Dennis E. Eckart

Dennis E. Eckart
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 11th district
In office
January 3, 1983  January 3, 1993
Preceded by J. William Stanton
Succeeded by Louis Stokes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 22nd district
In office
January 3, 1981  January 3, 1983
Preceded by Charles A. Vanik
Succeeded by District Eliminated
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 18th district
In office
January 3, 1975  December 31, 1980
Preceded by John McCormack
Succeeded by Ron Suster
Personal details
Born (1950-04-06) April 6, 1950
Cleveland, Ohio
Political party Democratic
Alma mater
Religion Roman Catholicism[1]

Dennis Edward Eckart (born April 6, 1950) is an American lawyer and politician who is a former member the United States House of Representatives. Eckart, a member of the Democratic Party represented Ohio's 11th congressional district from 1983 to 1993, and Ohio's 22nd congressional district from 1981 to 1983. Before being elected to Congress, Eckart served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1975 to 1980.[2]

Early life and Career

Born in Cleveland, Ohio with brothers Gary and Edward, Eckart attended St Joseph High School in Cleveland, Ohio.[3] He attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, receiving his B.A. in 1971. He went on to earn an LL.B. from Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1974, and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1974. Eckart began his law career practicing in Cleveland and served as the assistant prosecutor in the Lake County, Ohio prosecuting attorney's office. In 1974 Eckart won a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives where he served three terms from 1975 until 1980.[4] From 1978 until 1982 he served as a vice-president of the Slovene National Benefit Society.[5]

United States House of Representatives

In 1980, Eckart ran for the U.S. House to replace the vacant seat from retiring 13 term Congressman Charles Vanik. Eckart ran in Ohio's 11th congressional district, defeating State Senator Tim McCormack and State Representative Anthony O. Calabrese, Jr. with 40% of the vote in the Democratic primary.[6] He went on to defeat Republican opponent Joseph Nahra with 55% of the vote in the general election.[7] After the 1980 Census, Eckart's district was redrawn moving him to Ohio's 22nd congressional district. The one term Congressman defeated State Representative Marcus Roberto in the Democratic primary and Republican Glen W. Warner in the general election.[8][9]

Eckart served on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the House Committee on Small Business, where he served as Chairman of the Subcommittee for Antitrust, Deregulation and Ecology.[10]

During his tenure in the House, Eckart supported improving standards on environmental protection. He sponsored the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1983, a bill aimed to improve enforcement and greater protection for underground sources of drinking water.[11] He also sponsored the Great Lakes Emergency Shoreline Protection Act, which would have started a Federal guaranteed loan program to provide for the protection from shoreline erosion of the Great Lakes.[12] He also sponsored the Price-Anderson Amendments Act of 1987, amending the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to provide for unlimited liability in the event of an accident at a nuclear power plant, and the failed House Joint Resolution 617, establishing a balanced budget amendment the Constitution.[13][14] Eckart gained notoriety for his portrayal of Dan Quayle in debate preparation with Lloyd Bentsen for the 1988 Vice Presidential debate.[15]

After the 1990 Census, with an overall decline in Ohio's population and redistricting, Eckart's district was distributed to the 13th, 14th, 17th and 19th districts. He then decided to not run for reelection in the updated districts and was succeeded by Congressman Louis Stokes.

Post congressional career

After his term in Congress, Eckart worked in the American Bar Association's Congressional Process Committee, and was also on the board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He also served as chair of the United States Delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

From 2000 to 2003 he served as President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association. He practiced law as a partner of BakerHostetler, representing "a variety of clients before Congress, the Executive Branch, federal and state agencies and state legislatures" (see )until 2006, when he opened North Shore Associates, a consulting firm. Eckart's North Shore work includes many of his previous clients as well as some real estate development work.[16]

Americans for Democratic Action lists his liberal quotient as 80% for the entirety of his service.[17] In 2002 the National Center for Responsible Gaming, or NCRG, elected him as chairman. This is an organization that does scientific research on pathological gambling and youth gambling.[18] In 2007 then Governor Ted Strickland appointed Eckart to the board of trustees for Kent State University.[19]

Occasionally, when media begin to speculate about persons running for statewide office in Ohio, Eckart is usually mentioned by prognosticators for United States Senator. However, nothing besides mere mentions have occurred and it does not seem that Eckart will run again for public office.

Personal life

Eckart and his wife Sandy, have one adult son, Eddy. They reside in Concord, Ohio.


  1. "". Retrieved January 6, 2013. External link in |title= (help)
  2. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  3. "DENNIS E. ECKART VIDEO – SPEECHES AND INTERVIEWS". Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  4. "Dennis Eckart (D)". Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  5. Enciklopedija Slovenije. (1988). Book #2. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga.
  6. "OH District 22 - D Primary". Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  7. "OH District 22". Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  8. "OH District 11 - D Primary". January 21, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  9. "OH District 11". August 24, 2003. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  10. "Eckart, Dennis E.". December 10, 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  11. "H.R. 3200 (98th): Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1983". September 30, 1982. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  12. "H.R. 1068 (100th): Great Lakes Emergency Shoreline Protection Act". February 10, 1987. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  13. "H.R. 2141 (100th): Price-Anderson Amendments Act of 1987". April 23, 1987. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  14. "H.J.Res. 617 (97th): A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution altering Federal Budget procedures.". September 30, 1982. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  15. "Lloyd Bentsen To Dan Quayle: "Senator, You Are No Jack Kennedy"". January 17, 2008. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  16. "". Retrieved January 6, 2013. External link in |title= (help)
  17. Ohio lifetime voting record —
  19. "Dennis Eckart". Retrieved January 6, 2013.

When not working for Northshore Associates he is spending time with his family at one of his two estates just being himself.

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles A. Vanik
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 22nd congressional district

Succeeded by
district eliminated
Preceded by
J. William Stanton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 11th congressional district

Succeeded by
Louis Stokes
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