Mike Conaway: Wikis

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Mike Conaway


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 11th district
In office
2005–present
Preceded by Chet Edwards

Born June 11, 1948 (1948-06-11) (age 61)
Borger, Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Suzanne Conaway
Residence Midland, Texas
Alma mater Texas A&M University-Commerce
Occupation accountant
Religion Southern Baptist
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1970-1972

K. Michael "Mike" Conaway, usually known as Mike Conaway (born June 11, 1948), is a Republican from Texas who represents that state's 11th congressional district (map). The district is located in West Texas and includes Midland, Odessa, San Angelo, Brownwood and Fredericksburg.

Contents

Political career

Conaway was born in Borger in the Texas Panhandle northeast of Amarillo. He graduated in 1966 from Permian High School in Odessa in Ector County. He is a 1970 graduate of East Texas State University (since renamed Texas A&M University-Commerce). He is married to Suzanne Conaway and has four children.

Prior to his election to the United States Congress, Conaway served in the United States Army from 1970 to 1972,[1] was an accountant, a chief financial officer at a bank and at an oil and gas exploration firm operated by George W. Bush. From 1981 until 1986, Conaway was the chief financial officer of Bush's failed Arbusto Energy Inc. He has long been friends with Bush, and the two mixed in many of the same social circles in Midland. He also served on the Midland Independent School District Board from 1985 to 1988.

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.

His first run for elective office came 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 93.1 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. He was reelected unopposed in 2006 and faced no major-party opposition in 2008; it is very unlikely he will face substantive opposition in the foreseeable future.

Conaway is one of the few Certified Public Accountants in Congress. Conaway endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for president in 2008.

Committee assignments

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Agriculture Committee

From 2003 through 2005, $14.7 billion in crop subsidies went to the congressional districts of members on the House Committee on Agriculture, an analysis by the non-partisan Environmental Working Group found. That was 42.4% of the total subsidies. Conaway is reported to have brought $322 million to his district.[2]

Recent News

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.[3]


An executive at Waters & Waters Services, Inc., an oilfield services company based in the 11th Congressional District, is considering a Republican primary challenge to Conaway. The owners, Jesse Waters and Jason Waters, are brothers. They have recently been seen at the Petroleum Club of Midland attempting to gain political support and were spotted eating lunch at Yana 615 in Odessa, TX, with a Washington, DC, based political consultant who they have hired to explore the possibility of a primary challenge. Both brothers are graduates of Odessa High School and former All-State football players who went on to play Division I football at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Jesse served as an Army Officer in Korea and Iraq, while Jason served in Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan, where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. After their 5 years of military service, they returned to the Midland/Odessa area to run Waters & Waters, a company that has been executing an aggressive expansion through mergers and acquisitions.

References

External links

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

2005–Present
Succeeded by
Incumbent

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