Chris Gibson (New York politician)
Christopher P. "Chris" Gibson (born May 13, 1964) is an American politician and former officer in the United States Army. He is currently the Republican U.S. Representative for New York's 19th congressional district. A retired Army colonel, Gibson holds a Ph.D in government from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He is a lifelong resident of Kinderhook, New York. Gibson joined the United States Army in 1986 after graduating from Siena College. He served tours in the First Gulf War, Kosovo, and Iraq. He later taught American politics at West Point and was a national security affairs fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He has received four Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart, among other awards while in the military.
In 2008, he published his first book, Securing the State, which offered his overview on national security decision-making. He retired from the army at the rank of colonel in 2010 to run for congress, where he beat incumbent Scott Murphy with 55% of the vote. Gibson is married to Mary Jo Gibson, and the couple have three children.
Early life, education, and academic career
Gibson was born in Rockville Centre, New York to Robert and Barbara Gibson, and moved to Kinderhook at a young age. He attended Ichabod Crane High School there, where he was point guard and co-captain of the basketball team. He then attended Siena College in upstate New York, having earned his ROTC Commission and graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in history.
Gibson took his commission with the United States Army after graduating from Siena. While in the Army Gibson rose to the rank of Colonel, serving seven tours including four combat tours in Iraq, as well as separate tours in Kosovo, the American Southwest in counter-narcotics interdiction and most recently deploying to Haiti after the earthquake where he led the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team during the opening month of the humanitarian effort there.
Throughout his career Gibson earned a number of military decorations, including a Purple Heart, 4 Bronze Stars, 2 Legions of Merit, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge with Star and the Ranger tab. His units have also won awards, for their actions in Mosul in support of the first Iraqi national elections his Battalion Task Force earned the Valorous Unit Award. Later in Tal Afar his battalion and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment were recognized for excellence by the President and earned a 2nd Valorous Unit Award.[not in citation given]. Gibson was selected as the General George C. Marshall Award winner at the top graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth.
Gibson earned an MPA, as well as an MA and Ph.D. in government, from Cornell University. He then became a Professor of American Politics at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was a National Security fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University where he wrote a book on Civil-Military relations, Securing the State.
U.S. House of Representatives
|Gibson Campaign Flickr photostream|
|Gibson-Murphy debate, WMHT, October 21, 2010|
While there were initially four candidates for the GOP nomination, the other three all dropped their bid, with one of them, Patrick Ziegler, joining Gibson’s staff as his campaign manager. The uncontested Republican and Conservative candidate, Gibson outraised Murphy in his first full quarter in the campaign, and was a GOP Young Gun.
Beginning in September, Gibson saw a steady rise in polling numbers: he started behind at 37% compared to Murphy's 54%. However by October 26, Gibson had risen to 51% and Murphy had fallen to 42%, numbers that more closely reflected the actual outcome. Newsweek described Gibson's win as a combination of running as a Republican in "perhaps the most conservative [district] in the state"[Note 1] and Murphy having supported "the two biggest items on Nancy Pelosi’s agenda", regardless of the fact that "the National Journal had characterized his voting record as one of the 10 most moderate in the House".
Gibson took part in a televised debate with Murphy on October 21, presented by the local PBS station, WMHT. Gibson began the campaign at 17 points behind in the polls but ended up winning the election with 55% of the vote.
Gibson, who was redistricted from the 20th district to the 19th district, defeated former federal prosecutor and Ulster County Democratic Party chairman, Julian Schreibman. Gibson was endorsed by all the major newspapers in the district, including the Albany Times Union, the Kingston Daily Freeman, the Poughkeepsie Journal, and the Oneonta Daily Star.
After winning the election in 2010, Gibson was sworn into office in January 2011 as part of the 112th Congress. He immediately voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The next year he joined nine other Republicans in voting against Ryan's budget, and he supported the Cooper-LaTourette Budget, loosely based on the President's Fiscal Commission Simpson Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force. Gibson said he wouldn't re-sign Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge, but he remains opposed to raising tax rates. After Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee hit the 20th District in 2011, Gibson focused on getting federal aid to his constituents.
Gibson has made a name for himself focusing on local issues like expanding access to broadband and better treatment of Lyme disease. He held a forum on Lyme disease in Saratoga Springs that attracted 500 people, including patients, medical experts, and environmental professionals. He has been an advocate for passage of the 2012 Farm Bill, even signing a discharge petition to bring the bill to a vote in the House.
- Committee on Agriculture
- Committee on Armed Services
- Gibson, Christopher P. (2008). Securing the State: Reforming the National Security Decisionmaking Process at the Civil-Military Nexus. Burlington, Vermont: Hanover Institution. ISBN 978-0-7546-7290-6.
- Gibson, Christopher P. (1998). Countervailing Forces: Enhancing Civilian Control and National Security Through Madisonian Concepts (PhD thesis). Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. OCLC 64748644.
- Gibson, Christopher P.; Don M. Snider (1997). "Explaining Post-Cold War Civil-Military Relations: a New Institutionalist Approach". Working Papers Series: U.S. Post-Cold War Civil-Military Relations (Harvard University John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies) 08. OCLC 37535789.
- The New York State Board of Elections reported that Republicans outnumbered Democrats in the district by more than 60,000 on November 1, 2010 (187,780 registered Republicans versus 126,774 registered Democrats). After redistricting in 2002, then-Congressman John E. Sweeney was quoted as saying that “no Republican can ever lose” the district.
- "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier". Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- Robert Lachman (March 7, 2010). "Kinderhook Republican to challenge Murphy for House seat". Hudson-Catskill Newspapers. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- "Colonel Chris Gibson". Hoover Institute. Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Congressman Chris Gibson". Candidates. Combat Veterans For Congress Political Action Committee. 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- Zeller, Shawn (November 6, 2010). "112th Congress: Chris Gibson, R-N.Y. (20th District)". Congressional Quarterly. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
- The Hoover Institute (2010). "Colonel Chris Gibson". The Hoover Institute. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- Lowery, George (2010-11-08). "Nine alumni run for – and mostly win – national offices". Cornell Chronicle. Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Maury Thompson (March 26, 2010). "Chris Gibson has lock on GOP endorsement in 20th district". The Post Star. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- Jimmy Vielkind (April 5, 2010). "Gibson hires Ziegler, who has endorsed Gibson". The Times Union. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- Jimmy Vielkind (July 13, 2010). "Gibson outraises Murphy, Murphy has way more cash (updated)". The Times Union. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- Jeremy P. Jacobs (August 31, 2010). "NRCC Names 6 New Young Guns". National Journal. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- "NYSVoter Enrollment by Congressional District, Party Affiliation and Status" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. 2010-11-01. p. 9. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Roske, Tim. "Murphy's Law: One Democrat's defeat explains how the party lost the House". Newsweek. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- New York's 20th Congressional District Debate. North Greenbush, New York: WMHT. 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Leigh Hornbeck and Dennis Yusko (November 3, 2010). "Gibson defeats Murphy in 20th". The Albany Times-Union. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
- "House Vote 277 - Passes Ryan Budget Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- "Skidmore hosts Lyme disease forum". YNN. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- Jennifer Bendery (11 December 2012). "Violence Against Women Act: John Boehner, Eric Cantor Pressured By Republicans To Act". Huffington Post.
- Vielkind, Jimmy. "Riding the Republican Wave". Times Union (Albany) (Hearst Newspapers). Retrieved 2010-12-23.
- Chris Gibson for Congress (2010). "About". Chris Gibson for Congress. Retrieved 2010-11-14.
- Congressman Chris Gibson official U.S. House site
- Chris Gibson for Congress
- Chris Gibson at DMOZ
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 20th congressional district
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th congressional district
January 3, 2011 – present
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority