Ann Marie Buerkle (/ˈbɜːrkəl/ BUR-kəl; née Colella; born May 8, 1951) is an American nurse, attorney, and politician. She has served as a commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) since July 2013 and became the agency's acting chairman in February 2017. Buerkle was an Assistant New York State Attorney General from 1997 through 2010. She served as U.S. Representative for the New York's 25th congressional district, elected in 2010 in an upset of a Democratic incumbent. In a rematch of her 2010 contest, Buerkle was defeated by former Congressman Dan Maffei. She is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life and career
Buerkle was born Ann Marie Colella in 1951 in Auburn, New York, the daughter of Sadie M. (née Fiduccia) and Alfred D. "Al" Colella. All of her grandparents were born in Italy. After graduating as a registered nurse from St. Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing in Syracuse, New York, she worked at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and at St. Joseph's. She was a substitute school nurse for many years before obtaining her law degree from Syracuse University School of Law. She was married to August Buerkle from 1972 to 1997.
She served as an Assistant New York State Attorney General from 1997 to 2010. She also served one term on the Syracuse, New York Common Council. Buerkle is divorced and has six children.
U.S. House of Representatives
Buerkle defeated turkey farm owner Mark Bitz and activist Paul Bertan to win the Republican nomination.
Buerkle defeated incumbent Dan Maffei in the 2010 midterm election, an outcome determined after weeks of absentee ballot counting and precinct recanvassing; Buerkle emerged victorious by a narrow 567-vote margin of over 200,000 ballots cast. Maffei conceded the race on November 23, 2010, when it became clear that challenged votes would not change the outcome of the race.
Maffei had been favored to retain the seat. In addition to rating the district as "Leans Democratic", RealClearPolitics and other pundits thought it was an unlikely congressional district to switch parties. Going into the election, other pundits from CQ Politics, The Cook Report, and the Rothenberg Report ranked it as "Lean Democrat" to "Democrat Favored".
Buerkle was endorsed by former Alaska Governor and 2008 vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin (who labeled Buerkle a "Mama Grizzly"), as well as by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Buerkle, who received substantial Tea Party support in 2010, was described as having "[ridden] the tea party wave to Washington, winning an upstate New York district that leans Democratic on promises of reducing the size of government and repealing the health care overhaul."
In 2011, Buerkle voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. In 2011 Buerkle voted to renew the Patriot Act. On September 16, 2011, President Barack Obama named Buerkle to serve as a U.S. Representative to the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, which started in late 2011. Buerkle was previously selected by John Boehner to represent the Republicans.
In May 2012, Buerkle stated that she opposed the procurement practices of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with regard to security screening equipment. Speaking of a report by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (T&I) and Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR), of which Buerkle was a member, she wrote, "This report is evidence that TSA is a flawed agency and is wasting the taxpayers' money. TSA has repeatedly failed to effectively procure and deploy screening equipment that actually detects threats. Making matters worse is that as complaints about the invasiveness of TSA searches continue to increase, significant amounts of state-of-the-art technology is sitting, unused in warehouses in Texas."
In redistricting, Buerkle's district was renumbered as the 24th district and made more Democratic. Buerkle was endorsed by the National Rifle Association. She faced a rematch against Maffei and lost, 48.7 percent to 43.3 percent.
- Committee on Foreign Affairs
- Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights
- Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia
- Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade (Vice Chair)
- Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
- Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending (Vice Chair)
- Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs
- Committee on Veterans Affairs
- Subcommittee on Health (Chairwoman)
- Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
In May 2013, Buerkle was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). She was confirmed by the United States Senate and assumed the role of CPSC commissioner on July 23, 2013. Buerkle became acting chairman of the agency on February 9, 2017. In July 2017, she was nominated by President Donald Trump to become CPSC chairman. On June 18, 2019, Buerkle withdrew her nominations to become the full-time chairman and to an additional four-year term.
|Republican||Ann Marie Buerkle||104,374||50.2||+8.0|
|Republican||Ann Marie Buerkle||127,054||43.4||-6.8|