Robert Pittenger
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Robert Pittenger

Robert Pittenger
Robert Pittenger, Official Portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 9th district

January 3, 2013 - January 3, 2019
Sue Myrick
Dan Bishop
Member of the North Carolina Senate
from the 39th district

January 1, 2005 - May 27, 2008
Robert A. Rucho
Robert A. Rucho
Member of the North Carolina Senate
from the 40th district

January 1, 2003 - January 1, 2005
Dan Clodfelter
Malcolm Graham
Personal details
Robert Miller Pittenger

(1948-08-15) August 15, 1948 (age 71)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Suzanne Bahakel (m. 1978)
EducationUniversity of Texas, Austin (BA)

Robert Miller Pittenger (; born August 15, 1948) is a businessman and American politician who was the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 9th congressional district from 2013 to 2019. The district included several outer portions of Charlotte as well as many of that city's southern and eastern suburbs. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Pittenger is Chair of the Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum.

Early life, education, and business career

Pittenger was born in Texas and attended the University of Texas. After graduating he worked for Campus Crusade for Christ before moving to Charlotte in 1985 and becoming a real estate investor.

North Carolina Senate (2003-2007)


After redistricting, Pittenger decided to run for the 40th senate district of the North Carolina General Assembly in 2002.[1] He defeated Democratic State Senator Fountain Odom 55%-43%.[2] In 2004 he ran for the 39th senate district and defeated Libertarian nominee Andy Grum 89%-11%.[3] In 2006, he won reelection to a third term unopposed.[4]


Pittenger represented the state's 39th Senate district, which included portions of southeastern Mecklenburg County. He was a lead sponsor of Right To Life legislation and supported the North Carolina marriage amendment,[5] although he was not in office when the amendment passed out of committee and was finally voted on by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2011.

In May 2004, he proposed cutting the state's corporate tax from 6.9% to 4.9% and the income tax rate for the state's top earners from 8.25% to 7.5%.[6] He also proposed over $1.5 billion in spending cuts, with a focus on reducing Medicaid access for persons above the age of Medicare eligibility.[5][dead link]

In February 2005, he proposed a medical malpractice bill that would cap non-economic damages at $250,000 for physicians, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.[7]

Committee assignments

  • Appropriations/Base Budget
  • Commerce
  • Finance
  • Insurance and Civil Justice Reform
  • Pensions & Retirement and Aging
  • Rules and Operation[8][9]

2008 lieutenant gubernatorial bid

Pittenger defeated three other candidates in the Republican primary on May 6, 2008, becoming his party's nominee for Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina with 59% of the vote.[10][11][12] On May 27, 2008, he resigned from the Senate to focus on his campaign.[13] He lost the general election to fellow State Senator, Democrat Walter H. Dalton, 51%-46%.[14]

U.S. House of Representatives (2013-2019)

2012 election

After Sue Myrick announced her retirement as the Representative of North Carolina's 9th congressional district in early 2012, Pittenger announced that he would run to replace her.[15] He failed to win the primary outright on May 8, 2012, but finished first with 32% of the vote in the 11-candidate field.[16] In the primary runoff election held on July 17, he defeated former Mecklenburg County Sheriff Jim Pendergraph, 53%-47%.[17][18]

Pittenger won the general election on November 6, defeating Democratic Mecklenburg County Commission Chairwoman Jennifer Roberts, 52%-47%.[19][20] He lost the district's share of Mecklenburg County (47%), but ran up huge margins in the Union (63%) and Iredell (64%) portions of the district. It was the closest a Republican had come to losing the district since 1986. He took office in January 2013.

On December 2, 2013, Pittenger introduced the Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act of 2013, which became Pub.L. 113-104.[21] The law broadens the coverage of current laws that address domestic assaults by certain repeat offenders.[22] It also requires the United States Department of Justice to write a report on child abuse prevention laws in all U.S. states and territories, "with a particular focus on penalties for cases of severe child abuse."[23]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

2014 election

Pittenger considered running for the U.S. Senate[27] but instead ran for reelection to the House. In the Republican primary, he defeated Michael Steinberg, a candidate for the seat in 2012. No Democrat filed to run for the seat, making this district the only one in the state not contested by both major parties in 2014.[28] There was an unsuccessful write-in campaign for candidate Shawn Eckles of Iredell County.[29][30]

2016 election

The 9th was significantly redrawn after a federal court threw out the previous map as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. It was pushed well to the east, stretching from southeast Charlotte all the way to Fayetteville and the Sandhills.

Baptist pastor Mark Harris challenged Pittenger in the 2016 Republican congressional primary, losing that contest by 134 votes.[31] Pittenger defeated Christian Cano in the general election.

2018 election

Pittenger faced Mark Harris in a rematch of the 2016 Republican primary. On May 8, 2018, Harris defeated Pittenger[32] with 48.5 percent of the vote to Pittenger's 46.2 percent, although allegations were later raised about illegal activities by the Harris campaign. Pittenger was the first congressional incumbent to lose his primary election in 2018;[31] the second was Mark Sanford.[33]

After Harris became the apparent winner in the November 2018 general election, the result was not certified due to electoral fraud, and a new special election was planned. Pittenger (and also Harris) declined to run in the special election.[34]

Political positions

The American Conservative Union gave him a lifetime Congressional evaluation of 90%.


In 2006, Pittenger sent a book called The Skeptical Environmentalist, published in 1998, to his colleagues in the North Carolina Senate. He has denied that global warming is occurring.[35][36][37]

Health care

Pittenger supported the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA), which would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. On May 2, 2017, Pittenger defended a provision of AHCA that allowed states to end requirements that insurers cannot discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions.[38] Pittenger said that Americans who have or develop pre-existing conditions "should just move" to a state without the waiver.[38][39][40]

Race relations

On September 22, 2016, in the wake of protests over the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, Pittenger said that the violence in Charlotte stemmed from protesters who "hate white people because white people are successful and they're not." The remark drew immediate international condemnation as racist. Fellow North Carolina congressman G. K. Butterfield called the remark "devastatingly ignorant and divisive."[41][42] Pittenger apologized, saying that his "intent was to discuss the lack of economic mobility for African Americans because of failed policies."[43]

National defense

Pittenger voted for the two-year budget plan that became law on February 9, 2018, citing the lack of options to increase military spending to provide for required training and maintenance.[44]

Electoral History

Republican primary results[45]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Pittenger 29,999 32.4
Republican Jim Pendergraph 23,401 25.3
Republican Edwin B. Peacock III 11,336 12.3
Republican Ric Killian 9,691 10.5
Republican Dan Barry 5,515 6.0
Republican Andy Dulin 4,526 4.9
Republican Mike Steinberg 2,297 2.5
Republican Jon Gauthier 2,056 2.2
Republican Ken Leonczyk 2,047 2.2
Republican Richard Lynch 1,000 1.1
Republican Michael Shaffer (withdrew) 579 0.6
Total votes 92,447 100.0
Republican primary runoff results[45]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Pittenger 18,982 52.9
Republican Jim Pendergraph 16,902 47.1
Total votes 35,884 100.0
North Carolina's 9th congressional district, 2012[46]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Pittenger 194,537 51.8
Democratic Jennifer Roberts 171,503 45.6
Libertarian Curtis Campbell 9,650 2.6
Total votes 375,690 100.0
Republican hold
Republican primary results[]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Pittenger (incumbent) 29,505 67.6
Republican Michael Steinberg 14,146 32.4
Total votes 43,651 100.0
North Carolina's 9th congressional district, 2014[]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Pittenger (incumbent) 163,080 93.9
n/a Write-ins 8,219 4.7
Independent Shawn Eckles (write-in) 2,369 1.4
Total votes 173,668 100.0
Republican hold
Republican primary results[]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Pittenger (incumbent) 9,299 35.0
Republican Mark Harris 9,165 34.4
Republican Todd Johnson 8,142 30.6
Total votes 26,606 100.0
North Carolina's 9th congressional district, 2016[]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Robert Pittenger (incumbent) 193,452 58.2
Democratic Christian Cano 139,041 41.8
Total votes 332,493 100.0
Republican hold
Republican primary results[47]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mark Harris 17,302 48.5
Republican Robert Pittenger (incumbent) 16,474 46.2
Republican Clarence Goins 1,867 5.2
Total votes 35,643 100.0

Personal life

Pittenger lives in South Charlotte.


  1. ^ "Biography". Office of Congressman Robert Pittenger. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ "NC State Senate 40 Race - Nov 05, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ "NC State Senate 39 Race - Nov 02, 2004". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ "Our Campaigns - NC State Senate 39 Race - Nov 07, 2006".
  5. ^ a b "About Robert Pittenger". (campaign site). Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ "House Supports Business Incentives, Legislators Give Preliminary OK to $20 Million for N.C. Fund". Charlotte Observer. May 21, 2004. p. B1 Metro. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ "Medical malpractice bill introduced in General Assembly". Triad Business Journal. February 2, 2005. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ "Microsoft Word - 2005 Senate Committees by Member.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2016.
  9. ^ "Microsoft Word - 2003 Senate Committees by Member.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ "Our Campaigns - NC Lt. Governor- R Primary Race - May 06, 2008".
  11. ^ "Charlotte candidate announces run". Under The Dome (blog). Charlotte News & Observer. January 10, 2008. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  12. ^ "And the winners are..." Under The Dome (blog). Charlotte News & Observer. May 7, 2008. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  13. ^ "Pittenger resigns from Senate". Under The Dome (blog). Charlotte News & Observer. May 27, 2008. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ "NC Lt. Governor Race - Nov 04, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Our Campaigns - NC District 09- R Primary Race - May 08, 2012".
  17. ^ "Our Campaigns - NC District 09 - R Runoff Race - Jul 17, 2012".
  18. ^ Morrill, Jim; Funk, Tim (July 18, 2012). "Pittenger wins bitter race in 9th, will face Roberts". Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina: The McClatchy Company: Page 1. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  19. ^ "Our Campaigns - NC District 09 Race - Nov 06, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2016.
  20. ^ "Election Results : North Carolina State Board of Elections". Retrieved 2016.
  21. ^ "H.R. 3627 - All Actions". United States Congress. Retrieved 2014.
  22. ^ "CBO - H.R. 3627". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 2014.
  23. ^ "President signs Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act into law". WBTV. May 20, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  24. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved 2018.
  25. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ "Members". U.S. - Japan Caucus. Retrieved 2018.
  27. ^ Mimms, Sarah (February 13, 2013). "N.C. Labor Commissioner Considering Run Against Hagan". National Journal. Retrieved 2013.
  28. ^ NC State Board of Elections: Candidate filing list
  29. ^ Campaign to Elect Shawn Eckles
  30. ^ "State Board of Elections: CERTIFIED UNAFFILIATED AND WRITE-IN CANDIDATES" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 11, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  31. ^ a b Weigel, David (May 8, 2018). "North Carolina GOP congressman loses primary, first House incumbent ousted". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018.
  32. ^ Challenger Mark Harris stuns U.S. Rep. Pittenger of NC in GOP primary upset, Charlotte Observer, Jim Morrill, May 8, 2018. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  33. ^ "Trump critic Mark Sanford falls in South Carolina GOP primary". CNN. June 24, 2018.
  34. ^ "The Latest: Pittenger doesn't plan to run again for old seat". The News & Observer. Associated Press. February 26, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  35. ^ "On Climate, Pittenger Turns Contrarian, State Senator Disputes Global Warming Claims". Charlotte Observer. May 14, 2006. p. B1 Metro. Retrieved 2013.
  36. ^ "We Aren't Changing Climate, Let's Avoid Snap Judgements and Wishful Thinking on Warming Trend". Charlotte Observer. February 5, 2006. p. 24A. Retrieved 2013.
  37. ^ "Green Moves Could Create New Jobs". WFMY-TV. October 24, 2007. Retrieved 2013.
  38. ^ a b Kilgore, Ed (May 2, 2017). "GOP Congressman Says Sick People Who Lose Affordable Health Coverage Should Just Move". New York. Retrieved 2017.
  39. ^ Morrill, Jim (May 2, 2017). "NC congressman says where you live could determine how much health coverage you get". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2017.
  40. ^ Ollstein, Alice (May 2, 2017). "House GOPer: Move To Another State If You Have A Pre-Existing Condition". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved 2017.
  41. ^ "Pittenger apologizes for saying Charlotte protesters 'hate white people'". Retrieved 2016.
  42. ^ Mele, Christopher (September 23, 2016). "Congressman Tells BBC: Charlotte Protesters 'Hate White People'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017.
  43. ^ "Pittenger apologizes for saying Charlotte protesters 'hate white people'". Retrieved 2016.
  44. ^ Clark, Lesley; Murphy, Brian. (9 February 2018). "When will it stop? Conservatives who vowed to cut spending keep spending." McClatchyDC website Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  45. ^ a b "Federal Elections 2012". Utah Government Digital Library (pdf). Federal Election Commission. July 2013. Retrieved 2019.
  46. ^ "North Carolina General Elections Results 2012". North Carolina State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2013.
  47. ^ "US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DISTRICT 09 - REP (VOTE FOR 1)". NC State Board of Elections. Retrieved 2018.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
James Snyder
Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina
Succeeded by
Dan Forest
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Sue Myrick
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 9th congressional district

January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2019
Succeeded by
Dan Bishop

  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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