Ray LaHood

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This is a profile of a former U.S. Representative. (See the Illinois portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
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Ray LaHood served the 18th Congressional district of Illinois from 1995-2008

Ray H. LaHood was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing the downstate 18th District of Illinois from 1995-2008. (map) His son is Sam LaHood.

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Ray LaHood voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

LaHood voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Defending Earmarks

The Peoria Journal Star reported that LaHood defended an earmark in the Defense Appropriate Bill which was placed in the bill by Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert. When Jeff Flake tried to erase it, LaHood defended the earmark speaking to members of the House of Representatives. In his defense, he stated that the $2.5 million dollar earmark goes to the Illinois Technology Transition Center in West Chicago which creates some jobs in his legislative district in Peoria, Illinois. He also stated that Hastert put this clause in the bill because "It creates not only opportunities in central Illinois, but all over the state.” [1]

Firefly Energy, an associated company of Caterpillar Inc., has already been given $26 million in earmarks this year. If the Senate does not amend the bill, Caterpillar Inc. would receive $75.2 million. [2]

In addition to these reported earmarks, according to Dori Meinert of Copley News Service, LaHood secured funds for other companies in his legislative area. These include the following:

  • $1 million for PeoriaNext
  • $3 million for the 182nd Airlift Wing
  • $2.5 million for Memorial Healthcare System in Springfield

The Illinois Technology Transition Center in West Chicago has helped LaHood’s largest campaign contributor, Caterpillar Inc. According to Opensecrets.org, since 1989, Caterpillar Inc. has given $148,325 to his campaign. LaHood has denied any relationship between lobbyists of Firefly Energy and the Memorial Healthcare System and his proposed funding for their companies. [3]


He was born December 6, 1945,in Peoria, Illinois. He earned a B.S. degree in Education and Sociology from Bradley in 1971. "A teacher by training, Ray started his career teaching junior high school students in Catholic and public schools. He then moved to Rock Island where he served as the Chief Planner for the Bi-State Metropolitan Commission, Director of the Rock Island Youth Services Bureau, and as District Administrative Assistant for Congressman Tom Railsback."[4] He was also an aide to Representatives Thomas F. Railsback and Robert Michel, and a member of the Illinois House of Representatives before entering the House. He is of Lebanese descent, one of the few U.S. representatives of Arab ancestry.

Congressional career

He presided over the impeachment vote against President Bill Clinton.

2006 elections

In 2006, the Democrats nominated Steve Waterworth to face LaHood in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [5] LaHood retained his seat.

LaHood will not seek reelection in 2008

On July 27, 2007, Ray LaHood stated that it had been a "wonderful opportunity to serve his district," but that he would not seek reelection in 2008.

LaHood commented, "Since that first election almost 13 years ago, I have always maintained that this was not a lifetime job. The time has come to honor that commitment."[2]

The lawmaker said "Being chosen by one’s neighbors to represent them in Congress is one of the greatest honors free people can bestow on a fellow citizen. I owe a great debt of gratitude to my supporters for this chance to serve."[3]

Obama transportation secretary

LaHood accepted an offer from president-elect Barack Obama on December 16, 2008. to become Secretary of Transportation in his administration.[4]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00004933&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Ray LaHood
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations

Committee assignments in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)


More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Ray LaHood. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
1424 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-6201
Fax: 202-225-9249
Web Email

District Office - Jacksonville:
209 West State Street
Jacksonville, IL 62650
Phone: 217-245-1431
Fax: 217-243-6852

District Office - Peoria:
100 Northeast Monroe Street, Room 100
Peoria, IL 61602
Phone: 309-671-7027
Fax: 309-671-7309

District Office - Springfield:
3050 Montvale Drive, Suite D
Springfield, IL 62704
Phone: 217-793-0808
Fax: 217-793-9724

Campaign Office:
5612 West Grande Circle
Peoria, IL 61615

Articles and Resources


  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. Klaus Marre. "LaHood will not seek reelection," The Hill. July 27, 2007.
  3. Klaus Marre. "LaHood will not seek reelection," The Hill. July 27, 2007.
  4. Paul Kane and Phillip Rucker, "LaHood Accepts Transportation Secretary Job," Washington Post, Dec. 17, 2008.
  5. National Advisory Board, Arab American National Museum, accessed December 5, 2008.

External resources

External articles

Local blogs and discussion sites

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: None
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: House Committee on Appropriations, House Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Agriculture Rural Development Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies, House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel/Subcommittee on Legislative Branch
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 8, 1994
First Took Current Office:
January 3, 1995
Next Election:
Term Ends:
January 3, 2009
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Illinois State Legislature
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
Phone: / Fax:

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

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Date of Birth: December 6, 1945