Chris Gibson (New York politician)

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Chris Gibson
Chris Gibson 2.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th district
In office
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2017
Preceded by Nan Hayworth
Succeeded by John Faso
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 20th district
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Scott Murphy
Succeeded by Paul Tonko
Personal details
Born Christopher Patrick Gibson
(1964-05-13) May 13, 1964 (age 53)
Rockville Centre, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Jo Gibson
Education Siena College (BA)
Cornell University (MPA, MA, PhD)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1986–2010
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Commands 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division
2nd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars Persian Gulf War
Kosovo Force
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Awards Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star (4)
Purple Heart
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge with star
Master Parachutist Badge
Ranger tab

Christopher Patrick "Chris" Gibson (born May 13, 1964) is an American politician, former officer in the United States Army and member of the Republican Party who served as the U.S. Representative for New York's 19th congressional district from 2011 to 2017.

A lifelong resident of Kinderhook, New York, Gibson joined the United States Army in 1986 after graduating from Siena College.[1] He served tours in the First Gulf War, Kosovo, and Iraq, rising to the rank of Colonel. He later taught American politics at West Point and was a national security affairs fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.[2] He has received four Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart, among other awards while in the military.[3] He also holds a Ph.D in government from Cornell University. In 2008, he published his first book, Securing the State, which offered his overview on national security decision-making.

He retired from the Army in 2010 to run for Congress, defeating Democratic incumbent Scott Murphy with 55% of the vote. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2014. In January 2015, Gibson, a supporter of term limits, announced that he would not seek re-election in 2016. Originally seen as a possible candidate for Governor in 2018, Gibson announced he would not run. He is currently the Stanley Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy at Williams College since February 2017.[4][5]

Early life, education, and academic career[edit]

Gibson was born in Rockville Centre, New York, to Robert and Barbara Gibson. He moved to Kinderhook, south of Albany, 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 Loudonville, also near Albany, having earned his ROTC Commission and graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in history.[6][7]

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.[6][2]

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.[8][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.[citation needed]

Gibson earned an MPA, as well as an MA and Ph.D. in government, from Cornell University.[9] 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.[8]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2010
External media
Images
Gibson Campaign Flickr photostream
Video
Gibson-Murphy debate, WMHT, October 21, 2010

Gibson challenged Democratic incumbent Scott Murphy for the 20th Congressional district seat in the House of Representatives and won on November 4, 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.[10][11] The uncontested Republican and Conservative candidate, Gibson outraised Murphy in his first full quarter in the campaign, and was a GOP Young Gun.[12][13]

A supporter of term limits, Gibson promised to serve no more than four terms. He also called for Representatives to be limited to eight years in office, with terms being extended from two years to four, which he called a "creative way" to address campaign finance reform without "impeding" free speech.[14]

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.[citation needed] 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".[16]

Gibson took part in a televised debate with Murphy on October 21, presented by the local PBS station, WMHT.[17] Gibson began the campaign at 17 points behind in the polls but ended up winning the election with 55% of the vote.[18]

2012

After the 2010 census, Gibson's district was renumbered as the 19th district. It lost most of its northern portion, including Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs and Lake Placid. Gibson 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,[19] the Kingston Daily Freeman,[20] the Poughkeepsie Journal, and the Oneonta Daily Star.

2014

Gibson was challenged by Democrat Sean Eldridge in the general election. During the campaign, he reiterated his pledge not to serve more than four terms in office.[21] He won re-election with 65% of the vote to Eldridge's 35%.[22]

Tenure[edit]

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.

Gibson joined nearly all other Republican members of the US House of Representatives in voting to support The Path to Prosperity, the budget put forward by U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI).[23]

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.[24] After Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee hit the 20th District in 2011, Gibson focused on getting federal aid to his constituents.[25]

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.[26] 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.[27]

Gibson supported reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.[28]

On January 5, 2015, Gibson announced that he would not run for re-election in 2016.[29] He said that he might run for statewide office in 2018, when the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller and Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand's Senate seat will be up for election.[30][31]

On same-sex marriage, he supports equal protection of unions and believes that the decision on marriage should be left to religious institutions, protecting religious freedoms. He called on the Supreme Court to provide clarity for equal protection and religious freedom, reversing a common position of conservatives against judicial activism.[32]

Committee assignments[edit]

Following his swearing in, Gibson became a member of the following House committees:[33]

Gibson also later became a member of Committee on Small Business.[34]

Political leanings[edit]

He is a member of both the Conservative Republican Study Committee and the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership. Gibson was ranked as the 3rd most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress (and the third most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York after Peter T. King and Richard L. Hanna) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member's co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).[35]

Personal life[edit]

Gibson lives in Kinderhook with his wife, Mary Jo, and their three children. The family is Roman Catholic and attends St. John's Catholic Church in Valatie.[36]

Written works[edit]

  • Gibson, Chris. (2017). Rally Point: Five Tasks to Unite the Country and Revitalize the American Dream. ISBN 9781538760574

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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).[15] After redistricting in 2002, then-Congressman John E. Sweeney was quoted as saying that “no Republican can ever lose” the district.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier" (PDF). Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Staff (March 12, 2012). "Colonel Chris Gibson". Hoover Institute. Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  3. ^ Staff (2012). "Congressman Chris Gibson". Candidates. Combat Veterans For Congress Political Action Committee. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Rep. Chris Gibson won't run for NY governor, exiting politics". syracuse.com. Retrieved 2017-01-05. 
  5. ^ "Leadership Studies". leadership-studies.williams.edu. Retrieved 2017-09-15. 
  6. ^ a b Robert Lachman (March 7, 2010). "Kinderhook Republican to challenge Murphy for House seat". Hudson-Catskill Newspapers. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  7. ^ Zeller, Shawn (November 6, 2010). "112th Congress: Chris Gibson, R-N.Y. (20th District)". Congressional Quarterly. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b The Hoover Institute (2010). "Colonel Chris Gibson". The Hoover Institute. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  9. ^ Lowery, George (2010-11-08). "Nine alumni run for – and mostly win – national offices". Cornell Chronicle. Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-11-14. 
  10. ^ Maury Thompson (March 26, 2010). "Chris Gibson has lock on GOP endorsement in 20th district". The Post Star. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  11. ^ Jimmy Vielkind (April 5, 2010). "Gibson hires Ziegler, who has endorsed Gibson". The Times Union. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  12. ^ Jimmy Vielkind (July 13, 2010). "Gibson outraises Murphy, Murphy has way more cash (updated)". The Times Union. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  13. ^ Jeremy P. Jacobs (August 31, 2010). "NRCC Names 6 New Young Guns". National Journal. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  14. ^ Maury Thompson (August 4, 2010). "Gibson vows to seek term limits if elected". Post Star. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  15. ^ "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. 
  16. ^ a b Roske, Tim. "Murphy's Law: One Democrat's defeat explains how the party lost the House". Newsweek. Retrieved 2010-11-14. 
  17. ^ New York's 20th Congressional District Debate. North Greenbush, New York: WMHT. 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2010-11-14. 
  18. ^ Leigh Hornbeck and Dennis Yusko (November 3, 2010). "Gibson defeats Murphy in 20th". The Albany Times-Union. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Our picks for Congress - The Observation Deck". Blog.timesunion.com. 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  20. ^ "EDITORIAL: Chris Gibson for Congress". Dailyfreeman.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  21. ^ Ariel Zangla (August 19, 2014). "U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson pushes back against Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge". Daily Freeman News. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  22. ^ http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/house/ny/new_york_19th_district_gibson_vs_eldridge-5022.html
  23. ^ "House Vote 277 – Passes Ryan Budget Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  24. ^ Mahoney, Joe. "Gibson disavows Norquist tax pledge » Local News – » The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports". Thedailystar.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  25. ^ "Capitol Confidential » Gibson: 'This is going to take our very best effort'". Blog.timesunion.com. 2011-08-30. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  26. ^ "Skidmore hosts Lyme disease forum". YNN. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  27. ^ "Braley Leads Bipartisan Coalition to Launch Farm Bill Discharge Petition Effort | Congressman Bruce Braley". Braley.house.gov. 2012-08-02. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  28. ^ Jennifer Bendery (11 December 2012). "Violence Against Women Act: John Boehner, Eric Cantor Pressured By Republicans To Act". Huffington Post. 
  29. ^ http://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/new-york-rep-chris-gibson-wont-run-for-reelection-113990.html?hp=b1_l3
  30. ^ "Gibson: This term will be my last". Troy Record. January 7, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  31. ^ Dan Friedman (January 7, 2015). "GOP Rep. Chris Gibson eyes 2018 bid for New York Governor". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 8, 2015. 
  32. ^ http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2015/03/gibson-says-he-backs-equal-protection/
  33. ^ Vielkind, Jimmy. "Riding the Republican Wave". Times Union (Albany). Hearst Newspapers. Retrieved 2010-12-23. 
  34. ^ "Small Business Committee Announces Majority Members". Small Business Committee. 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2017-09-15. 
  35. ^ The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index (PDF), The Lugar Center, March 7, 2016, retrieved April 30, 2017 
  36. ^ Chris Gibson for Congress (2010). "About". Chris Gibson for Congress. Retrieved 2010-11-14. 

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Scott Murphy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 20th congressional district

2011–2013
Succeeded by
Paul Tonko
Preceded by
Nan Hayworth
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th congressional district

2013–2017
Succeeded by
John Faso