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

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R)

North Carolina | District 5

Leadership: House Republican Conference Secretary

N/A

foxx.house.gov

Biography

Elected: 2004, 5th term.

Born: June 29, 1943, Bronx, NY

Home: Grandfather Community, NC

Education: U. of NC, A.B. 1968, M.A.C.T. 1972, U. of NC-Greensboro, Ed.D. 1985

Professional Career: Owner, Grandfather Mountain Nursery, 1976-present; Asst. Dean of General College, Appalachian St. U., 1976-1984; Pres. Mayland CC, 1987-1994.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Roman Catholic

Family: Married (Thomas A. Foxx) , 1 child ; 2 grandchildren

Republican Virginia Foxx, first elected in 2004, is one of Congress’ most vocal conservatives and earned a position in the leadership ranks by becoming House Republican Conference secretary in 2012. Her GOP admirers call her a passionate voice of reason, while her liberal critics dismiss her as a loose cannon.

Foxx grew up in the hardscrabble hollows of Western North Carolina; she lived in a home that didn’t have running water or electricity until she was 14. She graduated from the University of North Carolina and had a diverse professional and political background before winning election to Congress at age 61. She owned a nursery and landscape company, and she taught sociology and was assistant dean of the General College at Appalachian State University. Later, she was president of Mayland Community College. She served 12 years on the Board of Education of Watauga County. In 1994, Foxx was elected to the state Senate, where she sponsored a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and a bill to deny Social Security benefits to illegal aliens. She actively supported gun rights and home schooling, and she opposed abortion rights.

In 2004, Foxx was one of five candidates in a hotly contested Republican primary to succeed Republican Richard Burr, who ran successfully for the Senate that year. Winston-Salem Councilman Vernon Robinson, a retired Air Force officer who campaigned as a staunch conservative and as “the black Jesse Helms,” finished first in the primary, with 24% of the vote. Foxx finished second, with 22%, just 511 votes ahead of Ed Broyhill, the son of former Republican Sen. James Broyhill.

In a hard-fought, four-week runoff campaign, Robinson aired several controversial ads highlighting his tough position on illegal immigrants. Foxx warned voters that Robinson’s aggressive style would make him a weak general election candidate who would lose the district for the GOP. She won 55%-45%. In the general election, Foxx won relatively easily, 59%-41%.

In the House, Foxx has a solidly conservative voting record and is close to GOP leaders. She beat the less-senior Jeff Denham of California to become one of three women to take leadership roles at a time when the party was smarting from being on the losing side of the gender gap in the 2012 elections.

During the health care debate in the 111th Congress (2009-10), she remarked that the public had more to fear from the legislation than from terrorists, and in May 2011, she attached an amendment to a House-passed health bill forbidding medical schools from teaching doctors how to perform abortions as a condition of the schools receiving federal grant money. During debate on a hate crimes bill named for Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming man tortured and murdered because of his sexual orientation, she said naming the bill for Shepard was “a hoax” because, she argued, he wasn’t gay. She later apologized.

When Democrats proposed legislation putting limits on executive bonuses at companies receiving government bailout money, she said: “The Democrats have a tar baby on their hands, and they simply can’t get away from it.” Democrats called the use of “tar baby” racially loaded and objectionable. But House Republican leaders saw her as a useful attack dog and put her on the Rules Committee.

On the Education and the Workforce Committee, Foxx chairs the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training. She has said she believes that the federal Education Department puts overly burdensome regulations on colleges. Foxx is an advocate of for-profit colleges and community colleges and staunchly opposed the 2010 House-passed bill that put the federal government directly in charge of student lending. Appearing on G. Gordon Liddy’s radio show in April 2012, she also expressed her disdain for people taking out student loans. “I have very little tolerance for people who tell me that they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even $80,000 of debt, because there’s no reason for that.” President Barack Obama later repeated her remarks at a campaign stop at the University of North Carolina. “Can you imagine saying something like that?” he asked.

Foxx was one of only 11 House members who voted against a $52 billion relief bill following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 because, she said, there was too little accountability in how the money would be spent. She was more generous with local projects, taking credit for $500,000 for a teapot museum in Sparta, which President George W. Bush later criticized as wasteful spending. After such spending became controversial, Foxx said in 2007 that she would no longer seek earmarks.

Foxx has been reelected by unimpressive margins against low-profile opponents. The Winston-Salem Journal, the largest paper in her district, endorsed her Democratic challenger, Elisabeth Motsinger, in 2012. The newspaper said Foxx “has accomplished little” for the district and “represents the calcification of the political process and is therefore an impediment to reasoned political compromise.” But she won 58%-42%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2071

(202) 225-2995

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2350
Washington, DC 20515-3305

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2071

(202) 225-2995

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2350
Washington, DC 20515-3305

DISTRICT OFFICE

(336) 778-0211

(336) 778-2290

3540 Clemmons Road Suite 125
Clemmons, NC 27012-9394

DISTRICT OFFICE

(336) 778-0211

(336) 778-2290

3540 Clemmons Road Suite 125
Clemmons, NC 27012-9394

DISTRICT OFFICE

(828) 265-0240

(828) 265-0390

400 Shadowline Drive Suite 205
Boone, NC 28607-5022

DISTRICT OFFICE

(828) 265-0240

(828) 265-0390

400 Shadowline Drive Suite 205
Boone, NC 28607-5022

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(877) 253-0861

11468 NC Highway 105
Banner Elk, NC 28604

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

11468 NC Highway 105
Banner Elk, NC 28604

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Meghan Stringer
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Whitney Riggs
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Cyrus Artz
Legislative Director

cyrus.artz@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2071

Banking

Cyrus Artz
Legislative Director

cyrus.artz@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2071

Budget

Cyrus Artz
Legislative Director

cyrus.artz@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2071

Education

Whitney Riggs
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Whitney Riggs
Legislative Assistant

Environment

Whitney Riggs
Legislative Assistant

Health

Meghan Stringer
Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Meghan Stringer
Legislative Assistant

Housing

Cyrus Artz
Legislative Director

cyrus.artz@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2071

Immigration

Meghan Stringer
Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Meghan Stringer
Legislative Assistant

Military

Jason Harvey
Legislative Correspondent

Tax

Cyrus Artz
Legislative Director

cyrus.artz@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2071

Telecommunications

Meghan Stringer
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Cyrus Artz
Legislative Director

cyrus.artz@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2071

Transportation

Cyrus Artz
Legislative Director

cyrus.artz@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2071

Veterans

Jason Harvey
Legislative Correspondent

** denotes a leadership staffer

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Virginia Foxx
Votes: 200,945
Percent: 57.54%
Elisabeth Motsinger
Votes: 148,252
Percent: 42.46%
2012 PRIMARY
Virginia Foxx
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Virginia Foxx
Votes: 140,525
Percent: 65.89%
Billy Kennedy
Votes: 72,762
Percent: 34.11%
2010 PRIMARY
Virginia Foxx
Votes: 38,174
Percent: 79.84%
Keith Gardner
Votes: 9,639
Percent: 20.16%
2008 GENERAL
Virginia Foxx
Votes: 190,820
Percent: 58.37%
Roy Carter
Votes: 136,103
Percent: 41.63%
2008 PRIMARY
Virginia Foxx
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (66%), 2008 (58%), 2006 (57%), 2004 (59%)

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