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Jim Ross Lightfoot

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 5th and 3rd district
In office
January 3, 1985 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Tom Harkin
Succeeded by Leonard Boswell

Born September 27, 1938 (1938-09-27) (age 71)
Sioux City, Iowa
Political party Republican

James Ross "Jim" Lightfoot (born September 27, 1938) is a former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Iowa.




Early life

Lightfoot was born in Sioux City, Iowa on September 27, 1938 and was raised on a farm near Farragut, Iowa, where he graduated from high school in 1956


Lightfoot served eight years in the United States Army and United States Army Reserve. He began his adult career working for IBM as a customer engineer, and was eventually transferred to Tulsa, Oklahoma. He then worked as city police officer.

Returning to his native Iowa in the early 1960s, Lightfoot became a broadcaster on KMA (AM) radio, the flagship station of May Broadcasting Company. While at KMA he and his wife (the former Nancy Harrison of Corsicana, Texas) founded three retail stores in southwest Iowa. Lightfoot was also well known as a rodeo announcer and sought-after speaker for various organizations’ events.

He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1984 and served there for six terms. During that time, he served as chairman of the subcommittee of the United States House Committee on Appropriations which funded the Treasury Department, Postal Service, White House and other federal agencies. Lightfoot also spent eight years on the United States House Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation dealing with transportation issues. He holds commercial pilot and flight instructor ratings, which have allowed him a wide perspective on the aviation industry.

In 1996, conforming to a promise to only serve twelve years in Congress, he left his seat to run for the United States Senate against Democratic incumbent, Tom Harkin. His entry into the race came in March, very late in the election cycle. At a severe financial disadvantage, Lightfoot lost the race, after strong pre-election campaigning on Harkin's behalf by then President Bill Clinton.

In 1998, at the request of the Republican Party, he ran against then state senator Tom Vilsack for Governor of Iowa, a race that Mr. Vilsack won.

In December 1998 Lightfoot joined Forensic Technology, Inc. as Vice President. [1] Lightfoot also serves on the company's Board of Directors.

Lightfoot was Senior Policy Advisor for Federal Government Relations, with the Washington, D.C., office of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney[2]. He was a non-attorney professional in the firm's Federal Government Relations Section.

In 2009, Lightfoot started his own consulting firm Lightfoot Strategies[3]

Lightfoot’s personal and professional awards include the Oscar in Agriculture Award, Jason Award, AOPA Hartranft Award, FAA Excellence Award, Honorary ATF Agent, Top Cops Award and Secret Service Director's Award. He serves on the board of directors for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)[4] NCMEC named Lightfoot Emeritus Director in 2006.

Personal life

Lightfoot and wife Nancy reside in White Oak, Texas. They have four children, [Jim Lightfoot Jr.], Allison, Jamie and Terri.


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom Harkin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Fred Grandy
Preceded by
David R. Nagle
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Leonard L. Boswell


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