At a Glance
- Career History: Franklin County Commissioner (2001-2008), Columbus School Board (1992-2000), attorney (1981-1992)
- Birthday: April 30, 1949
- Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
- Alma Mater: B.A. from Cleveland State University (1977), J.D. from Ohio State University (1980)
- Spouse: Robert Handelman
- Religion: Roman Catholic
- Committees: Financial Services Committee, Homeland Security Committee
- DC Office: 1237 Longworth HOB: (202) 225-2015
- Columbus Office: (614) 294-2196
- Web site
Path to Power
After graduating from Cleveland State University 1977 and receiving a law degree from Ohio State University in 1980, Kilroy worked as an attorney for 11 years. She also served as an editor for The Columbus Free Press, a progressive publication. In 1992, she was elected to the Columbus Board of Education, a position she held for two four-year terms.
In 2000, a 1-point victory over state Rep. Bill Schuck (R) got Kilroy on the Franklin County Commission, a three-member board that oversees the 34th most populated county in the country. As both of her fellow commissioners were Republicans, Kilroy initially found herself isolated.
Kilroy said she was committed to reigning in spending, cutting budgets and managing the government as though it were a business. Some of her positions on the Franklin County Commission led The Columbus Dispatch to label her a "fiscal conservative." Nonetheless, Kilroy didn't shy away from calling herself a "liberal" or a "progressive."
Kilroy denounced the tax breaks championed by the George W. Bush administration, including cuts to the wealthiest Americans' income tax or the repeal of the estate tax.
Kilroy has not joined any of the four ideological groups that divide the Democratic caucus (the Blue Dog Coalition, the New Democrats, the Progressive Caucus and the Populist Caucus).
She has teamed up with fellow Ohio Democrats to work on employment issues. For instance, a letter Kilroy sent to Chase bank to protest potential job displacements was co-signed by Reps. Charlie Wilson, Tim Ryan, Betty Sutton, Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur. All of them also joined Kilroy in signing a letter opposing the Panama Free Trade Agreement.