|Member of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
January 3, 1997
|Constituency||20th district (1997-2003)|
19th district (2003-2013)
15th district (2013-present)
John Mondy Shimkus
February 21, 1958
Collinsville, Illinois, U.S.
|Education||United States Military Academy (BS)|
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville (MBA)
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1980-1986 (Active)|
|Unit||United States Army Reserve|
John Mondy Shimkus (, born February 21, 1958) is an American politician currently serving as the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 15th congressional district. He has served in the House since 1997, and is a member of the Republican Party. On August 30, 2019, Shimkus announced that he would not seek re-election for his seat in 2020.
Shimkus is a lifelong resident of Collinsville, part of the Metro East portion of the St. Louis metropolitan area. He is the son of Kathleen N. (née Mondy) and Gene L. Shimkus. His paternal grandfather was of Lithuanian descent. Shimkus earned his bachelor's degree at the United States Military Academy. After serving his five-year United States Army commitment, he entered the United States Army Reserve, retiring in 2008 as a lieutenant colonel. While in the U.S. Army, Shimkus earned the Expert Infantry Badge, Ranger Tab, and Parachutist Badge. He served overseas with the 54th Infantry Regiment in West Germany.
Shimkus earned a teaching certificate from Christ College Irvine (now Concordia University Irvine) and began teaching at Metro East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville. He earned an MBA from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1987. Shimkus first ran for office in 1989, when he was elected a Collinsville Township trustee. A year later, he was elected as Madison County treasurer--the first Republican elected to a countywide post in 10 years. In 1994, Shimkus became the first Republican to be re-elected as county treasurer in 60 years.
Shimkus was a key leader in the effort to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act, which was amended in 2016 by the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act. Shimkus voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
On March 25, 2009, in introductory remarks made to Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, during a United States House Energy Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing, he made the following statement regarding the role of carbon dioxide in global warming:
It's plant food ... So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere? ... So all our good intentions could be for naught. In fact, we could be doing just the opposite of what the people who want to save the world are saying.
Shimkus has quoted the Bible to allay concerns of global warming induced rise in sea levels, stating that God had promised mankind through Noah that the earth would never again be destroyed by a flood. He acknowledged that climate change is real, but questioned the benefit of spending taxpayer money on something that cannot be changed versus the changes that have been occurring forever.
Shimkus has been a proponent of legislation to increase the ability of the Food and Drug Administration to institute recalls of tainted foods. He has served as one of the chief Republican negotiators on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which was passed by Congress and signed by the president. Of the bill, he said: "When you're talking about the health and safety of folks, if the FDA has enough evidence to make a declaration of recall, I think that most Americans would support the government having that authority."
In May 2013, Shimkus stated he would renew his support for the Keystone pipeline. The project would be an oil pipeline, bringing Canadian crude oil through the Midwest, including Illinois. As a supporter, he stated that he would rather see Canada as an energy partner than ship in oil from overseas.
Shimkus spoke positively of President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to temporarily curtail immigration from specified countries until better screening methods are devised. He stated that "This temporary halt will give Congress and the new Administration time to evaluate and improve the vetting process, and in the meantime gives Secretary Kelly authority to grant exceptions to the restrictions as needed. One of those exceptions must be to green card holders, who have already undergone extensive screening." In October 2019, he criticized Trump for withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria, and resigned as a co-chair for Trump's 2020 campaign in Illinois.
In 1992, while still serving as Madison County treasurer, he won the Republican nomination to run for the U.S. House seat in what was then the 20th District. He was defeated by 10-year Democratic incumbent Dick Durbin.
Four years later, Durbin gave up the seat to make what would be a successful run for the United States Senate. Shimkus won a crowded six-way primary, and faced State Representative Jay C. Hoffman in a close general election, which Shimkus won by just over 1,200 votes.
He has only faced one credible Democratic opponent since his initial reelection, in 2002. That year, Illinois lost a district as a result of the 2000 census, and his district was merged with the 19th District, then held by two-term Democratic representative David Phelps. The new district retained Phelps' district number, but was geographically and demographically more similar to the old 20th district, as Shimkus retained 60% of his former territory. The campaign was very bitter, with both men accusing the other's staffers of stalking their families. Despite a Democratic wave that swept through most of the state, Shimkus defeated Phelps with 55% of the vote, making this the only time he received below 60% in a reelection bid.
Shimkus announced in September 2005, that he would run for reelection in 2008, despite making a pledge when first elected in 1996 not to stay in office for more than 12 years.
When seeking his 11th term in 2016, Shimkus faced Illinois State Senator Kyle McCarter in the Republican primary. McCarter ran to the political right of Shimkus and criticized his accommodation with the Obama administration as well as national Republican party leadership. Shimkus won the primary with 60.4% of the vote to McCarter's 39.6%. He subsequently won the general election unopposed, as no other candidates filed.
FEC records show that the John S. Fund, the PAC for Shimkus, contributed to former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in 2005. The fund also made contributions to Peter Roskam, a Republican candidate for the House from Illinois's 6th district, from 2005 to 2008 and to David McSweeney, a Republican candidate for the House from Illinois's 8th district, in 2006. In 2006, the funds treasurer, lobbyist Mark Valente, resigned. Shimkus earlier said he was considering removing Valente, but he did not want to act too quickly because it might suggest there was something improper about their relationship.
The 20th district was disbanded after the 2000 census due to reapportionment and Illinois' loss of a U.S. House seat, which is why Shimkus faced David D. Phelps, incumbent of the 19th district, in the 2002 election. The 19th district was disbanded after the 2010 census, so Shimkus ran in the redistricted 15th district. The 15th district includes a large part of southern and south-western Illinois and a small part of the Metro East, where Shimkus resides.
|Democratic||Richard J. Durbin (incumbent)||154,869||56.50|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus||119,219||43.50|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus||120,926||50.26|
|Democratic||Jay C. Hoffman||119,688||49.74|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus (incumbent)||121,103||61.29|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus (incumbent)||161,393||63.10|
|Democratic||Jeffrey S. Cooper||94,382||36.90|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus||133,956||54.79|
|Democratic||David D. Phelps (incumbent)||110,517||45.21|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus (incumbent)||213,451||69.36|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus (incumbent)||42,588||99.83|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus (incumbent)||143,491||60.71|
|Democratic||Danny L. Stover||92,861||39.29|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus (incumbent)||203,434||64.46|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus (incumbent)||48,680||85.34|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus (incumbent)||166,166||71.22|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus||205,775||68.61|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus (incumbent)||166,274||74.92|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus (incumbent)||76,547||60.37|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus (incumbent)||274,554||100.0|
|Republican||John M. Shimkus (incumbent)||181,294||70.93|
|Write-in votes||Tim E. Buckner||5||0.00|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 20th congressional district
David D. Phelps
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Illinois's 19th congressional district
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 15th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority