Concept

Martin Hoke

Summary
Martin Rossiter Hoke (born May 18, 1952) is an American Republican politician, former member of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, and former member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio. Hoke was born in Lakewood, Ohio, and attended school at the private Western Reserve Academy. He graduated from Amherst College in 1973 and earned a J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1980. He has been noted for practicing Sikhism. In 1981, Hoke began a company, Red Carpet Airport Car Care, that provided auto repair services at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Four years later, he founded Red Carpet Cellular, a distributor of then-novel cellular telephones, which became the largest distributor of cell phones in Ohio. Hoke sold the company to British Petroleum in 1988. Verizon acquired the company in 1991. In 2007 Hoke developed an idea for a nasal irrigation system, partly to allay his own sinusitis. His creation evolved into Rhinosystems, Inc. of Brooklyn, OH, manufacturer of the patented Navage nasal irrigator, currently sold in Canada and the United States. In 2020, New York Magazine rated Navage the “Best Nasal Irrigation System.” In 1992, Hoke won the Republican nomination for Ohio's 10th congressional district, located in Cleveland's west side. Hoke upset heavily favored Democrat Mary Rose Oakar, who had represented the district (formerly the 20th District) for 16 years, in the general election. Oakar was hampered by accusations of check writing at the House of Representatives Bank. Hoke was the first Republican to represent a significant portion of traditionally heavily Democratic Cleveland in over 30 years. Hoke won re-election in 1994 against Frank Gaul, a Cuyahoga County Treasurer who had recently overseen losses in a county bond fund based on faulty advice from private bond counsel. In 1996, Hoke was defeated by former Cleveland mayor Dennis Kucinich 49%-46%. Hoke was harmed by several gaffes he had made, the Democratic nature of the district, strong labor support for Kucinich, and a mounting public perception that he would lose.
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