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

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: May 10, 1948, Pittsburgh

Home: Butler

Education: U. of Notre Dame, B.A. 1970.

Professional Career: Owner, mgr., Kelly Chevrolet-Cadillac Inc.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: Married (Victoria) , 4 children

Republican Mike Kelly, who won his seat in 2010, is an ex-college football player who is known for his fiery pep talks to colleagues behind closed doors. But he is mostly loyal to his party and to House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

Kelly was born in Pittsburgh in 1948, and his family moved to Butler, Pa., four years later, where his father started a small automobile business in 1953, working seven days a week. “He took the cars off the trains himself, and he serviced them himself. And he built a business, based around a strong work ethic, which was similar to his parents. It’s pretty much the story of western Pennsylvania,” Kelly told National Journal. In high school, Kelly was an all-state football player and was recruited to play for the University of Notre Dame. But he tore up a knee during his freshman year at Notre Dame and dislocated it again in his sophomore season, ending his football career. “It was over very quickly,” he recalled. After college, he worked in the family business, Kelly Chevrolet-Cadillac, as a salesman, eventually becoming general manager. He took out a mortgage to buy the dealership from his father in 1995. In 2005, Kelly was elected to the Butler City Council.

As the 2010 midterm election approached, Kelly decided to take on Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, a Democrat who had knocked off seven-term GOP incumbent Phil English only narrowly, 51% to 49%, in 2008. Dahlkemper opposed abortion rights, but she took heat from conservatives for voting for the Democrats’ health care reform law, which many anti-abortion activists believed opened the door to taxpayer-funded abortions. Dahlkemper also voted for President Barack Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill.

In the May primary, Kelly’s toughest opponent proved to be Paul Huber, former chief executive of Seco/Warwick, a maker of industrial furnaces. Kelly ran an ad accusing Huber of outsourcing jobs. Huber asserted that he never outsourced jobs while running his company. Huber also faced criticism over the fact that he had been a registered Democrat until recently. Kelly eked out a victory by just 954 votes out of 54,000 cast.

In the general election, Dahlkemper outraised and outspent Kelly 2-to-1. He stressed his football background, which was an asset in western Pennsylvania, a football mecca that has produced Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Joe Montana. On issues, he promised to cut government spending and curtail government interference with small business. Dahlkemper ran an ad in September playing on populist themes, calling Kelly a multimillionaire who has “millions invested in Wall Street and big gas-and-oil companies.” But Kelly described his determination to serve in Congress after the 2008 restructuring of the auto industry resulted in government meddling in his family-owned business. With a strong Republican trend in 2010 working in his favor, Kelly won 56% to 44%.

In the House, Kelly has been conservative, particularly on foreign policy, but not as far to the right on economic matters as some of his Class of 2010 colleagues. He has a strong pro-business bent, and voted against a 2012 amendment to eliminate the Economic Development Administration. Republicans laud his passion. During the 2011 fight over raising the debt limit, he gave what Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., called a well-delivered “Knute Rockne-type speech” to rally conservatives. “Mike Kelly’s the one that steps up to the microphone and says, ‘Hey, we’re all in this together. … Nobody in this room is going to get everything they want. Let’s go do this,’’’ Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

He gave an August 2012 floor speech comparing a regulation requiring insurers to provide women birth control without a copayment to the September 11 terrorist attacks and to the attack on Pearl Harbor, which drew sharp criticism from Democrats. Hawaii Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye called the comparison “misguided and insulting,” The liberal Center for American Progress also highlighted his criticism of Obama for insisting on steep defense cuts when Kelly had voted for them as part of budget-reduction legislation. He complained to The Washington Post in September 2012 about what he called the media’s overly favorable coverage of Obama, saying that the president “has gotten more free passes than a 12-year-old boy at a fair.”

In post-2010 census redistricting, Pennsylvania Republicans split Democratic-leaning Erie County in half and added more of Kelly’s base in heavily Republican Butler County. Democratic professor Missa Eaton raised just $251,000 to Kelly’s $1.1 million in 2012, and Kelly won 55%-41%. His alliance with Boehner helped land him a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee in 2013.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5406

(202) 225-3103

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1519
Washington, DC 20515-3803

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5406

(202) 225-3103

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1519
Washington, DC 20515-3803

DISTRICT OFFICE

(814) 454-8190

(814) 454-8197

208 East Bayfront Parkway Suite 102
Erie, PA 16507-2405

DISTRICT OFFICE

(814) 454-8190

(814) 454-8197

208 East Bayfront Parkway Suite 102
Erie, PA 16507-2405

DISTRICT OFFICE

(724) 282-2557

(724) 282-3682

101 East Diamond Street Suite 218
Butler, PA 16001

DISTRICT OFFICE

(724) 282-2557

(724) 282-3682

101 East Diamond Street Suite 218
Butler, PA 16001

DISTRICT OFFICE

(724) 342-7170

(724) 342-7242

33 Chestnut Avenue
Sharon, PA 16146

DISTRICT OFFICE

(724) 342-7170

(724) 342-7242

33 Chestnut Avenue
Sharon, PA 16146

DISTRICT OFFICE

(814) 454-8190

908 Diamond Park
Meadville, PA 16335

DISTRICT OFFICE

(814) 454-8190

908 Diamond Park
Meadville, PA 16335

DISTRICT OFFICE

Lawrence County Courthouse
New Castle, PA 16101

DISTRICT OFFICE

Lawrence County Courthouse
New Castle, PA 16101

DISTRICT OFFICE

(724) 282-2557

300 South McKean Street
Kittanning, PA 16201

DISTRICT OFFICE

(724) 282-2557

300 South McKean Street
Kittanning, PA 16201

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(724) 712-1243

239 West Pearl Street
Butler, PA 16001

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

239 West Pearl Street
Butler, PA 16001

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Aerospace

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Appropriations

Jeff Rein
Legislative Assistant

jeff.rein@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Arts

Lori Prater
Policy Director and Tax Counsel

Banking

Lori Prater
Policy Director and Tax Counsel

Budget

Lori Prater
Policy Director and Tax Counsel

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Campaign

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Crime

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Energy

Jeff Rein
Legislative Assistant

jeff.rein@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Environment

Jeff Rein
Legislative Assistant

jeff.rein@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Family

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Finance

Lori Prater
Policy Director and Tax Counsel

Govt Ops

Lori Prater
Policy Director and Tax Counsel

Jeff Rein
Legislative Assistant

jeff.rein@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Gun Issues

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Health

Jeff Rein
Legislative Assistant

jeff.rein@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Homeland Security

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Housing

Jeff Rein
Legislative Assistant

jeff.rein@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Human Rights

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Immigration

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Intelligence

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Internet

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Judiciary

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Land Use

Jeff Rein
Legislative Assistant

jeff.rein@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Military

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

John Galanski
Veterans and Military Affairs Representative

Privacy

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Public Works

Jeff Rein
Legislative Assistant

jeff.rein@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Religion

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Science

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Small Business

Lori Prater
Policy Director and Tax Counsel

Tax

Lori Prater
Policy Director and Tax Counsel

Technology

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Telecommunications

Jeff Rein
Legislative Assistant

jeff.rein@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Trade

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Transportation

Jeff Rein
Legislative Assistant

jeff.rein@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

Veterans

Isaac Fong
Legislative Counsel

isaac.fong@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5406

John Galanski
Veterans and Military Affairs Representative

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Mike Kelly
Votes: 165,826
Percent: 54.82%
Missa Eaton
Votes: 123,933
Percent: 40.97%
2012 PRIMARY
Mike Kelly
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Mike Kelly
Votes: 111,909
Percent: 55.72%
Kathy Dahlkemper
Votes: 88,924
Percent: 44.28%
2010 PRIMARY
Mike Kelly
Votes: 15,428
Percent: 28.11%
Paul Huber
Votes: 14,474
Percent: 26.38%
Clayton Grabb
Votes: 7,486
Percent: 13.64%
Steven Fisher
Votes: 6,499
Percent: 11.84%
Ed Franz
Votes: 5,838
Percent: 10.64%
Martha Moore
Votes: 5,151
Percent: 9.39%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (56%)

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