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Jerry Francis Costello (born September 25, 1949), American politician, has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1988, representing Illinois's 12th congressional district (map), which includes the St. Louis area suburb cities and stretches to deep Southern Illinois. Costello was born in East St. Louis, Illinois and attended Catholic schools, graduating from Assumption High School. He was later educated at Maryville College of the Sacred Heart in St. Louis, from which he earned a bachelor's degree.
Costello worked in the law enforcement field. He served St. Clair County, Illinois as a court bailiff, deputy sheriff, and director of court services and probation. Costello later was chief investigator for the Illinois State Attorney’s office. In 1980, he was elected to the St. Clair County Board and was chosen as chairman. Costello served in this capacity as county executive until his election to the house.
Costello took office on August 9, 1988 after winning a special election to fill the seat of the deceased Melvin Price. He was elected to a full term that November, and has been reelected to every succeeding Congress; currently he is the most senior member of Illinois' House delegation. In 2006, he ran unopposed for the office. He was known for holding town hall meetings and for his participation in political forums. However, after holding more than 400 town hall meetings he stopped the practice sometime in the mid-2000s. He was reelected easily in 2008.