ENG: Roscoe Gardner Bartlett (born June 3, 1926) was the U.S. Representative for Maryland's 6th congressional district from 1993 to 2013. He is a member of the Republican Party and was a member of the Tea Party Caucus. At the end of his tenure in Congress, Bartlett was the second-oldest serving member of the House of Representatives, behind only fellow Republican Ralph Hall of Texas.
Early life, education, and academic career
Bartlett was born in Moreland, Kentucky, to Martha Minnick and Roscoe Gardner Bartlett. He completed his early education in a one-room schoolhouse. He attended Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University), a college in Takoma Park, Maryland, affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and graduated in 1947 with a B.S.
in theology and biology and a minor in chemistry. He had intended to be a Seventh-Day Adventist minister, but he was considered too young for the ministry after receiving his bachelor's degree at the age of 21.
Afterwards, Bartlett was encouraged to attend graduate school at the University of Maryland, College Park. He studied anatomy, physiology, and zoology, earning a master's degree in physiology in 1948. Bartlett was then hired as a faculty member at Maryland and taught anatomy, physiology and zoology while working towards his Ph.D. in physiology, which he earned in 1952.
His academic career included lecturing at Loma Linda School of Medicine, also affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Loma Linda, California (1952–1954), and serving as an assistant professor at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. (1954–1956).
1980 U.S. Senate election
In 1980, Bartlett ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate. In the Republican primary, he ranked fourth with just 7% of the vote, losing to incumbent U.S.
Senator Charles Mathias, who won the primary with 55% of the vote.
U.S. House of Representatives - Elections
Rep. Bartlett (center) (R-MD) joined Sen. Ben Cardin (podium) (D-MD) and Rep. Jo Ann Davis (left) (R-VA) in calling for a study of homeland security needs of the National Capital region, including Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
In 1982, Bartlett ran for Congress in Maryland's 6th congressional district against incumbent Democrat U.S.
Congresswoman Beverly Byron. He won the Republican primary with 52% of the vote. In the general election, Byron defeated him 74%–26%.
He ran again in the newly redrawn 6th congressional district and won the Republican primary with 42% of the vote. Byron was upset by a somewhat more liberal Democrat, State Delegate Thomas Hattery, in the Democratic primary. Many conservative Democrats switched their support to Bartlett in November, as he defeated Hattery 54%–46%.
During this time period, he never won re-election with less than 56% of the vote.
According to the Frederick News-Post, Bartlett had underreported property sales by over $1 million since 2004 on his official financial disclosure forms (a serious crime for government employees).
Bartlett said that the underreporting was an oversight and that he was a “bit player” in the real estate transactions. Also according to the Frederick News-Post, Bartlett made $299,000 in unreported loans in order to sell his daughter's home, over which he exercised power of attorney.
As the lone Republican in Maryland's congressional delegation, Bartlett won reelection in 2010 at the age of 84. On June 1, 2009, Democrat and Iraq war veteran Andrew Duck formally announced a campaign for Congressman Bartlett's seat. 2010 federal financial disclosure forms showed Rep. Bartlett to be the wealthiest member of the Maryland congressional delegation.
Congressional redistricting plans, released in October 2011, changed the make up of Bartlett's district. The Washington Post reported that the new district lines added more liberal Washington, D.C., suburbs to the traditionally rural district. Bartlett faced Democrat John Delaney and Libertarian Nickolaus Mueller in his bid for reelection.
In 2012, the Federal Elections Commission fined Bartlett $5,000 for repeatedly failing to submit accurate campaign finance disclosure reports. Bartlett hired an accountant to address any outstanding disclosure issues.
When fellow Congressman Todd Akin made inappropriate comments about female biology, Bartlett immediately repudiated them, adding "“There is no room in politics for these types of statements...As a human physiologist I know there is no scientific backing to Todd’s claims.” In spite of his response, Democrats attacked him, trying to equate the two. Followed to a town meeting by progressive news blog BuzzFeed, he restated his view on abortion exceptions, "Oh, it’s been the same for twenty years. I’m pro-life, with exceptions for the life of the mother, rape and incest...I’m so avidly pro-life I’m against corporal punishment”, later adding that a very small proportion of abortions are a result of rape. Nevertheless, "The Maryland Democratic Party went after Bartlett", trying to connect Todd Akin's comments to Bartlett.
Bartlett lost his bid for re-election in 2012 to Democratic challenger John Delaney.
Bartlett and his wife Ellen have 10 children (of whom one, Joseph R. Bartlett, is a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates), 17 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.
February 12, 2013