Robert Pittenger

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Robert Pittenger
Robert Pittenger, Official Portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 9th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Sue Myrick
Member of the North Carolina State Senate
from the 39th district
In office
January 1, 2005 – May 27, 2008
Preceded by Robert A. Rucho
Succeeded by Robert A. Rucho
Member of the North Carolina State Senate
from the 40th district
In office
January 1, 2003 – January 1, 2005
Preceded by Daniel G. Clodfelter
Succeeded by Malcolm Graham
Personal details
Born Robert Miller Pittenger
(1948-08-15) August 15, 1948 (age 68)
Dallas, Texas
Political party Republican
Residence Charlotte, North Carolina
Alma mater University of Texas[1]
Religion Evangelical/Pentecostal
Website Representative Robert Pittenger

Robert Miller Pittenger /ˈpɪtənər/ (born August 15, 1948) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 9th congressional district since 2013. The district includes several outer portions of Charlotte, as well as many of that city's northern and eastern suburbs. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

Pittenger was born in Texas and attended the University of Texas. After graduating he worked for Campus Crusade for Christ before moving to Charlotte in 1985 and becoming a real estate investor.

North Carolina Senate (2003–2007)[edit]


After redistricting, Pittenger decided to run for the 40th senate district of the North Carolina General Assembly in 2002.[1] He defeated Democratic State Senator Fountain Odom 55%–43%.[2] In 2004 he ran for the 39th senate district and defeated Libertarian nominee Andy Grum 89%–11%.[3] In 2006, he won re-election to a third term unopposed.[4]


He represented the state's 39th Senate district, which included portions of southeastern Mecklenburg County. Robert was a lead sponsor of Right To Life legislation and the North Carolina marriage amendment.[5]

In May 2004, he proposed big tax cuts like bringing the state's corporate tax from 6.9% to 4.9% and the income tax rate for the state's top earners from 8.25% to 7.5%.[6] He proposed over $1.5 billion in spending cuts, including the elimination of waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicaid.[5]

In February 2005, he proposed a medical malpractice bill that would cap non-economic damages at $250,000 for physicians, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.[7]

In 2006, Pittenger sent a book called The Skeptical Environmentalist, to his senate colleagues. He has denied global warming.[8][9][10]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Appropriations/Base Budget
  • Commerce
  • Finance
  • Insurance and Civil Justice Reform
  • Pensions & Retirement and Aging
  • Rules and Operation[11][12]

2008 Lieutenant gubernatorial bid[edit]

Pittenger won the Republican primary on May 6, 2008 to become his party's nominee for Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina with 59% of the vote, defeating three other candidates.[13][14][15] On May 27, 2008, he resigned from the Senate to focus on his campaign.[16] He lost the general election to fellow State Senator Walter H. Dalton 51%–46%.[17]

U.S. House of Representatives (2013–present)[edit]

2012 election[edit]

After Sue Myrick announced her retirement as the Representative of North Carolina's 9th congressional district in early 2012, Pittenger announced that he would run to replace her.[18] He failed to win the primary outright on May 8, 2012, but ranked first with 32% of the vote in the eleven-candidate field.[19] In the primary run-off election held on July 17, 2012, he defeated former Mecklenburg County Sheriff Jim Pendergraph 53%–47%.[20][21]

Pittenger won the general election on November 6, defeating Democratic Mecklenburg County Commission Chairwoman Jennifer Roberts 52%–47%.[22][23] While Pittenger lost the district's share of Mecklenburg County (47%), he ran up huge margins in the Union (63%) and Iredell (64%) portions of the district. Still, it was the closest that a Republican had come to losing this district since 1986. He took office in January 2013.


On December 2, 2013, Pittenger introduced the Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act of 2013, which became Pub.L. 113–104.[24] The law broadens the coverage of current laws that address domestic assaults by certain repeat offenders.[25] The law also requires the United States Department of Justice to write a report on child abuse prevention laws in all U.S. states and territories, "with a particular focus on penalties for cases of severe child abuse."[26] Pittenger said that the bill "will strengthen laws and help prevent child abuse," noting that "it is sickening to realize that we need such laws."[26] After the bill's passage, Pittenger called it "a victory on behalf of children," but said that "no happy, bright, little girl should ever become the face of child abuse legislation."[27]

FBI Criminal Investigation[edit]

On August 11, 2015, WSOC confirmed with Pittenger that he was the subject of an active FBI criminal investigation, with the Charlotte local office investigating. Nothing specific was stated by the FBI at this time and Pittenger would only elaborate to say the inquiry has to do with his former real estate business, which he was said to have retired prior to taking the oath of office.

Statement on black protests[edit]

On September 22, 2016, in an interview in the wake of protests over the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, Pittenger said that the violence in Charlotte stems from protesters who “hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not.” The remark drew immediate international condemnation as racist. Fellow North Carolina congressman G. K. Butterfield called the remark "devastatingly ignorant and divisive." Pittenger quickly apologized for the statement.[28]

Committee assignments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Pittenger lives in South Charlotte with his wife, Suzanne, and their four children. A former longtime member of Central Church of God, he now attends another large evangelical megachurch in Charlotte known as Forest Hill Church.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Biography". Office of Congressman Robert Pittenger. Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ "NC State Senate 40 Race - Nov 05, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 25, 2016. 
  3. ^ "NC State Senate 39 Race - Nov 02, 2004". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 25, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Our Campaigns - NC State Senate 39 Race - Nov 07, 2006". 
  5. ^ a b "About Robert Pittenger". (campaign site). Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ "House Supports Business Incentives, Legislators Give Preliminary OK to $20 Million for N.C. Fund". Charlotte Observer. May 21, 2004. p. B1 Metro. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Medical malpractice bill introduced in General Assembly". Triad Business Journal. February 2, 2005. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ "On Climate, Pittenger Turns Contrarian, State Senator Disputes Global Warming Claims". Charlotte Observer. May 14, 2006. p. B1 Metro. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ "We Aren't Changing Climate, Let's Avoid Snap Judgements and Wishful Thinking on Warming Trend". Charlotte Observer. February 5, 2006. p. 24A. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Green Moves Could Create New Jobs". WFMY-TV. October 24, 2007. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Microsoft Word - 2005 Senate Committees by Member.doc" (PDF). Retrieved September 25, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Microsoft Word - 2003 Senate Committees by Member.doc" (PDF). Retrieved September 25, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Our Campaigns - NC Lt. Governor- R Primary Race - May 06, 2008". 
  14. ^ "Charlotte candidate announces run". Under The Dome (blog). Charlotte News & Observer. January 10, 2008. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  15. ^ "And the winners are...". Under The Dome (blog). Charlotte News & Observer. May 7, 2008. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Pittenger resigns from Senate". Under The Dome (blog). Charlotte News & Observer. May 27, 2008. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  17. ^ "NC Lt. Governor Race - Nov 04, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 25, 2016. 
  18. ^ [1][dead link]
  19. ^ "Our Campaigns - NC District 09- R Primary Race - May 08, 2012". 
  20. ^ "Our Campaigns - NC District 09 - R Runoff Race - Jul 17, 2012". 
  21. ^ Morrill, Jim; Funk, Tim (July 18, 2012). "Pittenger wins bitter race in 9th, will face Roberts". Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina: The McClatchy Company: Page 1. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Our Campaigns - NC District 09 Race - Nov 06, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved September 25, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Election Results : North Carolina State Board of Elections". Retrieved September 25, 2016. 
  24. ^ "H.R. 3627 – All Actions". United States Congress. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  25. ^ "CBO – H.R. 3627". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  26. ^ a b "Kilah's Law". House Office of Congressman Pittenger. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  27. ^ "President signs Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act into law". WBTV. May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Pittenger apologizes for saying Charlotte protesters 'hate white people'". Retrieved September 25, 2016. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Sue Myrick
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 9th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Scott Peters
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Mark Pocan