Jim Kolbe was sworn into Congress in 1985. He represents the Eighth Congressional District of Arizona, which includes most of Tucson, eastern Pima County, all of Cochise County and parts of Pinal and Santa Cruz Counties. Kolbe is due to retire at the end of the 109th Congress (2006).
Jim Kolbe came out in 1996 after his controversial vote in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act. He was the second openly gay republican person to serve in Congress. Steve Gunderson of Wisconsin was the first. Kolbe's voting record shows his support of civil unions over gay marriage.
In 2006, federal prosecutors began an investigation into an alleged 1996 camping trip Kolbe took with two teenage congressional pages.