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Republican

Rep. Paul Broun (R)

Paul Broun Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-4101

Address: 2437 RHOB, DC 20515

Websites: broun.house.gov
Paul Broun Committees
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Paul Broun Biography
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  • Elected: July 2007, 3rd full term.
  • District: Georgia 10
  • Born: May. 14, 1946, Atlanta
  • Home: Athens
  • Education:

    U. of GA, B.S.1967; Medical Col. of GA, M.D. 1971

  • Professional Career:

    Owner, Travel and Adventure, 1985-92; Practicing physician, 1971-present.

  • Military Career:

    Marine Corps Reserve, 1964-67; Naval Reserve, 1967-73; GA Air Natl. Guard, 1972-73; Air Force Reserve, 1973-88.

  • Religion:

    Baptist

  • Family: Married (Niki Bronson); 3 children

Republican Paul Broun, who won a 2007 special election, is among a handful of conservatives whose fondness for inflammatory rhetoric has endeared them to the far right while provoking ridicule from the left. Broun has described evolution and the Big Bang theory as “lies straight from the pit of hell,” the 2009 economic stimulus as “a steamroll of socialism,” and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi as “a domestic enemy of the Constitution.” But he couldn't translate his appeal into a U.S. Senate seat; he finished fifth among seven candidates in the May 2014 GOP primary. Read More

Republican Paul Broun, who won a 2007 special election, is among a handful of conservatives whose fondness for inflammatory rhetoric has endeared them to the far right while provoking ridicule from the left. Broun has described evolution and the Big Bang theory as “lies straight from the pit of hell,” the 2009 economic stimulus as “a steamroll of socialism,” and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi as “a domestic enemy of the Constitution.” But he couldn't translate his appeal into a U.S. Senate seat; he finished fifth among seven candidates in the May 2014 GOP primary.

Born in Atlanta, Broun is a lifelong Georgia resident who got his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. His father, Paul Broun, Sr., served as a moderate Democratic state senator from Athens for 38 years, occasionally letting his friend Jimmy Carter—then also a state senator—borrow his son’s bedroom for the night when visiting town. The younger Broun was also active in politics, though he has said that he was “far, far apart on the issues” from his father. He served as president of the Georgia Sport Shooting Association, an affiliate of the National Rifle Association, and as vice president of political action for Safari Club International, a national advocacy group for hunters. (His Capitol Hill office is jammed with stuffed sheep, bears, and other trophies.)

Broun first ran for the House in 1990 but lost against Democratic incumbent Richard Ray in the old 3rd District, which was then based in west-central Georgia. After redistricting two years later, Broun ran in the revamped and more Republican 3rd District south of Atlanta and lost the primary to Mac Collins, who held the seat for 12 years. In 1996, Broun closed his medical practice to campaign full-time for a year for Georgia’s open Senate seat. He was vastly outspent and finished a distant fourth in the primary with an anemic 3%.

When U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood died in office, there was little doubt that a Republican would succeed him in the conservative district, but few predicted it would be Broun. State Sen. Jim Whitehead was the early front-runner, winning the endorsement of Norwood’s widow, Gloria. The seat seemed to be Whitehead’s to lose, which is exactly what he did. He avoided debates and committed several gaffes, including a 2004 comment that dismissed the University of Georgia as a “bunch of liberals” who, except for the football team, ought to be bombed.In the June 19 special election, he got 44%, ahead of Broun’s 21%, which was not enough to avoid a runoff.

Broun touted his medical background, claiming he was perhaps the only physician in Georgia who regularly made house calls. “My office is my GMC Yukon,” he said. Broun said he opposed any steps to permit illegal immigrants to gain legal status, highlighted his connections to Christian conservatives on social issues, and also reached out to African-Americans and other Democrats, especially in Athens. Whitehead talked up his Augusta-area roots and complained about his Athens-based opposition. Whitehead had a considerable advantage in campaign dollars. Still, Broun won with 50.4%, just 394 votes ahead of Whitehead, with 49.6%.

In the House, Broun has cultivated his religious conservative base while becoming a favorite of the tea party movement. “I believe in my heart the Holy Spirit called me to run for Congress,” he told anti-abortion protesters in 2008. In a symbolic move, he backed former Florida Rep. Allen West, another tea party hero, for House speaker in January 2013, although West had lost reelection in 2012 and was no longer in Congress. Few of Broun’s bills have advanced, and most of the 60 floor amendments to various bills he offered in the 112th Congress (2011-12)—usually to slash spending from individual programs—were voted down. After he proposed in May 2012 that no money be spent to enforce a section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Georgia Democrat John Lewis called the idea “unbelievable” and “shameful,” and Broun withdrew his amendment.

He has become an inviting target for bloggers and opinion writers on the left. Salon.com’s Joe Conason dubbed him “the new stupidest member of Congress” in 2010 for boasting that he returned his federal census form without filling in any of the questions. The first bill he introduced would ban all abortions, and he called for a national sales tax to replace the income tax. He also called for a ban on the sales of Playboy and Penthouse magazines at military installments. With a flourish for colorful quotes, he said of his opposition to the financial market bailout bill in 2008, “This is a huge cow patty with a piece of marshmallow stuck in the middle of it, and I am not going to eat that cow patty.”

When Barack Obama became president, Broun described his agenda as “Marxist” and criticized Republican nominee John McCain’s campaign as “inept.” He ultimately backed away from those remarks. But his management of his office seemed to be no smoother than his political discourse. Broun spent almost all of the annual allotment that lawmakers receive to run their offices in the first half of 2008, prompting staff members to quit, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. After reducing office staff, he succeeded in staying within his budget in 2009. But he later encountered a different financial problem: A bank that was partly owned by him and two brothers failed and was taken over by the federal government in March 2010.

Broun had another competitive primary in 2008, this time against former state House Majority Whip Barry Fleming, who was Augusta-based. Fleming criticized Broun’s opposition to federal spending for economic development and law enforcement. But Broun was helped by the endorsement of the anti-tax group Club for Growth and by other Republicans in the Georgia delegation. He won the primary with unexpected ease, 71%-29, leading in every county.

In the general election against Bobby Saxon, an Iraq war veteran and gun-rights advocate, Broun won 61%-39%. He increased his percentage to 67% in 2010 and ran unopposed in 2012—although libertarian Atlanta talk radio host Neil Boortz encouraged listeners to write in Charles Darwin’s name in protest of Broun’s anti-evolution views. More than 4,000 voters complied.

Broun announced in February 2013 that he would run in 2014 for the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Saxby Chambliss, a Republican. But he took less than 10 percent of the vote in the primary, finishing behind House colleagues Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey.

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Paul Broun Election Results
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2012 General
Paul Broun (R)
Votes: 211,065
Percent: 100.0%
2012 Primary
Paul Broun (R)
Votes: 58,405
Percent: 68.99%
Stephen Simpson (R)
Votes: 26,256
Percent: 31.01%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (67%), 2008 (61%), 2007 special (50%)
Paul Broun Votes and Bills
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National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 35 (L) : 65 (C) 42 (L) : 58 (C) 43 (L) : 56 (C)
Social 42 (L) : 57 (C) 42 (L) : 57 (C) 35 (L) : 65 (C)
Foreign 44 (L) : 54 (C) 34 (L) : 65 (C) 32 (L) : 63 (C)
Composite 40.8 (L) : 59.2 (C) 39.7 (L) : 60.3 (C) 37.7 (L) : 62.3 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC9050
LCV39
CFG95100
ITIC-64
NTU8785
20112012
COC88-
ACLU-23
ACU96100
ADA530
AFSCME14-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Find AG in contempt
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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