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

Biography

Elected: 2004, 6th term.

Born: June 11, 1948, Borger, TX

Home: Midland, TX

Education: E. TX St. U., B.B.A. 1970

Professional Career: Tax mgr., Price Waterhouse & Co., 1972-80; CFO, Keith G. Graham, 1980-81; CFO, Lantern Petroleum Comp., 1981; CFO, Arbusto Energy Inc./Bush Exploration Comp., 1982-84; CFO, Spectrum 7 Energy Corp., 1984-86; CFO, United Bank, 1987-90; Sr. VP, TX Comm. Bank, 1990-92; Owner, K. Michael Conaway, CPA, 1993-2004.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Baptist

Family: Married (Suzanne) , 4 children ; 7 grandchildren

Mike Conaway, a Republican first elected in 2004, is a low-profile but well-regarded conservative who has taken on an assortment of chores for his party, including generously fundraising for GOP colleagues and serving as chairman of the House Ethics Committee. He was rewarded with the gavel of the Agriculture Committee in 2015.

Conaway grew up in Odessa, playing offensive and defensive line on the Odessa Permian High School team that became the inspiration for the TV show Friday Night Lights. He graduated from East Texas State University, before it became known as Texas A&M. He worked as a certified public accountant for, among others, George W. Bush, and was chief financial officer in Arbusto/Bush Exploration during the 1980s. After Bush became governor, he named Conaway to the state Board of Public Accountancy, and Conaway later chaired the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. In May 2003, he finished second in the all-party special primary election in the old 19th District. In June, he lost by fewerthan 600 votes in a hard-fought runoff with Republican Randy Neugebauer of Lubbock, who later won the seat.

After state Republicans pushed through a new redistricting plan in October 2003, Conaway was the obvious front-runner for the seat in the redrawn 11th District. Democratic Rep. Charles Stenholm, who represented much of the area in the old 17th District, decided to run against Neugebauer in the new 19th. Conaway’s Republican primary opponent was Bill Lester, a political science professor who campaigned against Bush’s proposed guest worker program. Lester called for the militarization of the border with helicopter patrols to stop illegal immigration. Conaway supported increased documentation of people crossing the border. He won 75%- 25%, carrying 33 of the 36 counties. In the general election, he won 77%-22% and has been reelected with ease ever since.

Through 2013, Conaway had a lifetime rating of nearly 93% from the American Conservative Union. He is known for requiring his staff to read and understand the Constitution. “It’s only 4,500 words—it’s not like reading War and Peace,” he told the Houston Chronicle. He favors state-based regulatory actions over federal ones, arguing that they are far more nimble and responsive. He has been critical of Obama administration efforts to promote renewable energy and sponsored legislation to limit the purchase of biofuels, which compete against his state’s oil and natural gas. He voted against the original $700 billion bailout of the financial services industry in 2008, but voted for the final version after his old friend President Bush called him to urge his support.

With Oklahoma's Frank Lucas term-limited as Agriculture's chairman, speculation began to mount about a successor. Tea party favorite Steve King of Iowa was mentioned as one possibility, but Conaway solidified his hold on the job by raising more than $800,000 for other Republicans during the second quarter of 2014 alone, according to Politico. Already a favorite of Speaker John Boehner's, he organized an event in Texas to benefit Boehner and appeared with the speaker at another agriculture event.

Conaway promised a comprehensive review of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, a target for numerous fiscal conservatives' ire. He formed a new Agriculture subcommittee on nutrition to handle the job, along with a new Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee. With immigration also on the front burner, he pledged to see how any House legislation would affect farmers. He previously was chairman of Agriculture’s panel on farm commodities and risk management. He has been willing to counter fellow conservatives who have criticized subsidies for mohair, a fabric yielded from Angora goats. Numerous Angora farmers live in his district.

Boehner personally asked Conaway to take the chairmanship of the Ethics Committee in 2013, an undesirable posting but one that is often rewarded by the leadership with other opportunities. Conaway said he sought to enhance Congress’ low stature with the public by conducting investigations thoroughly and fairly. “I have a long history of accepting the responsibilities I have been offered and doing the best I can,” he told The San Angelo Standard-Times in February 2013. He and California's Linda Sanchez, the panel's top Democrat, declined to act on a recommendation from the Office of Congressional Ethics that the panel set up a special committee to look into allegations that Washington's Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a member of the GOP leadership, improperly used funds in a leadership race and to cover other campaign activities. The two also later declined to conduct a full-scale investigation into Wisconsin GOP Rep. Tom Petri’s (R-Wis.) advocacy on behalf of a defense company in which he owned stock.

Conaway earlier was on the executive committee of the National Republican Congressional Committee. In 2007, he uncovered an internal fraud scheme by the committee’s longtime treasurer, who had embezzled almost $1 million. After the GOP won control of the House in 2010, Conaway was named to a 22-member transition team helping his party adjust to its majority status.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3605

(202) 225-1783

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2430
Washington, DC 20515-4311

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3605

(325) 659-4014

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2430
Washington, DC 20515-4311

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-3605

(325) 659-4014

6 Desta Drive Suite 2000
Midland, TX 79705-5520

DISTRICT OFFICE

(432) 687-2390

(432) 687-0277

6 Desta Drive Suite 2000
Midland, TX 79705-5520

DISTRICT OFFICE

(325) 659-4010

(325) 659-4014

O.C. Fisher Federal Building Suite 307
San Angelo, TX 76903-6451

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-3605

(325) 659-4014

O.C. Fisher Federal Building Suite 307
San Angelo, TX 76903-6451

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-3605

(325) 659-4014

Brownwood City Hall
Brownwood, TX 76801-2809

DISTRICT OFFICE

(325) 646-1950

(325) 646-2979

Brownwood City Hall
Brownwood, TX 76801-2809

DISTRICT OFFICE

(325) 247-2826

(325) 247-2676

County Annex
Llano, TX 78643-2319

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-3605

(325) 659-4014

County Annex
Llano, TX 78643-2319

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-3605

(325) 659-4014

City Hall Fifth Floor
Odessa, TX 79761-4422

DISTRICT OFFICE

(432) 331-9667

(432) 332-6538

City Hall Fifth Floor
Odessa, TX 79761-4422

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-3605

(325) 659-4014

132 Houston Street
Granbury, TX 76048-2139

DISTRICT OFFICE

(682) 936-2577

(682) 936-2567

132 Houston Street
Granbury, TX 76048-2139

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

110 West Louisiana Avenue Suite 312
Midland, TX 79701-3414

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(202) 225-3605

(325) 659-4014

110 West Louisiana Avenue Suite 312
Midland, TX 79701-3414

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

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Agriculture

Michael Horder
Legislative Assistant

Arts

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Budget

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Foreign

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Gun Issues

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Health

Michael Horder
Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Housing

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Human Rights

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Immigration

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Intelligence

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Judiciary

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Labor

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Military

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

National Security

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Religion

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Tax

Matthew Russell
Legislative Director

Technology

Michael Horder
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2014 GENERAL
Mike Conaway
Votes: 107,752
Percent: 90.28%
Ryan Lange
Votes: 11,607
Percent: 9.72%
2012 GENERAL
Mike Conaway
Votes: 177,742
Percent: 78.64%
Jim Riley
Votes: 41,970
Percent: 18.57%
2012 PRIMARY
Mike Conaway
Votes: 48,581
Percent: 70.36%
Chris Younts
Votes: 12,917
Percent: 18.71%
Wade Brown
Votes: 7,547
Percent: 10.93%
2010 GENERAL
Mike Conaway
Votes: 125,581
Percent: 80.84%
James Quillian
Votes: 23,989
Percent: 15.44%
2010 PRIMARY
Mike Conaway
Votes: 55,610
Percent: 77.37%
Chris Younts
Votes: 9,586
Percent: 13.34%
Al Cowan
Votes: 6,680
Percent: 9.29%
2008 GENERAL
Mike Conaway
Votes: 189,625
Percent: 88.33%
John Strohm
Votes: 25,051
Percent: 11.67%
2008 PRIMARY
Mike Conaway
Votes: 61,409
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (81%), 2008 (88%), 2006 (100%), 2004 (77%)

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