Josiah Robins (Jo) Bonner, Jr. (born November 19, 1959) is the U.S. Representative for Alabama's 1st congressional district, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Bonner was born in Selma, Alabama (but was raised in Camden, Alabama), to Imogene Virginia Lyons and Josiah Robins Bonner. He was educated at the University of Alabama, graduating in 1982. Two years later he started working as campaign press secretary for Congressman Sonny Callahan, a Republican representing Alabama's 1st district. In 1989 Bonner was promoted to Callahan's chief of staff and moved to Mobile.
From this position he was positioned to run for the seat after Callahan's retirement just before the June 2002 primary election. During that primary, despite having six opponents, including Tom Young, chief of staff to Senator Richard Shelby, Bonner won by a wide margin. Bonner has served as a member of the board of directors for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Leadership Mobile, and the Mobile Chapter of the University of Alabama Alumni Association. In 2000, the College of Communications at The University of Alabama honored him as their Outstanding Alumnus in Public Relations. He was a member of Leadership Mobile, Class of 2000, where his classmates elected him co-president.
In the House, Bonner has earned a consistent voting record and has made few waves as a party loyalist.
Perhaps his most notable dissention was his opposition to on-shore liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals for Mobile, but went on to propose an off-shore option for the future. He pushed for Representative Callahan's seat on the House Appropriations Committee but did not carry the support of his colleagues. One notable achievement has been his maintenance of the "Gulf Coast Congressional Report", which started airing in 1973 and bills itself as the longest running televised public service program hosted by a member of Congress. Prior to being sworn in to the 108th Congress, Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-MO, named Bonner an Assistant Whip. The appointment made Bonner one of a number of freshmen who are now part of weekly leadership meetings with Blunt, the second-ranking member in the Republican Leadership behind only the Majority Leader. December 14, 2005 he voted for the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act. On June 29, 2005 he voted for the increase of funds by $25 million for anti-marijuana print a TV ads. On October 6, 2005 he voted for the Department of Homeland Security. On July 13, 2006 he was one of 33 votes against HR 9 - Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act.
Bonner is married to the former Janée Lambert of Mobile. They are parents of a daughter, Jennifer Lee, age 12, and a son, Josiah Robins, III, age 10. The Bonners make their home in Mobile and are members of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
August 12th, 2011