Wayne Edward "Ed" Whitfield (born May 25, 1943) is the U.S. Representative of Kentucky's 1st congressional district, serving since 1995. He is a member of the Republican Party.
The district covers much of the western part of the state, including Hopkinsville, Paducah, Henderson and Kentucky's share of Fort Campbell.
Early life, education and career
Whitfield was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky and attended the University of Kentucky for both undergraduate and law school, where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. He also attended the Wesley Theological Seminary. He served in the United States Army Reserve and reached the rank of First Lieutenant. He served as legal counsel to executives at Seaboard System Railroad of Washington.
He served as a vice president for the later CSX Corporation in two different capacities and was the legal counsel to the chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission from 1991 to 1993.
Kentucky House of Representatives
Whitfield gained his first political experience as a Democratic member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1974 to 1979.
Whitfield is a member of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership. On his official website, he represents himself as a conservative who has consistently voted pro-life and "supports allowing students to engage in voluntary school prayer." He also lists military issues and encouraging the use of coal and nuclear power as substitutes for oil as two of his main priorities. The Sunlight Foundation pointed out that among the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Whitfield has the seventh-highest amount of investment in oil stocks.
He was one of three Republicans who voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009.
When chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations within the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Whitfield held hearings on child pornography and flag burning.
He is the co-sponsor, with Fred Upton, of the “Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011”.
Whitfield had been a Democrat for most of his life, but in 1994 filed to run in the 1st District as a Republican.
He defeated the 1992 Republican nominee, Steve Hamrick, in the primary, and then narrowly defeated freshman Democratic Congressman Tom Barlow by only 2,500 votes. He narrowly defeated Dennis Null in 1996 even as Bill Clinton carried the district, but hasn't faced a close race since.
Whitfield's wife, Constance Whitfield, is a former Assistant Secretary of the Interior.
November 17th, 2011