Rep. Michael McCaul (R)
Elected: 2004, 3rd term.
Born: Jan. 14, 1962, Dallas .
Education: Trinity U., B.A. 1984, St. Mary's U., J.D. 1987.
Family: Married (Linda); 5 children.
Professional Career: Fed. prosecutor, 1990-99; Dep. atty. gen., 1999-2003; Chief, Western Div. of TX., U.S. Attys. Office, 2003-04.
The congressman from the 10th District is Michael McCaul, a Republican first elected in 2004. He grew up in Dallas, studied business and history at Trinity University and went to law school at St. Mary’s University, both in San Antonio. He worked as a federal prosecutor and then moved to Austin in 1999 to be a deputy to then-Attorney General John Cornyn in Austin. In 2002, he joined the U.S. attorney’s office and was chief of the Terrorism and National Security Section for West Texas. McCaul was one of eight candidates in the Republican primary for the newly created congressional district in 2004. The top Republican contenders were McCaul, mortgage company owner Ben Streusand and former Judge John Devine. McCaul focused on his anti-terrorism work in the U.S. attorney’s office. “I’m the only candidate that’s had a top-secret security clearance,” he said. “I won’t have a learning curve.” Streusand, based in Harris County, called for less government regulation and opposed the Bush administration’s immigration proposals. Devine, who had refused to remove a Ten Commandments display from his Harris County courtroom, had the support of Christian conservatives and called for a crackdown on illegal immigration. In the primary, Streusand carried seven of the eight counties to finish with 28% of the vote, to 24% for McCaul and 21% for Devine.
|Michael McCaul (R)||179,493||(54%)||($1,728,339)|
|Larry Joe Doherty (D)||143,719||(43%)||($1,189,406)|
|Matt Finkel (Lib)||9,871||(3%)||($14,673)|
|Michael McCaul (R)||Unopposed|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (55%), 2004 (79%)
In the runoff campaign, McCaul and Streusand agreed on most issues. In the absence of clear distinctions, they traded accusations about each other’s background. McCaul criticized Streusand’s past donations to Democratic candidates, while Streusand questioned McCaul’s service in the Clinton administration Justice Department. McCaul used his connections—his father-in-law is Clear Channel Communications chairman and Bush family friend Lowry Mays—to collect major Republican endorsements, including from former President George H.W. Bush, Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. He was also endorsed by his old boss, Sen. John Cornyn. McCaul won 63%-37% in a contest in a low-turnout event with only 24,000 votes. He carried every county except one, which he lost by seven votes. He faced no major-party opposition in the general election.
In the House, McCaul has a moderate-to-conservative voting record. He is on the Homeland Security Committee and is the ranking Republican on its Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment Subcommittee. As a freshman, he gained headlines with hearings that revealed more than $1 billion in fraud in Hurricane Katrina disaster relief. At the request of Republican leaders in 2006, he took the lead in a successful bill to increase the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s tracking of payments to victims in order to reduce corruption. In 2007, he collaborated with Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., on a commission to recommend steps to improve cyber-security. In 2008, he helped attach an amendment to an appropriations bill that prohibited sitting members of Congress from requesting money for projects named for them.
His re-election performances suggest he needs to work harder in this once-solidly GOP district. In 2006, against retired Navy Captain Ted Ankrum, an underfunded challenger, McCaul won 55%-40%. Hs challenger in 2008 was Larry Joe Doherty, a Houston lawyer who stars as a judge in a courtroom reality television show called “Texas Justice.” Doherty raised $1.2 million while McCaul raised $1.7 million. Doherty characterized McCaul as voting most of the time for the Republican agenda, including cuts in Medicare. McCaul said that he is an “independent voice” and accused Doherty of supporting a health care plan that would lead to rationing. McCaul won 54%-43%. He could face another tough re-election challenge in 2010.