Claudia Tenney

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Claudia Tenney
Claudia Tenney, 115th official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 22nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by Richard L. Hanna
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 101st district
In office
January 1, 2011 – January 1, 2017
Preceded by David Townsend
Succeeded by Brian D. Miller
Personal details
Born (1961-02-04) February 4, 1961 (age 56)
New Hartford, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Children 1
Residence New Hartford, New York
Alma mater Colgate University
University of Cincinnati College of Law
Profession Lawyer, publisher, politician
Website House website

Claudia Tenney (born February 4, 1961) is an American lawyer, publisher, commentator and politician who was elected in 2010 to represent the 101st Assembly District of the New York State Assembly. Tenney had served her predecessor, former Assemblyman David Townsend, from 2003-2009 as his chief of staff and legal counsel. Tenney is the congresswoman for New York's 22nd congressional district which includes all or part of eight different counties.

Early life and education[edit]

Tenney is a native of New Hartford and the daughter of former New York State Supreme Court Justice John R. Tenney. She graduated from Colgate University in 1983, and the Taft College of Law at the University of Cincinnati.


Early in her career, she was the only American employed by the Consulate General of Yugoslavia. She acted as intermediary between ABC Sports and the Yugoslavian government leading up to the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.[1]

In 1997, she established the Tenney Media Group in Clinton where she served as publisher and corporate counsel. Tenney Media Group published and printed free community newspapers founded by her parents and grandparents: eight weekly newspaper editions known as the Mid-York Weekly & Pennysaver with a total direct mailed circulation of over 100,000 households throughout three counties in Central New York.

The original Mid-York Weekly's roots date back to the early 19th century and it remains one of the oldest continuously running weekly newspapers in the country.[1] Tenney is a co-owner of Mid-York Press, a commercial printing company started by her mother's family in 1946. Mid-York Press is located in Sherburne in Chenango County and employs about 80 people.[2]

Tenney maintains a private law practice in Clinton. Prior to private practice, she was a partner at the Utica area law firm of Groben, Gilroy, Oster and Saunders.[1] In January 2001, she began co-hosting “Common Cents”, a radio and television program that airs weekly across Oneida and most of Herkimer County. In February 2010, Tenney began co-hosting “First Look” on WIBX 950 Radio.[3]

Political career[edit]

In 2009, Tenney ran for Oneida County Surrogate Court Judge. She ran as a Republican against incumbent Democrat, Louis Gigliotti. Tenney was defeated by Gigliotti, receiving 45% of the vote to Gigliotti's 55%.[4]

Tenney also worked for the State Assembly as a staff member to Assemblyman David Townsend, who announced in 2010 he was a candidate for Oneida County Sheriff. Tenney defeated Oneida County Legislator George Joseph in a Republican primary in September for a chance to represent the seat. With no Democratic or other opponents in the November 2010 general election,[5][6] She became the district’s first assemblywoman.[7]

In 2012, Tenney was one of 18 cosponsors of the Internet Protection Act.[8] The bill, which did not pass, would have required anonymous posts to be deleted by administrators of New York-based websites under certain circumstances.[9][10] The bill was intended to fight online bullying. Under the act abusive posts could be reported to site administrators would then verify the name and address of the poster; posters who failed to cooperate would have their posts removed.[11]

New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), a progressive advocacy group, claimed Tenney had missed 480 votes, which was the third-highest number of any member, in 2014.[12] Tenney called the NYPIRG report a "hit job". She said, "I missed about 5 days of session all year. What people don’'t know is that we typically do half the bills we pass in an entire year in the last week. Most of them are one house bills and repeats.”[13]

Tenney said the votes she missed were due to caring for her dying mother. Her campaign said she had a 96-percent attendance record while serving in the state assembly.[14][15]

WRVO, a public radio station located in New York, fact checked the allegations against Tenney and found that she had a 95 percent attendance record from 2011-16 and had, in fact, missed just six percent of the votes taken during this period.[16]

2014 U.S. House campaign[edit]

In 2014, Tenney announced she was running for Congress in New York's 22nd District. She ran against incumbent Richard L. Hanna in the primary on June 24, but lost by 6 points, 47-53%.[17]

2016 U.S. House campaign[edit]

Tenney announced her candidacy for New York's 22nd congressional district in the 2016 election on November 17, 2015. Hanna announced his retirement weeks later. She was endorsed by the Conservative Party of New York State, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, and the Citizens United Victory Fund.[18]

Retiring representative Hanna did not endorse Tenney.[why?][19] She won the three-way Republican primary on June 28, 2016. She faced Democrat Kim Myers and Independent Martin Babinec in the November general election.[20] Tenney won the election, receiving 47% of the vote to Myers' 40% and Babinec's 13%.[21]

Political Positions while in Congress[edit]


On May 4, 2017, Tenney voted in favor of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that passed the House of Representatives and is waiting to be taken up by the Senate.[22] This bill was passed by the House to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), rewriting many healthcare regulations in the process, such as the elimination of the individual mandate, the creation of high-risk pools,[23] and the permission for states to allow insurance companies to not cover certain health care benefits in specific insurance plans.[24] She also voted for a portion of the AHCA that eliminates a Medicaid property tax mandate affecting counties in New York outside of New York City.[25][26] Tenney claimed the overall bill would lower insurance costs, including insurance premiums and related taxes, for consumers.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Tenney is a resident of New Hartford. She has one son, Wayne "Trey" Ralph Cleary III, who, in 2009 received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.[27] He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in May 2013.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Groom, Debra (March 5, 2011). "Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney -- a master of many jobs". Retrieved 14 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Staff (November 4, 2016). "Congressional race near boiling point". Rome Sentinel. Rome, New York. Retrieved November 25, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Biography". Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney. New York State Assembly. Retrieved 14 November 2016. 
  4. ^ "Tenney Loses Surrogate Judge Election". Rome Sentinel. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Election Results 2010: New York State Legislature". The New York Times. 2010. 
  6. ^ "Assembly Election Returns: November 2, 2010" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-18. 
  7. ^ Ackerman, Bryon (January 1, 2011). "Claudia Tenney sworn in as 115th District state assemblywoman". Observer-Dispatch. 
  8. ^ "Internet Protection Act". 
  9. ^ "Anonymous Comment Ban". 
  10. ^ "Internet Protection Act Would Eliminate Anonymous Online Comments In New York". May 23, 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Internet Protection Act to prohibit anonymous online comments in New York". Syracuse Post-Standard. New York. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Claudia Tenney missed 480 votes, third most in NY Assembly". Retrieved 2016-09-11. 
  13. ^ Nani, James (July 1, 2014). "Tenney says NYPIRG legislative analysis is "hit job."". The Fray. Middletown, New York. Retrieved December 14, 2016. 
  14. ^ "False Accusations about Claudia Tenney". Claudia for Congress. Tenney for Congress. Retrieved December 14, 2016. 
  15. ^ Weiner, Mark (September 6, 2016). "Democratic super PAC launches $1.1 million ad campaign against Claudia Tenney". The Post Standard. Syracuse, New York. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  16. ^ Horning, Payne (November 7, 2016). "22nd Congressional District fact check". WRVO. New York. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Richard Hanna defeats Claudia Tenney in N.Y. 22nd Congressional primary(Update)". June 24, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Citizens United Victory Fund Backs Tenney". New York State of Politics. Retrieved 11 November 2016. 
  19. ^ "Rep. Hanna Not Endorsing Tenney in 22nd Congressional District Race; Tenney Responds". TWC News. Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  20. ^ Weiner, Mark (June 28, 2016). "Claudia Tenney wins GOP primary in 22nd Congressional District". The Post-Standard. Retrieved 21 September 2016. 
  21. ^ Roby, John (November 9, 2016). "US CONGRESS: Tenney takes victory in the 22nd". Press & Sun Bulletin. Retrieved November 11, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Congressional Chronicle". Votes. CSPAN. Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  23. ^ Armour, Stephanie; Hackman, Michelle (May 4, 2017). "GOP Health Bill Jeopardizes Out-of-Pocket Caps in Employer Plans". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  24. ^ "High-risk pools won't match Obamacare's protections for pre-existing conditions". CNN. May 3, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  25. ^ a b "Tenney votes "Yes" on GOP health care bill, releases statement". Binghamton Homepage. Binghamton Homepage. Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Cuomo: Plan To Cut Medicare Contributions From Counties Amounts To ‘War On New York’". CBS Broadcasting Company. CBS News. Retrieved May 4, 2017. 
  27. ^ "New Hartford High School Student Receives Appointment To U.S. Naval Academy". Office of U.S. Representative Michael A. Arcuri (NY-24). March 17, 2009. Archived from the original on March 26, 2009. 
  28. ^ "About Claudia". Tenney for Congress. May 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
David Townsend
New York State Assembly, 101st District
January 1, 2011 – January 1, 2017
Succeeded by
Brian D. Miller
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard L. Hanna
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 22nd congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Scott Taylor
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Ron Estes