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Sue Wilkins Myrick

Sue Myrick
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 9th district
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Alex McMillan
Succeeded by Robert Pittenger
Mayor of Charlotte
In office
1987–1991
Preceded by Harvey Gantt
Succeeded by Richard Vinroot
Personal details
Born Robin Cannon Hayes
(1941-08-01) August 1, 1941 (age 72)
Tiffin, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ed Myrick
Alma mater Heidelberg University, Ohio
Religion United Methodism

Sue Wilkins Myrick (born August 1, 1941) is the former U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 9th congressional district, serving from 1995 to 2013. She is a member of the Republican Party. She was the first Republican woman to represent North Carolina in Congress. On February 7, 2012, she announced that she was retiring. She left Congress in January 2013 and was replaced by Robert Pittenger.

Early life, education, and business career

Myrick was born in 1941 in Tiffin, Ohio.[1] She graduated from Port Clinton High School in Port Clinton, Ottawa County, Ohio.[2] She attended Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio between 1959 and 1960. Prior to going into public relations and advertising, she was a Sunday School Teacher. Sue is the former President and CEO of Myrick Advertising and Public Relations and Myrick Enterprises.[3]

Charlotte city politics

Myrick ran for a seat on the Charlotte City Council unsuccessfully in 1981. In 1983, she was successfully elected to an At-Large District of the City Council and served until 1985. In 1987, she was elected as the first, and so far only, female Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1989, when Sue Myrick was running for re-election as mayor of Charlotte, NC, she confessed to having had a relationship with her husband in 1973 while he was still married to his former wife. (She went on to win the election.) [4]

1992 U.S. Senate election

In 1992, she ran for the nomination for a U.S. Senate seat, held by incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Terry Sanford. The Republican primary was won by Lauch Faircloth, who defeated Myrick and U.S. Congressman Walter Johnston 48%-30%-17%.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

In 1994, Myrick was elected to the House, succeeding five-term incumbent Alex McMillan.

Myrick was overwhelmingly elected to her sixth consecutive term in the 2004 Congressional elections, earning 70% of the popular vote and defeating Democrat Jack Flynn. Similarly, she defeated Democrat William Glass in 2006 with almost 67% of the vote.[6]

Two Charlotte-area Democrats announced challenges to Myrick in 2008—Harry Taylor and Ross Overby. Myrick defeated Taylor with almost 63% of the vote.[7]

On February 7, 2012, she announced that she was retiring from Congress[8] after she was challenged by Matthews businessman Mike Steinberg, a Tea Party affiliate.[9]

Tenure

Ideology

Myrick was one of the most conservative members of the House. She chaired the Republican Study Committee, a group of House conservatives, in the 108th Congress.

Myrick was one of the leading Republican opponents of an abortive 2006 sale of operations at six major American ports along the East Coast to Dubai Ports World, a state-owned company from the United Arab Emirates. In a February 22, 2006, letter to President Bush, Myrick wrote: "In regards to selling American ports to the United Arab Emirates, not just NO — but HELL NO!".[10]

2007 Muslim controversies

Some American Muslims expressed outrage against Myrick for describing the Islamic Society of North America as a group of "radical jihadists" in an open letter objecting to the United States Justice Department sending envoys to the Islamic Society's annual convention.[11][12]

Myrick has also expressed concern about the number of Muslims running convenience stores throughout the US.[13]

Hamas

In April 2008, Myrick called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to revoke former President Jimmy Carter's passport for defying U.S. policy and meeting with the leaders of the militant group Hamas, including the exiled Khaled Mashaal, on his visit to Syria.[14]

Bailouts

Myrick voted against the $700 billion bailout package on September 29, 2008. Myrick then voted in support of the subsequent Senate bailout package on October 3, 2008.

Muslim Mafia controversy

In 2009 Myrick wrote the foreword to the book Muslim Mafia.[15]

On October 14, 2009, Myrick joined three fellow Representatives—Trent Franks (R-AZ), John Shadegg (R-AZ), and Paul Broun (R-GA)—in calling for the investigation of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) over allegations that CAIR was trying to plant "spies," based on a CAIR memo indicating that it "will develop national initiatives such as ... placing Muslim interns in Congressional offices."[16][17][18] CAIR countered that these types of initiatives are extensively used by all advocacy groups, and accused Myrick and her colleagues of trying to intimidate American Muslims who "take part in the political process and exercise their rights."[19][20]

The four Congressmen then wrote Attorney General Eric Holder on October 21, 2009, saying that in light of the book's claims of CAIR attempting to influence national security policy within Congress, they are very concerned about CAIR's relationships with terrorist groups, and requesting that the DOJ provide each Congressman a summary of DOJ's evidence and findings that led DOJ to name CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism trial.[21][22]

The four Congressmen also wrote House of Representatives Sergeant at Arms Wilson Livingood a letter the same day—also prompted by the book's allegations—asking that he work with members of the House Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Intelligence Committees to determine if CAIR was successful in placing interns in the committees' offices, to review FBI and DOJ evidence regarding CAIR's Hamas ties, and to determine whether CAIR is a security threat.[23]

Myrick's action was criticized by national Muslim organizations, such as MAS, MPAC and ISNA, and Muslim Republican activists. Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) described the actions by Myrick and her colleagues as a "witch hunt."[24][25] House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) issued a statement reminding his "colleagues that patriotic Americans of all races, religions, and beliefs have the right – and the responsibility – to participate in our political process."

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), the chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, stated: “These fallacious allegations implicate the existence of a society still struggling with anti-Muslim sentiment."[26][27][28][29]

The book and its endorsement from the four Congressmen were denounced on the House floor by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, in a speech that included a statement by the House's Tri-Caucus (consisting of about 87 House members), officially entered into the Congressional Record[30] on October 26, 2009.[31]

The four Congressmen, joined by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC), then sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman on November 16, 2009, asking that CAIR be investigated for excessive lobbying and failing to register as a lobbying organization.[32][33]


9/11 controversy

In 2011, Myrick canceled her appearances at September 11 anniversary events. Myrick stated that she had been mentioned in what she called a "threatening" Iranian state newspaper article and hence she "didn't want to put anybody else in jeopardy in case some nut out there decided to do something."[34]

Iran controversy

The Iranian article in question was actually a rewritten version of a report by the progressive Washington D.C.-based think tank Center for American Progress intended to combat fear of Islam;[35] it criticized Myrick for being a "leading opponent of Muslims and Islam" and warning of Muslim extremists in "positions among [the U.S.] government", and did not contain threatening language.[36] An (American) co-author of the report criticized Myrick's response, stating "She frequently exaggerates the threat of Muslim terrorism by making outlandish claims like this one. And this is why we listed her in the report."[35][37]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

  • Deputy Whip
  • Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus (Founder)
  • House Cancer Caucus (Co-Chair)
  • International Conservation Caucus
  • Republican Study Committee {First woman chairman 2003-2005}
  • Sportsmen's Caucus
  • Tea Party Caucus

Personal life

Sue is a wife; a mother of two children and three step-children. She and her husband, Ed Myrick, have 12 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.[38] Her second son, Dan Forest, was elected Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina in 2012.[39]

References

External links

  • Representative Sue Myrick official U.S. House site
  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Ballotpedia
  • Project Vote Smart
  • GovTrack
  • OpenCongress
  • Roll Call
  • Federal Election Commission
  • OpenSecrets.org
  • The Washington Post
  • On the Issues
  • The Library of Congress
  • The Washington Post
  • WorldCat catalog)
  • C-SPAN programs
  • Internet Movie Database
  • The Washington Post
  • SourceWatch
Political offices
Preceded by
Harvey Gantt
Mayor of Charlotte
1987–1991
Succeeded by
Richard Vinroot
Preceded by
Alex McMillan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 9th congressional district

1995–2013
Succeeded by
Robert Pittenger
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Shadegg
Chairperson of the Republican Study Committee
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Mike Pence

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