Leonard Boswell

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 15:50, 15 August 2013 by Justin Haas (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Leonard Boswell
Leonard Boswell.jpg
U.S. House, Iowa, District 3
Retired Representative
In office
January 3, 1997-2013
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 5, 1996
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Iowa State Senate
High schoolLamoni High School
Bachelor'sGraceland College
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Army
Years of service1956-1976
Date of birthJanurary 10, 1934
Place of birthHarrison County, Missouri
ReligionCommunity of Christ
Office website
Campaign website
Leonard Boswell campaign logo

Leonard L. Boswell (b. October 30, 1957) was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Iowa's 3rd congressional district. Boswell was first elected to the House in 1996. Bowell ran for re-election in 2012 and ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on June 5, 2012. He lost to Republican incumbent from the 4th district Tom Latham in the general election on November 6, 2012.[1]

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Boswell was a "centrist Democrat".[2]


The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors

Boswell was born in 1934 in Harrison County, Missouri, and was raised in Lamoni, Iowa, where he also attended high school. He earned his B.A. from Graceland College in 1969 and served in the U.S. Army from 1956-1976.[3]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Boswell's professional and political career[3]:

Prior to his political career, Boswell worked as a farmer.

Committee assignments

U.S. House of Representatives


Boswell served on the following House committees:[4]


Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Boswell voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of 172 Democrats that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[5]



See also: Iowa's 3rd congressional district elections, 2012

Boswell ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Iowa's 3rd District. Boswell won the nomination for re-election on the Democratic ticket.[6] Because of redistricting, Boswell faced 4th district Republican incumbent Tom Latham in the general election, and lost. Boswell ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Latham ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Candidates wishing to run were required to file by the signature filing deadline of March 16, 2012. The primary elections took place on June 5, 2012. Boswell was considered one the vulnerable incumbents.[7]


U.S. House, Iowa District 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTom Latham Incumbent 52.3% 202,000
     Democratic Leonard Boswell 43.7% 168,632
     Independent David Rosenfeld 1.6% 6,286
     Independent Scott G. Batcher 2.4% 9,352
Total Votes 386,270
Source: Iowa Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Race Background

Boswell's general election opponent is 4th district incumbent Tom Latham. Latham moved to Clive to face Leonard Boswell in the 3rd district after his previous home in Ames was drawn into the same district as Steve King during redistricting when King's 5th district became obsolete.[8]

Boswell is an eight-term incumbent and Tom Latham is a nine-term incumbent.[9] This race was declared competitive in the New York Times race ratings in July 2012.[10]

Campaign themes

The issues below are outlined at Boswell's campaign website.

  • Agriculture

Excerpt: "We must keep Iowa's farmers fueling America and feeding the world."[11]

  • Education

Excerpt: "Boswell also understands that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is not working for many students, schools, and communities. Boswell strongly supports making substantial changes to elementary and secondary education policies in order to address the problems faced under NCLB, provide schools with the resources they need to succeed, and improve our children’s education."[12]

  • Healthcare

Excerpt: "Every American deserves access to affordable, quality healthcare."[13]

  • Law Enforcement

Excerpt: "Law enforcement officers fight every day to protect our communities and Congressman Leonard Boswell has carried that fight to Washington to ensure that law enforcement has the resources they need to successfully protect and serve Iowans."[14]

  • Economy

Excerpt: "Boswell will continue to fight for regulatory reform that ends taxpayer-funded bailouts, protects families’ investments and small businesses’ financial futures, ends predatory lending practices and “too big to fail firms,” and injects transparency and accountability into the financial system."[15]

Opponent targeted

Boswell's Republican opponent, Rep. Tom Latham, has been targeted by the Super PAC House Majority PAC.[16] Latham has a 4-1 campaign funding advantage over Boswell, but the Democratic-allied PAC has spent about $400,000 on defeating Latham, primarily through TV ads.[17][18]

"House Majority PAC ad against Tom Latham: 'Valentine's Day'"

"House Majority PAC ad against Tom Latham: 'Headlines'"

"House Majority PAC ad against Tom Latham: 'Bad Idea'"


On November 2, 2010, Boswell won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Brad Zaun (R), Rebecca Williamson (Socialist Workers), and the write-in candidates in the general election.[19]

U.S. House of Representatives, Iowa's 3rd Congressional District, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngLeonard Boswell Incumbent 50.7% 122,147
     Republican Brad Zaun 46.5% 111,925
     Socialist Workers Rebecca Williamson 2.6% 6,258
     Write-in 0.2% 426
Total Votes 240,756

Campaign donors


Breakdown of the source of Boswell's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Boswell lost election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Boswell's campaign committee raised a total of $1,747,776 and spent $1,766,439.[20]

As of July 11, 2012, Boswell raised $300,000 in the second quarter and at the end of the cycle had $470,000 cash-on-hand.[21]

On October 15, 2012, quarterly reports were submitted by campaigns to the Federal Election Commission. The political blog Daily Kos did an analysis of the fundraising figures and found Republican incumbent Tom Latham outraised Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell in the third quarter. Latham raised $487,000 and has $1,510,000 in cash-on-hand while Boswell raised $300,000 and has $226,000 in cash-on-hand.[22]


Breakdown of the source of Boswell's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Boswell won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Boswell's campaign committee raised a total of $2,098,471 and spent $2,357,364.[23]


Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Boswell paid his congressional staff a total of $1,125,927 in 2011. He ranked 37th on the list of the highest paid Democratic representative staff salaries and ranked 45th overall of the highest paid Representative Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Iowa ranked 16th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[24]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Boswell was one of nearly 25 percent of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Boswell's staff was given an apparent $33,500.00 in bonus money.[25]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Boswell's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $650,003 and $1,484,999. That averages to $1,067,501, which was lower than the average net worth of Democratic Representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[26]

National Journal vote ratings


See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Boswell ranked 166th in the liberal rankings.[27]

Voting with party

November 2011

Leonard Boswell voted with the Democratic Party 85.5% of the time, which ranked 167 among the 192 House Democratic members as of November 2011.[28]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Leonard + Boswell + Iowa + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

  • Loading...


Boswell and his wife, Dody, have three children and four grandchildren.[29]

External links


  1. Politico "2012 House Race Results"
  2. Gov Track "Boswell" Accessed May 22, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "Leonard L. Boswell" Accessed November 5, 2011
  4. U.S. Congress House Clerk "House of Representatives Committee Assignments" Accessed November 5, 2011
  5. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  6. WhoTV.com "POSITIVE OUTLOOK: Boswell said he feels confident about his chances" Accessed December 16, 2011
  7. New York Times"House Race Ratings" Accessed October 3
  8. Des Moines Register "Filing deadline makes official big battles in Iowa's 3rd, 4th districts" Accessed March 19, 2012
  9. NPR "It's Incumbent vs. Incumbent, and Washington is Watching"
  10. New York Times "House Race Ratings," Accessed July 25, 2012
  11. Leonard Boswell "Issues," October 11, 2012
  12. Leonard Boswell "Issues," October 11, 2012
  13. Leonard Boswell "Issues," October 11, 2012
  14. Leonard Boswell "Issues," October 11, 2012
  15. Leonard Boswell "Issues," October 11, 2012
  16. Open Secrets "House Majority PAC Independent Expenditures," Accessed May 4, 2012
  17. Bloomberg "Super-PACs Ramp Up Spending on Races Where Control of Congress Is at Stake," March 8, 2012
  18. House Majority PAC "Our Ads," Accessed May 4, 2012
  19. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010" Accessed November 5, 2011
  20. OpenSecrets "2012 Election" Accessed March 23, 2013
  21. Twitter "Roll Call" Accessed July 12, 2012
  22. Daily Kos "Third quarter House fundraising: who's got the cash?" October 18, 2012
  23. Open Secrets "Bruce Braley 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed November 5, 2011
  24. LegiStorm "Leonard Boswell"
  25. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  26. OpenSecrets.org, "Boswell, (D-Iowa), 2010"
  27. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  28. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  29. Official House Site "Biography," Accessed November 5, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Lightfoot
U.S. House of Representatives - Iowa, District 3
Succeeded by
Tom Latham
Preceded by
Iowa State Senate
Succeeded by