Kevin McCarthy has served as the Minority Leader for the House since 2019; he has served as the Majority Leader as well under then-speaker John Boehner as well as Paul Ryan. He is a frequent guest on various news media television stations, and he is an outspoken champion of Conservative values. Recently, McCarthy postponed the vote on the Build Back Better legislation in the House chamber, setting a speaking record of over eight hours on the House floor. Prior to his time in the House, Congressman McCarthy served the state of California as an Assemblyman.
|Celebrated Name:||Kevin McCarthy|
|Real Name/Full Name:||Kevin Owen McCarthy|
|Birthdate:||January 26, 1965|
|Height:||5 ft. 11 in.|
|Children/Kids:||One son – Connor McCarthy; one daughter – Meghan McCarthy|
|Is Kevin McCarthy Gay?||No|
|Highest Political Office:||United States House of Representatives: House Majority Leader (Current Minority Leader)|
|Colleges Attended:||California State University at Bakersfield|
|Degrees:||Bachelor of Science, Marketing; Master of Business Administration|
|Net Worth in 2021:||$300,000|
Biography: Early Life and Family
Kevin Owen McCarthy was born in Bakersfield, CA on January 26, 1965. His parents are Owen McCarthy and Roberta Darlene Palladino McCarthy. His father worked as an assistant fire chief for the city, and his mother was a homemaker. McCarthy proudly reports that one of his grandfathers was a cattle rancher.
McCarthy can trace his ancestral roots back to Italy and Ireland. His maternal grandfather was an immigrant from Italy, and his paternal grandfather hailed from Ireland. He was the fourth generation of the family to reside in the county of his birthplace in California; McCarthy calls Bakersfield home to this day. McCarthy did break ranks with other family members, who were all members of the Democratic Party, by choosing to become Republican.
McCarthy and his wife Judy call Bakersfield home, and McCarthy is a current member of the local Community Action Partnership.
McCarthy’s early life goals included opening a small business. He opened Kevin O’s Deli, but he would eventually sell the business in order to complete his schooling at California State University.
Kevin McCarthy attended California State University at Bakersfield to obtain both an undergraduate degree as well as complete post-graduate studies. McCarthy has a B.S. degree in marketing, which he earned in 1989. He returned to school in order to obtain an MBA, which he earned in 1994.
Kevin McCarthy and his wife, Judy (nee’ Wages) have two children: one son, Connor, and one daughter, Meghan. McCarthy married Judy in 1992, while he was still pursuing his MBA at California State University.
Judy was McCarthy’s high school sweetheart. Their home in Bakersfield is the first home the pair purchased as a young couple.
Representative McCarthy identifies as a Christian, and is Baptist by denomination.
McCarthy graduated from high school in Bakersfield in 1984, and attended California State University focusing on his prerequisites between 1984 and 1985. He opened Kevin O’s Deli between 1985 and 1987, and worked to build his small business during those years. However, he would sell the business and return to school in 1987.
McCarthy is no stranger to scandals. McCarthy was set to run for his chamber’s Speaker of the House position in 2015, but dropped out prior to the vote. Within days, rumors flew that McCarthy had been involved in an affair with fellow Congressional colleague Renee Ellmers.
It is possible that this rumor developed after a letter composed by Representative Walter Jones was sent to the Republican Conference chairperson at the time, Cathy McMorris Rodgers. In this missive, Jones stated that any candidates for the leadership position (as Speaker) should withdraw if they had any personal misdeeds.
The timing of McCarthy’s withdrawal for the position of Speaker likely fueled the rumors; both he and Ellmers have vehemently denied the allegations. The media notes that McCarthy and his wife have remained married through the allegations, and, without any proof, the story effectively “died.”
Other questionable activities have plagued the Conservative Congressman. One such issue involved the investigation of William “Bill” Wages, who ovens the Vortex Construction company and Judy Wages’ brother. According to an October 2018 investigation, the Vortex Construction company received $7.6 million in coveted federal contracts. The bulk of the work was done as construction projects in the Bakersfield area, namely naval stations in McCarthy’s district.
One of the issues surrounding the Vortex Construction company’s winning these contracts has to deal with the fact that Wages stated on Small Business Administration paperwork that he is a Cherokee Indian. The SBA program under which Wages’ company was awarded the contracts was intended to benefit “economically and socially disadvantaged members of minority groups.” Wages claims to be one-eighth Cherokee Indian. An investigation by the Los Angeles Times found that Wages is a member of a group titled the Northern Cherokee Nation, a group that is neither federally nor locally (at the state level) recognized as a legitimate Cherokee tribe. The Times reported that other federally recognized groups view the Northern Cherokee Nation as a fraudulent group.
However, the Times also reported that their investigation found “no evidence that McCarthy did anything to steer contracts to the company; both Wages and McCarthy said they have never discussed Vortex’s work with each other.”
It is also notable that Wages’ attorney pointed to the Small Business Administration’s approval of the awarding of these contracts. Wages himself has said that he submitted a card showing his membership in the Northern Cherokee Nation of Missouri and Arkansas, and that “he would be very surprised to learn he is not of Cherokee descent.”
The Small Business Administration has since changed the requirements for entrance in the program; one must be a member of a federally recognized tribe in order to qualify for the program. To date, there is no evidence of any wrongdoing on McCarthy’s part.
Age, Height, and Weight
Kevin McCarthy is 56 years old as of 2021. He is five feet, eleven inches in height, and he weighs 165 pounds.
Sources vary on Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s net worth. Some sources report his worth as high as $1.5 million, while many others report his net worth as of 2021 at a more realistic $300,000. This would include his annual salary of $193,4000 as a Congressman.
Kevin McCarthy co-wrote a book with Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan titled Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders. The book was published in 2010 and sold for about $16.00 per hardback copy. The book was not a best-seller, and the royalties were split three ways. McCarthy’s exact earnings from the sales of the book are unknown.
Career Outside of Politics
Other than McCarthy’s small business venture with Kevin O’s Deli, the Congressman has worked chiefly in politics. McCarthy is a consistent guest on Fox News, and he speaks at various political rallies. He was an ardent Donald Trump supporter, and he attended and spoke at many Trump rallies.
Career in Politics
McCarthy cut his political teeth working in the office of Congressman Bill Thomas beginning in 1987, while he was still enrolled in college. He would work as a part of the staff for Congressman Thomas until 2002. In 1995, he was head of the California chapter of Young Republicans. Between 1999 and 2001, he also served as the head of the Young Republican National Federation.
During his time working in Congressman Thomas office, particularly in the late 1990s and early 2000s, McCarthy was the district director.
McCarthy’s first election was not as a state assemblyman or a true politician. However, he was elected as a trustee for the local Community College District.
In 2001, McCarthy became a bonafide politician with his successful election to the State Assembly of California. He was the Republican floor leader for the assembly in 2003. He would run for and successfully win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006.
McCarthy took the seat that his predecessor and former boss, Bill Thomas, left vacant when Thomas retired. This seat represented California’s 22nd District; McCarthy would win the primary with 85 percent of the vote. He won the overall election with just over 70 percent of the vote.
McCarthy ran unopposed once more for the seat in 2008 and, in 2010, won again although a write-in candidate did take just over one percent of the vote.
Prior to the 2012 election cycle, the 22nd Congressional District was renamed the 23rd District. The 22nd District would lose some areas (such as the Central Coast) but picking up most of Tulare County. However, the redistricted area was chiefly Republican, and McCarthy would win his seat once again against an independent candidate.
McCarthy saw success once more in 2014, 2016, and 2018. Although the House swung to a Democratic majority, McCarthy’s track record won him a position as House Minority Leader. During the 2020 elections, the House maintained a Democratic majority. McCarthy currently serves as the Minority Leader for his chamber of Congress.
McCarthy has served on a number of committees and in various positions during his tenure in the House of Representatives. They include:
- The Committee on Financial Services
- the Congressional Western Caucus
- the Republican Steering Committee
- the Republican chief deputy whip
- the majority whip
- the majority leader
McCarthy was also recognized as one of the three charter organizers of the GOP Young Guns Program, which was dedicated to electing conservatives to open Congressional seats.