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Biography Jerry McNerney

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Jerry McNerney Jerry McNerney
Jerry McNerney
Engineer, energy specialist, and the U.S. Representative for California, serving in Congress since 2007 - member of the Democratic Party.


Jerry McNerney Biography

ENG: Gerald M. "Jerry" McNerney (born June 18, 1951) is an engineer, energy specialist, and the U.S. Representative for California's 9th congressional district, serving in Congress since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes parts of San Joaquin County, East Contra Costa County, and southern Sacramento County.

McNerney holds a Ph.D in mathematics.


Early life, education, and business career

McNerney was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the son of Rosemary (née Tischhauser) and Col. John E. McNerney. His ancestry is Irish and Swiss. 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, 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.

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). 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.


U.S. House of Representatives - Elections - 2004

McNerney has said that he 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%-39%.



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, who had been endorsed by the DCCC, and Stevan Thomas.

In late July, Republicans Pete McCloskey and Tom Benigno (both of whom ran in the Republican primary against Pombo) endorsed McNerney. 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." On October 3, 2006, a poll commissioned by Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund was released with McNerney leading Pombo 48 percent to 46 percent. Based on these events, in early October, CQPolitics.com changed their rating of this race from Republican Favored to Leans Republican.

On November 7, 2006, McNerney defeated Pombo 53%-47%.



McNerney won re-election 55% to 45% over Republican nominee Dean Andal.



McNerney won re-election 48%-47%, defeating Republican nominee David Harmer.



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.


Personal life

Since 1990, McNerney and Mary, his wife, have lived and raised their children in Pleasanton, California. 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 Biophysics Ph.D working for Intel Corporation as an Engineer in Oregon.





February 13, 2013

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