|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from New York's 22nd district
January 3, 2017 – January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Richard L. Hanna|
|Succeeded by||Anthony Brindisi|
|Member of the New York State Assembly|
from the 101st district
January 1, 2011 – January 1, 2017
|Preceded by||David Townsend|
|Succeeded by||Brian Miller|
|Born||February 4, 1961|
New Hartford, New York, U.S.
|Education||Colgate University (BA)|
University of Cincinnati (JD)
Claudia Tenney (born February 4, 1961) is an American attorney, publisher, and politician who represented New York's 22nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2017 to 2019. Tenney previously represented the 101st Assembly District in the New York State Assembly. She is a Republican.
Early life and education
Tenney is a native of New Hartford and the daughter of former New York State Supreme Court Justice John R. Tenney. She graduated from Colgate University in 1983 and received her law degree from the Taft College of Law at the University of Cincinnati.
Career before politics
Early in her career, Tenney was the only American employed by the Consulate General of Yugoslavia. She acted as intermediary between ABC Sports and the Yugoslavian government leading up to the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
In January 2001, she began co-hosting "Common Cents", a radio and television program that airs weekly across Oneida and most of Herkimer County. In February 2010, Tenney began co-hosting "First Look" on WIBX 950 Radio.
New York State Assembly
In 2002, New York State Assemblyman David R. Townsend Jr. won reelection and asked Tenney if she would become his legal counsel and chief of staff. Though she was going through a divorce at the time, she agreed to take the offered positions part time, so she could maintain both her law practice and the publishing of the family-owned newspaper.
After Assemblyman Townsend announced in 2010 that he was running for Oneida County Sheriff, Tenney decided to run for Townsend's old seat. Tenney defeated Oneida County Legislator George Joseph in a Republican primary in September. She was unopposed in the November 2010 general election, becoming the first woman to represent the district.
Tenney represented the 101st Assembly District from 2011 to 2017. In 2012, The Conservative Party of New York State gave Tenney an award for being the most conservative legislator in the state. In 2011, Tenney voted against the Marriage Equality Act. Tenney voted against the 2013 gun control law known as the NY SAFE Act, which she described as an "assault on upstaters."
In 2012, Tenney was one of 18 cosponsors of the Internet Protection Act. The bill, which did not pass, would have required anonymous posts to be deleted by administrators of New York-based websites under certain circumstances. The bill was intended to fight online bullying. Under the act abusive posts could be reported to site administrators would then verify the name and address of the poster; posters who failed to cooperate would have their posts removed.
New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) claimed Tenney had missed 480 votes, which was the third-highest number of any Assemblymember, in 2014. Tenney called the NYPIRG report a "hit job". She said, "I missed about 5 days of session all year. What people don't know is that we typically do half the bills we pass in an entire year in the last week. Most of them are one house bills and repeats." Tenney said the votes she missed were due to caring for her dying mother. Her campaign added she had a 96% attendance record while serving in the Assembly. WRVO, a public radio station based in Oswego, fact-checked NYPIRG's allegations against Tenney and found that she had a 95% attendance record from 2011–16 and had missed just six percent of the votes taken during that period.
According to Syracuse.com, "Tenney was a vocal critic of a revenue-sharing deal the resort signed with New York state in 2013, in which the Oneida Indian National won exclusive rights to run casinos in a 10-county region of Central New York." Later, a super PAC "with ties to the Oneida Indian nation" opposed Tenney's 2014 and 2016 congressional bids. Tenney voted against the 2013 state constitutional amendment that authorized full-fledged casinos on non-Indian lands.
U.S. House of Representatives
Described as a "Tea Party favorite," Tenney reportedly challenged Hanna because "she believed he had abandoned his conservative principles during two terms in Congress. Tenney called Hanna a RINO (Republican in Name Only) who had become the third-most liberal Republican in the House of Representatives, based on his voting record." During his congressional tenure, Hanna had voted against cuts to NPR and Planned Parenthood, supported same-sex marriage, and opposed a ban on elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Hanna went on to win re-election in November.
On November 17, 2015, Tenney announced that she would again seek election to Congress from the 22nd District in the 2016 elections. Hanna announced his retirement weeks later, denying that the prospect of a primary rematch with Tenney was a factor. Tenney was endorsed by the Conservative Party of New York State, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, the Citizens United Victory Fund, and New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms PAC. Hanna did not endorse Tenney.
Tenney won a three-way Republican primary on June 28, 2016. She faced Democrat Kim Myers and Independent Martin Babinec in the November general election. Tenney prevailed, receiving 44% of the vote to Myers' 39% and Babinec's 13%.
Tenney scheduled an announcement party for March 3, 2018, to confirm that she would seek re-election in 2018. New York State Assemblymember Anthony Brindisi, 17 years her junior, announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Tenney. Brindisi outraised Tenney by $100,000 in the last quarter of 2017. After Brindisi announced that he would run against her, Tenney noted that Brindisi's father, Louis, had represented organized crime figures decades earlier, before Anthony was born. Professor Gerald Benjamin, who teaches political science at the State University of New York at New Paltz said such attacks are a common tactic used to generate anti-Italian prejudice. In the first two quarters of fundraising since July 2017, Brindisi raised $18,000 more than Tenney. At the end of 2017, Tenney had $573,486 in cash on hand, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), but still owed $170,000 from her previous campaign. Brindisi ended the year with $581,851, per the FEC.
In March 2018, The Hill wrote that Tenney was "embracing President Trump's confrontational style." On election night, Brindisi narrowly led Tenney by 1,293 votes, and several news organizations called the race for Brindisi that night. However, Tenney refused to concede until absentee ballots were counted. By November 20, Tenney's deficit grew to over 3,900 votes, and there were not enough outstanding absentee ballots for Tenney to close the gap. The next day, Tenney bowed to the inevitable in an interview with local radio station WUTQ-FM, saying it was not likely she would overtake Brindisi. While she promised to help Brindisi with the transition, she stopped short of formally conceding the race, saying that she wanted to see every ballot counted. She formally conceded defeat a week later, on November 28.
Tenney was a co-sponsor of NRA-supported legislation that would substantially eliminate National Firearms Act restrictions on obtaining or possessing gun silencers. After the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, Tenney said she still planned to support the bill.
In November 2017, Tenney announced that she had introduced the No Pensions for Corrupt Politicians Act, which would "close a loophole that has allowed corrupt members of Congress to collect federal pensions after they are convicted of crimes."
In a radio interview shortly following the February 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead, Tenney said (without citing evidence), "It's interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats". In a follow-up television interview on March 5, 2018, she was asked again about those claims and responded by saying: “It isn’t just Republicans who commit all these terrible crimes. ... All I’m saying is everybody is guilty equally,” before shouting "fake news!" and ending the interview.
When it emerged that Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson's office had ordered a $31,000 dining room table set with taxpayer funds, Tenney made an appearance on Talk! Of the Town, an upstate New York local radio show, in which she put the blame not on Carson or his wife or "his people," but rather on "The Deep State." She continued, "I know that Ben Carson did not order that table. It has nothing to do with him. He comes from, you know, poverty."
In April 2018, Tenney signed a letter calling for criminal investigations into a number of former Obama administration officials and high-ranking Justice Department officials. The letter accused without evidence former FBI Director James Comey of leaking classified information, 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton of concealing payments for the Steele Dossier and Loretta Lynch of threatening whistleblowers who had anti-Clinton information. The letter also accused former acting attorney general Sally Yates, former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, former acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente, former senior counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page of criminal wrongdoing.
On May 4, 2017, Tenney voted in favor of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that passed the House of Representatives and died in the Senate. This bill would have rewritten many regulations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the elimination of the individual mandate and the removal of federal protections for pre-existing conditions in favor of high-risk pools. Tenney also voted for a portion of the AHCA that targeted Medicaid funding by prohibiting Medicaid-related property taxes. The provision only applied to New York State, and only to counties outside of New York City. Tenney argued the overall bill would lower insurance costs, including insurance premiums and related taxes, for consumers.
On December 17, 2017, Rep. Tenney voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Donald Trump. The main provisions of the new law include a reduction of the top personal income tax rate from 39.6% to 35%, the elimination of the individual mandate created by the Affordable Care Act, the limitation of the state and local tax deduction to $10,000 of taxable income, an increase in the standard deduction, and a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. The reduction of the corporate tax rate is permanent. The personal income tax cuts are temporary. In October 2017, Tenney joined other Members of Congress and Ivanka Trump at an event to advocate for the doubling of the child tax credit; this provision was included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Tenney is a resident of New Hartford. She and her former husband, Wayne Cleary, Jr., have one son, Wayne "Trey" Ralph Cleary III. In 2009, the younger Cleary received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in May 2013.
- "About". Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. December 3, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
- "Republican Claudia Tenney Elected in New York's 22nd District". November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Chris Baker (November 20, 2018). "It's over: Anthony Brindisi defeats Claudia Tenney in 22nd Congressional race". The Post-Standard.
- November 21, 2018 (2018-11-21). "Claudia Tenney accepts Brindisi Victory & Agrees to Help with Transition – TALK! 100.7 FM". Wutqfm.com. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
- Groom, Debra (March 5, 2011). "Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney -- a master of many jobs". Syracuse.com. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- Staff (November 4, 2016). "Congressional race near boiling point". Rome Sentinel. Rome, New York. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
- "Biography". Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney. New York State Assembly. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- The Tenacious Tenney, The Scene, Aleta Mayne, Summer 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- "Tenney Loses Surrogate Judge Election". Rome Sentinel. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
- "Election Results 2010: New York State Legislature". The New York Times. 2010.
- "Assembly Election Returns: November 2, 2010" (PDF). New York State Board of Elections. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 18, 2013.
- Ackerman, Bryon (January 1, 2011). "Claudia Tenney sworn in as 115th District state assemblywoman". Observer-Dispatch.
- Mark Weiner (May 6, 2014). "7 things you might not know about Claudia Tenney, candidate for Congress". Syracuse.com. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "New York State Assembly | Bill Search and Legislative Information". assembly.state.ny.us. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
- Gino Geruntino (January 15, 2013). "Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney Calls NY SAFE Act "Great Burden"". wibx950.com. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "Internet Protection Act".
- "Anonymous Comment Ban".
- "Internet Protection Act Would Eliminate Anonymous Online Comments in New York". May 23, 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
- "Internet Protection Act to prohibit anonymous online comments in New York". Syracuse Post-Standard. New York. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
- "Claudia Tenney missed 480 votes, third most in NY Assembly". Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- Nani, James (July 1, 2014). "Tenney says NYPIRG legislative analysis is "hit job."". The Fray. Middletown, New York. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
- "False Accusations about Claudia Tenney". Claudia for Congress. Tenney for Congress. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
- Weiner, Mark (September 6, 2016). "Democratic super PAC launches $1.1 million ad campaign against Claudia Tenney". The Post Standard. Syracuse, New York. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Horning, Payne (November 7, 2016). "22nd Congressional District fact check". WRVO. New York. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
- Weiner, Mark (May 1, 2016). "Oneida Indian Nation bankrolls PAC against Claudia Tenney in race for Congress". WRVO. New York. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "New York State Assembly | Bill Search and Legislative Information". nyassembly.gov. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
- "Richard Hanna defeats Claudia Tenney in N.Y. 22nd Congressional primary(Update)". June 24, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
- "NY-22 election results: U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna defeats Claudia Tenney in GOP primary". Syracuse.com]. June 24, 2014. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "Deep federal spending cuts? Buerkle is ready, Hanna is not, Owens unimpressed". Retrieved November 23, 2017.
- "Gay marriage legal brief: Two Republicans in Congress support LGBT rights". Slate.com. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
- Tumulty, Brian (June 18, 2013). "Hanna sole New York Republican to oppose House abortion bill". Politics on the Hudson. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- Weiner, Mark (December 20, 2015). "GOP Rep. Richard Hanna plans to retire at end of term (video)". Syracuse.com. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "Citizens United Victory Fund Backs Tenney". New York State of Politics. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- "Tenney Endorsed By NYers For Constitutional Freedoms". New York State of Politics. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
- "Rep. Hanna Not Endorsing Tenney in 22nd Congressional District Race; Tenney Responds". TWC News. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
- Weiner, Mark (June 28, 2016). "Claudia Tenney wins GOP primary in 22nd Congressional District". The Post-Standard. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
- Roby, John (November 9, 2016). "US CONGRESS: Tenney takes victory in the 22nd". Press & Sun Bulletin. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
- Representative Tenney to make campaign official, WIBX, February 13, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
- "Tenney to make re-elect announcement March 3". Rome Sentinel. February 20, 2018. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- Mason, Greg (February 10, 2018). "Filings show race for 22nd Congressional District will be expensive". Utica Observer-Dispatch. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
- Tenney highlights ‘notorious’ background of Brindisi's father, USA Today, Nicole Gaudiano, July 14, 2017. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- Tenney's Porter comments draw Democratic fire, Politico, Nick Niedzwiadek, February 16, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
- thehill.com March 13, 2018: Vulnerable Republican embraces Trump in NY
- Madison, Samantha (November 8, 2018). "New vote totals make Tenney, Brindisi race closer". Observer-Dispatch. Utica, N.Y.
- Anthony Brindisi claims victory over Tenney with majority of absentee ballots counted, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Natasha Vaughn, November 19, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- Results from the 2018 General Election, WKTV, November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- Mark Weiner (November 28, 2018). "Claudia Tenney concedes NY-22 election to Anthony Brindisi". The Post-Standard.
- "Tenney, others vote to roll back ISP regulation". Retrieved September 1, 2017.
- Kastrenakes, Jacob (March 28, 2017). "Congress just cleared the way for internet providers to sell your web browsing history". The Verge. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
- Sottek, T. C. (March 29, 2017). "The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs, and how much it cost to buy them". The Verge. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
- Where Katko, Tenney stand on gun silencer bill after Las Vegas shooting, Syracuse Post-Standard, Mark Weiner, October 3, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- Mark Weiner (November 13, 2017). "Rep. Claudia Tenney: Strip pensions from corrupt members of Congress". Syracuse.com. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
- GOP congresswoman claims — without any evidence — mass murderers ‘end up being Democrats’, Toronto Star, Samantha Schmidt, February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- Congresswoman Says Many Mass Murderers ‘End Up Being Democrats’, New York Times, Shane Goldmacher, February 21, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- Tenney: Many mass murderers ‘end up being Democrats’, Utica Observer-Dispatch, Samantha Madison, February 21, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
- Parsnow, Luke. "Report: Tenney re-election announcement gets heated". Retrieved March 5, 2018.
- Thomsen, Jacqueline (February 6, 2018). "GOP lawmaker: Dems not standing for Trump is 'un-American'". The Hill. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
- Resnick, Gideon (March 21, 2018). "GOP Rep: The 'Deep State' is Responsible for Ordering Ben Carson's Dining Set". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
- Greenwood, Max (March 21, 2018). "GOP lawmaker blames 'deep state' for Carson's $31K dining set". The Hill. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- "Trump allies urge criminal investigations of Clinton, Comey, Lynch". POLITICO. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
- "90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members". Citizen´s Climate Lobby. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
- "Congressional Chronicle". Votes. CSPAN. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
- Armour, Stephanie; Hackman, Michelle (May 4, 2017). "GOP Health Bill Jeopardizes Out-of-Pocket Caps in Employer Plans". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
- "High-risk pools won't match Obamacare's protections for pre-existing conditions". CNN. May 3, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
- "Tenney votes "Yes" on GOP health care bill, releases statement". Binghamton Homepage. Binghamton Homepage. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
- "Cuomo: Plan To Cut Medicare Contributions From Counties Amounts To 'War On New York'". CBS Broadcasting Company. CBS News. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
- "Congresswoman Tenney explains her vote in favor of tax reform bill". BinghamtonHomePage.com. December 20, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
- "H.R. 1: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act". Gov.track.com. December 17, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- Jane Timm (December 22, 2017). "Trump signs tax cut bill, first big legislative win". NBCNews.com. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
- Andrews, Wilson; Parlapiano, Alicia. "What's in the Final Republican Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
- "New Analysis Shows Senate Bill's Tax Benefits Shift Over Time". The Wall Street Journal. November 20, 2017. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
- Lawler, Joseph (October 25, 2017). "Ivanka Trump, Republicans push for child tax credit increase". Washington Examiner. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
- "Tenney Joins Ivanka Trump To Push Expanded Child Tax Credit". WXHC.com. October 26, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
- "New Hartford High School Student Receives Appointment To U.S. Naval Academy". Office of U.S. Representative Michael A. Arcuri (NY-24). March 17, 2009. Archived from the original on March 26, 2009.
- "About Claudia". Tenney for Congress. May 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- Claudia Tenney at Curlie
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|New York Assembly|
|Preceded by |
| Member of the New York Assembly |
from the 101st district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Preceded by |
Richard L. Hanna
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from New York's 22nd congressional district