Jason Lewis (Minnesota politician)

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Jason Lewis
Jason Lewis official congress.png
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by John Kline
Personal details
Born Jason Mark Lewis
(1955-09-23) September 23, 1955 (age 63)
Waterloo, Iowa, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Northern Iowa (BA)
University of Colorado Denver (MA)
Website House website

Jason Mark Lewis[1] (born September 23, 1955) is an American politician and Republican Party member currently serving as a U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 2nd congressional district. Prior to being elected, Lewis was a radio talk show host, political commentator, and writer. He hosted The Jason Lewis Show from 2009 through 2014.


Lewis was born in 1955 in Waterloo, Iowa.[2] He has a master's degree in political science from the University of Colorado at Denver as well as a Bachelor of Arts in education/business from the University of Northern Iowa.[3]

Radio career

Lewis' show was syndicated nationally by the Premiere Radio Networks and the Genesis Communications Network. Before his show was nationally syndicated, Lewis broadcast locally for ten years on KSTP in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area of Minnesota, until Lewis moved to WBT in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he spent three years. In 2006, Lewis moved back to Minnesota to the newly established KTLK-FM.[3]

On the February 17, 2009, episode of his show, Lewis announced that his show would be syndicated nationally, effective February 23, 2009. Since 2007, Lewis had been one of the most frequently used, and one of the most popular guest hosts of the Rush Limbaugh radio program, allowing him to reach a nationwide audience.[4]

On August 8, 2011, The Jason Lewis Show was picked up for national syndication by the Genesis Communications Network.[5] On the July 31, 2014, episode of his show, Lewis announced he was leaving his radio show to devote more time to a website he co-founded, galt.io.[6]


Lewis is the author of Power Divided is Power Checked: The Argument for States Rights from Bascom Hill Publishing.[7] In bonus commentary added to the audiobook version in 2016, Lewis drew parallels between the legalization of same-sex marriage and the abolition of slavery, stating that the federal government should not have a role in either.[8] In his 2011 book Power Divided is Power Checked, Lewis wrote that "slavery was mercifully conquered,"[9] though he cast doubt on the need to fight the Civil War—stating that Abraham Lincoln “exploited the issue” of slavery to justify the “War Between the States,”[10] and called for a constitutional amendment allowing “any state to peaceably leave the union.”[11][12]

Political campaigns

1990 U.S. House campaign

In 1990, Lewis ran for Congress in Colorado's 2nd congressional district. He was defeated by incumbent Democrat David Skaggs.[13] Lewis was mentioned as a possible candidate in 2014 against Senator Al Franken, but he did not run.[14]

2016 U.S. House campaign

In October 2015, Lewis filed paperwork to run for U.S. Congress in Minnesota's 2nd congressional district,[15] and was endorsed at the Minnesota Republican Party's convention on the 6th ballot on May 7, 2016.[16] He won the four-way Republican primary with 46% of the vote in August.[17]

The race was widely considered to be one of 2016's most competitive congressional elections.[11][17][18] Roll Call journalist Alex Roarty wrote that Lewis had not openly embraced Donald Trump, but that he has been "unafraid to embrace many of the presumptive presidential nominee’s trademarks: Tough talk, an aversion to political correctness, and a focus on border security."[10]

During the campaign, a number of Lewis's opinions from his radio and internet career were publicized by the news media, including comments he made about women and slavery.[17]

Lewis stated that "liberal reporters and typical politicians may not like the bluntness of the way I’ve framed some issues in my career as a voice in the conservative movement”[10] and that his comments were "taken out of context by his opponents and the media".[17]

On November 8, 2016, Lewis defeated Democrat Angie Craig and independent Paula Overby, and was thus elected to the United States House of Representatives.[19]

Electoral history

1990 Second Congressional District of Colorado Elections
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic David Skaggs 105,248 60.67
Republican Jason Lewis 68,226 39.33


2016 Second Congressional District of Minnesota Elections
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jason Lewis 172,345 47.11
Democratic Angie Craig 164,621 45.0
Independence Paula Overby 28,508 7.79


Political positions

As of January 2018, Lewis had voted with his party in 96.4% of votes so far in 115th United States Congress and voted in line with President Trump's position in 94% of votes.[22][23]

Vote Smart Political Courage Test

Vote Smart, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization that collects and distributes information on candidates for public office in the United States, "researched presidential and congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues." According to Vote Smart's 2016 analysis, Lewis generally supports pro-life legislation, opposes an income tax increase, opposes mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders, opposes federal spending and supports lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth, opposes requiring states to adopt federal education standards, supports the building of the Keystone Pipeline, opposes the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, opposes gun-control legislation, supports repealing the Affordable Care Act, supports requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship, and supports increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support.[24]

Health care

He supported the March 2017 version of the American Health Care Act (the GOP's bill to repeal the ACA).[25] On May 4, 2017, he voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and pass the American Health Care Act.[26][27]

LGBT rights

In 2011, Lewis argued that prohibition of same-sex marriage was not a violation of equal rights, as gay individuals would be free to marry those of the opposite sex.[28] He has described the right of transgender students to choose which restrooms to use in public schools as an "abomination".[29]


  1. Ancestry.com. Minnesota, Marriage Index, 1958-2001 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007
  2. "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). Roll Call. Retrieved January 3, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 KTLK-FM official Jason Lewis biography
  4. Lambert, Brian (September 2, 2015). "'I wanted to make a political statement': a Q&A with former radio host Jason Lewis". MinnPost.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "The Jason Lewis Show Joins the GCN Radio Network". Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Radio host Jason Lewis quits show while on the air". Retrieved 31 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  8. "Lewis' book offers provocative analysis on slavery and civil rights". Retrieved 30 June 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Brucato, Cyndy (February 23, 2016). "Provocateur-turned-politician Jason Lewis finding that past comments can haunt the present". MinnPost. Retrieved 23 August 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Roarty, Alex (16 May 2016). "Mini Trumps Sound Like the Nominee". Roll Call. Retrieved 22 August 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 COTTLE, MICHELLE (12 August 2016). "Meet Minnesota's Mini-Trump". The Atlantic. Retrieved 22 August 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Brodkorb, Michael (22 February 2016). "Republican official says Jason Lewis' comments 'demonstrate ignorance'". Star Tribune. Retrieved 22 August 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Broadkorb, Michael (September 30, 2015). "GOP buzzing about possible Jason Lewis run for Congress". Star Tribune. Retrieved 23 August 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Scheck, Tom (27 March 2013). "Franken hires a campaign manager". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 17 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Jason Lewis files paperwork to run for Congress". Retrieved 2016-08-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Jason Lewis wins 2nd District GOP endorsement over David Gerson – Twin Cities". Retrieved 2016-08-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Pathé, Simone (9 August 2016). "Controversial Former Talk Radio Host Wins GOP Primary in Minnesota Battleground". Roll Call. Retrieved 22 August 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Brodey, Sam (10 August 2016). "It's Jason Lewis vs. Angie Craig in what's likely to be one of the most-watched congressional races in the country". Minn Post. Retrieved 22 August 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Montgomery, David. "GOP’s Jason Lewis wins MN 2nd Congressional District; incumbent Democrats narrowly hold seats", TwinCites.com, November 8, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  20. 1990 Election Results for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives; retrieved November 9, 2016
  21. Results for Minnesota's 2nd congressional district; retrieved November 9, 2016
  22. Willis, Derek. "Represent". ProPublica. Retrieved 2017-04-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Bycoffe, Aaron (2017-01-30). "Tracking Jason Lewis In The Age Of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2017-04-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Jason Lewis' Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)". Vote Smart. Retrieved 10 January 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  26. "How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Health care vote puts pressure on dozens of vulnerable GOP reps". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-05-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Jason Lewis: Gays already have equal right to marry someone of opposite sex". MinnPost. Retrieved 2017-04-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "The UpTake - Jason Lewis Says Transgendered Students Using Bathroom Of Choice "An Abomination"". The UpTake. Retrieved 2017-04-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Al Lawson
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Roger Marshall