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

Biography

Elected: 2004, 5th term.

Born: April 18, 1951, Racine, WI

Home: Milwaukee, WI

Education: Marquette U., B.A. 1978

Professional Career: Housing and urban dev. specialist, 1985-89.

Ethnicity: Black/African American

Religion: Baptist

Family: Single , 3 children ; 3 grandchildren

Gwen Moore, a Democrat elected in 2004, is Wisconsin’s first African-American member of Congress. A former welfare recipient, she often recounts her struggles in spirited, and candid, detail of standing up for the poor, homeless, and victims of domestic violence.

Moore was born in Racine, the eighth of nine children, and raised on the North Side of Milwaukee. As an 18-year-old college freshman, she became a single mother who relied on welfare to help support her daughter. She graduated from Marquette University and worked as a housing and urban development specialist. Moore said she got active in politics when a rent-to-own center repossessed her washer and dryer even though she had paid three times their value in exorbitant interest rates. She led an effort to establish a community credit union. She was elected to the state Assembly in 1989 and to the state Senate in 1992, making her the state’s first black woman senator. In winning reelection in 1990, she beat Republican Scott Walker, who later became Wisconsin’s governor.

In 2003, when 4th District Democrat Gerald Kleczka announced that he was retiring after 20 years, Moore was the front-runner, but she had serious competition in the September 2004 Democratic primary from two political veterans, state Sen. Tim Carpenter and former state party Chairman Matt Flynn, both white. The candidates agreed on most issues: All three supported abortion rights, focused on jobs and economic concerns, and called for eliminating the Bush administration’s tax cuts for people with incomes exceeding $200,000 a year. In the absence of significant ideological clashes, the fallout from Milwaukee’s mayoral primary earlier that year played a role. The nonpartisan election had pitted former Rep. Tom Barrett, who is white, against acting Mayor Marvin Pratt, vying to become the city’s first black elected mayor. Barrett won, but the vote was split along racial lines and caused hard feelings in the African-American community.

Moore took advantage of the energized black voter base, and she leveraged financial support from national women’s organizations, teachers’ unions, and other liberal groups. Flynn was endorsed by Kleczka and boasted that he had backed Pratt for mayor. But he was damaged politically by his work as general counsel for the local Roman Catholic archdiocese in a priest sex abuse scandal. Carpenter was the only openly gay member of the Senate and had the support of national gay rights groups. Moore won 64% of the vote to 25% for Flynn and 10% for Carpenter. In the general election, Republican Gerald Boyle tried to win over Democrats disaffected with Moore. But he got no support from the national party, and Moore won easily, 70%-28%.

Moore has a solidly liberal voting record and often is passionate in her criticism of Republican policies. She said in 2012 that a controversial Wisconsin voter ID law “does nothing but attempt to return us to an era of Jim Crow politics.” When House Republicans sought to defund Planned Parenthood during the fiscal 2011 budget debate, Moore drew on her own unwelcome experience of an unplanned pregnancy at age 18. “I just want to tell you a little bit about what it’s like to not have Planned Parenthood,” she said on the House floor. “You have to add water to the (baby) formula to make it stretch. You have to give your kids Ramen noodles at the end of the month to fill up their little bellies so they won’t cry. You have to give them mayonnaise sandwiches.”

Much of the legislation she has introduced has dealt with helping the poor through expanding school lunch funding, cracking down on foreclosure fraud, and providing grants to crime-ravaged communities. In 2005, the House incorporated provisions of her Shield Act into the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act that would protect the identity of domestic-violence victims who receive homeless assistance. When the domestic violence law came up for another reauthorization in 2012, Moore stunned House colleagues by taking to the floor to graphically recount how a group of young men once discussed having sex with her. “The appointed boy, when he saw that I wasn’t going to be so willing, completed a date rape and then took my underwear to display it to the rest of the boys. I mean, this is what American women are facing,” she said.

Since her former opponent Walker’s emergence as one of the nation’s most polarizing governors, Moore has been among his most frequent critics. When he reportedly considered turning down federal education funding in 2011, Moore accused him of “channeling Sarah Palin.” She took to Twitter to accuse Walker in 2012 of eliminating a women’s cancer screening program “for political gain,” an assertion that the website PolitiFact called “false and ridiculous.” But she said at a 2011 Oversight and Government Reform hearing at which Walker appeared that she considers him a friend. “I’m crazy about his kids and his wife,” she said. “But I’m not going to spend my five minutes pretending we agree on anything.”

Moore is well-established in her district and was reelected with 72% of the vote in 2012.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4572

(202) 225-8135

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2245
Washington, DC 20515-4904

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4572

(202) 225-8135

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2245
Washington, DC 20515-4904

DISTRICT OFFICE

(414) 297-1140

(414) 297-1086

316 North Milwaukee Street Suite 406
Milwaukee, WI 53202

DISTRICT OFFICE

(414) 297-1140

(414) 297-1086

316 North Milwaukee Street Suite 406
Milwaukee, WI 53202

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(414) 322-6161

PO Box 16646
Milwaukee, WI 53216

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 16646
Milwaukee, WI 53216

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Izmira Aitch
Legislative Assistant

Aerospace

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Christopher Goldson
Senior Legislative Assistant

Izmira Aitch
Legislative Assistant

Maria Sandoval
Casework Supervisor

Animal Rights

Tatiana Calderon
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

Appropriations

Sean Gard
Legislative Director

sean.gard@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4572

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Christopher Goldson
Senior Legislative Assistant

Izmira Aitch
Legislative Assistant

Tatiana Calderon
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

Arts

Tatiana Calderon
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

Budget

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Campaign

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Shirley Ellis
District Director; Senior District Advisor

Commerce

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Disability

Kristin Sippel
Outreach; Caseworker

Disaster

Hope DeVougas
Caseworker; Constituent Outreach Representative

Education

Izmira Aitch
Legislative Assistant

Tatiana Calderon
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

Energy

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Environment

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Christopher Goldson
Senior Legislative Assistant

Hope DeVougas
Caseworker; Constituent Outreach Representative

Family

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Izmira Aitch
Legislative Assistant

Kristin Sippel
Outreach; Caseworker

Finance

Sean Gard
Legislative Director

sean.gard@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4572

Foreign

Christopher Goldson
Senior Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Christopher Goldson
Senior Legislative Assistant

Grants

Shirley Ellis
District Director; Senior District Advisor

Gun Issues

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Health

Kristin Sippel
Outreach; Caseworker

Tatiana Calderon
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

Homeland Security

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Housing

Sean Gard
Legislative Director

sean.gard@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4572

Hope DeVougas
Caseworker; Constituent Outreach Representative

Human Rights

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Kristin Sippel
Outreach; Caseworker

Immigration

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Maria Sandoval
Casework Supervisor

Insurance

Kristin Sippel
Outreach; Caseworker

Intelligence

Christopher Goldson
Senior Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Hope DeVougas
Caseworker; Constituent Outreach Representative

Labor

Sean Gard
Legislative Director

sean.gard@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4572

Daniel Hereth
Deputy District Director

dan.hereth@mail.house.gov
(414) 297-1140

Medicare

Tatiana Calderon
Legislative Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

Military

Christopher Goldson
Senior Legislative Assistant

Daniel Hereth
Deputy District Director

dan.hereth@mail.house.gov
(414) 297-1140

Native Americans

Christopher Goldson
Senior Legislative Assistant

Religion

Shelia Payton
Outreach Coordinator

Science

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Seniors

Sean Gard
Legislative Director

sean.gard@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4572

Kristin Sippel
Outreach; Caseworker

Small Business

Sean Gard
Legislative Director

sean.gard@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4572

Shelia Payton
Outreach Coordinator

Social Security

Sean Gard
Legislative Director

sean.gard@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4572

Maria Sandoval
Casework Supervisor

Tax

Sean Gard
Legislative Director

sean.gard@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4572

Shelia Payton
Outreach Coordinator

Technology

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Trade

Sean Gard
Legislative Director

sean.gard@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4572

Transportation

Christopher Goldson
Senior Legislative Assistant

Daniel Hereth
Deputy District Director

dan.hereth@mail.house.gov
(414) 297-1140

Urban Affairs

Sean Gard
Legislative Director

sean.gard@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4572

Hope DeVougas
Caseworker; Constituent Outreach Representative

Veterans

Erik Fawcett
Senior Legislative Assistant

Daniel Hereth
Deputy District Director

dan.hereth@mail.house.gov
(414) 297-1140

Women

Izmira Aitch
Legislative Assistant

Shirley Ellis
District Director; Senior District Advisor

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Gwen Moore
Votes: 235,257
Percent: 72.32%
Dan Sebring
Votes: 80,787
Percent: 24.83%
2012 PRIMARY
Gwen Moore
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Gwen Moore
Votes: 143,559
Percent: 68.98%
Dan Sebring
Votes: 61,543
Percent: 29.57%
2010 PRIMARY
Gwen Moore
Votes: 33,107
Percent: 83.74%
Paul Morel
Votes: 6,430
Percent: 16.26%
2008 GENERAL
Gwen Moore
Votes: 222,728
Percent: 87.63%
Michael LaForest
Votes: 29,282
Percent: 11.52%
2008 PRIMARY
Gwen Moore
Votes: 18,342
Percent: 96.35%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (69%), 2008 (88%), 2006 (71%), 2004 (70%)

* Export counts will reset after 30 days. Please contact your Dedicated Advisor if you have reached your limit.

To order a print copy of the 2016 edition of the Almanac of American Politics, click here. For questions about print orders, call Columbia Books at 1-888-265-0600 ext 0266 or email customer service.

For questions about the digital Almanac, please contact your Dedicated Advisor or Membership@NationalJournal.com.

×