Jerry Costello

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For his son, see Jerry Costello II.
Jerry Costello
Rep Jerry Costello.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 12th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Philip Crane
Succeeded by William Enyart
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 21st district
In office
August 9, 1988 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Melvin Price
Succeeded by District Eliminated
Personal details
Born (1949-09-25) September 25, 1949 (age 68)
East St. Louis, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Georgia Cockrum
Residence Belleville, Illinois
Alma mater Maryville University
Occupation Bailiff, law enforcement officer
Religion Roman Catholic

Jerry Francis Costello (born September 25, 1949) is the former U.S. Representative for Illinois's 12th congressional district. He previously represented Illinois's 21st congressional district, and served in Congress from 1988 to 2013. He is a member of the Democratic Party and was the dean of Illinois's 21-member Congressional delegation. In October 2011, Costello announced that he would not seek another term in Congress in 2012.[1] He was succeeded by William Enyart.

Early life, education, and early career

Costello was born in East St. Louis, Illinois and attended Catholic schools, graduating from Assumption High School. He was later educated at Maryville College of the Sacred Heart in St. Louis, from which he earned a bachelor's degree.

Costello worked in the law enforcement field. He served St. Clair County, Illinois as a court bailiff, deputy sheriff, and director of court services and probation. Costello later was chief investigator for the Illinois State Attorney’s office. In 1980, he was elected the St. Clair County Board chairman. Costello served in this capacity as county executive until his election to the House.

U.S. House of Representatives


Costello took office on in August 1988, after winning a special election with 51% of the vote, to fill the seat of the deceased Melvin Price.[2] He was elected to a full term that November with 53% of the vote.[3] After that, he never won re-election with less than 60% of the vote.[4]

Costello was the most senior member of Illinois' House delegation during his final term in office. On October 4, 2011, he announced he would not seek reelection in 2012.[5] Costello was succeeded by William Enyart, who was elected on November 6, 2012.[6]


Costello served on the National Leadership Committee of then-Senator Obama's National Catholic Advisory Council during his 2008 election campaign.[7] The NCAC stumped for candidate Barack Obama during the later days of the 2008 primary campaign.

Shortly after the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, Costello was prominently mentioned as a possible cabinet choice for Secretary of Transportation; the nomination eventually went to fellow Illinois Representative Ray LaHood.[citation needed]

In 2011, Costello co-sponsored HR 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would strictly limit the situations in which abortion could be paid for by public funds.[8]

1997 Ethics complaint

In 1996, federal prosecutors alleged that Costello was an unindicted co-conspirator in a plan to build a riverboat casino. At the end of an investigation and trial, a longtime friend of Costello's was sentenced to six years in prison for obstruction of justice. Costello testified before a grand jury in regard to the matter, but was not indicted or charged in the case. He denied any involvement. In 1997, the Congressional Accountability Project filed an ethics complaint requesting investigation of Costello which resulted in no action.[9]

Committee assignments


External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Melvin Price
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 21st congressional district

Succeeded by
District Dissolved after 1990 Census
Preceded by
Philip M. Crane
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 12th congressional district

Succeeded by
William Enyart