Roscoe Bartlett

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Roscoe Bartlett
Roscoe Bartlett, Official Portrait, 111th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Beverly Byron
Succeeded by John Delaney
Personal details
Born (1926-06-03) June 3, 1926 (age 95)
Moorland, Kentucky
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ellen Louise Bartlett
Children 10
Residence Remote rural West Virginia[1]
Alma mater Washington Adventist University
University of Maryland, College Park
Profession Farmer
Religion Seventh-day Adventist

Roscoe Gardner Bartlett (born June 3, 1926) is an American politician who was U.S. Representative for Maryland's 6th congressional district, serving from 1993 to 2013. He is a member of the Republican Party and was a member of the Tea Party Caucus. At the end of his tenure in Congress, Bartlett was the second-oldest serving member of the House of Representatives, behind only fellow Republican Ralph Hall of Texas.

Early life, education, and academic career

Bartlett was born in Moorland, Kentucky, to Martha Minnick and Roscoe Gardner Bartlett.[2] He completed his early education in a one-room schoolhouse. He attended Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University) in Takoma Park, Maryland, affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and graduated in 1947 with a B.S. in theology and biology and a minor in chemistry. He had intended to be a Seventh-day Adventist minister, but he was considered too young for the ministry after receiving his bachelor's degree at the age of 21.

Afterwards, Bartlett was encouraged to attend graduate school at the University of Maryland, College Park. He studied anatomy, physiology, and zoology, earning a master's degree in physiology in 1948. Bartlett was then hired as a faculty member at Maryland and taught anatomy, physiology and zoology while working towards his Ph.D. in physiology, which he earned in 1952. His academic career included lecturing at Loma Linda School of Medicine, also affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Loma Linda, California (1952–1954), and serving as an assistant professor at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. (1954–1956).

1980 U.S. Senate election

In 1980, Bartlett ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate. In the Republican primary, he ranked fourth with just 7% of the vote, losing to incumbent U.S. Senator Charles Mathias, who won the primary with 55% of the vote.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives


Rep. Bartlett (center) (R-MD) joined Sen. Ben Cardin (podium) (D-MD) and Rep. Jo Ann Davis (left) (R-VA) in calling for a study of homeland security needs of the National Capital region, including Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

In 1982, Bartlett ran for Congress in Maryland's 6th congressional district against incumbent Democrat U.S. Congresswoman Beverly Byron.[4] He won the Republican primary with 52% of the vote.[5] In the general election, Byron defeated him 74%–26%.[6]


He ran again in the newly redrawn 6th congressional district and won the Republican primary with 42% of the vote.[7] Byron was upset by a somewhat more liberal Democrat, State Delegate Thomas Hattery, in the Democratic primary. Many conservative Democrats switched their support to Bartlett in November, as he defeated Hattery 54%–46%.[4][8]


During this time period, he never won re-election with less than 56% of the vote.


According to the Frederick News-Post, Bartlett had under-reported property sales by over $1 million since 2004 on his official financial disclosure forms, and made $299,000 in unreported loans in order to sell his daughter's home, over which he exercised power of attorney. Bartlett said that the under-reporting was an oversight and that he was a "bit player" in the real estate transactions.[9]


As the lone Republican in Maryland's congressional delegation, Bartlett won reelection in 2010 at the age of 84.[10] On June 1, 2009, Democrat and Iraq war veteran Andrew Duck formally announced a campaign for Congressman Bartlett's seat.[11]


Bartlett's district was significantly altered in redistricting plans released in October 2011, which was described as gerrymandering.[1][12] The Washington Post reported that the new district lines shifted the district slightly to the south, adding some heavily Democratic territory closer to Washington DC.[13]

Specifically, the redistricting plan shifted all of heavily Republican Carroll County and a mostly Republican section of Frederick County to the heavily Democratic 8th district. It also lost heavily Republican sections of Harford and Baltimore counties to the already heavily Republican 1st district. In their place, the legislature added a heavily Democratic section of Montgomery County. While John McCain carried the old 6th with 57 percent of the vote, Barack Obama would have carried the reconfigured 6th with 56 percent of the vote.

Bartlett faced Democrat John Delaney and Libertarian Nickolaus Mueller in his bid for reelection.[14]

In 2012, the Federal Elections Commission fined Bartlett $5,000 for repeatedly failing to submit accurate campaign finance disclosure reports. Bartlett hired an accountant to address any outstanding disclosure issues.[15]

When fellow Congressman Todd Akin made inappropriate comments about female biology, Bartlett immediately repudiated them, adding "There is no room in politics for these types of statements...As a human physiologist I know there is no scientific backing to Todd's claims."[16] He said his view on abortion exceptions has been "[T]he same for twenty years. I'm pro-life, with exceptions for the life of the mother, rape and incest...I'm so avidly pro-life I'm against corporal punishment", later adding that a very small proportion of abortions are a result of rape; however, in 2001 Bartlett had supported a constitutional amendment which did not include the rape and incest exceptions.[17] "The Maryland Democratic Party went after Bartlett", trying to connect Todd Akin's comments to Bartlett.[18]

Bartlett was heavily defeated in the general election by Delaney, taking only 38 percent of the vote to Delaney's 59 percent.[19]


In August 2011, Bartlett wrote an op-ed in The New York Times calling for an end to invasive research on primates.[20] Bartlett, who had previously conducted research on primates in connection with the U.S. space program, joined with Senator Maria Cantwell in introducing the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.[21] It is estimated to save the federal government $300 million over the next 10 years, if passed.[22]

Press reports indicate that Bartlett's Political Action Committee is named Because All Responsible Taxpayers Like Every Truth Told PAC, or BARTLETT PAC for short.[23]

Press reports indicate Bartlett was instrumental in arranging House hearings on the dangers of an electromagnetic pulse attack on the United States.[24]

Bartlett is against the Senate bill to fund the United States Postal Service with an additional 33 billion dollars, calling it an "irresponsible bailout"—though he does claim to support "... maintaining next day delivery standards in rural areas that would keep the Cumberland mail processing facility open."[25]

Bartlett believes in the geologic theory of Peak Oil, and predicts that "the end of cheap oil and natural gas is coming and coming fast" as increasing global demand for energy overwhelms production.[26] In 2005, Bartlett established the Congressional Peak Oil Caucus with Rep. Tom Udall of New Mexico. Bartlett has argued that federal revenues from offshore oil and gas production should be invested in developing renewable energies.[27]

At a town hall meeting in September 2012, Bartlett claimed that federal student loans were unconstitutional and that disregarding the Constitution was a "very slippery slope" towards an event like the Holocaust. Bartlett later apologized for his remarks.[28]

Committee assignments

Earlier photo of Congressman Bartlett.

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1982 Congress, 6th district General Roscoe Bartlett Republican 35,321 25.61 Beverly Byron Democratic 102,596 74.39
1992 Congress, 6th district General Roscoe Bartlett Republican 125,564 54.13 Thomas Hattery Democratic 106,224 45.79
1994 Congress, 6th district General Roscoe Bartlett Republican 122,809 65.95 Paul Muldowney Democratic 63,411 34.05
1996 Congress, 6th district General Roscoe Bartlett Republican 132,853 56.83 Stephen Crawford Democratic 100,910 43.16
1998 Congress, 6th district General Roscoe Bartlett Republican 127,802 63.42 Timothy McCown Democratic 73,728 36.58
2000 Congress, 6th district General Roscoe Bartlett Republican 168,624 60.65 Donald DeArmon Democratic 109,136 39.25
2002 Congress, 6th district General Roscoe Bartlett Republican 147,825 66.11 Donald DeArmon Democratic 75,575 33.8
2004 Congress, 6th district General Roscoe Bartlett Republican 206,076 67.38 Kenneth Bosley Democratic 90,108 29.46
2006 Congress, 6th district General Roscoe Bartlett Republican 141,200 58.97 Andrew Duck Democratic 92,030 38.43 Robert Kozak Green 6,095 2.55
2008 Congress, 6th district General Roscoe Bartlett Republican 176,062 58.18 Jennifer Dougherty Democratic 116,455 38.48 Gary Hoover Libertarian 10,101 3.34
2010 Congress, 6th district General Roscoe Bartlett Republican 144,520 61.80 Andrew Duck Democratic 76,963 32.90 Dan Massey Libertarian 6,611 2.80
2012 Congress, 6th district General Roscoe Bartlett Republican 110,842 38.2 John Delaney Democratic 169,303 58.4 Nickolaus Mueller Libertarian 9,383 3.2

Personal life

Bartlett and his wife Ellen have 10 children (of whom one, Joseph R. Bartlett, is a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates), 17 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.[29] Following his defeat for re-election, Bartlett and his wife decided to live "off-the-grid" in the West Virginia mountains. Their cabin is devoid of outside electricity, phone service, or municipal plumbing. Bartlett currently works as a senior consultant for Lineage Technologies, a cyber security group that seeks to protect supply chains.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The Congressman Who Went Off the Grid". Politico Magazine. January 3, 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Bartlett genealogy". The Generations Network. Retrieved 4 January 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Our Campaigns - MD US Senate - R Primary Race - May 13, 1980".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lauren Phillips and Michael Teitelbaum (June 19, 2007). "House Primaries Come Early for Three Maryland Incumbents". CQ Politics. Retrieved June 20, 2007. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Our Campaigns - MD District 6 - R Primary Race - Sep 14, 1982".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Our Campaigns - MD District 6 Race - Nov 02, 1982".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Our Campaigns - MD District 6 - R Primary Race - Mar 03, 1992".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Our Campaigns - MD District 6 Race - Nov 03, 1992".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Bartlett's financial disclosures incomplete". Frederick News-post. July 20, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. West, Paul (June 1, 2009). "Roscoe Bartlett going for a tenth term". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 3, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "111th U.S. House of Representatives". The Green Papers. Retrieved June 22, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Kunkle, Fredrick (October 26, 2012). "Redrawn district tests Md. congressman Bartlett". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 12, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "For Maryland Democrats, Redistricting Referendum Forces a Look in the Mirror". Washington Post. September 30, 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "6th District candidates square off at HCC". Herald-Mail. October 11, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Fritze, John (June 24, 2012). "Bartlett struggles with campaign disclosure". Baltimore Sun.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Brown, Matthew Hay (August 21, 2012). "Akin rape comments 'offensive and wrong,' Bartlett says". Baltimore Sun.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Kaczynski, Andrew. "Republican Congressman: There Are Very Few Pregnancies From Rape, It Is A Tiny Percentage". Buzz Feed. Retrieved 18 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Rape, abortion debate fuels 6th District race". Gazette.Net. Retrieved November 19, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Fritze, John (November 6, 2012). "Delaney defeats Bartlett in the 6th District". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 7, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Bartlett, Roscoe G. (August 10, 2011). "Stop Using Chimps as Guinea Pigs". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Epstein, Jennifer (August 11, 2011). "Rep. Roscoe Bartlett: Ban research on chimps". Politico.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Move to Curtail Chimpanzee Research Wins Maryland Support". Patch Media. April 25, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. The Most Powerful Special Interest in Washington: The Acronym, by Micah Cohen, 19 May 2012
  24. Broad, William J. (December 11, 2011). "Gingrich's Electromagnetic Pulse Warning Has Skeptics". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Bieniek, Matthew (May 3, 2012). "Congressman sees Senate postal bill as 'bailout'". Cumberland Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Representative Roscoe Bartlett". Retrieved August 11, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Representative Roscoe Bartlett Press Release". March 31, 2010. Retrieved August 11, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. Pershing, Ben (September 6, 2012). "Roscoe Bartlett apologizes for Holocaust remark made as he blasted federal student loans". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 7, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Video on YouTube

Further reading

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Beverly B. Byron
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
John Delaney

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103rd Senate: SarbanesMikulski House: HoyerBentleyCardinMfumeMorellaGilchrestBartlettWynn
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