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

Biography

Elected: 2004, 5th term.

Born: January 14, 1962, Dallas

Home: Austin

Education: Trinity U., B.A. 1984, St. Mary's U., J.D. 1987

Professional Career: Fed. prosecutor, 1990-99; Dep. atty. gen., 1999-2003; Chief, Western Div. of TX., U.S. Attys. Office, 2003-04.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: married (Linda) , 5 children

Michael McCaul, a Republican first elected in 2004, is a protégé of Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn. He became chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in 2013 and is among the wealthiest members of Congress.

McCaul 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 Cornyn. 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, calling himself the only candidate who “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.

In the runoff campaign, McCaul and Streusand agreed on most issues. McCaul criticized Streusand’s past donations to Democratic candidates, while Streusandquestioned McCaul’s service in the Clinton administration Justice Department. McCaul used his connections—his father-in-law is Clear Channel Communications chairman Lowry Mays—to collect major Republican endorsements, including from former President George H.W. Bush, Gov. Rick Perry, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. McCaul won 63%-37%, carrying every county except one. He faced no major party opposition in the general election. The Center for Responsive Politics in 2011 calculated his average net worth at just over $500 million, edging out second-place Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

In the House, McCaul has a conservative voting record, although he did support requiring insurers to treat mental illness the same as other health conditions in 2008 and allowing the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products in 2009. Since his party took control of the House in 2011, however, he has grown more conservative, particularly on fiscal matters. He has repeatedly introduced legislation banning so-called “monuments to me,” landmarks honoring incumbent lawmakers. He worked with Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., to get a bill into law in 2012 encouraging companies to make drugs for rare childhood cancers and other diseases.

When term limits forced New York Republican Peter King to yield the Homeland Security gavel, McCaul had less seniority than other contenders, but told the Houston Chronicle he put his “prosecutor’s hat back on and delivered a closing argument” to colleagues about why he deserved the position. He stressed his desire to avoid such incendiary issues as the high-profile hearings on Islamic extremism that alienated many Democrats and to focus on border security, computer network vulnerabilities, and improving the Homeland Security Department’s management. It helped that he tapped his wealth to donate more than $60,000 to more than four dozen Republicans in the 2012 election season. Taking over as chairman, he blasted a Homeland Security decision in February 2013 to release hundreds of immigrants from around the country for budgetary reasons as “indicative of the department’s weak stance on national security.”

McCaul earned the gratitude of House GOP leaders for leading the protracted 2010 ethics investigation of Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., that culminated in Rangel’s censure by the full House. A former chief counsel and staff director on Ethics accused McCaul and Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., of having had secret conversations with two ex-staffers on the committee about the Rangel investigation and a separate probe involving Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. Such interactions are not permitted under Ethics Committee rules in certain circumstances. Both Bonner and McCaul recused themselves in the Waters case.

McCaul earlier chaired Homeland Security’s Oversight, Investigations & Management Subcommittee. In March 2011, he introduced legislation to have six Mexican drug cartels designated as foreign terrorist organizations, a move that could lead to much stiffer penalties for drug traffickers. Later, he pressed Obama administration officials at a hearing over the lack of a definition of “spill-over violence” from the drug wars in Mexico. McCaul co-sponsored a cyber security bill with Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill, that would develop standards for dealing with cyber threats; it passed the House in 2012 but fell victim to partisan squabbling in the Senate.

Until 2010, McCaul’s unimpressive reelection performances suggested he needed to work harder in the GOP district, but he has handily beaten his opponents in recent races.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2401

(202) 225-5955

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 131
Washington, DC 20515-4310

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2401

(202) 225-5955

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 131
Washington, DC 20515-4310

DISTRICT OFFICE

(979) 830-8497

(979) 830-1984

2000 South Market Street Suite 303
Brenham, TX 77833-5800

DISTRICT OFFICE

(979) 830-8497

(979) 830-1984

2000 South Market Street Suite 303
Brenham, TX 77833-5800

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 255-8372

(281) 255-0034

Rosewood Professional Building Suite B
Tomball, TX 77375-4269

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 255-8372

(281) 255-0034

Rosewood Professional Building Suite B
Tomball, TX 77375-4269

DISTRICT OFFICE

(512) 473-2357

(512) 473-0514

Austin Building Suite 230
Austin, TX 78759-7380

DISTRICT OFFICE

(512) 473-2357

(512) 473-0514

Austin Building Suite 230
Austin, TX 78759-7380

DISTRICT OFFICE

(281) 398-1247

Katy Commerce Center Suite 223
Katy, TX 77449

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(512) 431-2525

(512) 532-6007

815-A Brazos Street PMB 230
Austin, TX 78701-2514

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

815-A Brazos Street PMB 230
Austin, TX 78701-2514

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Emily Pellen
Staff Assistant; Legislative Correspondent

Agriculture

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Crime

Joel Sattazahn
Defense Fellow

Education

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Family

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Joel Sattazahn
Defense Fellow

Human Rights

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Joel Sattazahn
Defense Fellow

Intelligence

Joel Sattazahn
Defense Fellow

Judiciary

Joel Sattazahn
Defense Fellow

Military

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Minorities

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Religion

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Rules

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Tax

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Technology

Jessica Nalepa
Deputy Chief of Staff

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Austin Carson
Legislative Director

Trade

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Joel Sattazahn
Defense Fellow

Veterans

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Women

Brandon Batch
Military Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Michael McCaul
Votes: 159,783
Percent: 60.52%
Tawana Cadien
Votes: 95,710
Percent: 36.25%
2012 PRIMARY
Michael McCaul
Votes: 39,543
Percent: 83.77%
Eddie Traylor
Votes: 7,664
Percent: 16.23%
2010 GENERAL
Michael McCaul
Votes: 144,980
Percent: 64.67%
Ted Ankrum
Votes: 74,086
Percent: 33.05%
2010 PRIMARY
Michael McCaul
Votes: 46,881
Percent: 82.87%
Rick Martin
Votes: 5,038
Percent: 8.9%
Joe Petronis
Votes: 4,656
Percent: 8.23%
2008 GENERAL
Michael McCaul
Votes: 179,493
Percent: 53.89%
Larry Joe Doherty
Votes: 143,719
Percent: 43.15%
2008 PRIMARY
Michael McCaul
Votes: 44,214
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (65%), 2008 (54%), 2006 (55%), 2004 (79%)

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