Joe Heck

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Joe Heck
Joe Heck, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Dina Titus
Member of the Nevada Senate
from the Clark 5 district
In office
Preceded by Ann O'Connell
Succeeded by Shirley Breeden
Personal details
Born Joseph John Heck
(1961-10-30) October 30, 1961 (age 54)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lisa Mattiello (1995–present)
Children 3
Alma mater Pennsylvania State University, University Park
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
United States Army War College
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website House website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1991–present
Rank US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General
Unit 325th Combat Support Hospital[1]
Battles/wars Operation Joint Endeavor
Operation Noble Eagle
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Joseph John “Joe” Heck (born October 30, 1961) is an American politician, physician, and U.S. Army Brigadier General who has been the U.S. Representative for Nevada's 3rd congressional district since 2011. Heck, a member of the Republican Party, is a board-certified physician and served as a Nevada State Senator from 2004 to 2008. He is running for the open Nevada U.S. Senate seat in 2016.[2]

Heck's congressional district includes the cities of Henderson, Boulder City, parts of Las Vegas, unincorporated Clark County, and several smaller towns and cities in the Southern Nevada region. He resides in Henderson, Nevada.

Early life, education, and military service[edit]

Heck was born in Jamaica, New York in Queens, and raised in Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Wallenpaupack Area High School in 1979. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1984 with a degree in Health Education. He is a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine in 1988 from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and obtained a residency in Emergency Medicine in 1992 at the Albert Einstein Medical Center. In 1992 he moved to Clark County, Nevada. He earned a Masters of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College in 2006.[3]

Heck has served in the United States Army Reserve since 1991 and was promoted to a one-star general when he was named a brigadier general in 2014.[4] He has commanded a Medical Readiness Support Group overseeing more than 2,000 soldiers in 6 western states, and continues to serve in this capacity while in Congress. He has served in Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Noble Eagle, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His last deployment was in January 2008 when he commanded an emergency room in a combat hospital outside Baghdad.[5][6]

Medical career[edit]

Heck was the president, owner, and medical director of Specialized Medical Operations until 2011. The company provided medical training, consulting, and operational support to law enforcement agencies, EMS, and military special operations. Heck has lectured and is published on special operations medical support, the medical response to acts of terrorism, and emergency preparedness and response.[7]

From 1998 to 2003, Heck served as the medical director of the Casualty Care Research Center of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, where he provided medical support for several federal law enforcement agencies and oversight for the medical response to acts of terrorism.

Heck started his medical career as a volunteer firefighter and ambulance attendant in rural Pennsylvania. He volunteered as a Medical Team Manager with the Nevada Urban Search & Rescue Team – Task Force 1 and as a member of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Search & Rescue team. He has also served as a tactical physician with the LVMPD SWAT team.[6]

Heck served as a member of the Nevada State Homeland Security Commission Sub-committee on Health, the American Osteopathic Association's Task Force on Bioterrorism, and as the Medical Director for the Nevada Hospital Association’s Hospital Preparedness program. He also served as the Medical Director for the Southern Nevada Health District's Office of Public Health Preparedness.[8]

Nevada Senate[edit]

Heck served one four-year term in the Nevada Senate, representing Clark County’s 5th district.[8]


Heck was first elected to the Nevada Senate to represent Clark County’s 5th district in 2004, after defeating Senator Ann O’Connell in the Republican primary. Heck narrowly lost re-election in 2008 to Democrat Shirley Breeden by a margin of 47% to 46% and a plurality of 765 votes. Libertarian T. Rex Hagan received 4,754 votes (8%).[9]

Committee assignments[edit]

He served on the Natural Resources, Human Resources and Education, the Commerce and Labor Committees. He was also the vice-chair of the Transportation and Homeland Security Committee.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



Although Heck had earlier announced he would challenge incumbent Republican Jim Gibbons for Governor, he decided against it in favor of a run for Nevada's 3rd congressional district. He defeated incumbent Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Dina Titus, 48%–47%, a difference of 1,748 votes. Titus had only held the position for one term after she defeated incumbent Republican U.S. Congressman Jon C. Porter in 2008.[10]


After redistricting, Heck decided to run in the newly redrawn 3rd district, which Obama won in 2008 with 54% of the vote. On November 6, he defeated Speaker of the Nevada Assembly John Oceguera 50%–43%.[11]


Heck won reelection easily, beating Democrat Erin Bilbray by a margin of 61 percent to 36 percent.


Heck was one of three freshmen named to the House Republican Steering Committee in the 112th Congress.[12] He was re-elected to the Republican Steering Committee in both 2012 and 2014.[13]

Economic issues[edit]

Heck has noted his opposition to government tax burdens and red tape on the private sector.[14] He supports an audit of the Federal Reserve and a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.[15] Heck voted against increasing the debt limit in 2011, stating "Raising the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts will only prolong the uncertainty preventing an economic recovery".[16]


Heck voted to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gasses.[17] In 2010, he signed Americans for Prosperity's No Climate Tax pledge.[18] Heck supports an "all of the above" energy policy which includes natural gas, domestic oil production, and alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal and nuclear.[19]

Foreign policy[edit]

In 2011, Heck voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.[20]

Heck was opposed to United States involvement in Libya, saying, “We are already engaged in military operations on two fronts, and Libya opened a third. We cannot afford the troops or taxpayer dollars—especially without a national security objective.” [21]

Heck opposes the Iran nuclear deal framework, calling it unenforceable.[22]

Health care[edit]

Heck opposes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which he has voted to repeal.[23] His priorities include protecting the patient-physician relationship, reducing health care costs, and working to protect Medicare for Nevada’s seniors and preserving it for future generations.[24]


In August 2014, Heck broke ranks with the Republican Party and voted against a bill that would have dismantled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.[25]

Social policy[edit]

In 2011, Heck voted in favor of prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion, and prohibiting the use of federal funds for Planned Parenthood. He supported the Violence Against Women Act.[26]

Veterans affairs[edit]

In 2015, Heck cosponsored a bill with Democrat Tulsi Gabbard that would award a Congressional Gold Medal to Filipinos who fought in World War II, who now live in the Philippines and the United States.[27]


The following is a partial list of legislation that was directly sponsored by Heck.

Committee assignments[edit]

2016 U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

In July 2015, Heck announced that he would run for the U.S. Senate seat left open due to Harry Reid's retirement.[35] The Republican and Democratic primaries, which were both contested, took place on June 14, 2016.[36][37]

Personal life[edit]

Joe and his wife, Lisa Heck (née Mattiello), have three children: Monica, Chelsea and Joseph III. Lisa is a registered nurse. Heck is a Roman Catholic. He is active with the American Legion Paradise Post 149, the Knights of Columbus Council 13456 and Catholic War Veterans Post 1947.[38]


United States House of Representatives elections, 2010 3rd Congressional District of Nevada[39]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joe Heck 128,916 48
Democratic Dina Titus (incumbent) 127,168 47
Independent Barry Michaels 6,473 2
Libertarian Joseph P. Silvestri 4,026 2
Independent American Scott David Narter 1,291 <1
Total votes 267,874 100
Republican gain from Democratic
United States House of Representatives elections, 2012 3rd Congressional District of Nevada [40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joe Heck (Incumbent) 137,244 50
Democratic John Oceguera 116,823 43
Independent American Jim Murphy 12,856 5
Independent American Tom Jones 5,600 2
Total votes 272,523 100
Republican hold
Nevada United States Senate election, 2016
Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes  %
  Republican Joe Heck 74,517 65
  Republican Sharron Angle 26,142 23
  Republican None of these candidates 3,902 3
  Republican Thomas Heck 3,570 3
  Republican Eddie Hamilton 2,507 2
  Republican D'Nese Davis 1,937 2
  Republican Bill Tarbell 1,179 1
  Republican Robert Leeds 662 0.6
  Republican Justin Preble 582 0.5
  Republican Carlo Poliak 279 0.2
Total 114,827 100
General election
Party Candidate Votes  %
  Independent Tony Gumina
  Republican Joe Heck
  Libertarian Dennis Hof
  Independent American Tom Jones
  Democratic Catherine Cortez Masto
  Independent Tom Sawyer
  Independent G. A. Villa
  Socialist Jarrod M. Williams

Awards and decorations[edit]

Heck has received the following awards:[41]

Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Width-44 myrtle green ribbon with width-3 white stripes at the edges and five width-1 stripes down the center; the central white stripes are width-2 apart
Army Commendation Medal with a bronze Oak leaf cluster
Joint Services Achievement Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Width-44 ribbon with two width-9 ultramarine blue stripes surrounded by two pairs of two width-4 green stripes; all these stripes are separated by width-2 white borders
Army Achievement Medal with one bronze Oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with four bronze Oak leaf cluster
Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
Bronze star
Width=44 scarlet ribbon with a central width-4 golden yellow stripe, flanked by pairs of width-1 scarlet, white, Old Glory blue, and white stripes
National Defense Service Medal with one Service star
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal
Width-44 ribbon with width-6 central ultramarine blue stripe, flanked by pairs of stripes that are respectively width-4 emerald, width-3 golden yellow, width-5 orange, and width-7 scarlet Army Service Ribbon
ArmyFltSurg.gif Army Flight Surgeon Badge
Joint Meritorious Unit Award

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Congressman Joe Heck". Combat Veterans For Congress Political Action Committee. 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Bobic, Igor (July 6, 2015). "Nevada Congressman Joe Heck To Run For Senate". Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  3. ^ Corasaniti, Nick; Martin, Jonathan (July 24, 2014). "Army War College Starts Plagiarism Inquiry of Senator John Walsh's Thesis". New York Times. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "Senate OKs Rep. Joe Heck's promotion to 1-star general". Las Vegas Sun. Associated Press. September 18, 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  5. ^ O'Toole, Molly (May 31, 2015). "Meet Joe Heck, the GOP One-Star General Who Could Take Reid's Senate Seat". Defense One. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Tetreault, Steve (July 6, 2015). "Rep. Joe Heck says he's running for US Senate". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Joe Heck (R)". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Senator Joseph (Joe) J. Heck". 
  9. ^ "Races for the November 4, 2008 general election". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Our Campaigns - NV - District 3 Race - Nov 02, 2010". 
  11. ^ "Our Campaigns - NV - District 03 Race - Nov 06, 2012". 
  12. ^ "Joe Heck Lands Plum Post on House GOP Steering Committee". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  13. ^ "Heck Elected to Steering Committee for Third Straight Term". United States Congressman Joe Heck. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Heck Unveils "Red Tape Register" Feature on Official Website". Congressman Joe Heck. July 20, 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  15. ^ "Joe Heck (R)". U.S. Congress Vote Database. Washington Post. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  16. ^ "Heck Votes Against Debt Limit Increase". Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "House Vote 249 – Prevents E.P.A. From Regulating Greenhouse Gases". New York Times. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  18. ^ Kerpen, Phil (March 9, 2010). "Americans for Prosperity Applauds U.S. House Candidate Joe Heck" (PDF). Americans for Prosperity. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  19. ^ "Issue Position: Energy". Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  20. ^ Connor Adams Sheets (16 December 2011). "NDAA Bill: How Did Your Congress Member Vote?". International Business Times. 
  21. ^ "Heck Votes Against Libya Measures". Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  22. ^ Botkin, Ben (January 26, 2016). "Cortez Masto supports Iran deal while Heck calls it unenforceable". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  23. ^ Meyer, Theodoric (January 7, 2016). "Planned Parenthood will play in Senate". Politico. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  24. ^ Ritter, Ken; Snyder, Riley (July 6, 2015). "Nevada GOP Rep. Joe Heck running for Reid's US Senate seat". Associated Press. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  25. ^ Foley, Elise (1 August 2014). "House Votes To Strip Deportation Relief From Dreamers". Huffington Post. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  26. ^ Jennifer Bendery (11 December 2012). "Violence Against Women Act: John Boehner, Eric Cantor Pressured By Republicans To Act". Huffington Post. 
  27. ^ Rueda, Nimfa (12 June 2015). "US solons introduce bill recognizing Filipino, Fil-Am war vets". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  28. ^ "H.R. 697 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  29. ^ "CBO – H.R. 697". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  30. ^ "Bills to Address Housing Needs of Veterans Introduced". National Low Income Housing Coalition. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  31. ^ "H.R. 1742". United States Congress. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  32. ^ "H.R. 2166 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  33. ^ Kasperowicz, Pete (24 January 2014). "House to lift government hurdles to missing person searches". The Hill. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  34. ^ Tetreault, Steve; Brean, Henry (May 7, 2013). "Heck seeks to cut red tape on desert, lake searches". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  35. ^ Tetreault, Steve; Botkin, Ben (July 6, 2015). "Rep. Joe Heck says he's running for US Senate". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  36. ^ Messerly, Megan (February 2, 2016). "Heck, Cortez Masto each top $1M for quarter in bid to succeed Reid in Senate". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  37. ^ "Nevada Primary Results 2016". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-07-17. 
  38. ^ "Full Biography". United States Congressman Joe Heck. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  39. ^ "Congressional results". 
  40. ^ "Nevada General Election 2012 – U.S. Congress". Nevada Secretary of State. Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier" (PDF). Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dina Titus
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's 3rd congressional district

Party political offices
Preceded by
Sharron Angle
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Nevada
(Class 3)

Most recent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Vicky Hartzler
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jaime Herrera Beutler