Dave McCurdy

Dave McCurdy
David Keith McCurdy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Tom Steed
Succeeded by J. C. Watts
Personal details
Born March 30, 1950 (1950-03-30) (age 61)
Canadian, Texas
Political party Democratic
Religion Lutheran

David Keith McCurdy (born March 30, 1950) is a U.S. lawyer, politician, conservative Democrat, and a former Oklahoma Congressman from Oklahoma's 4th congressional district. He is president of the American Gas Association.


Early life and education

McCurdy was born in the town of Canadian, Texas, in Hemphill County. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1972 and a law degree there in 1975. He studied international economics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland as a Rotary International Graduate Fellow.[1]

Military service and entry into politics

McCurdy served in the United States Air Force Reserve, attaining the rank of major and serving as a Judge Advocate General (JAG).[1]

He was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma from 1975 to 1977.[2]

Congressional career

Congressional campaigns

McCurdy served for seven terms, from 1981 to 1995.[2] In 1980 he ran for Oklahoma's 4th congressional district seat in Congress, succeeding sixteen-term congressman Tom Steed of Shawnee. He trailed Oklahoma House Majority Leader James B. Townsend, also from Shawnee, in the Democratic primary 40% to 34%, then won 51.2% of the vote in the runoff election. McCurdy defeated Townsend with campaign commercials espousing prayer in public and support for a Christ statue in the Wichita mountains, near Lawton.

He then defeated Republican Howard Rutledge 74,245 to 71,339 in the general election, and again in 1982 by a vote of 84,205 to 44,351. He won a third term in 1984 by defeating Jerry Smith 109,447 to 60,844, with Libertarian Gordon Mobley picking up 1% of the vote. After winning 81.9% of the Democratic primary vote in 1986, McCurdy coasted to a fourth term with 94,984 votes (76.1%) over Republican Larry Humphreys. McCurdy had no Republican opponent in 1988, and won in 1990 with 73.6% of the vote in the general election. In 1992 he received 70.7% of the final tally.

Leadership positions

Dave McCurdy in the United States House of Representatives

Specializing in national security and intelligence issues, McCurdy was appointed to leadership positions in the field including chairmanships of the House Intelligence Committee,[3] Military Installations and Facilities Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee[4] and the Transportation Aviation and Materials Subcommittee of the Science and Space Committee.[5] According to McCurdy's official biography, he is considered to be the youngest person in Congressional history to chair a full committee.[1]

Other work in Congress

McCurdy founded and chaired a group of moderate and conservative House Democrats called the Mainstreet Forum. At its height in 1994, it counted seventy-two members.[6]

In Congress, McCurdy played a major role in the following pieces of legislation: the 1988 National Superconductivity Competitiveness Act,[7] the 1985 Goldwater-Nichols Act, which re-organized the U.S. Department of Defense,[8] the Nunn-McCurdy Amendment of 1982, requiring congressional notification of Defense cost overruns of 15% or more,[9] and the 1993 National Service Legislation, which originated in a bill introduced by Congressman McCurdy and former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn.[10]

DLC co-founder and 1992 presidential election

In the 1990s, McCurdy was a national chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, a group that sought to moderate the Democratic Party.[5] He was seen as a "rising national star."[11] According to George Stephanopoulos in his political memoir, All Too Human, McCurdy at one point considered his own presidential campaign in 1992, although he eventually supported fellow DLC member Bill Clinton, and delivered a speech seconding his nomination at the Democratic Party National Convention.[12] During the speech, "'McCurdy 2000' signs could be seen in the crowd."[11]

Following Clinton's election, he was considered for United States Secretary of Defense,[13] a job which ultimately went to Les Aspin. McCurdy was also offered the role of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, but turned it down.[14]

1994 run for the U.S. Senate

In 1994, when U.S. Senator David Boren decided to retire from the U.S. Senate before the expiration of his term, McCurdy decided not to seek re-election to the House of Representatives and, instead, run for the Senate.

He campaigned on military preparedness and family values. He lost the general election to conservative congressman James Inhofe, whose campaign ads played clips of McCurdy's speech advocating Clinton's election. McCurdy sent his congressional records and papers to the Carl Albert Center for Congressional Studies at The University of Oklahoma.

Career after Congress

McCurdy was chairman and chief executive officer of the McCurdy Group L.L.C, and in 1998 he was elected President of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) a national trade organization representing the electronics industry, even though House Majority Leader Tom DeLay held up legislation of benefit to the EIA and threatened it with a loss of access if it did not hire a Republican instead.[15] DeLay was later rebuked by the House Ethics Committee.[16]

He is chairman of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments[17] and has served on the Defense Policy Board under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.[18]

On February 12, 2007, he became president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM).[19] Under McCurdy's leadership, AAM supported Obama's National Program to reduce carbon emissions and increase fuel economy standards[20] and a federal ban on texting while driving.[21]

In February 2011, McCurdy became president and CEO of the American Gas Association, where is he is responsible for representing and promoting the interests of 199 local energy utility companies that deliver natural gas throughout the nation. There are more than 70 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the United States, of which 91 percent—more than 64 million customers—receive their gas from AGA members.


McCurdy lives with his wife, Dr. Pam McCurdy, a physician specializing in child psychiatry, in McLean, Virginia. They have three grown children: Josh, Cydney and Shannon.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Dave McCurdy". eia.org. Electronic Industries Alliance. October 24, 2001. http://www.eia.org/resources/2001-10-24.59.phtml. Retrieved September 21, 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "The U.S. Congress Votes Database". The Washington Post (Washington D.C.: The Washington Post Company). http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/m000398/. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  3. ^ Lardner Jr., George; Tom Kenworthy (February 6, 1991). "Over Intelligence Panel; 4 Liberals Appointed; McCurdy Is Chairman". The Washington Post (Washington D.C.: The Washington Post Company). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-1048010.html. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  4. ^ "Army Force Structure" (PDF). Report to Congressional Requesters. United States General Accounting Office. October 1993. http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/reports/gao/150002.pdf. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  5. ^ a b "Capital Formation" (PDF). American Council For Capital Formation. July–August 2007. http://www.accf.org/media/dynamic/2/media_228.pdf. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  6. ^ Wattenberg, Ben J. (1995). Values Matter Most: How Republicans, or Democrats, or a Third Party Can Win and Renew the American Way of Life. Free Press. p. 304. ISBN 002933795X. http://books.google.com/?id=6OxhqUdEmy4C&dq=mainstream+forum+and+dave+mccurdy. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  7. ^ "H.R.3048". Library of Congress. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d100:HR03048:@@@D&summ2=m&:. Retrieved September 21, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Senate Report 108-359 - National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004". Library of Congress. http://ecip.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&dbname=cp108&sid=cp108bysBv&refer=&r_n=sr359.108&item=&sel=TOC_13821&. Retrieved September 21, 2009. 
  9. ^ "The "Nunn-McCurdy" Amendment". Center for Defense Information. http://www.cdi.org/missile-defense/nunn-mccurdy.cfm. Retrieved September 21, 2009. 
  10. ^ Bandow, Doug (March 22, 1990). "National Service: The Enduring Panacea". Cato Institute. http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa130es.html. Retrieved September 21, 2009. 
  11. ^ a b Kornacki, Steve (2011-05-09) Rick Santorum and the problem with the "loser" label, Salon.com
  12. ^ Stephanopoulos, George (2000-03-01). All Too Human: A Political Education. Little, Brown and Company. p. 32. ISBN 0316929190. http://books.google.com/?id=uRCVwv87nkMC&pg=PA178&lpg=PA178&dq=%22all+too+human%22+%22dave+mccurdy%22&q=mccurdy. Retrieved October 12, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Aspin May Get Defense Secretary Post". Deseret News. December 18, 1992. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/265194/. 
  14. ^ Halberstam, David (2002). War in a time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals. Scribner. p. 192. ISBN 0743223233. http://books.google.com/?id=R6mfioLZjXkC&pg=PA192&lpg=PA191&dq=mccurdy+cia+clinton&q=mccurdy%20cia%20clinton. Retrieved October 12, 2009. 
  15. ^ Plotz, David (December 5, 1998). "A Bug's Life: Is exterminator-turned-Rep. Tom DeLay the most powerful man on Capitol Hill?". Slate.com. http://www.slate.com/id/9739/. 
  16. ^ Janet Hook (October 8, 2004). "Ethics Rebukes Not Sure to Cramp DeLay's Style". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2004/oct/08/nation/na-delay8. 
  17. ^ "CSBA Board of Directors". csbaonline.org. Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. http://www.csbaonline.org/2006-1/5.AboutUs/Board_of_Directors.php. Retrieved October 12, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Defense chief makes new appointments to policy board". CongressDaily. July 2, 2009. http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0709/070209cdpm1.htm. 
  19. ^ Harry Stoffer (March 12, 2007). "An ex-lawmaker becomes automakers' insider". Automotive News. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-30028631_ITM. 
  20. ^ "Automakers Support President in Development of National Program for Autos" (Press release). Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. May 18, 2009. http://www.autoalliance.org/index.cfm?objectid=55B4BAFF-1D09-317F-BBB0DA0B7783C956. Retrieved November 9, 2009. 
  21. ^ John Crawley (September 23, 2009). "Carmakers favor U.S. ban on texting while driving". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE58M4G620090923. Retrieved November 9, 2009. 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom Steed
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
J. C. Watts
Political offices
Preceded by
Anthony C. Beilenson
Chairman of House Intelligence Committee
Succeeded by
Dan Glickman
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Breaux
Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council
Succeeded by
Joe Lieberman

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