|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Georgia's 10th district
July 17, 2007 - January 3, 2015
Paul Collins Broun Jr.
May 14, 1946
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
|Education||University of Georgia (BA)|
Augusta University (MD)
Paul Collins Broun Jr. (born May 14, 1946) is an American physician and politician. He served as the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 10th congressional district, serving from 2007 to 2015. He is a member of the Republican Party and the Tea Party Caucus. On February 6, 2013, Broun announced that he planned to run for the U.S. Senate in the 2014 Georgia election being vacated by Saxby Chambliss, but lost in the May 20, 2014 Republican primary. Broun left office on January 3, 2015.
Broun was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Gertrude Margaret (née Beasley) and Democratic Georgia state senator Paul Collins Broun, Sr. (1916-2005), who represented Athens and the surrounding area from 1963 to 2001. His paternal grandfather was a minister. Broun is a graduate of Athens High School and the University of Georgia at Athens (B.S., Chemistry, 1967) and earned his Doctor of Medicine (1971) from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. His internship was at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Oregon and residency at University Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. He then practiced general medicine; starting in 2002 he maintained a practice based solely on house calls.
In 1996, Democratic U.S. Senator Sam Nunn decided to retire. Broun was one of six Republicans who ran for the Republican nomination in the race. Broun finished fourth, with 3% of the vote. Guy Millner, a businessman, finished first with 42% of the vote. He won the run-off election against state representative Johnny Isakson, who had received 35% of the vote in the primary, then lost the general election to Democrat Max Cleland by one percentage point.
In February 2007, Republican U.S. Congressman Charlie Norwood, of Georgia's 10th congressional district, died of cancer. Broun announced his candidacy before Dr. Norwood passed. There was a special election open primary in June 2007, where candidates of all parties participated in the primary. A candidate needed 50% to win outright, and there would be a run-off if no candidate earned it the first time. Ten candidates filed: six Republicans, three Democrats, and a Libertarian. State Senator Jim Whitehead was the only elected politician to run, and was the front-runner. He won the endorsement of Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).
In the primary, Whitehead finished first with 44% of the vote. Broun qualified for the run-off, ranking second with 21% of the vote, with only 198 votes more than third-place finisher James Marlow, a Democrat. Broun won a plurality of just four counties: Oconee (47%), Jackson (42%), Oglethorpe (37%), and Morgan (31%).
In the runoff campaign, Whitehead angered some voters by failing to appear at a debate held in Athens and then by referring to his alma mater, the University of Georgia, as a "liberal bastion" that should be eliminated, save for the football team. In the July 17, 2007 election, Broun upset Whitehead by a margin of just 0.8%, a difference of just 394 votes. After the votes were certified, Whitehead declined to ask for a recount despite the narrow margin. Broun won the counties in the Northern part of the district, while Whitehead won the counties in the southern part. Broun's best two performing counties were Clarke (90%) and Oconee (88%).
Broun was challenged by Republican State Representative and House Majority Leader Barry Fleming, who had endorsed Whitehead in the 2007 election. Broun defeated Fleming in the July 2008 primary, 71%-29%. He won every county in the district. However, his weakest performance was in the Southeastern part. He won counties like Richmond with just 52% and Columbia with just 58%. He won the general election with 61% to 39% against Democrat Bobby Saxon.
In November 2011, Republican Mac Collins, who had represented much of Middle Georgia in Congress a decade earlier, said he was likely to challenge Broun in 10th District, newly redrawn because of redistricting. In May 2012, Collins decided he would not challenge Broun.
In July, Broun won the Republican primary, defeating retired Army officer Stephen Simpson. Broun faced no Democratic candidate in the November general election.
A leaked video of a speech given at Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman's Banquet on September 27, 2012, shows Broun telling supporters that, "All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell." In addition, Broun also believes that the world is less than 9,000 years old and was created in six literal days. In response to these remarks, coupled with Broun being on the House Science Committee, libertarian radio talk show host Neil Boortz spearheaded a campaign to run the English naturalist and evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin against Broun, with the intention of drawing attention to these comments from the scientific community and having Broun removed from his post on the House Science Committee.
Broun won re-election on November 6, 2012, receiving 209,917 votes across the district. Charles Darwin received about 4000 write-in ballots in Athens-Clarke County as protest votes against Broun's views on evolution, while Broun received 16,980 votes in that county.
In 2016, Broun announced his candidacy for Congress, running for Georgia's 9th congressional district, a district that one political journal ranked as the third-most-conservative in the nation. Broun ran in a five-candidate Republican primary race with fellow Tea Party challengers Roger Fitzpatrick, Bernie Fontaine and Mike Scupin, against incumbent candidate Doug Collins, who held the 9th seat since 2012. In the May primary, Collins won with 52,943 votes (61.3 percent of the vote), over Broun's 18,761 votes (22 percent), Fitzpatrick's 8,942 votes (10.5 percent), Scupin's 2,854 votes (3.36 percent), and Fontaine's 2,338 votes (2.75 percent).
On July 25, 2007, Broun was sworn in by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. On January 3, 2013, Broun declined to vote for John Boehner's re-election as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, instead nominating outspoken Florida Representative Allen West, even through West lost his bid for re-election in November 2012 and was no longer a member of Congress. According to Politico reporter Charlie Mahtesian, Broun has "a flair for the provocative."
Broun is a political conservative Christian. In May 2009, Broun proposed legislation that would have proclaimed 2010 "The Year Of The Bible". He also introduced a bill to ban the sale or rental of sexually explicit materials on U.S. military installations.
In 2008, Broun and 91 co-sponsors introduced H.J.Res.89, a proposition for the Federal Marriage Amendment. The proposed amendment to the United States Constitution would define marriage as "as consisting only of the union of a man and a woman." Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and eight other senators introduced a proposition for the amendment with S.J.Res.43 on June 25.
Broun's voting record is fiscally conservative receiving a 96% rating from the National Taxpayers Union and supports a balanced-budget amendment to the constitution. Broun supports an amendment that would require a two-thirds majority in congress to raise revenues and require that all excess revenue to be returned to the American taxpayer. Broun also voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and decries the high cost of the bill. In 2008, Broun signed Americans for Prosperity's "No Climate Tax" pledge, promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.
Broun, in September 2008, voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 which created the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or "TARP". Broun voted against the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009.
Broun supports the repeal of ObamaCare, and has argued for less sweeping approaches to health care reform. His proposal involves a 100% tax deduction of healthcare costs, allowing consumers to shop for health insurance across state lines, and the privatization of Medicare.
On January 3, 2013, Broun introduced the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2013 (H.R. 24; 113th Congress), a bill that would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to prepare, within 12 months of enactment, an audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve Banks. Broun said that "this is a vital piece of legislation that will help to usher in a new era of transparency in this nation's monetary policy." Broun argued that because Congress created the Federal Reserve, "it must therefore be subject to the oversight and regulation of Congress."
Broun supported efforts to defund Obamacare during the October, 2013 U.S. federal government shutdown, calling it "a stand for principles that would lead to prosperity for all Americans as they fought to dismantle the president's health care law." According to Broun, "It was the fight that Americans had been waiting and hoping for...the majority of Americans applauded our efforts and encouraged us to stand strong", although a CBS News poll reported that 72 percent of Americans disapproved of shutting down the federal government over differences on the Affordable Care Act.
Broun has argued for continued U.S. support of Israel on both strategic and theological grounds, saying, "It's absolutely imperative that we support Israel--our brothers and sisters in the Middle East--not only because of the geopolitical reasons there, which are strong enough in themselves, but because of a promise God made to Abraham."
In February 2013, Broun officially announced he would leave his house seat to run for the open senate seat vacated by Republican U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss. Broun finished fifth in the May Republican primary.
Dr. Broun has been married to his wife Niki since 1985 and has two grown daughters, a son and two grandchildren.