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Jim Marshall (Georgia politician)

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James Creel Marshall (born March 31, 1948) is an American politician who was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 2003 to 2011. Marshall, a Democrat from Georgia, represented a district based in Macon that also included much of rural Central Georgia. His district was numbered the 3rd district from 2003 to 2007 and the 8th district from 2007 to 2011.

Jim Marshall
Jim Marshall.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 8th district
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byLynn Westmoreland
Succeeded byAustin Scott
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
Preceded byMac Collins
Succeeded byLynn Westmoreland
Mayor of Macon, Georgia
In office
Preceded byTommy Olmstead
Succeeded byJack Ellis
Personal details
Born (1948-03-31) March 31, 1948 (age 71)
Ithaca, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Camille Hope
ResidenceMacon, Georgia
Alma materPrinceton University, Boston University
AwardsBronze Star (2)
Purple Heart
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1968–1970
Battles/warsVietnam War

Marshall served as president of the United States Institute of Peace from September 2012 to January 2014.[1] In 2013, British Advocacy organization Action on Armed Violence listed Marshall as one of the 100 more influential people in the world for armed violence reduction.[2]

Early life, education, and early careerEdit

The son and grandson of army generals, Marshall was born in Ithaca, New York, but moved frequently during his childhood and graduated from high school in Mobile, Alabama. He entered Princeton University in 1966, but left college in 1968 to enlist in the United States Army. He served in Vietnam as an Airborne Ranger reconnaissance platoon sergeant and earned two Bronze Stars (with "V" devices for valor) and a Purple Heart.

On June 29, 2006, Marshall was inducted into the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame. He returned to Princeton in 1970 and graduated in 1972. Marshall worked various jobs for two years before entering law school at Boston University, where he earned his J.D. in 1977.

After clerking for two federal district court judges, Marshall was appointed a professor at Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law in Macon, teaching in the areas of property, commercial, insurance, creditor's rights, insolvency, reorganization, and small business law. He was minority recruiter and advisor to the Black Law Student Association at Mercer. From 1987 to 1995, he not only taught at Mercer but also developed a commercial litigation and business insolvency consulting practice, and became involved in civic affairs. Among other things, he served as president of Leadership Macon and the Macon Bar Association. He was also chairman of the Macon Housing Authority. It was during this period that Marshall first became active in politics. He co-chaired the 1990 gubernatorial campaign of former U.S. Congressman and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., and then as the current mayor of Atlanta, Andrew Young. Young was defeated in a primary run-off against Zell Miller. Marshall also chaired the successful state senate campaign of Robert Brown, the first African American since reconstruction to be elected to that body from outside the Atlanta metro area.

Mayor of MaconEdit

From 1995 to 1999, Marshall served as Mayor of Macon. During his tenure, the City of Macon increased its reserves, decreased its debt, lowered its property taxes and acquired a new public safety communications system. Marshall received national news attention for running down (on foot) a felon and encouraging Macon citizens to voluntarily house thousands of refugees from Hurricane Hugo. He was elected to the Advisory Board of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and co-chaired the National Democratic Mayors Conference.

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit



Marshall first ran for Congress in 2000 as the Democratic candidate for the 8th District. He was defeated by incumbent U.S. Representative Saxby Chambliss, 59% to 41%. Notably, during his years in Congress, Marshall formed a close working relationship with Chambliss.[3]


After the 2000 Census, the state legislature carved away much of the heavily Republican southern portion of the old 8th, including Chambliss' home in Moultrie. They replaced it with some more rural, Democratic-leaning territory around Macon and renumbered it the 3rd District. Marshall defeated Republican Bibb County Commissioner Calder Clay in a race that was expected to be very close. Marshall was hampered by voter anger over Warner Robins being cut out of the district. The reconfigured 3rd included all of Houston County except for a long gash where Warner Robins had been drawn into the 1st District. Marshall also had to contend with the presence of Sonny Perdue (a Houston County resident) atop the ballot as the Republican candidate for governor.

Marshall defeated Clay 51%–49%.[4] Marshall thus became the only white Democrat in Georgia's House delegation, and the first since Nathan Deal switched parties in 1995.[citation needed]


Marshall defeated Clay in their 2004 rematch, winning 63% of the vote, even as George W. Bush won the district with 56% of the vote.[citation needed]


Early in 2005, the Georgia state legislature, now controlled by Republicans, approved a new map of congressional districts. The Macon-based district was significantly redrawn and renumbered once again as the 8th. The reconfigured 8th was considerably more Republican than its predecessor, even though it included 60% of Marshall's former territory as well as all of Macon.

The new district closely resembled the area Chambliss represented for eight years. Had the district existed in 2004, President Bush would have carried it with 61% of the vote.

Marshall's Republican opponent was former U.S. Congressman Mac Collins. Collins had represented a district in the southern Atlanta suburbs during his first stint in Congress, but moved back to his native Butts County after it was drawn into the reconfigured 8th.[5] Collins benefited from two visits by President Bush, massive amounts of national party and PAC funding and Perdue's presence atop the ticket.

Marshall defeated Collins 51%–49%.[6] It was the second-closest any Democratic incumbent came to losing his seat to a Republican in the 2006 elections. The closest election that year was Georgia Democratic U.S. Congressman John Barrow. As a result, the 8th became one of the most Republican districts in the nation to be represented by a Democrat.[citation needed]


In 2008, Marshall faced Rick Goddard, who was a retired Air Force major general and the former commander of Warner Robins Air Logistics Center. This race was initially viewed as one of the few where a Republican had a realistic chance of defeating a Democrat. However, Marshall won with 57% of the vote, the same winning percentage that the district gave Republican Presidential nominee John McCain.[7]


In a landslide year for Republicans, Marshall was defeated 53%–47% by Republican State Representative Austin Scott, a resident of Chambliss' former base in the district's southern portion.[8][9][10] Despite Marshall's moderate position, Scott successfully painted Marshall as a "Pelosicrat", accusing him of voting with Nancy Pelosi 80% of the time.[11]

Since Marshall's defeat, the Democrats have only nominated a candidate in the 8th once, in 2016.


Rep. Marshall at a 14 November 2009 townhall meeting in Covington, Georgia.

Marshall was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of conservative congressional Democrats. The National Journal analyzed his voting record as right-of-center, leaning a bit toward the Republican side.[12][13]

On social issues, Marshall generally voted in line with the conservative bent of his very rural Southern district. He voted to restrict access to legal abortions and supported a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.[14]

On economic issues, Marshall compiled a pro-business record. He was a prominent supporter of the TARP bailout legislation, declaring that he would give up his seat by voting for the bill, which he believed to be essential to avoid a second Great Depression. This issue became a centerpiece of both Marshall's successful 2008 re-election and his unsuccessful 2010 campaign.[3][15][16] As a senior Democrat on the Agriculture subcommittee regulating futures and derivatives, Marshall was a moderating voice in the regulation of derivatives during the formulation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation.[17] Marshall was a consistent supporter of the Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, and in 2010 he co-founded the Balanced Budget Amendment Caucus.[18]

Marshall during the 109th Congress

Due to his military background, Marshall became a prominent voice on defense matters early in his first term when he won partial repeal of "the Disabled Veterans Tax" (also known as "concurrent receipt"). Marshall's one-man campaign brought disabled veterans their first victory on the issue in 19 years, leading the Retired Enlisted Association's TREA affiliate to name him legislator of the year for 2003.[12]

In December 2005, Marshall was the sole Democrat to vote against HR 2863. This defense appropriations bill, which passed 308–122 with 107 Republicans in support, included language supporting increased protections for detainees held in U.S. custody.[19]

In February 2007, along with Gene Taylor from Mississippi, he was one of two Democrats to vote against H CON RES 63, which expressed opposition to a troop surge in the Iraq War.[20] Marshall opposed the non-binding resolution H CON RES 63 because he believed that the only tangible affect it might have was a negative one on troop moral for those charged with executing the surge, as he explained in remarks to Congress.[21]

Along with 38 other Democrats, Marshall voted against the Affordable Health Care for America Act, and explained his reasons to do so in an article in the National Review.[22][23]

Committee assignmentsEdit

Caucus membershipsEdit

  • Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy at West Point
  • Founding Chair of the Financial Markets Caucus
  • Founding Co-chair of the Balanced Budget Amendment Caucus
  • Co-chair of the Air Force Caucus
  • Steering Committee of the Rural Health Care Coalition

Post-Congressional careerEdit

Marshall took office as president of the United States Institute of Peace on September 14, 2012.[24]

In June 2013, Marshall was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world for armed violence reduction by the British advocacy organization Action on Armed Violence.[25]

In May 2013, Marshall was named by U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) to the National Defense Panel, which assesses the Department of Defense's Quadrennial Defense Review.[26]

Marshall was a visiting Professor at Princeton University, where he taught in 2011.[27] In February, 2011, he joined the Board of the National Futures Association.

Personal lifeEdit

Marshall lives in Macon with his wife Camille Hope, the daughter of National Hurricane Center meteorologist John Hope, and for whom Hurricane Camille was named.[28] They have two children, Mary and Robert, both of whom attended his alma mater, Princeton University. His great-great-great-grandfather is former U.S. Congressman and famed inventor Hezekiah Bradley Smith.[29] His grandfather Brigadier General James C. Marshall was the first District Engineer of the Manhattan Engineer District in World War II and as such was the initial commander of the atomic bomb project.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Lubold, Gordon (13 January 2014). "FP's Situation Report: Iran Nuke Accord Advances". Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  2. ^ "The 100 most influential people in the world of armed violence". 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
  3. ^ a b "After November Defeat, Marshall Ready to Move On". Macon Telegraph. 20 December 2010.
  4. ^ "Our Campaigns – GA District 3 Race – Nov 05, 2002".
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-27. Retrieved 2006-07-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns – GA – District 08 Race – Nov 07, 2006".
  7. ^ Georgia: Election Results 2008 The New York Times, December 9, 2008
  8. ^ "Our Campaigns – GA – District 08 Race – Nov 02, 2010".
  9. ^ Georgia Secretary of State Archived 2010-04-30 at the Wayback Machine, Candidates on the November 2, 2010 General Election Ballot
  10. ^ Georgia General Assembly Archived 2010-03-26 at the Wayback Machine, Representative Austin Scott.
  11. ^ "Telegraph analysis gives Marshall voting record closer scrutiny". The Telegraph (Macon). October 30, 2010. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  12. ^ a b [1]
  13. ^ "2010 Vote Rankings: The Centrists". National Journal. 24 February 2011.
  14. ^ "Jim Marshall on the Issues". Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  15. ^ "The NRCC's Misleading Attacks on Jim Marshall and TARP". Political Correction. 14 October 2010.
  16. ^ "Views of Marshall, Scott Close on Major Issues". Macon Telegraph. 26 September 2010. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012.
  17. ^ "House Ag hearing airs disagreements over CFTC setting position limits". Agri-Pulse. 15 December 2009.
  18. ^ "New Caucus to Push for Balanced Budget Amendment". 11 March 2010. Archived from the original on 7 April 2011.
  19. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 630" (XML). Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  20. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 99". Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  21. ^ "Floor speech in opposition to the resolution expressing Cong". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  22. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 398" (XML). Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2016-07-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "USIP Board of Directors Names Jim Marshall as Future President". U.S. Institute of Peace. July 23, 2012.
  25. ^ "The 100 most influential people in the world of armed violence". AOAV. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  26. ^ "USIP President Jim Marshall Appointed to Congressionally-Mandated National Defense Panel". United States Institute of Peace.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2011-06-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ Hurricane Research Division (2014-08-14). "45th Anniversary of Hurricane Camille". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  29. ^ "Ancestors of Rep. Jim Marshall". Rootsweb.

External linksEdit