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Mike Kelly (Pennsylvania politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mike Kelly
Mike Kelly, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 16th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded byKathy Dahlkemper
Constituency3rd (2011–2019)
16th (2019–present)
Personal details
George Joseph Kelly Jr.

(1948-05-10) May 10, 1948 (age 72)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Victoria Kelly
EducationUniversity of Notre Dame (BA)
Net worth$10.4 million (2018)[1]
WebsiteHouse website

George Joseph "Mike" Kelly Jr. (born May 10, 1948) is an American politician in the Republican Party who has been a U.S. Representative since 2011 and is currently serving as representative for Pennsylvania's 16th congressional district.[2] The district, numbered as the 3rd district from 2011 to 2019, is based in Erie and stretches from the northwest corner of the state to the outer northern suburbs of Pittsburgh, including Kelly's home in Butler.

Education and early career

Kelly was born on May 10, 1948, in Pittsburgh, but has spent most of his life in Butler. He played varsity football as a fullback in high school, and his team reached two WPIAL championship games. He graduated from Butler High School in 1966. He received a scholarship to play football at University of Notre Dame, but his playing ended because of an injury. Before his election to Congress, Kelly was a member of the Butler City Council.

Automotive business

After college, he worked for his father's Chevrolet/Cadillac car dealership. In 1995, he purchased his father's business, and then added Hyundai and KIA to his dealership lineup.[3] In March 2019, a local TV station discovered that there were 17 vehicles for sale on Kelly's Uniontown and Butler lots which were the subject of recall notices, but they had not been repaired. The station contacted both the businesses and the congressman's office without receiving responses.[4] A month later, a reporter found three of those vehicles with active recalls still for sale.[4] In November 2015, Kelly had spoken on the floor of Congress in support of a bill that would have given permission to dealers to loan or rent vehicles despite there being National Highway Traffic Safety  Administration (NHTSA) safety recall notices on such vehicles. Kelly had said, “There is not a single person in our business that would ever put one of our owners in a defective car or a car with a recall. But that could happen. That could happen.” The congressional bill failed to pass. With support from dealers' associations allowing such vehicles to be marketed without repairs, a similar measure passed in Pennsylvania and was signed into law, as did one in Tennessee. Such bills failed to pass in seven other states. The auto manufacturing industry opposed the bill, with General Motors saying, "provisions that allow for sale of a used vehicle with an unrepaired safety recall with a simple notice raise significant safety concerns." After the station's initial contacts, Kelly's son Brendan, who operates Mike Kelly Automotive responded by saying, "The dealerships will not sell any vehicle that is in violation of a federal or state Law."[4]

Paycheck Protection Program

Kelly personally benefited on the Paycheck Protection Program (coronavirus relief), as three of his car dealerships obtained a combined total of between $450,000 and $1.05 million not to lay off staff.[5] Kelly's spokesperson defended Kelly, saying those car dealerships were a "small family business" and that the jobs were "at risk because of [Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s] business shut down order."[5]

United States House of Representatives



Kelly challenged incumbent Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper in 2010.[6] He won the election by 10%,[7] largely by running up his margins outside of heavily Democratic Erie.


Kelly defeated Democrat Missa Eaton 55%–41%.[8] His district had been made slightly friendlier in redistricting. The district was pushed slightly to the south, absorbing some rural and Republican territory east of Pittsburgh. At the same time, eastern Erie County was drawn into the heavily Republican 5th district. The 3rd and 5th were drawn so that the boundary between the two districts ran along the eastern boundary of the city of Erie.


Kelly defeated Democrat Dan LaVallee of Cranberry Township 60.5%–39.5%.[9]


Kelly ran unopposed and received 100% of the vote.


After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out Pennsylvania's original congressional map in February 2018, Kelly's district was renumbered as the 16th and made slightly more compact. It regained the eastern portion of Erie County that had been drawn into the 5th. To make up for the increase in population, its southern portion was pushed to the west, ending just outside of Kelly's hometown of Butler.[10]

PoliticsPA wrote that Kelly's seat might not be one of the seats considered safe for re-election. Public Policy Polling found that Kelly had a 48% to 43% lead over Democratic opponent Ron DiNicola.

Kelly ultimately defeated DiNicola 51.6%–47.2%, his first close contest since his initial run for the seat.


Kelly has received the following ratings from advocacy organizations:[11]

Committee assignments

In addition, Kelly serves as the co-chair of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition, a bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives from the 18 Northeastern and Midwestern States.[12] He is an appointed member of the President's Export Council.

Political positions

"Deep state" conspiracy theories

When speaking at a Mercer County Republican Party event in 2017, Kelly advanced the conspiracy theory that former president Barack Obama was running a "shadow government" to undermine President Trump.[13][14][15] When asked about these remarks, Kelly said that they were meant to be private.[16][13] After the remarks made national news, Kelly's spokesperson said that Kelly did not believe that Obama "is personally operating a shadow government".[13][14][15]

Donald Trump

Kelly has argued against the release of President Donald Trump's tax returns by the House Ways and Means Committee.[17]

In December 2019, Kelly likened the impeachment to the Attack on Pearl Harbor.[18] He said the date in which Trump was impeached is "another date that will live in infamy," referring to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's December 1941 statement about the Pearl Harbor attack.[18]


In July 2014, Kelly compared the Environmental Protection Agency to terrorists while attacking EPA regulations limiting power plant emissions, saying "You talk about terrorism – you can do it in a lot of different ways,... But you terrorize the people who supply everything this country needs to be great – and you keep them on the sidelines – my goodness, what have we become?"[19]

In September 2018, Kelly was rated 0% by the Clean Water Action group.[20]


On August 1, 2012, Kelly called the HHS mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) - which requires health insurers or employers that provide their employees with health insurance to cover some contraceptive costs in their health insurance plans - an attack on Americans' constitutionally protected religious rights and that August 1, 2012, would go down in infamy as "the day that religious freedom died".[21]


When Kelly was elected, the district was located in the northwestern corner of the state, stretching from Erie to rural territory near Pittsburgh. In February 2018, after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the Pennsylvania districts to be unconstitutionally gerrymandered, most of his district became a part of the 16th District.

Personal life

Kelly lives in Butler, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Victoria. They have four children, George III, Brendan, Charlotte, and Colin, and ten grandchildren.[22] He is the brother-in-law of Tennessee's 1st congressional district Congressman Phil Roe. He is Catholic.[23] In 2019 he stated that, as a person of Irish and Anglo Saxon descent, he considers himself a person of color--a term often used to describe people of non-white backgrounds.[24] On March 27, 2020, he tested positive for COVID-19.[25]


  1. ^ "Ranking the Net Worth of the 115th". Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  2. ^ Hildebrand, Nick. "Clock starts to tick for Kelly to get specific about his agenda". The Herald. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 7, 2011. Retrieved September 24, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b c Pennsylvania law allows sale of potentially dangerous recalled vehicles, WTAE, Paul Van Osdol, April 26, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Treasury, SBA data show small-business loans went to private-equity backed chains, members of Congress". The Washington Post. 2020.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "USA TODAY: Latest World and US News  -". USA TODAY. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "2016 Election Results: President Live Map by State, Real-Time Voting Updates". Election Hub. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  9. ^ "Pennsylvania Election Results". Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Cohn, Nate. "The New Pennsylvania Congressional Map, District by District". The New York Times. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  11. ^ "Mike Kelly, Representative for Pennsylvania's 3rd Congressional District -". Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  12. ^ "Northeast-Midwest Insititute   » The Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition". Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c "Analysis | GOP congressman offers strange Obama conspiracy theory — and even stranger explanations". Washington Post. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Kelly backtracks on claim of Obama". Early Returns:. Retrieved March 13, 2017.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  15. ^ a b "Western PA congressman backs off 'strange' Obama shadow gove". @politifact. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  16. ^ "Philly Clout: Congressman's conspiracy theory was supposed to be 'private'". Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  17. ^ "GOP Warns That Releasing Trump's Taxes Could Lead to More Transparency". Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  18. ^ a b Reuters, Source: (2019-12-18). "Republican congressman Mike Kelly compares impeachment inquiry to Pearl Harbor - video". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-12-20.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  19. ^ "Congressman Compares EPA's New Climate Rule To Terrorism". Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  20. ^ "Mike Kelly, Jr.'s Political Summary". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  21. ^ "Congressman: 'We're Still Home of the Brave, But We're Not the Land of the Free Anymore'". CNS News. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-10-12. Retrieved 2010-09-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ " - Member Profile - Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa".
  24. ^ Cole, Devan. "White GOP congressman says he isn't offended by racist Trump tweets because 'I'm a person of color'". CNN. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  25. ^ Cornwell, Susan. "U.S. Representative Mike Kelly tests positive for coronavirus". Reuters. Retrieved March 27, 2020.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Kathy Dahlkemper
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Dwight Evans
Preceded by
Lloyd Smucker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 16th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Bill Keating
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Adam Kinzinger
This page was last edited on 21 July 2020, at 11:19
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