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Howard Philip "Buck" McKeon (born September 9, 1938), an Americanmarker politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 1993.


Early and Personal Life

Born in Tujunga, Californiamarker, McKeon graduated from Verdugo Hills High School in Tujungamarker. He spent two years on a religious mission before enrolling at Brigham Young Universitymarker. He later received his Bachelor of Science degree in animal husbandry in 1985, after previously putting his studies on hold to raise a family and establish his early business career. He has been the owner of a Western clothing shop since 1963 and has also served as the chairman of a small, regional bank. McKeon gained his first political experience when was elected to the William S. Hart Union High School District Board of Trustees.

McKeon is married to the former Patricia Kunz and has six children. They are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Political Career

McKeon was a one-term mayor of Santa Clarita, being the first to hold that post after the city incorporated in 1987. He was also a member of the Santa Clarita City Council, a position he held until entering the House. McKeon touts his record as mayor because of the reputation that his city gained for being one of the safest in America. He also expanded Santa Clarita's park programs.

In 1992, the State of California gained seven additional seats through the reapportionment process which occurs every ten years following the census. A "new" 25th District was created in the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys in north Los Angeles County and the communities of Chatsworthmarker, Granada Hillsmarker, Northridgemarker, and Porter Ranch in the northwestern San Fernando Valleymarker. McKeon was thus the first incumbent to represent the new district following its creation. In the 2002 reapportionment, the San Fernando Valley and portions of the Antelope Valley were removed from the 25th District while Inyo County, Mono Countymarker, and about half of the land area within San Bernardino Countymarker were added. The Los Angeles County portion of the district still includes the cities of Santa Clarita, Palmdalemarker, and part of the city of Lancastermarker.

In 2009, McKeon served as Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor. He is also a member of the Committee on Armed Services. In June, President Barack Obama nominated Representative John M. McHugh of New Yorkmarker, who was the Ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, as Secretary of the Army. On June 9, the House Republican leadership appointed McKeon as the Ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee. Under rules of the House of Representatives, McKeon is required to step down from his position as Ranking Member of the Education and Labor Committee, though he will continue to serve on the committee.

As a member of the House, he has made education and defense issues two of his main priorities. He was greatly involved in the reform of the Student Loan Aid Program, which reduced interest rates but controversially increased federal control over education policy, such as teacher training. He also supports a strong national defense budget. Along with Dean Gallo of New Jerseymarker, McKeon introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on March 11, 1993.

Election History

During the 2006 election cycle, McKeon received 60% of the vote in his district, defeating Democrat Robert Rodriguez and Libertarian David Erickson. The district has been considered to be "safe" for the Republican Party because it includes predominantly Republican areas in the Antelope and Santa Clarita Valleys and conservative rural areas of the High Sierras and desert regions of California. However, changes in ethnic demographics in the district may make it less of a safe Republican district in the 2010 elections. In addition, despite McKeon re-election in 2008, Barack Obama won the popular vote in this district(and in seven other Californian seats held by Republicans)[49029]

Committee assignments


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