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Gwen Moore
Gwen Moore, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2005
Preceded byJerry Kleczka
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 4th district
In office
January 4, 1993 – January 3, 2005
Preceded byBarbara Ulichny
Succeeded byLena Taylor
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 7th district
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 4, 1993
Preceded byDismas Becker
Succeeded byPeter Bock
Personal details
Gwendolynne Sophia Moore

(1951-04-18) April 18, 1951 (age 70)
Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Children3, including Supreme Moore Omokunde
EducationMarquette University (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

Gwendolynne Sophia Moore (born April 18, 1951) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 4th congressional district since 2005. In 2016, Moore was elected to serve as Caucus Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus[1] for the 115th United States Congress.[2][3] She is a member of the Democratic Party. Her district is based in Milwaukee and as a result of the 2011 redistricting also includes some Milwaukee County suburbs: Bayside, Brown Deer, Cudahy, Fox Point, Glendale, St. Francis, South Milwaukee, West Milwaukee, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay. Moore is the first woman to represent the district and the second woman after Tammy Baldwin and the first African American elected to Congress from Wisconsin.

Early life, education and career

Moore was born in Racine, but has spent most of her life in Milwaukee. She is the eighth of nine children; her father was a factory worker and her mother a public school teacher. Moore attended North Division High School and served as student council president.[4] She later attended Marquette University and became a single mother and welfare recipient. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1973.

As an organizer with AmeriCorps VISTA, Moore worked to establish the Cream City Community Development Credit Union to offer grants and loans to low-income residents to start businesses.[5] For her work, she was awarded the national "VISTA Volunteer of the Decade" award from 1976 to 1986.[6] From 1985 to 1989, she worked for the City of Milwaukee as a neighborhood development strategist and for the state Department of Employment Relations and Health and Social Services. Moore also worked for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) as a housing officer.[4]

Wisconsin legislature

Moore was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1988 and served two terms representing the 7th district. She was a prominent voice calling for an investigation into the case of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who lived two blocks from Moore.[4]

In 1992, Moore was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate, in which she represented the 4th district from 1993 to 2005. She was the first African-American woman to be elected to the state senate[4] and became a prominent voice against mandatory ID security measures to enter the Capitol. She said, "I am too often reminded [9/11 hijacker] Mohammed Atta had a photo ID. This will not tell people whether I am a terrorist. This disenfranchises people who come to their Capitol."[4]

U.S. House of Representatives

Moore during the 109th Congress
Moore during the 109th Congress

Moore was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2004 with 69.6% of the vote, defeating Republican attorney Gerald Boyle. She was one of a handful of African Americans to be elected to Congress as freshmen in 2004, and the first African American and second woman (after Tammy Baldwin) to represent Wisconsin in Congress.[7]

Moore is a prominent advocate for women's rights, releasing frequent statements on topics ranging from domestic abuse awareness to abortion rights. In January 2011, she was elected Democratic co-chair of the Congressional Women's Caucus to become a leader on health insurance reform and the protection of reproductive rights.[8] She is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[9]

During the congressional debate in February 2011 on the Pence Amendment to defund Planned Parenthood, in response to comments from Paul Broun suggesting that Planned Parenthood promoted racist eugenics because more black women than white women have abortions, Moore spoke about her experience raising children on little money, and why "planned parenthood is healthy for women, it's healthy for children and it's healthy for our society".[10] She publicly opposed the investigation into Planned Parenthood's financial accounting, saying the investigation was "an unfortunate waste of taxpayer dollars".[11] Moore voted "nay" on Amends Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to Prohibit Abortion Coverage on October 13, 2011.[12] In March 2012, during the House debate over reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, she spoke about her experience of being sexually assaulted and raped as a child and an adult, criticizing the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee that voted "no" on the bill.[13]

In the first session of the 109th Congress, Moore earned 90% and higher legislative agenda approval scores from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Sierra Club of Wisconsin, and the Service Employees International Union. She has focused legislatively on traditional Democratic and progressive issues, believing that the federal government should play a significant role in the amelioration of poverty and the resolution of difficult local problems. Moore has received support from interest groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (93%), The Human Rights Campaign (100%), The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) (100%), The National Farmer's Union (100%) and Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund (100%). She lacks support from those supporting hunting and sportsmen rights (0% support from Sportsmen and Animal Owner's Voting Alliance), pro-lifers (0% support from National Right to Life), and conservative tax reform stances (0% support from Americans for Tax Reform).[14]

During her first term, Moore introduced legislation to provide economic incentives and tax cuts to small businesses to promote job creation, and also cosponsored legislation supporting community block grants, continuing and expanding Medicaid funding, amending the Truth in Lending Act to prevent so-called "predatory lending", and removing troops from Iraq. She also cosponsored two prospective amendments to the US Constitution, providing for uniform national election standards and prohibiting gender discrimination.[citation needed]

On May 6, 2006, Moore and eight fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus were arrested and ticketed for unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct after they stepped onto the grounds of the Embassy of Sudan to call attention to the ongoing Darfur conflict. Moore said the group expected to be arrested but that they were pleased to participate in a "peaceful act of civil disobedience".[15]

In July 2019, Moore voted against a House resolution introduced by Representative Brad Schneider opposing efforts to boycott the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel.[16] The resolution passed 398-17.[17]

On December 18, 2019, Moore voted for both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.[18]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

  • 2004 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — Democratic Primary
  • 2004 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 4th District
  • 2006 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 4th District
    • Gwen Moore (D), 72%
    • Perfecto Rivera (R), 28%
  • 2008 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 4th District
    • Gwen Moore (D), 88%
    • Michael LaForest (I), 12%
  • 2010 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 4th District
    • Gwen Moore (D), 69%
    • Dan Sebring (R), 30%
  • 2012 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 4th District
    • Gwen Moore (D), 72%
    • Dan Sebring (R), 25%


Wisconsin's 4th Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2014[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gwen Moore (incumbent) 52,413 70.9
Democratic Gary R. George 21,242 28.7
Democratic Write-ins 257 0.4
Total votes 73,912 100.0
Wisconsin's 4th Congressional District General Election, 2014[21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gwen Moore (incumbent) 179,045 70.2
Republican Dan Sebring 68,490 26.9
Independent Robert R. Raymond (write-in) 7,002 2.8
n/a Write-ins 355 0.1
Total votes 254,892 100.0
Democratic hold


Wisconsin's 4th Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2016[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gwen Moore (incumbent) 55,256 84.5
Democratic Gary George 10,013 15.3
Democratic Write-ins 128 0.2
Total votes 65,397 100.0
Wisconsin's 4th Congressional District General Election, 2016[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gwen Moore (incumbent) 220,181 76.7
Independent Robert Raymond 33,494 11.7
Libertarian Andy Craig 32,183 11.2
n/a Write-ins 1,051 0.4
Total votes 286,909 100.0
Democratic hold


Wisconsin's 4th Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2018[24]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gwen Moore (incumbent) 76,971 89.0
Democratic Gary George 9,466 11.0
Total votes 86,437 100.0
Wisconsin's 4th Congressional District General Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gwen Moore (incumbent) 206,487 75.6
Republican Tim Rogers 59,091 21.7
Independent Robert Raymond 7,170 2.6
n/a Write-ins 339 0.1
Total votes 273,087 100.0
Democratic hold


Wisconsin's 4th Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2020[25]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gwen Moore (incumbent) 68,898 100.0
Total votes 68,898 100.0
Wisconsin's 4th Congressional District General Election, 2020[26]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gwen Moore (incumbent) 232,668 74.7
Republican Tim Rogers 70,769 22.7
Independent Robert Raymond 7,911 2.5
Write-in 349 0.1
Total votes 311,697 100.0
Democratic hold

2014 challenge

In June 2014, former state senator and convicted felon Gary George filed to run against Moore in the Democratic primary, claiming that he was running "in response to citizen demands for stronger leadership from Milwaukee's political community."[27] George lost the August primary, with 21,234 votes to Moore's 52,380 (69%).[28]

Personal life

Moore's son, Supreme Moore Omokunde (then known as Sowande Ajumoke Omokunde), was arrested in connection with the November 2, 2004, tire-slashing of Republican Party vehicles in Milwaukee. He was charged on January 24, 2005, with a felony in connection with the event, but agreed on January 20, 2006, to plead no contest in exchange for a sentencing recommendation of restitution and probation.[29] On April 26, 2006, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Michael Brennan sentenced Omokunde to four months in prison and $2,305 in fines and restitution. In response, Moore said, "I love my son very much. I'm very proud of him. He's accepted responsibility."[30]

Omokunde went on to become a member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors in 2015,[31] and was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2020.[32]

Moore has become a U.S. delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.[33]

Moore attended the 2016 Democratic National Convention as a superdelegate, pledging her support to nominee Hillary Clinton.

Moore spoke at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, which was centered in Milwaukee.[34]

On December 28, 2020, Moore announced that she had tested positive for COVID-19 and was self-isolating from others, but broke her quarantine to travel to Washington to vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.[35][36]

See also


  1. ^ "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  2. ^ "Hoyer Congratulates Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 115th Congress | The Office of Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  3. ^ "It's Rep. Conyers' Right To Fight Allegations, Rep. Moore Says". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Gwen S. Moore Biography". Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  5. ^ "AmeriCorps: Gwendolynne Moore". Corporation for National & Community Service. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  6. ^ [1] Archived June 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Sandler, Larry (November 3, 2004). "Moore rewrites history: Mainstream appeal makes her state's first black congresswoman". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  8. ^ "Rep. Gwen Moore Weighs in on Birth Control Victory". Ms. Magazine. August 3, 2011.
  9. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  10. ^ "Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) In Opposition to the Pence Amendment". Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  11. ^ "Dem Leaders to Stearns: Stop Pointless Political Attack on Planned Parenthood". Project Vote Smart. October 11, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  12. ^ "HR 358 - Amends Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to Prohibit Abortion Coverage". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  13. ^ Nocera, Kate. "Rep. Gwen Moore recounts sexual assault". POLITICO. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  14. ^ "Gwen Moore - Ratings and Endorsements". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  15. ^ JS Online: Moore expects arrest in protest Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Clare Foran (July 24, 2019). "Who voted 'no' on the House resolution opposing Israel boycott movement". CNN. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  17. ^ Schneider, Bradley Scott (July 23, 2019). "H.Res.246 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel". Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  18. ^ Panetta, Grace (December 19, 2019). "WHIP COUNT: Here's which members of the House voted for and against impeaching Trump". Business Insider. Archived from the original on January 31, 2021. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  19. ^ "Caucus Membrs". US House of Representatives. Retrieved January 3, 2021.
  20. ^ "Official Election Results" (PDF). G.A.B. Canvass Reporting System. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  21. ^ "Wisconsin Statewide Results General Election - November 4, 2014 Official Results". Wisconsin Secretary of State. November 4, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  22. ^ "Wisconsin Elections Commission". Wisconsin Elections Commission. August 9, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  23. ^ "Wisconsin Elections Commission". Wisconsin Elections Commission. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  24. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah; Bloch, Matthew; Lee, Jasmine C. (August 14, 2018). "Wisconsin Primary Election Results". The New York Times. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  25. ^ "2020 Fall Partisan Primary Results" (PDF). Wisconsin Elections Commission. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  26. ^ "Canvass Results for 2020 General Election" (PDF). Wisconsin Elections Commission. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  27. ^ Anderson, Mike. "Gary George files papers to run for Congress; Recalled senator convicted in 2004 of felony fraud" June 3, 2014
  28. ^ Bergquist, Lee. "Election 2014: Allen, Brostoff, Wanggaard, Bowen win legislative primaries" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel August 13, 2014
  29. ^ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article Archived July 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ "Lawmaker's son sentenced for tire slashing - politics". Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  31. ^ official page as supervisor
  32. ^ Crouse, Tiffany (April 11, 2015). "Son of Gwen Moore and Son of David Cullen Win County Board Supervisor Positions". Milwaukee Courier. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  33. ^ Hand, Robert (September 5, 2008). "U.S. Congressional Delegation Visits Kazakhstan for Parliamentary Assembly Annual Session". Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012.
  34. ^ "Democrats Announce Additional Speakers and Schedule Updates for 2020 Democratic National Convention: "Uniting America"". 2020 Democratic National Convention. August 11, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  35. ^ Fordham, Evie (January 3, 2021). "Democratic congresswoman to vote on House floor 6 days after announcing positive coronavirus test". Fox News. Archived from the original on May 14, 2021. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  36. ^ Dirr, Alison (December 28, 2020). "U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore isolating after testing positive for COVID-19". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved December 28, 2020.

External links

Wisconsin State Senate
Preceded by
Barbara Ulichny
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 4th district

Succeeded by
Lena Taylor
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jerry Kleczka
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 4th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Cathy McMorris Rodgers
United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
This page was last edited on 28 August 2021, at 01:00
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