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Frank Wolf (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frank Wolf
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 10th district
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 2015
Preceded byJoe Fisher
Succeeded byBarbara Comstock
Personal details
Frank Rudolph Wolf

(1939-01-30) January 30, 1939 (age 81)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Carolyn Stover
EducationUniversity of Mississippi, Oxford
Pennsylvania State University, University Park (BA)
Georgetown University (LLB)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1962–1967

Frank Rudolph Wolf (born January 30, 1939) is an American politician who represented Virginia's 10th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, as a member of the Republican Party, from January 1981 to his retirement in January 2015. He announced in December 2013 that he would not run for re-election in 2014, and retired at the conclusion of his 17th term in office.[1] At the time of his retirement, he was the dean of the state's congressional delegation, having served for 34 consecutive years.[2]

Early life, education, and early political career

Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Wolf overcame an early speech impediment which caused him to stutter.[3] Attending Pennsylvania State University, he was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, received a degree in political science and subsequently earned a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.. He then joined the United States Army as a reservist and became a lawyer for the military.

Wolf entered politics in 1968, at the age of 29, when he became a legislative assistant to Edward Biester, the Republican congressman from Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district. From 1971 to 1975, Wolf served as an assistant to Secretary of the Interior Rogers Morton.

U.S. House of Representatives


1981, Congressional Pictorial Directory, Wolf as a first term Congressman
1981, Congressional Pictorial Directory, Wolf as a first term Congressman

During the 1976 presidential election year, Wolf's first campaign for Virginia's 10th congressional district ended with his loss in the Republican primary to Vince Callahan by 45%–42%.[4] Two years later, amidst the 1978 midterm elections, he won the Republican nomination unopposed, but lost the general election to the incumbent Democrat, Joseph L. Fisher, 53%–47%.[4]

Wolf and Senator Dan Coats visit the 212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital at Camp Bedrock in Bosnia-Herzegovina during Operation Joint Endeavor in 1996
Wolf and Senator Dan Coats visit the 212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital at Camp Bedrock in Bosnia-Herzegovina during Operation Joint Endeavor in 1996
Wolf gives remarks during the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State in 2018
Wolf gives remarks during the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State in 2018

In the 1980 House election, when Ronald Reagan's decisive victory in the presidential election brought with it a 34-seat swing in the House, Wolf's third run proved to be successful; he won the Republican primary with 75% of the vote and then defeated Fisher in a rematch, 51%–49%.[4] In the 1982 midterms, Wolf won re-election with 53% of the vote.[4] He would never face another contest anywhere near that close.

Wolf did not face a Democratic opponent in 1994 and 2000, winning both with over 80% of the votes, against third party candidates. After 1982, his closest races were in the Democratic wave elections of 2006 and 2008. On both occasions he defeated professor Judy Feder, by 57%–41% and 59%–39%, respectively.[4][5] Those were the only occasions after 1982 that he received below 60 percent of the vote.

In 2012, as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district by 1%, Wolf was re-elected by 20%.[6] In September 2013, it was announced that Wolf was to be challenged in the 2014 election by Democrat Richard Bolger, a Fairfax attorney and small business owner.[7][8] In December 2013, Wolf announced his intention to retire from politics, leaving office in January 2015 – just days before his 76th birthday.[2]

Wolf's district was significantly redrawn several times during his 34 years in office. It was initially a purely Northern Virginia district covering Fairfax, Arlington, and Loudoun counties. The 1990 redistricting by a Democratic Virginia General Assembly drew heavily Democratic Arlington County into the neighboring 8th District. To make up for the loss of population, the 10th was pushed to the west and south to encompass parts of the congressional district held by U.S. Rep. George Allen, which was eliminated to create a black-majority district in accordance with the Voting Rights Act. Allen chose not to challenge Wolf, instead running for Governor of Virginia in 1993. The district kept approximately the same complexion after the 2000 apportionment by a Republican Virginia General Assembly, but lost territory in the outlying areas of the district to allow for population growth in Fairfax and Loudoun. In 2013, the Fairfax portion of the district held about 40 percent of the population, Loudoun county held 30 percent, and the remainder of the district at 30 percent.

Advocacy group ratings[9]
Year Group Ratings
2010 ACLU 13
2011 ACLU
2010 ACU 92
2011 ACU 80
2010 ADA 10
2011 ADA 10
2010 CFG 69
2011 CFG 72
2010 AFSCME 0
2011 AFS 44
2010 FRC 100
2011 FRC
2010 LCV 10
2011 LCV 21
2010 ITIC 33
2011 ITIC
2010 NTU 75
2011 NTU 67
2010 COC 88
2011 COC 93


Wolf has been especially prominent in three areas: transportation, human rights, and gambling. Before he retired, he was the co-chair of the US Congress Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, formerly the Human Rights Caucus.[10]

Sometime prior to 2009, the National Rifle Association gave him an A- and the American Civil Liberties Union gave him a 0%. Some other pre-2009 rankings include 0% from Clean Air Flow Energy, 100% from National Right to Life, 0% from the Human Rights Campaign, 17% from the National Educational Association, 5% from the League of Conservation Voters, 92% from the United States Border Control and 10% by the Alliance for Retired Americans.[citation needed]

Human rights

Wolf has traveled extensively to places around the world where people are suffering, including five times to the Sudan since 1989. He has advocated for relief of the Darfur genocide.[11] He has also convened conferences in his district to address human rights issues around the world.

After the trial of the leadership of the Baháʼí Faith of Iran was announced on February 11, 2009,[12] Wolf voiced his deep concern over the "systematic persecution" of the Baháʼís.[13] On February 13, Wolf offered a resolution on the subject of the Iranian trial, co-sponsored by seven others, in H. RES. 175 – "Condemning the Government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of its Baháʼí minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights"; the resolution was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.[14] The situation in Iran gathered international attention, including defense of Iranian Nobel Laureate attorney Shirin Ebadi in June,[15] after she received threats in April warning her against making speeches abroad, including her defending Iran's minority Baháʼí community.[16]

On September 30, 2010,[citation needed] Wolf spoke against human trafficking during a Black Women United for Action conference at Mount Vernon, George Washington's historic home.

On February 28, 2014, along with the Democrat Jackie Speier, Wolf became the co-chair of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Caucus, a group created in response to the ongoing persecution of Ahmadis. On May 9, 2014, Wolf introduced the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2014 (H.R. 4653; 113th Congress), a bill that would amend the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) as an independent federal government advisory body through FY2019.[17]


Wolf has vocally criticized the human rights record of China.[18] Around the time of the 1995 International Women's Conference in Beijing, Wolf called for the Most Favored Nation status of China to be revoked, repeating the blood libel that human fetuses were considered a delicacy in China .[19] He was one of the leading congressman trying to stop the grant of permanent MFN status to China in 1999. [20] When Wolf and Congressman Chris Smith were in Beijing shortly before the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Chinese security service prevented them from participating in a dinner meeting with local human rights lawyers.[21]

In the 2011 United States federal budget, Wolf inserted a clause prohibiting NASA and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from any joint scientific activity with China for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year. Wolf remarked, "We don't want to give them the opportunity to take advantage of our technology, and we have nothing to gain from dealing with them. And frankly, it boils down to a moral issue. ... Would you have a bilateral program with Stalin?"[22] This prohibition resulted in Chinese journalists being denied access to the launching of Space Shuttle Endeavour on the mission STS-134, that was carrying the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer which was built in part by Chinese scientists.[23]

In June 2014, Wolf got House support for an amendment that would rename the street holding the Chinese embassy; the amendment would change International Place to Liu Xiaobo Plaza, in honor of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.[24]

Iraq War

During the Bush administration, Wolf voted consistently with the President's positions. For example, Wolf voted in favor of military action in Iraq in 2002. He also voted to make the Patriot Act permanent, opposed requiring Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants for wiretaps within the United States, and supported the president in restricting congressional oversight for CIA interrogations.[11]

However, in March 2006, Congress, at Wolf's suggestion by inserting an earmark into a supplemental appropriation bill, and in a breach with the Bush administration, announced the creation of the Iraq Study Group to reassess the U.S. strategy in Iraq.[25][26]

Social issues

Wolf opposes abortion and subsidized birth control for federal employees. As congressman, Wolf also voted to deny funding to Planned Parenthood. He also opposes the funding for international family planning in developing countries. Wolf also previously asserted that marriage should only be between one man and one woman.[27] As such, he signed a letter supporting the "one man one woman" issue in the Manhattan Declaration.[27] Wolf sponsored the bill that became the District of Columbia Civil Contempt Imprisonment Limitation Act, H.R. 2136, in 1989 and supported the bill that became the Elizabeth Morgan Act in 1996.


A 2005 Washington Post article cited "opposition to the spread of gambling" as one of Wolf's "central causes".[28] Wolf sought to revise the regulation process for gambling on Native American reservations.[28]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

In the 109th Congress, Wolf was chairman of Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs, and its ranking minority member in the 110th. He was co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus with Jim McGovern, who replaced the late Tom Lantos.[29] Wolf is a member of the Moderate Republican Main Street Partnership.

Electoral history

Virginia's 10th congressional district: Results 1978–2012[30][31][32]
Year Republican Votes Pct Democratic Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1978 Frank Wolf 61,981 47% Joseph Fisher 70,892 53%
1980 Frank Wolf 110,840 51% Joseph Fisher 105,883 49%
1982 Frank Wolf 86,506 53% Ira Lechner 75,361 46% Scott Bowden Independent 2,162 1%
1984 Frank Wolf 158,528 63% John Flannery 95,074 37%
1986 Frank Wolf 95,724 60% John Milliken 63,292 40%
1988 Frank Wolf 188,550 68% Robert Weinberg 88,284 32%
1990 Frank Wolf 103,761 61% N. MacKenzie Canter 57,249 34% Barbara Minnich Independent 5,273 3% Lyndon LaRouche Independent 2,293 1%
1992 Frank Wolf 144,471 64% Ray Vickery 75,775 33% Alan Ogden Independent 6,874 3%
1994 Frank Wolf 153,311 87% (no candidate) Bob Rilee Libertarian 8,267 5% Alan Ogden Independent 13,687 8%
1996 Frank Wolf 169,266 72% Robert Weinberg 59,145 25% Gary Reams Libertarian 59,145 3%
1998 Frank Wolf 103,648 72% Cornell Brooks 36,476 25% Robert Barnett Independent 4,506 3%
2000 Frank Wolf 238,817 84% (no candidate) Brian Brown Libertarian 28,107 10% Marc Rossi Independent 3,226 6%
2002 Frank Wolf 115,917 72% John Stevens 45,464 28%
2004 Frank Wolf 205,982 64% James Socas 116,654 36%
2006 Frank Wolf 138,213 57% Judy Feder 98,769 41% Wilbur Wood Libertarian 2,107 1% Neeraj Nigam Independent 1,851 1%
2008 Frank Wolf 223,140 59% Judy Feder 147,357 39% Neeraj Nigam Independent 8,457 2%
2010 Frank Wolf 131,116 63% Jeff Barnett 72,604 35% William Redpath Libertarian 4,607 2%
2012 Frank Wolf 214,038 58% Kristin Cabral 142,024 39% J. Kevin Chisholm Independent 9,855 3%


  1. ^ Blake, Aaron (December 17, 2013). "Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) won't seek reelection". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Reilly, Mollie (December 17, 2013). "Frank Wolf, GOP Congressman, Won't Seek Reelection In 2014". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  3. ^ "Telepractice – Frank Wolf Interview". 11 November 2009. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Rep. Frank Wolf (R)". National Journal Almanac. National Journal Group Inc. 2011. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  5. ^ "November 2008 Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
  6. ^ Trifone, Nicole (November 7, 2012). "Frank Wolf Wins Re-Election". Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
  7. ^ Cahn, Emily (6 September 2013). "Frank Wolf Receives Democratic Challenger". Retrieved 2014-06-26.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2019-02-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Barone, Michael; Chuck McCutcheon (2011). "Virginia / Tenth District". The Almanac of American Politics 2012. Washington, D.C.: National Journal Group and Atlantic Media Company. pp. 1685–1688. ISBN 978-0-226-03808-7. LCCN 2011929193.
  10. ^ "About the Committee". Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Archived from the original on 2 July 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Frank Wolf on the Issues". OnTheIssues.Org. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
  12. ^ "Iran to try Bahais for spying for Israel". AFP. 2009-02-11.
  13. ^ "Iran Continues Systematic Persecution of Baha'is" (Press release). House of Representatives, Congressional Record. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  14. ^ "Condemning the Government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of its Baha'i minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights. (Introduced in House)" (Press release). House of Representatives, Congressional Record. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  15. ^ "Local Baha'is worry about their fellow believers in Iran" (Press release). The Chatham News. 2009-02-24. Archived from the original on 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
  16. ^ "Top Iranian dissident threatened". BBC News. 14 April 2008. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
  17. ^ "H.R. 4653 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  18. ^ "China". Archived from the original on 2010-04-28. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
  19. ^ "Cannibalism and the Chinese Body Politic: Hermeneutics and Violence in Cross-Cultural Perception". Retrieved 2014-06-26.
  20. ^ Wolf, Frank (March 24, 2004). "U.S.– China trade debate filled with questions". Association for Asian Research. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
  21. ^ Yardley, Jim (2008-07-02). "China Blocks U.S. Legislators' Meeting". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
  22. ^ Mervis, Jeffrey (21 April 2011). "Spending Bill Prohibits U.S.-China Collaborations". ScienceInsider. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  23. ^ Hao, Cindy (20 May 2011). "Chinese Journalists Barred From Shuttle Launch". ScienceInsider. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  24. ^ "US push to rename Chinese embassy street after dissident". BBC News. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
  25. ^ Barone, Michael; Richard E. Cohen (2008). The Almanac of American Politics 2008. Washington, D.C.: National Journal Group and Atlantic Media Company. pp. 1688–1692. ISBN 978-0-89234-117-7.
  26. ^ Kirkpatrick, David D. (2006-12-05). "An Earmark With an Impact". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
  27. ^ a b Roach, Erin (Jan 5, 2010). "Congressmen write letter opposing Uganda anti-gay bill". Baptist Press. Archived from the original on April 13, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  28. ^ a b E.J. Dionne Jr. (March 15, 2005). "Rolling the Dice on a GOP Rift". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  29. ^ Barr, Andy. "McGovern Replaces Lantos as Human Rights Co-Chair" (The Hill, June 12, 2008)
  30. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 2007-07-25. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  31. ^ "Election results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  32. ^ "November 6, 2012 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2012.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Joe Fisher
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 10th congressional district

Succeeded by
Barbara Comstock
Preceded by
John Porter
Chair of the House Human Rights Commission
Succeeded by
Tom Lantos
Preceded by
Tom Lantos
Ranking Member of the House Human Rights Commission
Succeeded by
Jim McGovern
Preceded by
Jim McGovern
Chair of the House Human Rights Commission
Succeeded by
Joe Pitts
This page was last edited on 26 October 2020, at 23:11
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