Mike Conaway

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Mike Conaway
Mike Conaway official congressional photo.jpg
Chair of the House Agriculture Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Frank Lucas
Chair of the House Ethics Committee
In office
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by Jo Bonner
Succeeded by Charlie Dent
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 11th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2005
Preceded by Chet Edwards
Personal details
Born Kenneth Michael Conaway
(1948-06-11) June 11, 1948 (age 70)
Borger, Texas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Suzanne Kidwell (1991–present)
Education Texas A&M University–Commerce (BBA)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1970–1972
Rank E-5 - SPC5.PNG Specialist 5
Awards Army Commendation Medal

Kenneth Michael "Mike" Conaway (/ˈkɒnəˌw/; born June 11, 1948) is the U.S. Representative for Texas's 11th congressional district, serving since 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district is located in West Texas and includes Midland, Odessa, San Angelo, Brownwood and Granbury. Conaway was asked to lead the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections (with assistance from Trey Gowdy and Tom Rooney) after the Intelligence Committee chair, Devin Nunes, recused himself.[1]

Early life, education and career

Conaway was born in Borger in the Texas Panhandle northeast of Amarillo, the son of Helen Jean (McCormick) and Louis Denton Conaway.[2] He graduated in 1966 from Permian High School in Odessa in Ector County, where he was a standout player for the Permian Panthers and a member of the first Permian State Championship team in 1965. After High School, he attended Texas A&M University-Commerce (then named East Texas State University), lettering in Football for the Lions from 1966-1969 and was a member of two Lone Star Conference championship teams. He majored in Accounting, graduating in 1970.

Conaway served in the United States Army from 1970 to 1972,[3] was an accountant and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1974, chief financial officer at a bank, and from 1981 to 1986 was the chief financial officer of Arbusto Energy Inc, an oil and gas exploration firm operated by George W. Bush.

Soon after Bush was elected governor of Texas, he appointed Conaway to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, which regulates accountancy in Texas. He served on the board as a volunteer for seven years, the last five as chairman.[citation needed]

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Tenure

Conaway endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for president in 2008.[citation needed] On May 13, 2016, Conaway endorsed the Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump for president in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[6]

In 2006, Conaway voted against extending the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[7][8]

In January 2007, Conaway began chairing the three-member audit committee for the National Republican Congressional Committee. By January 28, 2008, Conaway had uncovered a fraud, where hundreds of thousands of dollars were missing from NRCC bank accounts, and supposed annual audits on the NRCC books had actually not been performed since 2001.[9]

Conaway introduced legislation to extend and reform the federal tax credit to support wide scale commercial deployment of carbon capture and storage.[10]

Speaker Paul Ryan announced Conaway's new role as leader of the House Intelligence Committee in April 2017 after chairman Devin Nunes temporarily[11] recused himself from investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election.[12]

In February 2018, Conaway prevented efforts by the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee to investigate financial links between Trump, his businesses, his family and Russian actors.[13] Conaway prevented subpoenas for related bank records, Trump's tax returns and witnesses.[13] Democrats on the Committee had, for example, asked for subpoenas to Deutsche Bank, which the Trump Organization and Jared Kushner (Trump's son-in-law and senior White House advisor) have borrowed extensively from.[13]

In March 2018, Conaway laid out the findings of a report by the Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee.[14] One of the findings was that the committee had found no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign in the 2016 election; Democrats on the committee said that they had come to no such conclusion.[14] A few days later, Conaway walked back that finding, saying "Our committee was not charged with answering the collusion idea".[14] Asked why the committee drew a conclusion if it had not investigated the matter, Conaway denied that the committee had drawn a conclusion, "What we said is we found no evidence of it. That’s a different statement. We found no evidence of collusion."[14]

Political campaigns

Conaway first ran for elective office in 2003, when he ran in a special election for the 19th Congressional District, which came open after 18-year Republican incumbent Larry Combest stepped down shortly after winning a 10th term. Conaway lost by 587 votes to fellow Republican Randy Neugebauer. A few months later, the Texas Legislature redrew the state's districts in an effort engineered by then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Three brand-new districts were created, one of them being the 11th, which was based in Midland. Previously, Midland had been part of the Lubbock-based 19th District. DeLay was particularly keen to draw a district based in Midland, Odessa and the oil-rich Permian Basin in part because Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick was from that area. This district is heavily Republican – by some accounts, the most Republican district in Texas. Republican candidates usually garner 70 percent or more of the vote in this area (Glasscock County had voted 93 percent for Bush in 2000, the highest percentage of any county in the nation). The race was essentially over when Conaway announced his candidacy. He won in November with 77 percent of the vote, one of the largest percentages by anyone facing major-party opposition.

Conaway has been reelected six times with no substantive opposition. Proving just how Republican this district had become, he has only faced a Democratic challenger three times, in 2010, 2012 and 2018. He was reelected unopposed in 2006 and faced no major-party opposition in 2008 and 2014.

Conaway won re-nomination to a sixth term in the U.S. House in the Republican primary held on March 4, 2014. He polled 53,107 votes (74 percent); his challenger, Wade Brown, received 18,979 votes (26 percent).[15]

Conaway won re-election in the general election held on November 4, 2014. He polled 107,752 votes (90 percent); his challenger, Libertarian Ryan T. Lange, received 11,607 (10 percent).[16]

Personal life

Conaway served on the Midland Independent School District Board from 1985 to 1988.

Conaway is married to Suzanne Kidwell Conaway and their family includes two sons, two daughters, and seven grandchildren.

References

  1. ^ Nunes steps down from US election Russian hacking probe, BBC, April 6, 2017, retrieved April 6, 2017 
  2. ^ http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~battle/reps/conaway.htm
  3. ^ "Veterans in the US House of Representatives 109th Congress" (PDF). Navy League. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2006-12-09. 
  4. ^ "Members". Congressional Constitution Caucus. Retrieved 8 May 2018. 
  5. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved 25 June 2018. 
  6. ^ "Meet Mike Conaway, the new sheriff on the Trump-Russia case". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-02-26. 
  7. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". 
  8. ^ "Aides to Texans on Capitol Hill alter bosses' Wikipedia entries - Local Politics - Dallas News". 24 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Suzanne Gamboa, "Texas lawmaker uncovers GOP committee fraud", Associated Press, published by the Houston Chronicle (March 13, 2008).
  10. ^ Paul Bledsoe (12 July 2016). "Trump, GOP climate change denial hastens coal's decline". TheHill.com. Retrieved 27 February 2018. 
  11. ^ Cloud, David S. (April 6, 2017). "Devin Nunes says he's temporarily stepping aside from Russia probe". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 6, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Speaker Ryan Statement on Chairman Nunes" (Press release). Office of the Speaker of the House. April 6, 2017. Retrieved April 6, 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c CNN, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb,. "In probes, GOP draws line at Trump's finances". CNN. Retrieved 2018-02-26. 
  14. ^ a b c d Shelbourne, Mallory (2018-03-18). "Conaway walks back comment after saying House Intel didn't probe collusion". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-03-18. 
  15. ^ "Republican primary election returns, March 4, 2014". enr.sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on March 5, 2014. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  16. ^ "2014 General Election Returns". enr.sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on November 7, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Chet Edwards
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 11th congressional district

2005–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Jo Bonner
Chair of the House Ethics Committee
2013–2015
Succeeded by
Charlie Dent
Preceded by
Frank Lucas
Chair of the House Agriculture Committee
2015–present
Incumbent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Emanuel Cleaver
D-Missouri
United States Representatives by seniority
113th
Succeeded by
Jim Costa
D-California
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