Jim Marshall (U.S. politician): Wikis

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Jim Marshall

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 8th district
Assumed office 
January 3, 2007
Preceded by Lynn Westmoreland

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Mac Collins
Succeeded by Lynn Westmoreland

Born March 31, 1948 (1948-03-31) (age 61)
Ithaca, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Camille Hope
Children Mary Marshall
Robert Marshall
Residence Macon, Georgia
Alma mater Princeton University, Boston University
Occupation attorney
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1968-1970
Unit Rangers
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Bronze Star (2)
Purple Heart

James Creel "Jim" Marshall (born March 31, 1948) is an American politician who has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 2003, currently representing Georgia's 8th congressional district (map). The district, which included most of the former 3rd District from 2003 to 2007, is based in Macon and includes much of rural Middle Georgia.



The son and grandson of army generals, Marshall was born in Ithaca, New York, but moved frequently during his childhood and graduated from high school in Mobile, Alabama. He entered Princeton University in 1966, but left college in 1968 to enlist in the United States Army. He served in Vietnam as an Airborne Ranger reconnaissance platoon sergeant and earned two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. (Marshall was recently inducted into the Army Ranger Hall of Fame.) He returned to Princeton in 1970 and graduated in 1972. Marshall worked various jobs for two years before entering law school at Boston University, where he earned his J.D. in 1977. He practiced law, taught at Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law in Macon, and from 1995 to 1999 served as mayor of Macon before running for Congress.

Marshall lives in Macon with his wife Camille Hope, the daughter of National Hurricane Center meteorologist John Hope (and the namesake for Hurricane Camille). The couple has two children, Mary and Robert. His great-great-great-grandfather is former U.S. Congressman and famed inventor Hezekiah Bradley Smith.

Career in the U.S. House of Representatives

2000, 2002, and 2004 campaigns

Marshall first ran for Congress in 2000 as the Democratic candidate for the 8th District. Despite being the former mayor of Macon—by far the biggest city in the district—he lost by 18 points to incumbent Saxby Chambliss.

After the 2000 Census, the state legislature carved away much of the heavily Republican southern portion of the old 8th (including Chambliss' home in Moultrie). They replaced it with some more rural, Democratic-leaning territory around Macon and renumbered it the 3rd District. Despite this, Marshall barely defeated Republican Bibb County Commissioner Calder Clay in 2002, due in part to the Republican wave that swept through Georgia. Additionally, there was considerable anger over Warner Robins, which had been one of the anchors of the old 8th for many years, being drawn out of the new 3rd. The redrawn 3rd included all of Houston County, except for a long gash where Warner Robins and the surrounding area had been cut out and placed in the heavily Republican 1st District. Marshall was hampered by the presence of Sonny Perdue atop the ticket during his successful run for governor; Perdue lives in Houston County. Marshall thus became the first white Democrat to represent Georgia in the House since Nathan Deal switched parties in 1995. Marshall handily defeated Clay in their 2004 rematch, winning 63% of the vote.

2006 campaign

Early in 2005, the Georgia state legislature—now controlled by Republicans—approved a new map of congressional districts. The Macon-based district was significantly redrawn and renumbered once again as the 8th. This mid-decade redistricting resulted in a district that retained just under 60 percent of Marshall's former territory, and was considerably more Republican than its predecessor. The new district closely resembles the area Chambliss represented for eight years. Had the district existed in 2004, George W. Bush would have carried it with 61 percent of the vote.

Marshall's Republican opponent was former Congressman Mac Collins. The 8th District includes Collins' birthplace in Butts County (Collins represented a district in the Atlanta suburbs during his first stint in Congress) but also includes all of Macon.[1]

Marshall won a close election 51%-49%, although Collins benefited from two visits by President George W. Bush, massive amounts of national party and PAC funding and Perdue's presence atop the ticket. It was the second-closest any Democratic incumbent came to losing his seat to a Republican in the 2006 Democratic landslide; the closest being fellow Georgia Democrat John Barrow. As a result, the 8th became one of the most Republican districts in the nation to be represented by a Democrat.

2008 campaign

In 2008, Marshall faced Rick Goddard, a retired Air Force major general and the former commander of Warner Robins Air Logistics Center. The race was initially viewed as one of the few where a Republican had a realistic chance of unseating a Democrat.

However, Marshall won handily with 57% of the vote, even as John McCain easily carried the district.[2]


Rep. Marshall at a 14 November 2009 townhall meeting in Covington, Georgia.

Marshall is a social conservative. He opposes abortion, gay marriage and gun control, and supports a constitutional amendment to ban flag-burning. He has cited the concerns of people who have ethical objections to embryonic stem-cell research as influencing his votes on federal funds for such research: he supports allowing cell extraction only if embryos are not destroyed.[3] He is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate congressional Democrats.

However, on economic and environmental issues, Marshall tends to vote more with his party. He opposed repealing the estate tax and opposed reducing environmental regulations on the construction of new oil refineries ("Gasoline for America's Security Act"). He voted against bankruptcy reform, for American withdrawal from the World Trade Organization, and against tort reform.

In December 2005, Marshall was the sole Democrat to vote against HR 2863. This defense appropriations bill, which passed 308-122 with 107 Republicans in support, included language supporting increased protections for detainees held in U.S. custody.[4] In February 2007, along with Gene Taylor from Mississippi, he was one of two Democrats to vote against H CON RES 63, which expressed opposition to a troop surge in the Iraq War.[5]

Jim Marshall is one of only two Democrats— along with Bobby Bright— who voted against the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, which expanded publicly-funded health care for uninsured children. However, he did vote to extend S-CHIP funding through March 31, 2009, which provided additional allotments to eliminate funding shortfalls. See S-CHIP.[6][7]

Along with 38 other Democrats, Marshall voted against the Affordable Health Care for America Act.[8]

Committee Assignments

Caucus and other memberships

  • Co-chair of the Air Force Caucus
  • Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy
  • Steering committee of the Rural Health Care Coalition


Marshall is a possible candidate for Governor of Georgia in 2010, or for the United States Senate against Republican Johnny Isakson in 2010. Given Georgia's increasingly conservative voting history, Marshall is one of the few Democrats who would be considered competitive in a statewide race. However, national Democrats have encouraged him not to run for the Senate, given his reconfigured district's more Republican tilt.

See also


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Tommy Olmstead
Mayor of Macon
Succeeded by
C. Jack Ellis
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mac Collins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Lynn Westmoreland
Preceded by
Lynn Westmoreland
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 8th congressional district


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