Michael R. McNulty

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Mike McNulty
Michael McNulty congressional portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 21st district
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Samuel S. Stratton
Succeeded by Paul Tonko
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 106th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1989
Preceded by Neil Kelleher
Succeeded by Ron Canestrari
Mayor of Green Island, New York
In office
1977–1982
Personal details
Born (1947-09-16) September 16, 1947 (age 66)
Troy, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Nancy McNulty
Residence Green Island, New York
Alma mater Loyola University Rome Center
College of the Holy Cross
Occupation insurance broker
Signature

Michael Robert "Mike" McNulty (born September 16, 1947) is a politician from the U.S. state of New York. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1989 to 2009, initially representing New York's 23rd congressional district and then, after redistricting, New York's 21st congressional district. He is a Democrat, and was chairman of the House Subcommittee on Social Security in the 110th Congress.

Early life, education, and early political career[edit]

McNulty was born in Troy, New York and attended Troy public schools. He attended the La Salle Institute. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is the third generation of a prominent family in Capital District politics. His grandfather, Jack McNulty, Sr., was chairman of the Green Island, New York Democratic Party from 1919 to 1969, and his father Jack Jr. followed him in that post.

He worked as an insurance broker prior to entering politics. He was first elected to public office in November 1969 as a Green Island town supervisor; at the age of 22, he was the youngest town supervisor in the state. In 1976, he ran for a seat in the New York State Assembly in the 106th Assembly District. He lost to Republican incumbent Neil Kelleher 55%-46%.[1] A year later, he succeeded his father as chairman of the Green Island Democratic Party and was also elected as mayor of Green Island, a post he held until 1982.

New York Assembly[edit]

After redistricting, State Representative Neil W. Kelleher decided to run in the newly redrawn 100th Assembly District. McNulty ran in the newly redrawn 106th, which was vacant by Kelleher. He defeated Republican nominee Peter Bakal 62%-38%.[2] He won re-election in 1984 with 71%[3] and in 1986 unopposed.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

In 1988, U.S. Congressman Samuel S. Stratton of New York's 23rd congressional district announced his withdrawal from the race due to health issues. McNulty was selected to replace him on the ballot. He was elected handily in what was then one of the few reliably Democratic areas in Upstate New York. He was reelected nine more times without serious difficulty. The district was renumbered as the 21st District after the 1990 census.

In 2004, he was challenged by Republican/Libertarian Warren Redlich, who would later run for governor in 2010. McNulty faced Redlich again in 2006, and was reelected with 78% of the vote - his widest margin. [2]. He also had a primary challenge in 1996 by Lee H. Wasserman, in which he won by a closer margin than he ever had in the general election.

In October 2007, McNulty announced that he would not seek an 11th term in Congress.[5][6][7] Paul Tonko, who had served alongside McNulty in the State Assembly from 1983 to 1989, won the Democratic nomination to replace McNulty, and subsequently won the general election in November. Despite being an open seat, this was not considered a competitive election, as the 21st is considered the most Democratic district in the state outside of the New York City-based districts and Western New York. Both Congressional Quarterly and the Cook Political Report rated the race for the 21st's open seat as "Safe Democratic."

Tenure[edit]

Positions

McNulty is a moderate Democrat by New York standards. He voted for the War in Iraq, but since changed his stance and cosponsored Representative John Murtha's resolution for a phased withdrawal from the region.[8]

McNulty was known for keeping a fairly low profile in the House; he said on numerous occasions that he had no plans to run for leadership posts or seek higher office. Additionally, he was known for being relatively quiet and not saying much on the floor. Roll Call once jokingly named him Chair of the Obscure Caucus.[9]

Controversies

McNulty presided over a vote to recommit an agricultural appropriations bill on the night of August 2, 2007 that would have prevented illegal immigrants from receiving food stamps. McNulty claimed the vote tied 214-214 with members changing their votes after time had expired, McNulty gaveled down a vote and tallied it 212-216 against the motion, while Republicans argued the House screen tally vote was 215-213 in favor to recommit. Republicans chanted "Shame" and later walked out of the House in protest. McNulty and Steny Hoyer apologized on the floor the next morning for prematurely gaveling down the vote. As of May 2008, a bi-partisan investigation panel including Bill Delahunt and Mike Pence is working to determine whether or not the bill must be recommitted. A year later, the panel found that the Democrats did indeed improperly tally the vote.[10]

Rankings/endorsements

He was consistently endorsed by both the Conservative Party and the Working Families Party, third parties in New York.

McNulty received an "A" on the Drum Major Institute's 2005 Scorecard on middle-class issues.

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Ways & Means Committee
    • Subcommittee on Social Security (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support
  • At-Large Whip

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=178862
  2. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=38081
  3. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=180227
  4. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=179638
  5. ^ Rick Karlin, McNulty won't run again: 10-term congressman plans announcement; move creates wide-open race for seat, October 26, 2007 [1]. Accessed October 26, 2007.
  6. ^ The Associated Press, McNulty retiring from Congress, Democrats say, The Legislative Gazette, October 29, 2007, p. 9.
  7. ^ Press Release, Congressman Michael R. McNulty, McNulty:"I'm Coming Home". Available from lisa.blumenstock(at)mail.house.gov as of October 29, 2007.
  8. ^ All Politics Is Local, Elizabeth Benjamin, Albany Times Union, July 20, 2006
  9. ^ The Obscure Caucus, Lauren W. Whittington, Roll Call, September 8, 2003
  10. ^ http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,428082,00.html

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Neil Kelleher
New York State Assembly, 106th District
1983–1988
Succeeded by
Ronald Canestrari
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Samuel S. Stratton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 23rd congressional district

1989–1993
Succeeded by
Sherwood Boehlert
Preceded by
Hamilton Fish IV
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 21st congressional district

January 3, 1993 - January 3, 2009
Succeeded by
Paul Tonko