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)
Queens, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lisa Heck; 3 children
Residence Henderson, Nevada, U.S.
Alma mater Pennsylvania State University
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
United States Army War College[1]
Profession Physician
Religion Roman Catholic
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[2]
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.[3]

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.[4]

As of July 31st, 2014, Heck is a brigadier general in the United States Army Reserve. 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 January, 2008.[5]

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.[5]

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.

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.[6]

Nevada Senate[edit]

Heck served one four-year term in the Nevada Senate, representing Clark County’s 5th district.[6]


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 reelection in 2008 to Democrat Shirley Breeden by a margin of 47% to 46% and a plurality of 765 votes. Libertarian T. Rex Hagan received 4754 votes (8%).[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]


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 state Assembly John Oceguera 50%–43%.[10]


Heck was one of three freshmen named to the House Republican Steering Committee in the 112th Congress.[11]

Economic issues[edit]

Heck has noted his opposition to government tax burdens and red tape on the private sector.[12] He supports an audit of the Federal Reserve and a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.[12] 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".[13]


Heck voted to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gasses.[14] He has signed Americans for Prosperity's No Climate Tax pledge.[15] Heck attributes increased energy costs to environmental regulation.[16]

Foreign policy[edit]

In 2011, Heck voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.[17]

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.” [18]

Health care[edit]

Heck opposes Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which he has voted to repeal.[19] 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.[12]


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.[20]

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.[21]

Veterans Affairs[edit]

In 2015, Heck cosponsored a bill sponsored by 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.[22]


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

Committee assignments[edit]

Partisan committees:


Personal life[edit]

Joe and his wife, Lisa (formerly Mattiello), have three children: Monica, Chelsea and Joseph III. Lisa is a registered nurse. Heck is a Roman Catholic. He is active with the Knights of Columbus Council 13456 and Catholic War Veterans Post 1947.[5]


United States House of Representatives elections, 2010

3rd Congressional District of Nevada[30]

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 [31]

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

Awards and decorations[edit]

Heck has received the following awards:[32]

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. ^ "Representative Joseph 'Joe' Heck, Jr.'s Biography". Project Vote Smart. One Common Ground. 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Congressman Joe Heck". Combat Veterans For Congress Political Action Committee. 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Nevada GOP Rep. Joe Heck to Run for Reid's US Senate Seat". ABC News. Associated Press. July 6, 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Home - Heck4Nevada". Heck4Nevada. 
  5. ^ a b c "Full Biography". Congressman Joe Heck. 
  6. ^ a b "Senator Joseph (Joe) J. Heck". 
  7. ^ Nevada Senate 2008 Election Results Nevada Secretary of State.
  8. ^ "Home – My News 3 – KSNV, Las Vegas, Nevada". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  9. ^ "Our Campaigns - NV - District 3 Race - Nov 02, 2010". 
  10. ^ "Our Campaigns - NV - District 03 Race - Nov 06, 2012". 
  11. ^ "Joe Heck Lands Plum Post on House GOP Steering Committee". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  12. ^ a b c Heck on the Issues.”, n.d.
  13. ^ "Heck Votes Against Debt Limit Increase". Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "House Vote 249 – Prevents E.P.A. From Regulating Greenhouse Gases". New York Times. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Pledge Takers". Americans for Prosperity. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "Issue Position: Energy". Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  17. ^ Connor Adams Sheets (16 December 2011). "NDAA Bill: How Did Your Congress Member Vote?". International Business Times. 
  18. ^ "Heck Votes Against Libya Measures". Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  19. ^ "Joe Heck, Jr.'s Issue Positions". Projet Vote Smart. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  20. ^ Foley, Elise (1 August 2014). "House Votes To Strip Deportation Relief From Dreamers". Huffington Post. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  21. ^ Jennifer Bendery (11 December 2012). "Violence Against Women Act: John Boehner, Eric Cantor Pressured By Republicans To Act". Huffington Post. 
  22. ^ Rueda, Nimfa (12 June 2015). "US solons introduce bill recognizing Filipino, Fil-Am war vets". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "H.R. 697 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "CBO – H.R. 697". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "Bills to Address Housing Needs of Veterans Introduced". National Low Income Housing Coalition. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  26. ^ "H.R. 1742". United States Congress. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 
  27. ^ "H.R. 2166 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  28. ^ Kasperowicz, Pete (24 January 2014). "House to lift government hurdles to missing person searches". The Hill. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  29. ^ "Committees and Caucuses". Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  30. ^ "Congressional results". 
  31. ^ "Nevada General Election 2012 – U.S. Congress". Nevada Secretary of State. Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  32. ^ "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

January 3, 2011 – present
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Vicky Hartzler
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jaime Herrera Beutler