Rep. Mac Thornberry (R)
Elected: 1994, 8th term.
Born: July 15, 1958, Clarendon .
Education: TX Tech. U., B.A. 1980, U. of TX Law Schl., J.D. 1983.
Family: Married (Sally); 2 children.
Professional Career: Legis. cnsl., U.S. Rep. Tom Loeffler, 1983–85; Chief of staff, U.S. Rep. Larry Combest, 1985–88; Dpty. asst. secy. of state for Legis. Affairs, 1988–89; Practicing atty., 1989–94; Rancher 1989-94.
The congressman from the 13th District is Mac Thornberry, a Republican first elected in 1994. His great-great-grandfather, Amos Thornberry, a Union Army veteran and staunch Republican, moved to Clay County, just east of Wichita Falls, in the 1880s. A year after Amos died in 1925, his son bought the cattle ranch that Mac Thornberry, his brothers and father now run. From the window of his ranch house, writes The Texas Techsan, “as far as the eye can see is the Golden Spread of Texas for which this part of the state is named. There are no buildings, no roadways, no signs of life. Gaze out long enough and you begin to think you can actually see the curvature of the earth.” After college and law school in Texas, Thornberry worked for Texas Republican Reps. Tom Loeffler and Larry Combest. He returned to practice law in West Texas, and in 1994, challenged Democratic Rep. Bill Sarpalius, whom he attacked for voting for President Bill Clinton’s budget and tax package. He also profited from news stories that said Sarpalius failed to pay a company that moved him to Washington, and then accepted a fee for speaking at the company’s convention in Las Vegas. Thornberry won 55%-45%.
|Mac Thornberry (R)||180,078||(78%)||($789,264)|
|Roger Waun (D)||51,841||(22%)||($13,211)|
|Mac Thornberry (R)||Unopposed|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (74%), 2004 (92%), 2002 (79%), 2000 (68%), 1998 (68%), 1996 (67%), 1994 (55%)
In the House, Thornberry has compiled a solidly conservative voting record, though he has a pragmatic streak and is hardly the most ideological in the Texas delegation. His hard work on defense and homeland security issues has earned him a reputation as one of the brainiest and most accessible lawmakers on those issues. In March 2001, he sponsored a bill to create a homeland security agency and the next year, played a key role in the establishment of the new executive branch department.
In 2009, he took over as the ranking Republican on the Technical and Tactical Intelligence Subcommittee of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He earlier criticized delays in integrating computer networks and intelligence analysis into the new Homeland Security Department. On the Armed Services Committee, he has championed missile defense and called for better coordination of military space programs and on the Intelligence Committee he helped to enact new rules for the handling of terror suspects and detainees in 2006.
On domestic issues, Thornberry has pressed for repeal of the estate tax repeal and also tax credits to encourage production of oil in marginal wells. In 2008, he proposed a “No More Excuses” energy plan to develop several new sources of energy.