Sherwood Boehlert
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Sherwood Boehlert
Sherwood Boehlert
Sherwood Boehlert.jpg
Chair of the House Science Committee

January 3, 2001 - January 3, 2007
Jim Sensenbrenner
Bart Gordon
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York

January 3, 1983 - January 3, 2007
Hamilton Fish IV
Mike Arcuri
Constituency25th district (1983-1993)
23rd district (1993-2003)
24th district (2003-2007)
Executive of Oneida County

January 1, 1980 - December 31, 1982
William Bryant
John Plumley
Personal details
Sherwood Louis Boehlert

(1936-09-28) September 28, 1936 (age 84)
Utica, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Jean Bone
(m. 1959; div. 1976)
Marianne Willey
(m. 1976)
EducationUtica College (BA)

Sherwood Louis "Sherry" Boehlert (born September 28, 1936) is a retired American politician from New York. He represented a large swath of central New York in the United States House of Representatives from 1983 until 2007. Boehlert, a Republican, was considered to be a member of the party's moderate wing. He served as Chairman of the Science Committee from 2001 to 2006.

Early life, education, and early political career

Boehlert was born in Utica, New York to Elizabeth Monica Champoux and Sherwood Boehlert,[1] and graduated from Utica College. He served two years in the United States Army (1956-1958) and then worked as a manager of public relations for Wyandotte Chemical Company.

After leaving Wyandotte, Boehlert served as Chief of Staff for two upstate Congressmen, Alexander Pirnie and Donald J. Mitchell;[2] following this, he was elected the county executive of Oneida County, New York, serving from 1979 to 1983. After his four-year term as county executive, he ran successfully for Congress in the elections of 1982. He was re-elected to every Congress subsequent until his retirement.

U.S. House of Representatives


Mitchell did not run for reelection in 1982. Boehlert entered the Republican primary to succeed him in the district, which has been renumbered from the 31st to the 25th in redistricting. He won the primary with 56% of the vote.[3] He won the general election by defeating Democrat Anita Maxwell 56%-42%.[4]

After that, he won re-election every two years until he decided to retire, and not seek re-election in 2006. His district number changed twice, each time after redistricting--from the 25th (1983-1993) to the 23rd (1993-2003) to the 24th (2003- 2007). He was challenged in the Republican primary five times: 1986 (67%),[5] 1996 (65%),[6] 2000 (57%),[7] 2002 (53%),[8] and 2004 (60%).[9] His lowest re-election winning percentage in the general election was 57%, in his last re-election in 2004 when he defeated Democrat Jeff Miller 57%-34%.[10]


Boehlert's official portrait (painted by Laurel Boeck) as Science and Technology Committee Chairman

Boehlert is best known for his work on environmental policy. Beginning in the 1980s with the acid rain crisis, Boehlert became a prominent voice in the Republican party for the environment. He was a major contributor to the acid rain provisions of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Boehlert pushed continually to increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for light trucks and automobiles and was the lead GOP sponsor of numerous CAFE amendments. Due to Boehlert's constant battles over environmental legislation, often putting him at odds with his party's leadership, National Journal dubbed Boehlert the "Green Hornet" and featured him as one of the dozen "key players" in the House of Representatives.

Due to his centrist views, Time Magazine also recognized Boehlert as a "power center" on Capitol Hill and Congressional Quarterly named him one of the 50 most effective Members of Congress. Boehlert also was a member of several national moderate GOP groups including the Republican Main Street Partnership and the Ripon Society.

On the Science Committee, Boehlert championed investments in the National Science Foundation, science and math education programs and the Department of Energy's Office of Science. As Chairman he pushed for measures to increase cybersecurity research[11] and the creation of a Science and Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security. After 9/11 and the 2001 anthrax attacks, Boehlert crafted legislation establishing the DHS S&T Directorate to oversee development of technologies to secure against terrorist attacks. This homeland security S&T bill reported out of the Science Committee was ultimately accepted by the congressional leadership and President Bush and enacted as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

Boehlert was one of the first Members of Congress to call for a competitiveness agenda, culminating with a major National Academy of Sciences report Rising Above the Gathering Storm on retaining U.S. leadership in science and engineering, as well as the American Competitiveness Initiative introduced by President Bush in 2006.

Boehlert was an active promoter of first responder legislation, a strong champion for volunteer firefighters[12] and original member and Chairman of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus.

On March 17, 2006, at a press conference Boehlert announced that he would not seek a thirteenth term in office. Several important landmarks are named for Boehlert that reflect his work on transportation and science issues. These include the renovated Union Station in Utica and the new science facilities[13] of the Air Force Research Laboratory--Information Directorate in Rome, New York.[14]

Committee assignments

Boehlert served on the Science Committee for his entire congressional career. In addition, he was the third-ranking member of the Transportation Committee; from 1995 to 2000, he served as the chairman of its Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. He was also a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, serving as interim Chairman in 2004.

Post-elective office career

Since 2007, Boehlert has remained active promoting environmental and scientific causes. He serves currently on the Board of the bipartisan Alliance for Climate Protection chaired by former Vice President Al Gore. Boehlert currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.[15]

Boehlert is a member of the ReFormers Caucus of Issue One.[16]


  1. ^ 1
  2. ^ "Boehlert Begins Plans for Transition; Calls Pawlinga and Eilenberg", The Observer-Dispatch, Utica, New York, p. 1, 1973-11-07
  3. ^ Our Campaigns - NY District 25 - R Primary Race - Sep 23, 1982
  4. ^ Our Campaigns - Race
  5. ^ Our Campaigns - NY District 25 - R Primary Race - Sep 09, 1986
  6. ^ Our Campaigns - NY District 23 - R Primary Race - Sep 10, 1996
  7. ^ Our Campaigns - NY District 23 - R Primary Race - Sep 12, 2000
  8. ^ Our Campaigns - NY District 24 - R Primary Race - Sep 10, 2002
  9. ^ Our Campaigns - NY - District 24 - R Primary Race - Sep 14, 2004
  10. ^ Our Campaigns - NY District 24 Race - Nov 02, 2004
  11. ^ H.R. 3394 - Cyber Security Research and Development Act, Rep. Boehlert (R-NY) "Archived copy". Office of Management and Budget. Archived from the original on 2020-11-28. Retrieved – via National Archives.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ National Volunteer Fire Council Presents Appreciation Award to Rep. Sherwood Boehlert "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Lab building to be named for Boehlert". Rome Daily Sentinel. Rome, NY. Retrieved 2015. Rep. Michael A. Arcuri and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced that Building #3 at the lab will be formally named the "Sherwood Boehlert Center of Excellence for Information Science and Technology."
  14. ^ "Rome Daily Sentinel".
  15. ^ [1] "Senior Fellows, Bipartisan Policy Center"
  16. ^ "Issue One - ReFormers Caucus".

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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