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TAUKE, Thomas

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Tom Tauke

TAUKE, Thomas (Dubuque, IA, Oct. 11,1950- ). Tauke attended WAHLERT CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL where he participated in speech and debate. He also became interested in politics and joined the Young Republicans. While a student at LORAS COLLEGE, Tauke was urged by friends to run for student government and was elected student body president during his senior year: He worked on the school newspaper while a student at Loras, reported political activity for the TELEGRAPH HERALD, and still graduated magna cum laude.

While a student at the University of Iowa School of Law, Tauke managed the unsuccessful congressional campaign of Theodore Richards ELLSWORTH. Tauke served as chairperson of the Dubuque County Republican Party while in law school and passed the bar examinations in 1974 to become one of Iowa's youngest lawyers.

Photo image: Mike Day. Kendall C. Day family collection

Tauke was urged to campaign against veteran Iowa legislator Bob Carr in 1974 after returning to Dubuque from law school. Nominated at the convention in September, Tauke launched a hasty campaign that proved unsuccessful. Soon after defeating Tauke, Carr resigned from the House to campaign for a seat in the Iowa Senate vacated by Michael BLOUIN. Tauke then began a second campaign for the House seat that was successful. He was elected to the Iowa Legislature in 1974 and reelected in 1976.

Photo image. Mike Day. Kendall C. Day family collection

Tauke was first elected to the United States House in 1978. In an upset victory over fellow Dubuque resident" Michael Blouin, Tauke swept ten of the Second District's eleven counties. Re-elected in 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986,and 1988, Tauke developed a reputation for quiet mastery of complex and technical issues as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Education and Labor Committee, and the Select Committee on Aging.

In February 1990, Tauke announced his candidacy for the United States Senate seat occupied by Tom Harkin. In one of the most expensive campaigns ever fought to that time, Harkin defeated Tauke.

In January 1991, Tauke announced that he was opening businesses in Washington, D. C. and Dubuque as the president and director of Home Technology Systems, Inc. He also announced that he would be joining former U. S. Representative Doug Walgren in the consulting firm of Tauke, Walgren and Associates--The Policy Development Group. The firm would offer legislative strategy to health care, telecommunications, energy, environment, transportation, and insurance companies. (1)

In June 1991 Tauke rejected an appointment to be the second most powerful person in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. One month later, he stepped down as president of Home Technology Systems to become its chairman of the board when he was named vice-president of government affairs for NYNEX, a New York-based telephone company. (2) Tauke was responsible for relationships of the company with Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and other federal agencies. He would also maintain a company office in Washington, D.C. to advise the company on issues relating to taxes, health care, and labor relations. (3)

In making his announcement, Tauke stated that he would maintain a residence in Dubuque, his position as special counsel to the law firm of Shuttleworth and Ingersoll in Cedar Rapids, and his role as a trustee for Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids and the Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, Iowa. (4)

Tauke lived in Virginia in 2014 and was an executive with Verizon Wireless. (5) He was the incoming chairman of the Loras Board of Regents in 2004. (6) Continuing his commitment to Loras, Tauke in 2017 he served as chairman of the "Inspiring Lives & Leadership" fundraising campaign for LORAS COLLEGE which exceeded its $100 million goal. (7)



1. Webber, Steve. "Tauke's New Title: President," Telegraph Herald, January 7, 1991, p. 1. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19910107&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. Webber, Steve. "Tauke Named VEEP at NYNEX," Telegraph Herald, July 24, 1991, p. 3A

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. Murphy, Erin, " Tauke Chimes In On Midterm Elections, Telegraph Herald, February 12, 2014, p. 5

6. Fuerste, Madelin, "Loras Anoints Collins," Telegraph Herald, October 2, 2004, p. 1

7. Hinga, Allie, "Loras Passes $100 Million Goal," Telegraph Herald, August 4, 2017, p. 1