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John Kline
Member of the United States House of Representatives

Assumed office
January 3, 2003
Preceded by Mark Kennedy
Chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by George Miller
Personal details
Born September 6, 1947(1947-09-06) (age 72)
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Vicky Kline
Children Kathy Kline
Dan Kline
Residence Lakeville, Minnesota
Alma mater Rice University, Shippensburg University
Occupation defense strategist
Religion Methodist
Military service
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1969–1994
Rank Colonel
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Operation Restore Hope
Awards Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal (3)
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Presidential Service Badge
Navy Commendation Medal

John Paul Kline (born September 6, 1947) is an American politician who has served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota's 2nd congressional district since 2003. The district includes most of the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities, including Apple Valley, Inver Grove Heights, Burnsville and Eagan. A member of the Republican Party, Kline serves as the Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Kline is known as one of the most conservative Congressman in the 109th Congress.[1]

Early life, education and careerEdit

Kline was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of W. B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi, Texas (1965) and was educated at Rice University (1969) and Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (1988).

Before his election to , Kline was a 25-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he was a senior military aide to Presidents Carter and Reagan and was responsible for carrying the President's "Football". During his military career, Kline served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, commanded all Marine aviation forces in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, flew "Marine One," the Presidential helicopter, and served as Program Development Officer at Headquarters Marine Corps. He received numerous medals and commendations, including Four Legions of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal (awarded 3 times), the Vietnam Campaign Medal, a Presidential Service Badge, and the Navy Commendation Medal.[2] Kline retired from the Marine Corps as a colonel.

Kline and his wife, Vicky, live in Lakeville. They have two children and four grandchildren.

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

Committee assignmentsEdit

Political positionsEdit

Kline introduced legislation in 2005 to place Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill. While the bill has a dozen Congressional cosponsors, it has not made legislative progress.

Kline received $30,000 in campaign contributions from former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political action committee ARMPAC. Following DeLay's indictment on charges of money laundering (Tom DeLay campaign finance investigation), Democrats criticized Kline for failing to return DeLay's contributions or to donate them to charity.[3] Kline also accepted $11,000 in political contributions from former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham's PAC. After Cunningham’s indictment on fraud charges, Kline donated the money to charity.[4]

Kline was considered the most conservative member of the Minnesota delegation in the 109th Congress, scoring 2.8% progressive on a range of issues[5] and 88% conservative based on 2006 House votes.[6][7]

Kline supported President Bush's plan to increase troop levels in Iraq in January, 2007,[8] and against most of the Democrats' “100-Hour Plan” legislative agenda.[9]

During Kline's 2008 bid for reelection he discussed his opposition to earmarks and his refusal to request them for his district.[10]

In 2006, Kline voted to maintain the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.[11] He voted against a bill prohibiting employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation.[12] The Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT equality organization in the country,[13] has repeatedly given Kline low ratings.[14][15]

Kline has largely opposed restrictions on gun ownership, receiving high ratings from such organizations as Gun Owners of America and the National Rifle Association.[16][17] He voted to repeal parts of the firearms ban for Washington, D.C.[18] He has described himself as "a collector of antique guns and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment".[19]

Kline has stated, "Job creation is our nation's no. 1 challenge and Congress must make it our no. 1 priority."[20] Kline has spoken in support of education reform designed to encourage parent involvement and teacher accountability.[21] He is opposed to any tax increases and has stated that such strategies must be taken "off the table."[22] In remarks made to fellow representatives, Kline said, "we are watching a massive growth of government power, size, and spending, and I deem that unacceptable."[23]

In his time in office, Kline has sponsored eight bills, on such diverse topics as Veterans' Day and tribal lands. Only one has made it out of the House, and none have been passed into law.[24]

Kline has generally supported raising interest rates on student loans as a way of reducing the budget deficit. In 2013 Kline proposed a bill that, among other adjustments, changed the rate on subsidized Stafford loans from 3.4% to 5.9%. The bill linked the rate of interest to the rate of US borrowing.[25]

Political campaignsEdit

Kline made his first run for office in 1998, when he challenged 6th District Democratic incumbent Bill Luther and lost, taking 46% of the vote. He sought a rematch in 2000 and lost by only 5,400 votes, while George W. Bush narrowly carried the district.

After the 2000 census, Minnesota's congressional map was radically altered, though the number of districts was unchanged. The old 28-county 2nd District was dismantled, and a new 2nd District was created in the Twin Cities' southern suburbs. At the same time, the 6th District was pushed slightly north and made significantly more Republican than its predecessor. The remapping left the home of the 2nd District's freshman incumbent, Republican Mark Kennedy, just inside the reconfigured 6th District. Realizing this, Kline immediately filed for the Republican nomination in the new 2nd District; his home had been drawn into this district. After some consideration, Luther opted to run in the 2nd as well, even though it was thought to lean slightly Republican.

During the campaign, Luther came under fire when one of his supporters, Sam Garst, filed for the race under the banner of the "No New Taxes Party." This was done in retaliation for an ad the National Republican Congressional Committee ran in support of Kline that accused Luther of being soft on crime. Luther subsequently admitted that his campaign knew about Garst's false flag campaign.[26] Kline gained considerable momentum from this, and ultimately won handily, taking 53% of the vote to Luther's 42%.

Kline then defeated Democratic Burnsville City Councilwoman Teresa Daly to win a second term in 2004 and former Special agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley, one of Time magazine's "Persons of the Year", with 56% of the vote in 2006. In 2008 Kline defeated former Watertown mayor Steve Sarvi and increased his margin of victory to over 57% of the vote. In both 2006 and 2008, Kline was one of the few bright spots in disastrous years for Republicans.

Kline's reelection in 2012 made him the 40th U.S. Representative from Minnesota to win six House terms.[27]

Electoral historyEdit


In the 2012 US House elections, Kline defeated Democrat Mike Obermueller by 8%.[28]



2008 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Kline 220,926 57.3 +1.3
Democratic Steve Sarvi 164,079 42.5
N/A others 614 0.2


2006 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Kline 163,292 56 -1
Democratic Coleen Rowley 116,360 40 -
Independence Doug Williams 10,802 4 +1


2004 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Kline 206,313 57 +4
Democratic Teresa Daly 147,527 40
Independence Doug Williams 11,822 3


2002 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Kline 152,533 53 +5
Democratic Bill Luther 121,072 42 -8
No New Taxes Party Sam Garst 12,408 5 -


2000 Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Kline 48 +2
Democratic Bill Luther 50


1998 Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Kline 46
Democratic Bill Luther 50

See alsoEdit


  1. Anand, Priya. "With Michele Bachmann out, Democrats targetting John Kline". Politico. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  2. "Congressman John Kline – Representative of Minnesota". John Kline's Biography. United States House of Representatives. Retrieved December 22, 2006. [dead link]
  3. DeLay's Money, Part 9 Accessed August 12, 2006
  4. Some Republicans are dumping donations given by Cunningham Accessed August 12, 2006
  5. Grossman, Joshua. "ProgressivePunch Leading with the Left". All Issues. ProgressivePunch. Archived from the original on August 31, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2007. 
  6. "ACU Ratings of Congress, 2006". American Conservative Union. 2006. Archived from the original on September 3, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2007. 
  7. The Minnesota Congressional Districts page shows the entire delegation's scores
  8. Diaz, Kevin (January 8, 2007). "Minnesota delegation offers cool response". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved January 9, 2007. 
  9. Talev, Margaret (January 10, 2007). "House approves minimum wage increase". Star Tribune. Retrieved January 12, 2007. 
  10. Schmickle, Sharon. John Kline, Steve Sarvi clash over policies and tone of campaigns. Minn Post. October 20, 2008.
  25. Henry, Devin. "House to take up Kline bill on student-loan interest rates". MINNPOST. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  26. Scheck, Tom. Luther, Kline get heated in TV debate. Minnesota Public Radio, August 22, 2002.
  27. Ostermeier, Eric (July/18/2013). "John Kline: Six Going on Seven?". Smart Politics. 
  28. Anand, Priya. "With Michele Bachmann out, Democrats targetting John Kline". Politico. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 

External linksEdit

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mark Kennedy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 2nd congressional district

Political offices
Preceded by
George Miller
Chairman of House Education and the Workforce Committee
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Steve King
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Mike Michaud

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