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Tom O'Halleran

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Tom O'Halleran
Senior Advisor for the Natural Resources Conservation Service
Assumed office
June 7, 2023
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byPosition created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2017 – January 3, 2023
Preceded byAnn Kirkpatrick
Succeeded byEli Crane
Member of the Arizona Senate
from the 1st district
In office
January 8, 2007 – January 5, 2009
Preceded byKen Bennett
Succeeded bySteve Pierce
Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2007
Preceded byJoe Hart
John Verkamp
Succeeded byAndy Tobin
Constituency2nd district (2001–2003)
1st district (2003–2007)
Personal details
Born (1946-01-24) January 24, 1946 (age 78)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (before 2014)
Independent (2014–2015)
Democratic (2015–present)
Patricia Smeaton
(m. 1969)

Thomas Charles O'Halleran (/ˈhælərən/; born January 24, 1946) is an American politician who served as the U.S. representative for Arizona's 1st congressional district from 2017 to 2023. Beginning his political career as a Republican, he was the Arizona state senator from the 1st district from 2007 to 2009. In 2015, he became a member of the Democratic Party. He also served as the chair of communications for the Blue Dog Coalition. On June 7, 2023, he was appointed as a senior advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Joe Biden administration.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

O'Halleran was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from Providence St. Mel School. He attended Lewis University for one year before joining the Chicago Police Department. O'Halleran later attended DePaul University for one year.[2]

Early career[edit]

O'Halleran served with the Chicago Police Department from 1966 to 1975. He then became a member of the Chicago Board of Trade, operating his own futures trading business with a focus in futures contracts on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes.[3][4]

Arizona Legislature[edit]

O'Halleran, then a Republican, served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2001 to 2007. He then served in the Arizona State Senate, representing the 1st district from 2007 to 2009. In a 2008 primary election, he was unseated by Steve Pierce.[5]

After leaving the Arizona legislature, O'Halleran hosted a radio show on KAZM in Sedona.[6]

In 2014 he left the Republican Party, citing its policies on education, water, and child welfare. He then ran for the 6th district seat of the State Senate as an independent, losing by 3%.[7]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



On August 6, 2015, O'Halleran announced his candidacy as a Democrat for Arizona's 1st congressional district.[8]

He explained his switch of party affiliation as a result of his positive attitude toward government, and, in particular, of his support for government regulations that would increase the use of wind and solar energy.[9]

In May 2016, O'Halleran was named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Red to Blue list, indicating that his race was a priority for the group.[10]

On August 30, 2016, O'Halleran beat Miguel Olivas in the Democratic primary.[11] He defeated Republican Paul Babeu and Green Party candidate Ray Parrish[12] in the general election[13] with 51% of the vote.[14]


O'Halleran at the 2018 Arizona Manufacturing Summit in Phoenix, Arizona

O'Halleran ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.[15] In the general election, he defeated Republican Wendy Rogers with 54% of the vote.[16]


O'Halleran was reelected, defeating Republican nominee Tiffany Shedd with 51.6% of the vote.[17]


In the 2021 decennial redistricting, O'Halleran's district was reshaped and renumbered as the 2nd congressional district and he ran for reelection there against Republican Eli Crane.[18] The new district was made significantly more Republican than its predecessor, as it gained heavily Republican Prescott.[19] O'Halleran lost to Crane in the general election, winning only in the district's most Democratic counties, Coconino and Apache.[20]


117th Congress (2021–23)[edit]

O'Halleran was at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, to certify the results of the 2020 United States presidential election when the Capitol was stormed. He was moved to a safe location along with other members of Congress. He voted in support of a resolution calling for Vice President Mike Pence to use the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution to remove Trump from office.[21] Days later, he voted for the second impeachment of Donald Trump.[22]

In February, O'Halleran voted in support of the American Rescue Plan.[23]

Committee assignments[edit]

O'Halleran meeting with the Navajo Nation Housing Authority in 2020

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

As of November 2022, O'Halleran had voted in line with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.[27] He was a chair of the Blue Dog Coalition.[28]


O'Halleran describes himself as pro-choice but has a mixed record on abortion issues. In the Arizona state senate, he voted in favor of a ban on abortion after 20 weeks.[29] O'Halleran opposed the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade, calling it "a mammoth setback for women, families and our nation."[30]

Energy and oil[edit]

According to On the Issues, in 2008 O'Halleran introduced HB 2613, an act that would give businesses using renewable energy property tax incentives.[31]

Foreign policy[edit]

According to On the Issues, in 2017 O'Halleran endorsed a two-state solution despite Israeli settlements on the West Bank.[32]

Government spending[edit]

In March 2018, O'Halleran criticized the Trump administration for seeking to cut funding for agencies and programs including the Economic Development Administration.[33]

Gun policy[edit]

After the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, O'Halleran, who had long supported expanded background checks but opposed an assault-weapon ban, suggested he might shift toward a stronger position on gun control. He said: "At times you have to look at yourself in the mirror and do the right thing and say forget about the political consequences."[34]


When Trump ordered a travel ban on visitors and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim nations in January 2017, O'Halleran said that the order "does not represent our nation's values" and that it violated the Constitution and "the bedrock ideals of our democracy".[35]

In April 2017, O'Halleran criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions's tougher new guidelines on expelling illegal immigrants who belong to criminal gangs. He said: "I have no problem with getting the felons out of the country. But some of these people that they're taking out of the country, they have children that are Americans, and they have not had a violent felony conviction. Here we are, taking mothers away from their children."[36]

O'Halleran was part of a group of Arizona Democrats who, in an August 2017 letter to Trump, urged him not to pardon former Maricopa County chief Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted in a federal court of racially profiling Latinos as part of border patrols.[37][38]

Qualified immunity[edit]

In 2021, O'Halleran was among a group of Democrats who sought to remove a provision from a police reform bill that would end qualified immunity for police officers accused of misconduct.[39]

Personal life[edit]

O'Halleran and his wife Pat live in unincorporated Yavapai County (with a Sedona address). They have three grown children and four grandchildren.[4][40] O'Halleran is Roman Catholic.[41]

On June 7, 2023, O'Halleran was named Senior Advisor for the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.[42]

Electoral history[edit]

Arizona's 1st Congressional District House Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Tom O'Halleran 142,219 50.7%
Republican Paul Babeu 121,745 43.3%
Green Ray Parrish 16,746 6.0%
Majority 20,474 7.4%
Total votes 280,710 100.0
Democratic hold
Arizona's 1st Congressional District House Election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Tom O'Halleran (Incumbent) 143,240 53.8%
Republican Wendy Rogers 122,784 46.2%
Majority 20,456 7.6%
Total votes 266,024 100.0
Democratic hold
Arizona's 1st Congressional District House Election, 2020
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Tom O'Halleran (Incumbent) 188,469 51.6% -2.2
Republican Tiffany Shedd 176,709 48.4% +2.2
Total votes 365,178 100.0
Democratic hold
2022 Arizona's 2nd congressional district election[43]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Eli Crane 174,169 53.9
Democratic Tom O'Halleran (incumbent) 149,151 46.1
Independent Chris Sarappo (write-in) 76 0.0
Total votes 323,396 100.0
Republican gain from Democratic


  1. ^ Daily Kos Elections Staff. "Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 6/7". Daily Kos. Kos Media, LLC. Retrieved 8 June 2023.
  2. ^ "Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress - Retro Member details". bioguideretro.congress.gov. Retrieved 2020-07-24.
  3. ^ Crawford, Jr., William (June 6, 1988). "'Open outcry' chaos part of trading art: A tradition that works". Chicago Tribune. p. D1.
  4. ^ a b "Meet Tom - Tom O'Halleran for Congress". www.tomohalleran.com. Retrieved 2016-07-30.
  5. ^ Pitzl, Mary. "Does an independent candidate have a prayer?". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2022-01-07.
  6. ^ Bell, David (August 7, 2015). "Former state Rep. O'Halleran joins CD1 candidate field". Eastern Arizona Courier. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  7. ^ "Tom O'Halleran". Ballotpedia. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  8. ^ "O'Halleran announces candidacy in 1st Congressional District". Arizona Capitol Times. Associated Press. August 5, 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  9. ^ Sanders, Rebekah L. "Tom O'Halleran running for Congress as Democrat". azCentral. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Red to Blue – DCCC". Retrieved 2016-07-30.
  11. ^ Reagan, Kevin (August 3, 2016). "Bennett joins Babeu in pledging to term limits". Arizona City Independent. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Ray Parrish | azvoterguide.com". 2016.azvoterguide.com. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  13. ^ "It's Republican Paul Babeu And Democrat Tom O'Halleran In Monstrous CD-1 Race". 31 August 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  14. ^ "Democrat Tom O'Halleran defeats Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu in CD-1". ABC 15. November 8, 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Tom O'Halleran". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Arizona Election Results: First House District". New York Times. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Arizona Election Results: First Congressional District". The New York Times. 3 November 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  18. ^ Estrada, Melissa (December 18, 2021). "Here are the candidates running in Arizona's 1st Congressional District". The Arizona Republic. Archived from the original on January 22, 2022.
  19. ^ "3-term Democratic Arizona Rep. Tom O'Halleran defeated". Associated Press. 11 November 2022.
  20. ^ "Arizona Second Congressional District Election Results". The New York Times. November 11, 2022. Archived from the original on November 11, 2022.
  21. ^ Brennan, Brian (12 January 2021). "Congressman recounts capitol riot and supports removing President Trump". KGUN. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  22. ^ Aleshire, Peter (14 January 2021). "Impeachment vote splits AZ representatives". Payson Roundup. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  23. ^ Aleshire, Peter (5 March 2021). "COVID relief package includes billions for Arizona". White Mountain Independent. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  24. ^ "O'Halleran Chosen as Co-Chair of Blue Dog Coalition". Congressman Tom O´Halleran. 2018-11-27. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  25. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  26. ^ "Featured Members". Problem Solvers Caucus. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  27. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (2021-08-25). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 3 November 2022.
  28. ^ "Members". Blue dog coalition. Retrieved 28 September 2022.
  29. ^ Hutchison, Diana (February 27, 2018). "Residents address concerns with Congressman Tom O'Halleran – The Tribune". tribunenewsnow.com. Retrieved 10 February 2021. When O'Halleran was in the legislature he voted against late term abortion. Late term abortions are abortions performed after 20 weeks of gestation.
  30. ^ O'Halleran, Tom (24 June 2022). "The Supreme Court's ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson goes back on 50 yrs of legal precedent; it is a mammoth setback for women, families, and our nation. I firmly support a woman's right to choose and believe that health care decisions should lie solely between a woman and her doctor". Twitter. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  31. ^ "Tom O'Halleran on Energy & Oil". On the Issues. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  32. ^ "Tom O'Halleran on Foreign Policy". On the Issues. 4 July 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  33. ^ Singleton, Laura (2 March 2018). "O'Halleran concerned about rural programs on the Trump administration's chopping block". White Mountain Independent. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  34. ^ Bade, Rachael; Everett, Burgess (March 2018). "Could gun control flip the House to Democrats?". Politico. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  35. ^ FARZAN, ANTONIA NOORI. "Here's Where Arizona's Top Elected Officials Stand on Trump's Border Wall". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  36. ^ Nintzel, Jim. "Congressman Raul Grijalva sues Trump administration over border wall plans". The Skinny - Tucson Weekly. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  37. ^ Cross, Jim (17 August 2017). "Arizona members of US Congress ask president not to pardon Arpaio". KTAR News. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  38. ^ HANSEN, RONALD J.; WINGETT SANCHEZ, YVONNE. "Some in Arizona who sought Joe Arpaio's support mum on possible pardon". The Republic - az Central. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  39. ^ Caygle, Heather; Ferris, Sarah. "Dems clash over Biden-era police bill after 'defund' attacks". POLITICO. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  40. ^ Official list of congressmen for 115th Congress, on which O'Halleran is listed as "D-Sedona")
  41. ^ "Religious affiliation of members of 117th Congress" (PDF). Pew Research Center.
  42. ^ "U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments". United States Department of Agriculture. 7 June 2023. Retrieved 9 June 2023.
  43. ^ Cite error: The named reference genr was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

External links[edit]

Arizona House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 2nd district

Served alongside: James Sedillo
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the Arizona House of Representatives
from the 1st district

Served alongside: Lucy Mason
Succeeded by
Arizona Senate
Preceded by Member of the Arizona Senate
from the 1st district

Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Policy
Served alongside: Stephanie Murphy (Administration), Lou Correa (Communications)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Communications
Served alongside: Stephanie Murphy (Administration), Ed Case (Policy)
Succeeded byas Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition for Administration and Communications
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative