From a profile written on Dec. 30, 2007 by James Rosen of the McClatchy Washington bureau. (Some facts have been updated to be current, such as his age and years in Congress):
Joe Wilson has deep S.C. political roots as a former state senator and aide to former U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond.
He earned his conservative bona fides in the Reagan administration as Energy Department deputy counsel.
Once in Congress, he removed the door from his personal office in the Capitol Hill suite to symbolize "no secrets here."
His amiable outward manner clashes with his inner partisan attack-dog snarls.
His boundless energy amazes colleagues.
He regularly hosts foreign leaders in D.C. and is proud that all four sons were Eagle Scouts and served in the military.
YEARS IN CONGRESS: 8 years in House
PREVIOUS JOBS: S.C. Senate, 1985-2001; lawyer, 1972-2001
MILITARY SERVICE: S.C. National Guard, 1975-2001; Army Reserves, 1972-75
EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree, Washington & Lee University; law degree, USC
FAMILY: Wife, Roxanne ; sons Alan, Addison , Julian and Hunter (Update -- Alan Wilson announced this week he will seek the Republican nomination for state Attorney General next year)
HOUSE COMMITTEES: Armed Services; Foreign Affairs; Education & Labor
MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES
1. National security/defense
2. Protecting American taxpayers
3. Ensuring that America continues to have a strong, competitive, safe work force
MOST IMPORTANT VOTE
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. Second round of Bush tax cuts "has resulted in six straight years of economic growth, coupled with 51 consecutive months of job growth creating 8.3 million additional jobs."
PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS IN CONGRESS
1. Drafting Business Expensing Act of 2003. Increased business tax depreciation for machinery, other equipment. Designed to stimulate post-9/11 economy. Expired end of 2004.
2. Drafting Teacher Recruitment and Retention Act of 2003. Provided loan forgiveness up to $17,500 for teachers who instructed math, science or special education in designated school districts. Still in effect.
BEST FRIENDS ON CAPITOL HILL
1. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.
2. Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo, D-Guam
HOW HE VIEWS HIS JOB
"My humble duty as a representative is to be accessible to the citizens of the 2nd District and provide a common-sense voice for their priorities and values. My mission in Congress is to fight for conservative principles that promote fiscal responsibility, expand liberty and create a strong national defense. My first priority is to ensure that our nation is prepared and equipped to protect American families."
A TOP DEMOCRATIC OPERATIVE SIZES HIM UP
"One of the Pentagon's best friends. From his four military sons to his backing of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, Wilson is their reliable ally. Even though he didn't serve (on active duty), he took the lead (during the 2004 presidential election campaign) in attacking (U.S. Sen.) John Kerry's service. He's in a safe district, so he can do whatever his heart desires."