Richard L. Hanna
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Richard L. Hanna

Richard L. Hanna
Richard Hanna, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York

January 3, 2011 - January 3, 2017
Mike Arcuri
Claudia Tenney
Constituency24th district (2011-13)
22nd district (2013-17)
Personal details
Richard Louis Hanna

(1951-01-25) January 25, 1951 (age 68)
Utica, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Kimberly Hanna
EducationReed College (BA)

Richard Louis Hanna (born January 25, 1951) is an American politician who served as a U.S. Representative from New York from 2011 to 2017. His district was numbered the 24th during his first two years in Congress; since 2013, it has been the 22nd district.

Early life, education, and business career

Hanna was born in Utica and raised in Marcy. His grandparents owned a dairy farm in Herkimer County. He graduated from Whitesboro High School in Marcy. Then, he graduated from Reed College with a bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science. After college, Hanna returned to New York to start his own construction business called Hanna Construction.[1] Hanna is of Lebanese descent.[2]

U.S. House of Representatives


In 2008, Hanna ran against incumbent Democrat Mike Arcuri and narrowly lost. In 2010, he ran in a rematch and won.

Due to redistricting, Hanna ran in the new 22nd district in 2012.

In his 2012 campaign for re-election against Democrat Dan Lamb, television stations WUTR in Utica and WSYR in Syracuse announced they would jointly air a debate between Hanna and Lamb. Hanna declined to participate, citing another scheduled televised debate and five that would not be televised. The stations said that if Hanna did not appear, they would air a 30-minute question-and-answer session with Lamb. According to Steve Merren, the vice president and general manager of WUTR's parent company, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Hanna then contacted Merren. In an email to staff, Merren stated, "He indicated to me that we would not be considered for his ad dollars and our level of cooperation in the future could be affected." Merren then directed that WUTR not go ahead with the broadcast. Both Merren and a Hanna spokeswoman denied that threats had been made. After the inadvertent disclosure of the internal email, Merren told the press that Hanna "did not say he would pull his ad dollars." The Hanna campaign said that his conversation with Merren had been "nothing more than a courtesy call". The Lamb campaign said that Hanna was "using his money to influence the journalistic decisions of a local news agency."[3][4]

In 2014, Hanna received a primary challenge from a considerably more conservative Republican, State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney. 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." Hanna defeated Tenney by a margin of 53% to 47%; when asked about the message sent by his win, he said, "I hope it's a message that you could be thoughtful and inclusive and still be elected."[5] Hanna went on to win re-election in November, when he had no Democratic challenger.


Hanna was a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee and the centrist Republican Main Street Partnership. He was a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus.[6] U.S. Congressman Hanna has stated his opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He was one of only six House Republicans in the 112th Congress who did not sign Grover Norquist's "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," with a spokesman explaining that "Rep. Hanna is focusing on the pledges he has made to his wife, the Constitution of the United States and the people of upstate New York."[7][8]

According to the Washington Post's congressional votes database, Hanna voted with the House Republicans 85% of the time in his first year in office; only 11 Republicans (out of 244) had a lower percentage at the time.[9] Hanna was ranked as the 2nd most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress (after Peter T. King) in The Lugar Center and McCourt School of Public Policy's Bipartisan Index.[10]

In February 2011, Hanna published an op-ed opposing the extension of the USA PATRIOT Act. Editors from the Syracuse Post-Standard, which published the piece, later reprimanded Hanna[11] for plagiarizing content from a report by Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute in his editorial. Sanchez indicated that Hanna had his permission to use the content, although he was not referenced in the piece.

The first bill Hanna co-sponsored was H.R. 4 which repealed the 1099 tax reporting provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. President Obama signed the bill into law in April 2011.[12] In early 2011 Congressman Hanna voted to repeal health care reform.[13] Hanna voted to support the Energy Tax Prevention Act which would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gasses and implementing a "cap-and-trade" system through regulation.[14] Hanna voted against cuts to NPR and Planned Parenthood.[15] Hanna voted in favor of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.[16]

At a rally in support of the Equal Rights Amendment in March 2012, Hanna urged women to donate to Democratic candidates, saying: "I think these are very precarious times for women, it seems. So many of your rights are under assault... Contribute your money to people who speak out on your behalf, because the other side -- my side -- has a lot of it."[17]

In the 2012 presidential election, he endorsed former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr.[18]

Hanna supported reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.[19]

In 2013, he supported same-sex marriage, becoming the second Republican member of Congress to do so (the first being Ileana Ros-Lehtinen).[20]

In June 2013, Hanna was the only Republican congressman to vote against proposed legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except for victims of rape or incest who have reported the crime to authorities. He opposes partial birth abortions, but stated that he was unable to support this legislation because it would cast aside exception for the health of the mother, and it fails to adequately account for unique circumstances that can arise after 20 weeks because every pregnancy is specific.[21]

In December 2015, Hanna--citing family responsibilities--announced that he did not plan to run for re-election in 2016. Hanna indicated that a potential primary rematch with Claudia Tenney did not influence his decision not to seek re-election.[22]

On August 2, 2016, Hanna became the first sitting Republican member of Congress to say that he would vote for Hillary Clinton for president over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, referring to the Republican nominee as "a national embarrassment".[23][24]

In December 2016, Hanna said in an interview that the Republican Party had "gone to the far extremes on social issues. They've become judgmental and sanctimonious and authoritarian on their approach to people."[25]

Committee assignments

United States House Transportation Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Hanna lives in Barneveld, New York. He and his wife Kim have two children.[27]

See also


  1. ^ "Clinton stumps for NY House Dems in tight races". Associated Press. November 1, 2010. Retrieved 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ "Honoring Lebanon on its 70th Independence Day Hon. Richard L. Hanna of New York in the House of Representatives". The United States Congress. November 13, 2013. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "GOP Congressman Threatens Local News Station for Covering Debate". Common Dreams. October 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  4. ^ "Email: Hanna discussed pulling ads after debate flap with WUTR". Observer-Dispatch. October 6, 2012. Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ "NY-22 election results: U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna defeats Claudia Tenney in GOP primary". June 24, 2014. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ Robert Harding (August 3, 2011). "Hanna joins House LGBT Equality Caucus". Auburn Citizen. Retrieved 2011.
  7. ^ "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers, 112th Congressional List" (PDF). Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved 2011.
  8. ^ Alexander Bolton (June 2, 2011). "Some GOP no's on 'pledge' could complicate debt talks". The Hill. Retrieved 2011.
  9. ^ Harding, Robert. "Eye on NY: A close look at Hanna's first year". Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index (PDF), The Lugar Center, March 7, 2016, retrieved 2017
  11. ^
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ "This website is currently unavailable". Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Deep federal spending cuts? Buerkle is ready, Hanna is not, Owens unimpressed". Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ Representatives, Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of. "Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives". Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ "Richard Hanna, GOP Congressman, Tells Women To Give Their Money To Democrats". The Huffington Post. March 22, 2012.
  18. ^ "Huntsman to gain first congressional backer". CNN. January 7, 2012.
  19. ^ Jennifer Bendery (December 11, 2012). "Violence Against Women Act: John Boehner, Eric Cantor Pressured By Republicans To Act". Huffington Post.
  20. ^ "Gay marriage legal brief: Two Republicans in Congress support LGBT rights". February 26, 2013. Retrieved 2017.
  21. ^ Tumulty, Brian (June 18, 2013). "Hanna sole New York Republican to oppose House abortion bill". Politics on the Hudson. Retrieved 2013.
  22. ^ Weiner, Mark (December 20, 2015). "GOP Rep. Richard Hanna plans to retire at end of term (video)". Retrieved 2017.
  23. ^ Richard Hanna (August 2, 2016). "Rep. Richard Hanna letter: We should all be done with Donald Trump (commentary)".
  24. ^ "Republican Rep. Richard Hanna will vote for Clinton". Politico. August 2, 2016.
  25. ^ Weiner, Mark (December 30, 2016). "Retiring Rep. Richard Hanna: GOP too intolerant, extreme on social issues". Retrieved 2017.
  26. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  27. ^ "Personal life biodata". Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved 2017.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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