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The People's Choice: Congressman Jim Jontz of Indiana
by Ray Boomhower
Indiana Historical Society Press, 2012
eISBN: 978-0-87195-348-3 | Cloth: 978-0-87195-298-1
Library of Congress Classification E840.8.J616B66 2012
Dewey Decimal Classification 328.73092

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
This first-ever biography of Congressman Jim Jontz examines his remarkable long-shot political career and lifetime involvement in local, state, and national environmental issues. As a liberal Democrat (he preferred the terms progressive or populist) usually running in conservative districts, Jontz had political pundits predicting his defeat in every election only to see him celebrating another victory with his happy supporters, always clad in a scruffy plaid jacket with a hood from high school that he wore for good luck. “I always hope for the best and fight for the worst,” said Jontz. He won five terms as state representative for the Twentieth District (Benton, Newton, Warren, and White Counties), served two years in the Indiana Senate, and captured three terms in the U.S. Congress representing the sprawling Fifth Congressional District in northwestern Indiana that stretched from Lake County in the north to Grant County in the south. Jontz told a reporter that his political career had always “been based on my willingness and role as a spokesman for the average citizen.” In his career Jontz also led an unsuccessful campaign to stop the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement with the Citizens Trade Campaign, helped protect the Endangered Species Act when it was under attack in the 1990s as director of the Endangered Species Coalition, campaigned to save old-growth forests as executive director of the Western Ancient Forest Campaign, and tried to foster progressive causes as president of the Americans for Democratic Action.

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