Mike Kelly (Pennsylvania politician)

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Mike Kelly
Mike Kelly, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 16th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded byKathy Dahlkemper
Constituency3rd (2011–2019)
16th (2019–present)
Personal details
George Joseph Kelly Jr.

(1948-05-10) May 10, 1948 (age 70)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Victoria Kelly
EducationUniversity of Notre Dame (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

George Joseph "Mike" Kelly Jr. (born May 10, 1948), is an American politician in the Republican Party who has been a U.S. Representative since 2011 and is currently serving as representative for Pennsylvania's 16th congressional district.[1]

Education and early career[edit]

Kelly was born on May 10, 1948, in Pittsburgh, PA. He has spent most of his life in Butler, a city north of Pittsburgh. He played varsity football as a fullback in high school, and his team reached two WPIAL championship games. He graduated from Butler High School in 1966. He received a scholarship to play football at University of Notre Dame, but his playing ended because of an injury.

After college, he worked for his father's Chevrolet/Cadillac car dealership. In 1995, he purchased his father's business, and then added Hyundai and KIA to his dealership lineup.[2]

Kelly is a former member of the Butler City Council.

United States House of Representatives[edit]



Kelly challenged incumbent Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper in 2010.[3] He won the election by 10%,[4] largely by running up his margins outside of heavily Democratic Erie.


Kelly defeated Democrat Missa Eaton 55%–41%.[5] His district had been made slightly friendlier in redistricting. The district was pushed slightly to the south, absorbing some rural and Republican territory east of Pittsburgh.


Kelly defeated Democrat Dan LaVallee of Cranberry Township 60.5%–39.5%.[6]


Kelly ran unopposed and received 100% of the vote.


Kelly represented the 3rd Congressional District, but due to redistricting, he ran for the 16th Congressional District in Pennsylvania in 2018.[7]

PoliticsPA wrote that Kelly's seat might not be one of the seats considered safe for re-election. Public Policy Polling found that Kelly had a 48% to 43% lead over Democratic opponent Ron DiNicola.

Kelly ultimately defeated DiNicola 51.6%–47.2%, his first close contest since his initial run for the seat.


Kelly has received the following ratings from advocacy organizations:[8]

Committee assignments[edit]

In addition, Kelly serves as the co-chair of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition, a bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives from the 18 Northeastern and Midwestern States.[9] He is an appointed member of the President's Export Council.

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

"Deep state" remarks[edit]

When speaking at a Mercer County Republican Party event in 2017, Kelly advanced the conspiracy theory that former president Barack Obama was running a "shadow government" to undermine President Trump.[14][15][16] When asked about these remarks, Kelly said that they were meant to be private.[17][14] After the remarks made national news, Kelly's spokesperson said that Kelly did not believe that Obama "is personally operating a shadow government".[14][15][16]

Opposition to Legislation Requiring Presidential Candidates Release Tax Returns[edit]

Mike Kelly has argued against the release of President Donald Trump's tax returns by the House Ways and Means Committee.[18]


Speaking at a Heritage Foundation event in July 2014, Kelly compared the Environmental Protection Agency to terrorists while attacking EPA regulations limiting power plant emissions, saying "You talk about terrorism – you can do it in a lot of different ways,... But you terrorize the people who supply everything this country needs to be great – and you keep them on the sidelines – my goodness, what have we become?"[19]

In September 2018, Kelly was rated 0% by the Clean Water Action group.[20]


On August 1, 2012, Kelly called the HHS mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) - which requires health insurers or employers that provide their employees with health insurance to cover some contraceptive costs in their health insurance plans - an attack on Americans' constitutionally protected religious rights and that August 1, 2012, would go down in infamy as "the day that religious freedom died".[21]


When Kelly was elected, the district was located in the northwestern corner of the state, stretching from Erie to rural territory near Pittsburgh. In February 2018, after the Supreme Court ruled the Pennsylvania districts to be unconstitutionally gerrymandered, most of his district will become the 16th District.

Personal life[edit]

Kelly lives in Butler, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Victoria. They have four children, George III, Brendan, Charlotte, and Colin, and ten grandchildren.[22] He is the brother-in-law of Tennessee's 1st congressional district Congressman Phil Roe. He is Catholic.[23]


  1. ^ Hildebrand, Nick. "Clock starts to tick for Kelly to get specific about his agenda". The Herald. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 7, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "USA TODAY: Latest World and US News - USATODAY.com". USA TODAY. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "2016 Election Results: President Live Map by State, Real-Time Voting Updates". Election Hub. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  6. ^ "Pennsylvania Election Results". Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  7. ^ Cohn, Nate. "The New Pennsylvania Congressional Map, District by District". The New York Times. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "Mike Kelly, Representative for Pennsylvania's 3rd Congressional District - GovTrack.us". GovTrack.us. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  9. ^ "Northeast-Midwest Insititute » The Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition". www.nemw.org. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  10. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  11. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  13. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c "Analysis | GOP congressman offers strange Obama conspiracy theory — and even stranger explanations". Washington Post. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Kelly backtracks on claim of Obama". Early Returns:. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Western PA congressman backs off 'strange' Obama shadow gove". @politifact. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  17. ^ "Philly Clout: Congressman's conspiracy theory was supposed to be 'private'". Philly.com. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  18. ^ "GOP Warns That Releasing Trump's Taxes Could Lead to More Transparency". Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  19. ^ "Congressman Compares EPA's New Climate Rule To Terrorism". Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  20. ^ "Mike Kelly, Jr.'s Political Summary". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  21. ^ "Congressman: 'We're Still Home of the Brave, But We're Not the Land of the Free Anymore'". CNS News. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  22. ^ [2][dead link]
  23. ^ "RollCall.com - Member Profile - Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa". media.cq.com.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Kathy Dahlkemper
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Dwight Evans
Preceded by
Lloyd Smucker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 16th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Bill Keating
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Adam Kinzinger