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Mac Thornberry


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 13th district
Incumbent
Assumed office 
1995
Preceded by Bill Sarpalius

Born July 15, 1958 (1958-07-15) (age 51)
Clarendon, Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sally Thornberry
Residence Clarendon, Texas
Alma mater Texas Tech University, University of Texas
Occupation attorney, rancher
Religion Presbyterian

William McClellan "Mac" Thornberry (born July 15, 1958), an American politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 1995. He represents the 13th congressional district of Texas, which includes much of the Panhandle and stretches as far east as Wichita Falls (map). He currently serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee.

Thornberry is a lifelong resident of Clarendon, some 60 miles (97 km) east of Amarillo, the heart of the 13th. His family has operated a ranch in the area since 1881. He received his bachelor's degree in history from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of Texas Law School. He served as a staffer to two other Texas Republican congressmen, Tom Loeffler and Larry Combest, and as deputy Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs under Ronald Reagan before joining his brothers on the family ranch. He also has been involved in an Amarillo law firm, which he founded in 1993.

Thornberry defeated Democratic Congressman Bill Sarpalius in the 1994 general election, a heavily Republican year nationwide. He polled 79,416 votes (55.41 percent) to Sarpalius' 63,923 votes (44.18 percent). Two years earlier in a much higher turnout election, Sarpalius had polled nearly double the votes that he received in 1994. The 13th has always been a somewhat conservative district, but Thornberry's victory is still regarded as an upset.

Since his initial election, Thornberry has consolidated his hold on the district and routinely wins by large majorities in an area that was historically Democratic as recently as the 1970s. Thornberry is only the third Republican to represent the district since Reconstruction. The previous GOP representatives were Robert D. "Bob" Price of Pampa (1967–1975) and Beau Boulter of Amarillo (1985–1989).

Following the September 11 attacks, Thornberry created the original bill that would later lead to the founding of the Department of Homeland Security. He has also worked on nuclear policy, both for military and energy purposes.

In the 2006 election, Thornberry defeated former Intelligence Officer and Professor Roger Waun. He defeated Waun in a rematch in 2008, earning nearly 78 percent of the votes.

On Thursday 4th March 2010, Thornberry publicly criticised the Obama Administration in its failure to back Britain in its dispute over the Falkland Islands with Argentina, citing the support the UK received from President Reagan in 1982. "There should be no doubt where the US should stand, the level of co-operation between our two countires is certainly more important than any one issue". He later referred to the meeting between Argentine President Fernandez de Kirchner and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying "I am hoping that behind the scenes, she was telling the Argentinians to back down."

Committee assignments

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Sarpalius (D)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 13th congressional district

1995 – present
Incumbent
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