native Americans

Peter White
Legislative Counsel

Rules

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Science

Peter White
Legislative Counsel

Small Business

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Tax

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Andrew Tharp
Military Legislative Assistant

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Trade

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Peter White
Legislative Counsel

Mark Pettitt
Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Welfare

Annalyse Keller
Press Assistant; Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2014 GENERAL
Mo Brooks
Votes: 115,212
Percent: 74.79%
Mark Bray
Votes: 38,830
Percent: 25.21%
2012 GENERAL
Mo Brooks
Votes: 189,185
Percent: 65.02%
Charlie Holley
Votes: 101,772
Percent: 34.98%
2012 PRIMARY
Mo Brooks
Votes: 65,123
Percent: 70.94%
Parker Griffith
Votes: 26,680
Percent: 29.06%
2010 GENERAL
Mo Brooks
Votes: 131,109
Percent: 57.89%
Steve Raby
Votes: 95,192
Percent: 42.03%
2010 PRIMARY
Mo Brooks
Votes: 35,746
Percent: 50.81%
Parker Griffith
Votes: 23,525
Percent: 33.44%
Les Phillip
Votes: 11,085
Percent: 15.76%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (58%)

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