Congressional Profile: Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)

Congressman Addison (Joe) Wilson (R-SC) currently scores a 95% on our Legislative Scorecard and has held fast to his conservative principles even after serving in the House of Representatives for over a decade.

Rep. Wilson was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1947. In many ways, his life has paralleled the development of Republican Party and conservative movement. In 1960, he and his mother were volunteers at the Coastal Carolina Fair in Charleston at a time when there was not a single elected Republican in the state and there had been none since 1902. When they asked for the location of the Republican booth they were politely advised there was none because “those kinds of people are not allowed at the Fair.” Fortunately, Rep. Wilson’s mother asked for the Nixon booth which was identified as S. C. Independents for Nixon-Lodge.

Rep. Wilson’s first visit to Washington was in 1963 when he rode on a bus from Columbia to attend the July 4th National “Draft Goldwater” Rally at the D. C. Armory. This led him to start 16 Teen Age Republican (TAR) clubs across the Lowcountry in the 1964 Goldwater Campaign (he even met his wife Roxanne at Teen Age Republican Camp at Lake Jimiki in 1966 where he was a counselor and she was a camper). He has remained a conservative activist for his lifetime as a TAR, a College Republican at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, and virtually every level of party position in South Carolina. Rep. Wilson has lived the Republican Revolution and watched it evolve from non-existence to super majority status across the state to his son Alan in 2010 being elected the youngest Attorney General in America.

After graduating from Washington and Lee University in 1969, Rep. Wilson earned his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1972. He then served his country as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves until 1975, and then served as a Staff Judge Advocate in the South Carolina Army National Guard. He retired from the Armed Services in 2003, as a Colonel and the only active Guard Member serving in Congress.

Before his election to Congress in 2001, Rep. Wilson served in the South Carolina State Senate for seventeen years – with perfect attendance. He was the first Republican Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2001, following a special election to fill the seat vacated by the death of Floyd Spence, whom Rep. Wilson campaigned for as a teenager. He won his primary with 75% of the vote, and went on to win the general election with 73% of the vote.

Rep. Wilson currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee, – as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel – the Committee on Education and Labor, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs. He was also appointed to the highly influential Republican Policy Committee and is an Assistant Republican Whip.

Rep. Wilson is deeply committed to promoting peace through a strong national defense, and to lowering taxes for all Americans, and to the principles of limited government.

Rep. Wilson is married to Roxanne Dusenbury McCrory, who continues to offer him strength and support in his every endeavor. They are the parents of four sons, all of whom are eagle scouts and serve in the U.S. military, and the proud grandparents of four boys and two girls.Alan, his oldest son, is a Major in the JAG Corps, South Carolina Army National Guard who proudly served for a year in Iraq; Addison is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a physician in the Navy who served a tour of duty in Iraq; Julian is a Captain in the South Carolina Army National Guard and a graduate of the Signal School who served on a peacekeeping tour in Egypt; and Hunter is a newly commissioned Second Lieutenant in the South Carolina Army National Guard who will attend the Engineer Officer’s Basic Course in April 2012.

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