Jerry McNerney

Jerry McNerney
Jerry McNerney
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 11th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2007
Preceded by Richard Pombo
Personal details
Born June 18, 1951 (1951-06-18) (age 60)
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mary McNerney
Children Michael McNerney
Windy McNerney
Greg McNerney
Residence Pleasanton, California
Alma mater University of New Mexico
Occupation engineer, energy scientist, politician
Religion Roman Catholic

Gerald "Jerry" McNerney (born June 18, 1951) is an engineer, energy specialist, and the U.S. Representative for California's 11th congressional district, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes parts of San Joaquin County in the Central Valley as well as parts of Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara counties in the Bay Area.

McNerney holds a Ph.D in mathematics.[1]


Early life, education, and business career

Jerry McNerney was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He attended St. Joseph's Military Academy in Hays, Kansas, and, for two years, the United States Military Academy at West Point. After leaving West Point in 1971 in protest of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War[2], he enrolled at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he received Bachelor's and Master's degrees and, in 1981, a Ph.D. in Mathematics, with a doctoral dissertation in differential geometry.[3]

McNerney served several years as a contractor to Sandia National Laboratories at Kirtland Air Force Base, on national security programs. In 1985, he accepted a senior engineering position with U.S. Windpower (Kenetech); and, in 1994, he began working as an energy consultant for PG&E, FloWind, The Electric Power Research Institute, and other utility companies. Before being elected to Congress, Jerry served as the CEO of a 2004 start-up company manufacturing wind turbines, named HAWT Power (Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Power). A 1992 article that he co-authored in an IEEE journal is a good example of his writings during this period.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives

Political positions

Fiscal issues

Jerry McNerney voted for 2008’s $700 billion rescue package for the financial markets, acknowledging that “his district opposed the bailout but he felt it was best for the economy.”[5] McNerney authored a provision of the bill permanently raising the lending limit for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans.[6]

He voted for the September 2008 jobs and energy stimulus package[7] and to regulate the subprime mortgage market, modify bankruptcy rules with the aim of reducing foreclosure rates, and to ban abusive credit practices and enhance consumer disclosure.

McNerney voted in favor of legislation allowing employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation.[8]

In 2009, McNerney voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and voted against its repeal the next year.

McNerney has frequently opposed free trade agreements, voting against NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, and the U.S.-Peru free trade agreement. [9]


McNerney is a proponent of renewable energy. He voted to carbon emissions.[10] He has voted for tax incentives for renewable energy and for allowing states to impose stricter emissions standards. He opposes drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf.[11]

Social issues

McNerney voted against legislation that would have prevented the DEA from enforcing prohibition in the twelve states (including California) which allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes.[12]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

  • Congressional Arthritis Caucus
  • International Conservation Caucus
  • Veteran's Mental Health Caucus

Political campaigns


McNerney was inspired to run for Congress by his son Michael, who in response to the attacks of September 11, sought and received a commission in the Air Force. Michael suggested that his father serve his country by running for Congress. McNerney first ran for Congress against Richard Pombo in California's 11th congressional district in the 2004 House elections. He entered the race two weeks before the primary election as a write-in candidate. He qualified to be a write-in candidate for the March 2004 primary by one signature. Having no primary opponent, he won the primary and qualified for the November general election ballot as the Democratic nominee. He lost the November general election, 61 to 39 percent.


McNerney launched his 2006 campaign early in the fall of 2005. In June 2006 he won the Democratic primary with 52.8% of the vote, defeating Steve Filson and Stevan Thomas.

In late July, Republicans Pete McCloskey and Tom Benigno (both of whom ran in the Republican primary against Pombo) endorsed McNerney.[13]

In September, analysis of the campaign was changed from "Republican safe" to "Republican favored" due to the emergence of McNerney's campaign. The report noted "a [GOP] party spokesman says it's because they want to win decisively but others speculate that internal polling has delivered bad news for the incumbent."[14]

On October 3, 2006, a poll commissioned by Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund was released with McNerney leading Pombo 48 percent to 46 percent.[15] Based on these events, in early October, changed their rating of this race from Republican Favored to Leans Republican[16]

On November 7, 2006, Pombo was voted out of office in favor of McNerney.[17] McNerney had 53.3 percent of the vote, while Pombo got 46.7 percent.


McNerney won reelection 55% to 45% over Republican nominee Dean Andal.


McNerney won reelection 48% to 46.9% over Republican nominee David Harmer.[18]


McNerney announced in late July 2011 that he would move to San Joaquin County in order to run in the newly drawn 9th Congressional District, comprising parts of San Joaquin County, East Contra Costa County, and southern Sacramento County. [19]

Electoral history

United States House of Representatives elections, 2006[20]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Jerry McNerney 109,868 53.3%
Republican Richard Pombo (incumbent) 96,396 46.7%
Totals 206,264 100%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic gain from Republican
United States House of Representatives elections, 2008[21]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Jerry McNerney (incumbent) 164,500 55.3%
Republican Dean Andal 133,104 44.7%
American Independent David Christensen (write-in) 12 0.0%
Totals 297,616 100%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 2010[22]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Jerry McNerney (incumbent) 113,969 48.0%
Republican David Harmer 111,494 46.9%
American Independent David Christensen 12,345 5.1%
Totals 237,808 100%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold

Personal life

Since 1990, McNerney and Mary, his wife of 29 years, have lived and raised their children in Pleasanton, California.[1] Their older son, Michael, is a reserve officer in the U.S. Air Force, joining soon after the September 11 attacks. His daughter Windy is a graduate student in Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. His younger son, Greg, is a graduate student in Biophysics at University of California, Davis.


  1. ^ a b Jerry McNerney (2006-09-02). "Biographical detail in op-ed: "Three-ring Pombo Cash Circus Comes to Stockton"". 
  2. ^}}
  3. ^ "Mathematics Genealogy Project". 
  4. ^ G. McNerney and R. Richardson, “The Statistical Smoothing of Power Delivered to Utilities by Multiple Wind Turbines”, IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion 7:4 (Dec. 1992), pp. 644 – 647.
  5. ^ Kellerman, Laurie (30 Sept 2008). "Many vulnerable lawmakers say 'no' to bailout". USA Today. Retrieved 12 Sept 2011. 
  6. ^ Merle, Renae; Montgomery, Lori (14 February 2009). "Democrats Tailor Foreclosure Bill To Obama Goals". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 Sept 2011. 
  7. ^ Jerry McNerney
  8. ^ "Jerry McNerney". OntheIssues. Retrieved 9 Oct 2011. 
  9. ^ "Jerry McNerney". Retrieved 9 Oct 2011. 
  10. ^ Lockhead, Carolyn (27 July 2009). "Pelosi gets landmark bill through". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  11. ^ "Jerry McNerney". Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  12. ^ Epstein, Edward (27 July 2007). "McNerney draws fire from backers of medicinal pot". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  13. ^ missingauthor (2006-07-24). "missingtitle". Washington Post. 
  14. ^ Lisa Vorderbrueggen (2006-09-23). "News and observations, some serious, some not, on the East Bay political scene". ContraCostaTimes Politics Weblog. 
  15. ^ Hank Shaw (2006-10-03). "Poll shows Pombo, McNerney just 2 points apart". The Record (ONI Stockton, Inc.). Retrieved 2006-08-18. 
  16. ^ Ryan Kelly (2006-10-03). "Competitive Race Lies Beneath Flurry of GOP Activity in Calif. 11". 
  17. ^ "McNerney Unseats Pombo; Doolittle Beats Brown". KCRA. November 8, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-08. [dead link]
  18. ^
  19. ^ Garofoli, Joe (28 July 2011). "Jerry McNerney looks at new political map, moves to San Joaquin County". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  20. ^ Office of the California Secretary of State "United States Representative in Congress" (retrieved on July 29, 2009)
  21. ^ Office of the California Secretary of State "United States Representative in Congress," (retrieved on July 29, 2009)
  22. ^ Office of the California Secretary of State "United States Representative in Congress," (retrieved on November 24, 2010)

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard Pombo
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 11th congressional district

Succeeded by
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Kevin McCarthy
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Chris Murphy

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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