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Biography Jerry Costello

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Jerry Costello Jerry Costello
Jerry Costello
Former U.S. Representative for Illinois's 12th congressional district - member of the Democratic Party.


Jerry Costello Biography

ENG: Jerry Francis Costello (born September 25, 1949) is the former U.S. Representative for Illinois's 12th congressional district. He previously represented Illinois's 21st congressional district, and served in Congress from 1988 to 2013. He is a member of the Democratic Party and was the dean of Illinois's 21-member Congressional delegation. In October 2011, Costello announced that he would not seek another term in Congress in 2012. He was succeeded by William Enyart.


Early life, education, and early career

Costello was born in East St. Louis, Illinois and attended Catholic schools, graduating from Assumption High School. He was later educated at Maryville College of the Sacred Heart in St. Louis, from which he earned a bachelor's degree.

Costello worked in the law enforcement field. He served St. Clair County, Illinois as a court bailiff, deputy sheriff, and director of court services and probation. Costello later was chief investigator for the Illinois State Attorney’s office. In 1980, he was elected to the St. Clair County Board and was chosen as chairman. Costello served in this capacity as county executive until his election to the House.


U.S. House of Representatives - Elections

Costello took office on in August 1988, after winning a special election with 51% of the vote, to fill the seat of the deceased Melvin Price. He was elected to a full term that November with 53% of the vote. After that, he never won re-election with less than 60% of the vote.

Currently, he is the most senior member of Illinois's House delegation. On October 4, 2011, he announced he would not seek reelection in 2012. Costello will be succeeded by William Enyart, who was elected on November 6, 2012.



Costello served on the National Leadership Committee of then-Senator Obama's National Catholic Advisory Council during his 2008 election campaign. The NCAC stumped for candidate Barack Obama during the later days of the 2008 primary campaign.

Shortly after the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, Costello was prominently mentioned as a possible cabinet choice for Secretary of Transportation; the nomination eventually went to fellow Illinois Representative Ray LaHood.[citation needed]

In 2011, Costello co-sponsored HR 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would strictly limit the situations in which abortion could be paid for by public funds.





January 23, 2013

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