|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Alabama's 6th district
January 3, 2015
Gary James Palmer
May 14, 1954
Hackleburg, Alabama, U.S.
|Education||University of Alabama (BS)|
Gary James Palmer (born May 14, 1954) is an American politician from the state of Alabama. Elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2014, he represents Alabama's 6th congressional district. The district includes the wealthier portions of Birmingham, as well as most of that city's suburbs. Prior to his career as an elected official, Palmer co-founded and served as the long-time president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a conservative think tank. He is a member of the Republican Party and the Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives.
Palmer was born in Hackleburg, Alabama. He has a bachelor's degree in operations management from the University of Alabama. In 1989, Palmer co-founded the Alabama Family Alliance, which later became the Alabama Policy Institute. Palmer served as president of the conservative think tank for 25 years, stepping down in 2014 to pursue a run for Congress. Palmer helped found the State Policy Network, a nonprofit umbrella organization for conservative and libertarian think tanks which focus on state-level policy, and served as its president.
Palmer declared his candidacy for the 6th district following the retirement announcement of 11-term incumbent Spencer Bachus. In the Republican primary election--the real contest in this heavily Republican district--Palmer finished second behind state representative Paul DeMarco. In the ensuing runoff election, Palmer picked up the support of the Club for Growth. Palmer won the runoff election by a margin of 64% to 36%. In the November 4, 2014 general election, Palmer defeated Democratic nominee Mark Lester, a history professor at Birmingham-Southern College, 76% to 24%. However, he had effectively clinched a seat in Congress with his primary victory. With a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+28, the 6th was tied with the neighboring 4th as the most Republican district in Alabama and the second-most Republican district in the Eastern Time Zone. Since it assumed its current configuration as a mostly suburban district in 1992, a Democrat has only crossed the 30 percent mark once.
Palmer took office on January 3, 2015, along with the other freshmen members of the 114th Congress.
Conservative Review has graded Palmer's voting record an A with a Liberty Score of 100%. Palmer is one of only three Republican representatives to receive this highest possible grade out of 247 Republicans in the House of Representatives.
Palmer voted in support of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. He says that the tax plan would "put more money in the pockets of the American people" and "launch economic growth." He blamed the Obama administration and a "burdensome tax code that was designed for a 1986 economy," for an "anemic" economy.
Palmer opposes legal abortion and says that the Declaration of Independence was pro-life in its statements on "all men" having "unalienable Rights" to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Palmer supports bathroom bills. He stated that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice is something "no reasonable person" would allow and said that "the safety implications for sexual predation have been well documented."
He also opposes same-sex marriage stating that "No one can change the fundamental nature of what marriage is: the union of a man and a woman and the formation of a family which is the foundation of every civilization."
|Alabama's 6th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2014|
|Alabama's 6th Congressional District Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2014|
|Alabama's 6th Congressional District Election, 2014|
|Alabama's 6th Congressional District Election, 2016|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 6th congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Chair of the House Republican Policy Committee
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority