Meet the Lawmaker Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio), 15th District


What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Rep. Kilroy: When I was growing up, I had this plan. My plan was to get a Ph.D. in chemistry and do that by, I think, age 23. Fast track. And then I was going to invent something that would take all the pollution from Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River and would make something useful out of that, and patent that and make a lot of money. And with my millions I would buy a baseball team … It was a great plan. The problem was my grades in chemistry.

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If you weren’t yourself, which lawmaker would you want to be?

Rep. Kilroy: I would be Ohio’s [former Sen.] John Glenn (D). Sen. Glenn had an outstanding career, was a pilot and astronaut, went up to space twice, showed how much he could accomplish, and he had an outstanding career here in Washington. And he got to dot the “I” [with the marching band at an Ohio State football game — a halftime honor reserved for a select few].

Finish this sentence: My favorite place in the world is …
Rep. Kilroy: I just really love to travel, and so every time I travel someplace, I think, “I love it here.” This spring I was in Puerto Rico. It was incredibly beautiful. St. John, Virgin Islands, was very, very beautiful. It was one of the most relaxing trips I’ve ever had. I love Ireland, too.

What’s been your biggest political mistake?
Rep. Kilroy: I remember when I was giving a speech, when I was on the school board, and it was a great speech, at South High School’s graduation, and I gave this great speech about fathers and fatherhood because it was Father’s Day … the only problem is, it wasn’t Father’s Day. I was a week off. I knew something was wrong because I could see people in the audience shifting … When I finished, everybody said, “It’s next week!”

Who’s your favorite lawmaker of the opposite party?
Rep. Kilroy: Oh, that’s easy. [Rep.] Virginia Foxx [R-N.C.]. Our paths cross all the all the time. [Editor’s note: Kilroy and Foxx had a combative encounter on the House floor in April.]

What’s your least favorite household chore?
Rep. Kilroy: I’d say weeding. Yard work.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Rep. Kilroy: Chocolate, and escaping — having some time to read a good book or do nothing — although it’s hard for me to do nothing, because I’m also kind of a workaholic.