Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R)

North Carolina District 10

Leadership: Chief Deputy Whip

N/A

mchenry.house.gov

Biography

Elected: 2004, 5th term.

Born: October 22, 1975, Charlotte

Home: Cherryville

Education: Attended NC St. U., Belmont Abbey Col., B.A. 1999

Professional Career: Real estate broker, 2000-02.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: Married (Giulia McHenry )

Patrick McHenry, a Republican first elected in 2004, has evolved from a highly partisan guerilla fighter for the GOP in his early years in the House into a more thoughtful legislator. That evolution was confirmed in June 2014, when new Majority Whip Steve Scalise tapped McHenry to be chief deputy whip. 

McHenry up in Cherryville as the youngest of five children and graduated from Belmont Abbey College, where he was president of the state College Republicans. After school he worked as a real estate broker. As a young staunch conservative, he cut his political teeth on his strenuous opposition to the Clintons. He once dressed up in an Abraham Lincoln costume at a North Carolina appearance by Bill Clinton after Clinton was accused by Republicans of rewarding big contributors with overnight stays in the Lincoln Bedroom in the White House. In 2000, he ran a website, notHillary.com, opposing Hillary Clinton’s Senate candidacy in New York. McHenry worked on several Republican campaigns in North Carolina, including Rep. Robin Hayes’ unsuccessful run for governor in 1996. In 2001, he was appointed to a job in the Labor Department, and in 2002, he was elected to the state House.

McHenry ran for Congress after Republican Rep. Cass Ballenger announced his retirement, leaving an open seat for the first time in 18 years. In the Republican primary, McHenry’s chief competition was Catawba County Sheriff David Huffman, and both made conservative Christian values their main issue. Huffman finished first with 35% and McHenry second with 26%. North Carolina holds runoffs when no candidate gets 40% in the primary, and the four-week runoff campaign took a negative turn.

Huffman questioned McHenry for hosting noisy late-night parties at his house, which also served as a residence for his campaign staff, a claim rebutted by McHenry’s neighbors. McHenry accused Huffman of campaign finance irregularities. He ran an energetic, door-to-door grassroots campaign, billing himself as a “pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay-marriage” Christian conservative. He won the runoff by just 85 votes after a recount. Huffman carried Catawba County 59%-41%. But McHenry rolled up huge majorities in the counties south of Interstate 40 and close to his Gaston County home. He then easily won the general election.

At age 29, McHenry was the youngest member of the House when he arrived. Instead of keeping a low profile and doing constituent work to sew up his seat, as freshman usually do, he made repeat appearances on talk shows for his ability to serve up red meat and sound bites. On the House floor, he took on Democrats no matter how powerful or senior. In 2007, he accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California of abusing her office by using military jets to fly home to San Francisco during congressional recesses, although former Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert had also used military planes for his Illinois commute. (Current Speaker John Boehner of Ohio takes commercial flights.)

At a private meeting in January 2008, McHenry asked why Republicans “shouldn’t be physically ill at the prospects of a President McCain.” And in 2009, he briefly joined the notorious “birther” movement by saying at a town hall forum that “I haven’t seen evidence one way or the other” of President Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship. He backed away from the comment the next day.

His House colleagues sometimes grow weary of McHenry’s hijinks. After he repeatedly took to the floor to criticize other lawmakers’ earmarks in spending bills, the House in 2007 voted down, 249-174, one of McHenry’s earmarks—$129,000 to expand a Christmas crafts store in Mitchell County.

His political style has since mellowed, thanks in part to his securing of a subcommittee gavel. When Republicans took majority control of the House in January 2011, McHenry became chairman of a new subcommittee specializing in government bailouts, such as the Troubled Asset Relief Program for the financial industry in 2009. He told The Charlotte Observer that TARP was “a very uneven response from the federal government,” with some banks bailed out and others, notably Charlotte-based Wachovia, forced to merge. He got into a hostile exchange at a May 2011 hearing with Elizabeth Warren, then a Harvard professor who helped create the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as part of the Dodd-Frank financial services overhaul. The two squabbled over the amount of time she was supposed to testify, with McHenry snapping at one point, “You’re making this up, Ms. Warren.” Supporters of Warren, a liberal Democrat who was later elected to the Senate, posted thousands of angry comments on McHenry’s Facebook page.

On the Financial Services Committee, he won enactment of his bill allowing financial institutions involved in multiple transactions to combine them into one contract, something helpful to the banking industry in Charlotte. The House also passed his measure in 2011 to terminate the Home Assistance Mortgage Program, which assists eligible homeowners with mortgage loan modifications. The bill drew a veto threat from the White House, and the Senate never took it up.The following year, McHenry was successful in passing a provision in the 2012 jobs bill that allowed companies to more easily raise equity through social media and online platforms. The bill was signed into law by President Obama.

As he has become more effective as a legislator, others have taken notice. McHenry in 2012 was named one of Time magazine's "40 Under 40" civic leaders who is "at work trying to fix a broken system" and restore public faith in government. He also remained influential behind the scenes, helping his friend Scalise, R-La., get elected in 2012 as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the caucus of the House’s most conservative members.

When Scalise became majority whip in the fallout from Eric Cantor's surprise primary defeat in June 2014, he repaid the favor. He replaced Illinois' Peter Roskam -- who had unsuccessfully challenged Scalise for the whip's job -- with McHenry. The move put another Southern-state Republican into the ranks of leadership. In the whip race, Scalise had made an issue of putting more red-state lawmakers in key posts.

McHenry’s lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union through 2012 was 98%, the highest of any North Carolinian. Given the economic plight of the textile industry, McHenry frequently votes against free trade deals, as he did in 2005 with a pact proposed with Central America and in 2010 with a Haiti trade relief bill. McHenry attracted some attention in March 2010 when he proposed replacing the image of Ulysses S. Grant on the $50 bill with one of Ronald Reagan. “Every generation needs its own heroes,” he said.

He has had little trouble at election time. He had two GOP primary challengers in 2010 and 2012 but won both contests easily. In the 2012 general election, he beat Democrat Patsy Keever with 57% of the vote.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2576

(202) 225-0316

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2334
Washington, DC 20515-3310

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2576

(202) 225-0316

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2334
Washington, DC 20515-3310

DISTRICT OFFICE

(828) 327-6100

(828) 327-8311

1990 Main Avenue, SE
Hickory, NC 28603

DISTRICT OFFICE

(828) 327-6100

(828) 327-8311

87 Fourth Street, NW Suite A
Hickory, NC 28603-6142

DISTRICT OFFICE

(704) 833-0096

(704) 833-0887

Gaston County Administrative Building Suite 115
Gastonia, NC 28052

DISTRICT OFFICE

(704) 833-0096

(704) 833-0887

Gaston County Administrative Building Suite 115
Gastonia, NC 28052

DISTRICT OFFICE

(828) 669-0600

160 Midland Avenue
Black Mountain, NC 28711

DISTRICT OFFICE

(828) 669-0600

160 Midland Avenue
Black Mountain, NC 28711

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

7918 Norman Court
Denver, NC 28037-8018

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(980) 320-1545

7918 Norman Court
Denver, NC 28037-8018

Staff Leadership Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Doug Nation
Legislative Assistant

David McCrary
Constituent Services Director

Animal Rights

Casey Duggan
Legislative Correspondent

David McCrary
Constituent Services Director

Appropriations

Doug Nation
Legislative Assistant

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Sean Joyce
Chief of Staff

sean.joyce@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2576

Arts

David McCrary
Constituent Services Director

Budget

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Sean Joyce
Chief of Staff

sean.joyce@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2576

Campaign

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Sean Joyce
Chief of Staff

sean.joyce@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2576

Census

Nancy Meek
Senior District Representative

nancy.meek@mail.house.gov
(828) 327-6100

David McCrary
Constituent Services Director

Commerce

David McCrary
Constituent Services Director

Disaster

David McCrary
Constituent Services Director

Education

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Doug Nation
Legislative Assistant

David McCrary
Constituent Services Director

Sean Joyce
Chief of Staff

sean.joyce@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2576

Environment

Doug Nation
Legislative Assistant

David McCrary
Constituent Services Director

Sean Joyce
Chief of Staff

sean.joyce@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2576

Family

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Finance

Matt Mulder
Chief Counsel; Legislative Director

Foreign

Sean Joyce
Chief of Staff

sean.joyce@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2576

Govt Ops

Doug Nation
Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Casey Duggan
Legislative Correspondent

Health

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

David McCrary
Constituent Services Director

Housing

Matt Mulder
Chief Counsel; Legislative Director

Human Rights

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Doug Nation
Legislative Assistant

David McCrary
Constituent Services Director

Intelligence

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Internet

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Doug Nation
Legislative Assistant

David McCrary
Constituent Services Director

Medicare

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Military

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Joanna Rowe
Constituent Liaison

Minorities

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Recreation

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Religion

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Science

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Casey Duggan
Legislative Correspondent

Seniors

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

David McCrary
Constituent Services Director

Small Business

Casey Duggan
Legislative Correspondent

Social Security

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Nancy Meek
Senior District Representative

nancy.meek@mail.house.gov
(828) 327-6100

Tax

Doug Nation
Legislative Assistant

Sean Joyce
Chief of Staff

sean.joyce@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2576

Technology

Casey Duggan
Legislative Correspondent

Telecommunications

Doug Nation
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Doug Nation
Legislative Assistant

David McCrary
Constituent Services Director

Sean Joyce
Chief of Staff

sean.joyce@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2576

Transportation

Doug Nation
Legislative Assistant

Sean Joyce
Chief of Staff

sean.joyce@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2576

Veterans

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Joanna Rowe
Constituent Liaison

Welfare

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Casey Duggan
Legislative Correspondent

Women

Krista Stafford
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Patrick McHenry
Votes: 190,826
Percent: 56.99%
Patsy Keever
Votes: 144,023
Percent: 43.01%
2012 PRIMARY
Patrick McHenry
Votes: 58,844
Percent: 72.54%
Ken Fortenberry
Votes: 15,936
Percent: 19.65%
Don Peterson
Votes: 6,337
Percent: 7.81%
2010 GENERAL
Patrick McHenry
Votes: 130,813
Percent: 71.18%
Jeff Gregory
Votes: 52,972
Percent: 28.82%
2010 PRIMARY
Patrick McHenry
Votes: 27,657
Percent: 63.09%
Vance Patterson
Votes: 11,392
Percent: 25.99%
Scott Keadle
Votes: 3,604
Percent: 8.22%
2008 GENERAL
Patrick McHenry
Votes: 171,774
Percent: 57.55%
Daniel Johnson
Votes: 126,699
Percent: 42.45%
2008 PRIMARY
Patrick McHenry
Votes: 34,457
Percent: 67.1%
Lance Sigmon
Votes: 16,892
Percent: 32.9%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (71%), 2008 (58%), 2006 (62%), 2004 (64%)

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