Patrick McHenry

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U.S. Representative

Patrick McHenry (R)


Leadership: No leadership position
Committees: House Committee on Budget, House Committee on Financial Services, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
(subcommittees and past assignments)
Next election: Nov. 6, 2012

Primary challenge: No

Incumbent running: Yes

2012 candidates for NC-10

Confirmed: Patsy Keever, Patrick McHenry
Possible: None so far
Out: None so far
(more info & editing for NC-10)
On the Web
Official website

Patrick Timothy McHenry is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing North Carolina's 10th Congressional district since 2005.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

Click through the score to see the records of other members of Congress and full descriptions of the individual votes.

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union 100 - 24/25 not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action 0 - 0/20 10 - 2/20
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce 75 - 15/20 not avail.

Iraq War

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal


Anti-Bicycle Sentiments

In August of 2007, McHenry raised a minor amount of attention when he mocked a $20 per month tax credit proposed in a Democratic energy bill [H.R. 2776] for persons who commute via bicycle:

"A major component of the Democrats' energy legislation and the Democrats' answer to our energy crisis is, hold on, wait one minute, wait one minute, it is promoting the use of the bicycle. Oh, I cannot make this stuff up. Yes, the American people have heard this. Their answer to our fuel crisis, the crisis at the pumps, is: Ride a bike. Democrats believe that using taxpayer funds in this bill to the tune of $1 million a year should be devoted to the principle of: "Save energy, ride a bike." Some might argue that depending on bicycles to solve our energy crisis is naive, perhaps ridiculous. Some might even say Congress should use this energy legislation to create new energy, bring new nuclear power plants on line, use clean coal technology, energy exploration, but no, no. They want to tell the American people, stop driving, ride a bike. This is absolutely amazing." [1]

Indictment of former campaign staffer for election law violation

In May 2007, Michael Aaron Lay, 26, who McHenry from February to August 2004 was indicted, on a felony count of voter fraud for violation of North Carolina's Election Law. Lay voted in the 2004 primaries, however his residency is in question. Although he lived in North Carolina at the time, his residency, may be considered temporary as he was living at McHenry's home, which was also the campaign headquarters. North Carolina law does not permit people to vote unless they intend to make their residence "a permanent place of abode."[2]

The McHenry campaign has responded by alleging that the charges are political in nature. The current District Attorney Locke Bell and faced a close associate of McHenry, Craig Collin, in a race for District Attorney in 2006.[3]

Calling Green Zone Security Guard a "Two Bit"

McHenry stirred further controversy with his remarks on April 1, 2008 regarding a recent trip to Iraq. During his remarks to 150 Republicans attending the Lincoln County GOP Dinner, he called a contractor -- reported first by liberal blogs as a "U.S. soldier"[4] -- performing security duties in Iraq as "a two-bit security guard" because the contractor denied McHenry access to a gym.

"We spent the night in the Green Zone, in the poolhouse of one of Saddam’s palaces. A little weird, I got to be honest with you. But I felt safe. And so in the morning, I got up early — not that I make this a great habit — but I went to the gym because I just couldn’t sleep and everything else. Well, sure enough, the guard wouldn’t let me in. Said I didn’t have the correct credentials. It’s 5:00 in the morning. I haven’t had sleep. I was not very happy with this two-bit security guard. So you know, I said, “I want to see your supervisor.” Thirty minutes later, the supervisor wasn’t happy with me, they escort me back to my room. It happens. I guess I didn’t need to work out anyway."[5][6]

He later apologized, saying "[i]t was a poor choice of words to describe a foreign contractor."[7]

Accused of endangering soldiers in Green Zone in Iraq

McHenry was also the subject of discussion regarding a video posted on his Congressional Campaign website that featured the Congressman in the Green Zone in Baghdad, pointing out landmarks and destruction after the missile attack(s) mentioned above. Veteran's affairs blog VetVoice posted a scathing attack[8], claiming that Patrick McHenry's video violated OPSEC, Operational Security. McHenry later removed the video after discussing the information with the Pentagon, whom requested McHenry not place the video back online[9]. Lance Sigmon, McHenry's opponent, later went on to call a press conference to demand an investigation regarding the full nature of the video's effect on Green Zone Troops[10]. Sigmon attacked McHenry in a campaign ad regarding this controversy, which prompted McHenry to threaten legal action, claiming that the ad was false. [11]

Using PAC funds to defend accusations of Election Fraud

On April 16, 2008, Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call revealed that Patrick McHenry used funds from his PAC, "More Conservatives", in order to fund the defense of former aide Michael Aaron Lay's voter fraud charges incurred during McHenry's 2004 race [12]. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) gave Michael Aaron Lay a total of $20,000 to pay legal bills on voter fraud charges brought while the former campaign aide worked for the now-Member. According to recent Federal Election Commission filings, McHenry gave Lay $5,000 out of his political action committee, More Conservatives PAC, in two payments during February and March, in addition to a lump sum of $10,000 given in July 2007[13].

These expenses were labeled as “Legal Expense Donation[s]“, according to FEC reports. Lay agreed to a deferred prosecution deal, which stipulated he complete 100 hours of community service and pay $240.50 in court fees and $250.00 in community service fees to have the charges dismissed.

Lay, an employee of the 2004 campaign, lived in McHenry's home in Cherryville which also served as the campaign headquarters during the 2004 election, was indicted for voter fraud in McHenry's election, allegedly voted illegally in two separate instances.[14]. McHenry, in response, claimed the case was part of a "three year smear campaign" by District Attorney Locke Bell [15], despite Locke Bell fund raising for McHenry in previous elections[16]. This contoversy led McHenry to be called the "World's Worst Person in the World" by Keith Olbermann, parodying McHenry's allegations[17].

Speaking out against John McCain

McHenry is also notable for having spoken out against Presidential Candidate John McCain during the primary cycle, reportedly asking fellow Republicans why they "shouldn't be physically ill at the prospects of a President McCain." [18].

Connections with Countrywide Mortgage Scandal

McHenry has also been called out by the Center for Responsive Politics' Capital Eye, who found evidence that McHenry had been taking money from Countrywide, a company now involved in the Subprime Mortgage Crisis [19]. McHenry took $5,500 from Countrywide's PAC, and served in an investigation into CEO payout fraud, of which one of the target companies was Countrywide itself.

Name calling in 2008 Race against Daniel Johnson

McHenry has additionally been the subject of controversy after making allegations that his challenger, Daniel Johnson, was "Nancy Pelosi's Chosen Recruit" with "pockets stuffed from cash from Washington liberals". North Carolina Republican Party leaders spoke out about these comments [20] after North Carolina Democratic Party leaders lashed back, calling it an "undue personal attack"[21]. McHenry changed the text on his press release after this backlash- the original version being saved on blogs [22] whereas the original version now does not feature the "Nancy Pelosi" comment[23].


McHenry was born October 22, 1975 and was raised in Gastonia, North Carolina. While a student at North Carolina State University and Belmont Abbey College, McHenry chaired the North Carolina Federation of College Republicans and served as treasurer for the College Republican National Committee. His first unsuccessful run for public office was in 1998, while still a student. After earning a bachelor's degree in history in 1999, McHenry briefly worked for media consulting firm DCI/New Media, overseeing a campaign opposing Hillary Clinton during her 2000 Senate bid.

In the summer and fall of 2000, McHenry worked on George W. Bush's successful 2000 presidential campaign and was named volunteer coordinator for Bush's inaugural committee. After six months working as a special assistant to the United States Secretary of Labor in Washington, DC, McHenry returned to North Carolina and successfully ran for the state legislature.

Congressional career

After only one term in the North Carolina General Assembly, in 2004 McHenry ran for Congress in the 10th Congressional District, which had come open when nine-term incumbent Cass Ballenger retired. In the general election, he earned 64% of the popular vote, defeating Democrat Anne Fischer.

His voting record is very conservative even by North Carolina Republican standards; he was one of 20 members who voted against reinstating the House ethics rules in place before they were changed to protect Tom DeLay.

2006 elections

In 2006, the Democrats nominated Richard Carsner to face McHenry in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [1] McHenry retained his seat.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle
DonorAmount (US Dollars)
Signature Bank$ 40,000
Wells Fargo$ 21,600
Parkdale Mills$ 19,100
Alex Lee Inc$ 15,700
American Society of Anesthesiologists$ 15,000
National Beer Wholesalers Assn$ 15,000
FMR Corp$ 14,750
Wallace & Graham$ 13,000
Corning Inc$ 12,800
National Assn of Federal Credit Unions$ 12,500
Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Links to more campaign contribution information for Patrick McHenry
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Patrick McHenry. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC office
  • 224 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
    Ph: 202-225-2576 Fax: 202-225-0316
    Webform email
District offices
  • Post Office Box 1830, 87 4th Street, Northwest, Suite A, Hickory, NC 28603
    Ph: 828-327-6100 Fax: (none entered)
  • 311 East Marion Street, Suite 119, Shelby, NC 28050
    Ph: 704-481-0578 Fax: (none entered)
  • 167 Locust Street, Spruce Pine, NC 28777
    Ph: 828-765-2701 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.

Articles and Resources



Articles by McHenry

Local blogs and discussion sites


Semantic data (Edit data)