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

Biography

Elected: 2006, 4th term.

Born: December 23, 1952, Sioux City, IA

Home: Mt. Vernon, IA

Education: IA St. U., B.S. 1974, M.A. 1976, U. of CA, Ph.D., 1985

Professional Career: Professor, Cornell Col., 1982-2006.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Methodist

Family: Married (Teresa) , 2 children (2 from previous marriage); 2 stepchildren ; 3 grandchildren

Democrat Dave Loebsack, elected in 2006, is a retired college professor who offsets his liberal leanings by seeking out similarly pragmatic Republicans on defense, budget, and health care issues.

A native of Sioux City, Loebsack (LOBE-sak) lived as a child in poverty with his mother, grandmother, and three siblings in a two-bedroom house and worked as a high school janitor to pay for college. He got a master’s degree at Iowa State University and went on to the University of California, Davis, to earn a Ph.D. in political science. From 1982 until his election to Congress, he was a professor of international relations at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, a few miles from Cedar Rapids. He had been active in local politics for several years, including a stint as fundraising chairman for Linn County Democrats.

When Loebsack decided to challenge 15-term GOP Rep. Jim Leach in 2006, he insisted that his campaign was not an attack on Leach’s three decades in Congress but rather on the GOP leadership in Congress; he called the popular Leach, a moderate Republican, an “enabler” for his party leaders. The war in Iraq was a pivotal issue then. Leach was the only member of the Iowa delegation to oppose the war, but Loebsack sought to tie him to President George W. Bush’s Defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, on the basis that Leach had been an aide to Rumsfeld when Rumsfeld was a House member from Illinois in the late 1960s. Leach refused to disparage his former boss, calling him a friend and insisting that Rumsfeld’s ouster would not change the administration’s policy in Iraq.

Loebsack raised $522,000, which ordinarily would have not been nearly enough for a competitive House race, and he had little support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. But Leach unwittingly helped Loebsack overcome those obstacles. Leach eschewed modern campaign practices, particularly negative campaigning, and was a notoriously reluctant fundraiser. When the Iowa Republican Party sent out negative mailers targeting Loebsack, Leach told them to stop. He refused to accept contributions from political action committees or from sources outside the district and raised only $491,000. Leach did earn the endorsement of the district’s major newspapers, but it wasn’t enough. Loebsack beat him, 51%-49%.

In Washington, Loebsack has a lower profile than most other members of Iowa’s congressional delegation, though Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told the Iowa City Press-Citizen that he considered him “one of the more thoughtful members” of Congress. One of his first official actions was to sponsor a measure to name the federal building in Davenport, Iowa, the James A. Leach Federal Building; it passed the House in 2007.

He has compiled a liberal voting record, although he moved slightly to the center on fiscal issues after Republicans regained control of the House in 2011. He has been among the Democrats joining Republicans in calling for the comptroller general to audit the Federal Reserve, and he also joined GOP lawmakers in supporting an end to public subsidies of the national party conventions. He joined the Center Aisle Caucus, an informal group of around 40 House members seeking to establish greater civility between the parties, and a subsequent bipartisan group of “Problem Solvers” headed by West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and former Utah GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman.

On the Armed Services Committee, Loebsack added a provision to the 2012 defense authorization bill to have behavioral health specialists embedded with National Guard and Reserve units during training. He drew praise at home for working closely with Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., on protecting the Rock Island Arsenal from cutbacks. The House in May 2009 passed Loebsack’s “green schools” bill authorizing $6.4 billion for modernizing and making environmental improvements to schools. The following year, it passed his legislation to offer competitive grants for community colleges and local business working together to help train workers.

Loebsack won a comfortable reelection, 57%-39%, in 2008 against political neophyte Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a Republican ophthalmologist. Miller-Meeks returned for a rematch in 2010, hoping the national political climate favoring her party would give her a boost. She criticized Loebsack’s support for the health care overhaul and called for reforming the tax code. She was able to remain roughly even with Loebsack on fundraising, and some polls showed her ahead in the closing weeks. But Loebsack’s work on behalf of flood-stricken communities in the district helped offset his support of Obama’s policies, and he won, 51%-46%.

Post-2010-census redistricting gave Loebsack a district in which almost half of his constituents were new to him and that also was slightly less Democratic. GOP strategists hoped his professorial style might alienate some rural voters and put up John Archer, a strongly conservative attorney for farm equipment maker John Deere, an iconic company in Iowa. The National Republican Congressional Committee invested more than $760,000 to boost Archer’s chances, but Loebsack spent plenty of time back home—he estimated attending 400 events during the first nine months of 2012—and won easily, 56%-43%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6576

(202) 226-0757

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1527
Washington, DC 20515-1502

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6576

(202) 226-0757

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1527
Washington, DC 20515-1502

DISTRICT OFFICE

(563) 323-5988

(563) 323-5231

209 West 4th Street Room 104
Davenport, IA 52801

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-6576

(202) 226-0757

209 West Fourth Street Room 104
Davenport, IA 52801

DISTRICT OFFICE

(319) 351-0789

(319) 351-5789

125 South Dubuque Street
Iowa City, IA 52240-4003

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-6576

(202) 226-0757

125 South Dubuque Street
Iowa City, IA 52240-4003

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 3013
Iowa City, IA 52244

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(202) 225-6576

(202) 226-0757

PO Box 3013
Iowa City, IA 52244

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Aerospace

Mitch Adams
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Mitch Adams
Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Mitch Adams
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Arts

Kate Petersen
Legislative Correspondent

Budget

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Campaign

Kate Petersen
Legislative Correspondent

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Disaster

Mitch Adams
Legislative Assistant

Education

Kate Petersen
Legislative Correspondent

Energy

Mitch Adams
Legislative Assistant

Environment

Mitch Adams
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Govt Ops

Kate Petersen
Legislative Correspondent

Gun Issues

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Health

Kate Petersen
Legislative Correspondent

Homeland Security

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Human Rights

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Immigration

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Intelligence

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Judiciary

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Land Use

Mitch Adams
Legislative Assistant

Medicare

Kate Petersen
Legislative Correspondent

Military

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Rules

Kate Petersen
Legislative Correspondent

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Seniors

Kate Petersen
Legislative Correspondent

Small Business

Mitch Adams
Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Kate Petersen
Legislative Correspondent

Tax

Kate Petersen
Legislative Correspondent

Technology

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Telecommunications

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Trade

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Transportation

Mitch Adams
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Kate Petersen
Legislative Correspondent

Ashley Shillingsburg
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Welfare

Kate Petersen
Legislative Correspondent

Women

Kate Petersen
Legislative Correspondent

Election Results

2014 GENERAL
Dave Loebsack
Votes: 142,566
Percent: 52.47%
Mariannette Miller-Meeks
Votes: 129,157
Percent: 47.53%
2012 GENERAL
Dave Loebsack
Votes: 211,863
Percent: 55.61%
John Archer
Votes: 161,977
Percent: 42.52%
2012 PRIMARY
Dave Loebsack
Votes: 17,467
Percent: 81.7%
Joe Seng
Votes: 3,913
Percent: 18.3%
2010 GENERAL
Dave Loebsack
Votes: 115,839
Percent: 50.99%
Mariannette Miller-Meeks
Votes: 104,319
Percent: 45.92%
2010 PRIMARY
Dave Loebsack
Votes: 13,324
Percent: 100.0%
2008 GENERAL
Dave Loebsack
Votes: 175,218
Percent: 57.19%
Mariannette Miller-Meeks
Votes: 118,778
Percent: 38.77%
2008 PRIMARY
Dave Loebsack
Votes: 21,084
Percent: 98.92%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (51%), 2008 (57%), 2006 (51%)

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