Marcia Carolyn Kaptur (/ˈkæptər/; born June 17, 1946) is an American politician serving as the U.S. representative for Ohio’s 9th congressional district since 1983. A member of the Democratic Party, Kaptur is currently the longest-serving woman in either house of Congress, and the second longest-serving woman of all time, behind Barbara Mikulski.[1] Kaptur’s district stretches from her hometown of Toledo east to Cleveland, including all of Ottawa and Erie counties, and parts of Lucas, Lorain, and Cuyahoga counties.

Early life and education

Kaptur was born on June 17, 1946, in Toledo, Ohio, the daughter of Anastasia Delores (Rogowski) and Stephen Jacob Kaptur.[2][3] Her parents were both of Polish descent. Her mother was an automobile union organizer and her family operated a small grocery. Kaptur started volunteering with the Ohio Democratic Party when she was 13.[4]

Kaptur graduated from St. Ursula Academy in 1964 and became the first person in her family to attend college.[5][6] She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1968 and a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan in 1974.[7] She did doctoral studies in urban planning development finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981.[8]

Early career

Kaptur served on the Toledo-Lucas County Plan Commissions from 1969 to 1975. She was director of planning for the National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs (1975–1977), founded by Geno Baroni. She later served as a domestic policy advisor during President Jimmy Carter‘s administration.[9]

U.S. House of Representatives


Ohio’s 9th district

Portrait of Kaptur from the 1985 Congressional Pictorial Directory

While at MIT, Kaptur was recruited to run for Congress in 1982 against freshman Republican Ed Weber, who had upset 26-year incumbent Lud Ashley two years earlier.[10] Despite being outspent by almost 3-1, she defeated Weber 58–39%.[11][12]

In 1984, Kaptur faced a strong challenge from Republican Frank Venner, longtime anchorman and weatherman at WTVG, but defeated him 55–44%,[13] even as Ronald Reagan carried the district. From 1986 to 2002, she won every election with at least 74% of the vote.[citation needed] In 2004, she faced her strongest challenger in 20 years in Lucas County auditor Larry Kaczala, but dispatched him fairly easily, 68–32%.[citation needed]


Kaptur won her 13th term with 74% of the vote.[14]


Kaptur won her 14th term with 74% of the vote.[15]


Shortly after achieving fame during the 2008 election, conservative figure Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher announced that he was considering challenging Kaptur in the 2010 election,[16][17][18]
but chose not to run. Kaptur was instead challenged by Republican Rich Iott, a Tea Party movement favorite. She was reelected to a 15th term with 59% of the vote,[19] her closest victory since 1984.


For her first three decades in Congress, Kaptur represented a compact district centered around Toledo. Redistricting after the 2010 census extended the 9th district to western Cleveland. The new map put the home of incumbent 10th district congressman Dennis Kucinich into the 9th, so they ran against each other in the Democratic primary. Graham Veysey, a small-business owner from Cleveland, also ran in the primary. Retaining over 60% of her former territory, Kaptur won the primary with 56% of the vote to Kucinich’s 40%.[20][21] In the general election, she won a 16th term against Wurzelbacher and Libertarian Sean Stipe.[22] The reconfigured 9th was no less Democratic than its predecessor, and Kaptur had effectively clinched reelection by defeating Kucinich in the primary.


Kaptur’s 2014 opponent was Richard May, a longtime Republican activist from west Cleveland, who beat Lakewood resident Robert C. Horrocks Jr. in the May 6 primary.[23] Kaptur won 68-32%.


Kaptur’s 2016 opponent was Donald Larson, who defeated Steven Kraus and Joel Lieske in the Republican primary on March 15. Kaptur won 68–31%.


Kaptur’s 2020 opponent was Rob Weber, who defeated Charles W. Barrett, Tim Connors, and Timothy P. Corrigan in the Republican primary on March 17. Kaptur won 63–37%.


In 1996, Ross Perot asked Kaptur to be his vice-presidential running mate. She declined.[24]

As of March 2022, Kaptur had voted in line with Joe Biden‘s stated position 100% of the time.[25]

Patent reform

Kaptur opposed the America Invents Act that passed into law and changed the U.S. Patent System. She opposed changing from a “first to invent system” to a “first to file system”, saying it hurt small businesses[26] and “Our patent system is the finest in the world… the proposed solutions are special fixes that benefit these few giants at the expense of everyone else.”[27]

Kaptur co-sponsored the Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act. In order to strengthen inventors’ property rights, the bill would remove the administrative review process that allows the public to challenge patent filings’ validity; the process exists to prevent misuse of the patent system.[28]

World War II memorial

The World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

On December 10, 1987, Kaptur introduced the World War II Memorial Act in the House. The bill authorized the American Battle Monuments Commission to establish a World War II memorial. It was not voted on before the end of the session and so failed to be enacted. Kaptur introduced similar legislation in 1989 and 1991 but these bills also failed to become law.[citation needed]

Kaptur introduced legislation for the fourth time on January 27, 1993. This time the legislation was voted on and passed in the House on May 10, 1993. After a companion bill was passed in the United States Senate, President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law on May 25, 1993.[citation needed]

Kaptur later said that she felt “a great sense of fulfillment” that the memorial was built. “This generation was the most unselfish America has ever seen,” she said. “They never asked anybody for anything in return.”[29]


Kaptur holds a 95% rating from NARAL. She supported Roe v. Wade, calling it “the law of the land” (Washington Journal, September 17, 2015). She has voted for some proposals to restrict access to abortion and opposed others. In January 2007, she was the only member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to vote against federally funded embryonic stem-cell research.[30] Kaptur voted for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, an amendment to America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.[31] She was one of only 16 Democrats to vote for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act on May 4, 2011.[32] Kaptur also voted to ban partial-birth abortions in 2000 and 2003.[33][34] She voted against the Child Custody Protection Act in 1999 and the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act in 2005.[35][36] Kaptur voted against allowing privately funded abortions at overseas military hospitals twice in 1995, as well as in 1997, 1998 and 1999.[37][38][39][40][41] In 2005, Kaptur voted to lift the ban on abortions at overseas military hospitals.[42]

Free trade

Kaptur opposes free trade agreements. She helped lead opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement, permanent normal trade relations for the People’s Republic of China, and fast track authority for the president.[citation needed]

2008 economic crisis

Kaptur opposed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which provided a bailout for U.S. banks.[43] Her opposition to the bailout was highlighted in Michael Moore‘s 2009 documentary Capitalism: A Love Story.[44]

On April 12, 2011, Kaptur introduced H.R. 1489 to restore the Glass-Steagall Act, “To repeal certain provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and revive the separation between commercial banking and the securities business, in the manner provided in the Banking Act of 1933, the so-called ‘Glass-Steagall Act’, and for other purposes.” There were 30 co-sponsors.[45]

The environment

Kaptur backed the American Clean Energy and Security Act in the U.S. House after she was able to insert an amendment that would authorize the Secretary of Energy to create power marketing authorities in regions where none exist. One such area would be the Great Lakes region. Kaptur said the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation could administer up to $3.5 billion in borrowing authority to stimulate economic development through creation of green energy such as solar power and wind power. She said the $3.5 billion in borrowing authority would promote “regional equity” and serve as a powerful engine for job creation in a region that has suffered from high energy costs, especially expensive electricity.

Immigration reform

Kaptur was one of 38 Democrats to vote against the DREAM Act in December 2010. It passed the House but failed in the Senate.[46]

2016 presidential election

Kaptur endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, and introduced him at a rally in Toledo.[47] On October 3, 2016, she endorsed the nominee, Hillary Clinton, who had won Ohio and her district in the primary, at a rally in Toledo.[citation needed]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

Ohio’s 9th congressional district: Results 1982–2020[52][53][54][55][56][57]
YearDemocraticVotes%RepublicanVotes%Third PartyPartyVotes%Third PartyPartyVotes%
1982Marcy Kaptur95,16258%Ed Weber64,45939%Susan SkinnerIndependent1,7851%James SomersIndependent1,5941%*
1984Marcy Kaptur117,98555%Frank Venner93,21043%Other3,7142%
1986Marcy Kaptur105,64678%Mike Shufeldt30,64322%
1988Marcy Kaptur157,55781%Al Hawkins36,18319%*
1990Marcy Kaptur117,68178%Jerry Lammers33,79122%
1992Marcy Kaptur178,87974%Ken Brown53,01122%Edward HowardIndependent11,1625%*
1994Marcy Kaptur118,12075%Randy Whitman38,66525%
1996Marcy Kaptur170,61777%Randy Whitman46,04021%Elizabeth SlotnickNatural Law4,6772%
1998Marcy Kaptur130,79381%Ed Emery30,31219%
2000Marcy Kaptur168,54775%Dwight Bryan49,44622%Galen FriesLibertarian4,2392%Dennis SlotnickNatural Law3,0961%
2002Marcy Kaptur132,23674%Ed Emery46,48126%
2004Marcy Kaptur205,14968%Larry Kaczala95,98332%
2006Marcy Kaptur153,88074%Bradley Leavitt55,11926%
2008Marcy Kaptur222,05474%Bradley Leavitt76,51226%
2010Marcy Kaptur121,81959%Rich Iott83,42341%
2012Marcy Kaptur217,77173%Samuel J. Wurzelbacher68,66823%Sean StipeLibertarian11,7254%
2014Marcy Kaptur108,87068%Richard May51,70432%*
2016Marcy Kaptur193,96669%Donald Philip Larson88,42731%*
2018Marcy Kaptur152,68268%Steve Kraus73,18332%*
2020Marcy Kaptur190,32863%Rob Weber111,38537%

*In 1982, Libertarian Brian Muir received 1,217 votes less than 1% of the total vote. In 1988, 72 write-in ballots were cast. In 1992, 50 write-in ballots were cast. In 2014, write-in candidates Cory Hoffman and George A. Skalsky received 112 votes and 29 votes, respectively. In 2016, write-in candidate George A. Skalsky received 5 votes.

Personal life

Kaptur is Catholic.[58]

See also


  1. ^ Susan Davis (2016-03-18). “Marcy Kaptur, Ohio Democrat, Becomes Longest-Serving Woman In The House”. NPR. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  2. ^ “The Online Office of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur”. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  3. ^ Dolling, Yolanda; Cooper, Polly; Dolling, Eric (1991). Who’s Who of Women in World Politics. ISBN 9780862916275. Retrieved 2012-08-30 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Foerstel, Karen (1999). “Marcy Kaptur”. Biographical Dictionary of Congressional Women. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 141. ISBN 0-313-30290-1.
  5. ^ “About Marcy”. U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur Representing the 9th District of Ohio. 3 December 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  6. ^ “KAPTUR, Marcia Carolyn (Marcy), (1946 – )”. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  7. ^ Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. “Lecture: Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, An Urban Planner in Congress”. Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
  8. ^ Schenken, Suzanne O’Dea (1999). “Kaptur, Marcia (Marcy) Carolyn (b. 1946)”. From Suffrage to the Senate: An Encyclopedia of American Women in Politics. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-Clio. p. 370. ISBN 0-87436-960-6.
  9. ^ Kouters, Angela (2008). Encyclopedia of Women and American Politics. New York: Facts On File. p. 268. ISBN 978-1-4381-1032-5.
  10. ^ Tom Troy (October 27, 2015). “Former Congressman Weber backs Ferner for mayor”. The Blade. Toledo, Ohio. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  11. ^ “OH District 9 Race”. Our Campaigns. November 2, 1982. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  12. ^ “Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur: Biography”. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  13. ^ “OH District 9 Race”. Our Campaigns. November 6, 1984. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  14. ^ “OH – District 09 Race”. Our Campaigns. November 7, 2006. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  15. ^ “OH – District 09 Race”. Our Campaigns. November 4, 2008. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  16. ^ “Now, Joe the Plumber wants to be a Congressman!”. Asian News International. 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
  17. ^ ‘Joe the Plumber’ Considers Run for Congress”. Fox News. 2008-10-25. Archived from the original on 2008-10-26. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  18. ^ Shipman, Tim (2008-10-27). “Joe the Plumber says he may run for Congress”. The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  19. ^ “2010 Election: Live Results”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  20. ^ “2016 Election Results: President Live Map by State, Real-Time Voting Updates”. Politico. 2016-11-08. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  21. ^ “OH District 9 – D Primary Race”. Our Campaigns. March 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  22. ^ Noga, Joe (November 7, 2012). “Marcy Kaptur coasts to win in 9th District congressional race”. Sun News.
  23. ^ “Richard May of Cleveland wins GOP primary to oppose Rep. Marcy Kaptur”. 2014-05-06. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  24. ^ “Ross Reruns”. Newsweek. November 18, 1996. Retrieved 2010-08-23.[dead link]
  25. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (2021-04-22). “Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?”. FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  26. ^ “Patent Reform”. The Hill. June 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  27. ^ Kaptur, Marcy (June 22, 2009). “Tech giants are aiming to infringe”. The Hill. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  28. ^ Malathi Nayak (June 29, 2018). “Bill to End Patent Office Validity Challenges Introduced in House (1)”. Bloomberg Law. Retrieved 2018-07-01.
  29. ^ Janofsky, Michael (May 30, 2004). “Veterans Gather to Dedicate World War II Memorial”. The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  30. ^ “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act”. January 11, 2007. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  31. ^ “Stupak of Michigan Amendment”. November 7, 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  32. ^ “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”. May 4, 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  33. ^ “Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2000”. April 5, 2000. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  34. ^ “On Agreeing to the Conference Report”. October 2, 2003. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  35. ^ “Child Custody Protection Act”. June 30, 1999. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  36. ^ “Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act”. April 27, 2005. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  37. ^ “DeLauro of Connecticut Amendment”. June 15, 1995. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  38. ^ “Dornan of California”. September 7, 1995. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  39. ^ “Harman of California Amendment”. June 19, 1997. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  40. ^ “Lowey of New York Amendment”. May 20, 1998. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  41. ^ “Meek of Florida Amendment”. June 9, 1999. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  42. ^ “Davis of California Amendment”. May 25, 2005. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  43. ^ Marcy Kaptur (September 22, 2008). “Statement on Economic Turmoil” (Press release). I do not believe that Congress should bail out large financial institutions on Wall Street, especially without adequate protection for the average person. We need to help Main Street, not just Wall Street…. I do not believe that the people who helped bring about this situation should be allowed to profit from it.
  44. ^ Mary Corliss (September 6, 2009). “Michael Moore’s Capitalism Goes for Broke”. Time.
  45. ^ “Return to Prudent Banking Act of 2011 (2011; 112th Congress H.R. 1489)”. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  46. ^ “House Vote 625 – Approves DREAM Act”. ProPublica. Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  47. ^ Alcindor, Yamiche (March 11, 2016). “Bernie Sanders Praises Ruling Allowing 17-Year-Olds to Vote in Ohio – First Draft. Political News, Now”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  48. ^ “Membership”. Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  49. ^ “Legislative Committee Detail Page”. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  50. ^ “Members”. House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  51. ^ “90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members”. Citizen’s Climate Lobby. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  52. ^ “Office of the House Clerk – Electoral Statistics”. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 2007-12-26.
  53. ^ “Election Results”. Federal Election Commission.
  54. ^ “2012 Elections Results”. Ohio Secretary of State. Archived from the original on July 30, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  55. ^ “2014 Elections Results”. Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  56. ^ “2016 Elections Results”. Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  57. ^ “2020 Elections Results”. Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  58. ^ “Meet Marcy – Marcy Kaptur for Congress”. Retrieved 2021-07-28.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio’s 9th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by