Representative Joe Willis (D-OH) was the widower of Representative Janice Willis.


Willis was appointed to his wife's seat in Congress following her death. He represented one of three swing votes on the committee vetoing an amendment to the Appropriations Bill that would allow sampling as part of the census, along with Skinner and Gladman.

Willis was an eighth-grade Social Studies teacher. As a result of that, he had an understanding of the U.S. Constitution and changed his vote on the Appropriations Bill because he believed that sampling was unconstitutional. It was the persuasive argument of Toby Ziegler that changed Willis' mind. He made one vote and noted that it may have been his only vote.

A modest man, Joe Willis felt he was not in his wife's (or by inference Toby's) league intellectually, and that the challenges of the new millennium would require the very finest minds, but that "the right place to start is to say: "Fair is fair. This is who we are. These are our numbers." "

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