The Honorable Jill Lynette Long Thompson
With her special election victory in 1989, Jill Lynette Long Thompson became only the fourth Indiana woman to serve Congress. During her three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Long Thompson focused on her district's farming interests as the chair of the Congressional Rural Caucus and as a member of the House Agriculture Committee.
U.S. Representative from Indiana (March 28, 1989–January 3, 1995)
Jill Lynette Long Thompson overcame many obstacles to earn a seat in Congress. With service on the Valparaiso city council as her only political experience, she ran a solid, albeit unsuccessful, U.S. Senate campaign in 1986 laying the foundation for her future time in public office. After losing an uphill battle in 1988 for an Indiana seat in the U.S. House held by Republicans for more than a decade, she jumped into a special election the following year for the same district when the incumbent was appointed to the Senate. This time, Long Thompson came out on top.
During her six years in the House, Long Thompson faced unique challenges as a Democrat in a Republican-leaning district and as one of only four women to represent Indiana in Congress. Raised on a dairy farm in Indiana, Long Thompson explains in her oral history how her agricultural background shaped her approach to politics and her House service. She describes the connections between her academic career in business, her experience as a college instructor, and her views on fiscal responsibility and taxes. In her interview she also discusses her work with the Democratic Leadership Council as well as her personal connection to veterans’ issues.
In 1995, she married Don Thompson, changing her name to Jill Lynette Long Thompson. While serving in Congress, she was known as Jill Lynette Long.
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