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Thomas Charles O'Halleran (/ˈhælərən/; born January 24, 1946) is a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Arizona's 1st congressional district. He began his political career as a Republican, but is now a Democrat.

Tom O'Halleran
Tom O'Halleran official portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by Ann Kirkpatrick
Member of the Arizona Senate
from the 1st district
In office
Preceded by Ken Bennett
Succeeded by Steve Pierce
Personal details
Born Thomas Charles O'Halleran
(1946-01-24) January 24, 1946 (age 72)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Republican (Before 2014)
Independent (2014–2015)
Democratic (2015–present)
Spouse(s) Pat
Education Lewis University
DePaul University
Website House website


Early careerEdit

O'Halleran served with the Chicago Police Department from 1966 to 1979. He then became a member of the Chicago Board of Trade, operating his own futures trading business.[1]

Arizona LegislatureEdit

O'Halleran, then a Republican, served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2001 to 2006. He then served in the Arizona State Senate, representing the 1st District from 2007 to 2009. In a 2008 primary election, he was unseated by Steve Pierce.

After leaving the Arizona State Legislature, O'Halleran hosted a radio show on KAZM in Sedona.[2]

In 2014 he left the Republican Party, citing its policies on education, water, and child welfare as reasons for his resignation. He then ran for the 6th District State Senate seat as an Independent, losing by 3%.[3]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

2016 campaignEdit

On August 6, 2015, O'Halleran announced his candidacy as a Democrat for Arizona's 1st congressional district.[4]

He explained his switch of party affiliation as a result of his positive attitude toward government, and, in particular, of his support for government regulations that would increase the use of wind and solar energy.[5]

In May 2016, O'Halleran was named to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Red to Blue list, indicating that his race was a priority for the group.[6]

On August 30, 2016, O'Halleran beat Miguel Olivas in the Democratic primary.[7] He faced Republican Paul Babeu and Green Party candidate Ray Parrish[8] in the general election on November 8, 2016.[9] O'Halleran won, receiving 51% of the vote to Babeu's 44%.[10]

He is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition.[11]

2018 campaignEdit

In May 2017, Republican State Senator Steve Smith of Maricopa announced that he was running for O'Halloran's seat. Smith, who had the support of GOP Congressmen Trent Franks and Andy Biggs, was described by an local news operation in Arizona as “an immigration hard-liner who championed the idea of paying for a border wall with private donations."[12]

Committee assignmentsEdit

Caucus membershipsEdit


Political issuesEdit

Government spendingEdit

In March 2018, O'Halleran criticized the Trump Administration for seeking to cut funding for such agencies and programs as the Economic Development Administration, the Rural Business and Cooperative Service, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Community Development Block Grants, Rural Water and Wastewater Grants, Indian Community Development Block Grant, the Rural Economic Development Program, Essential Air Service, and Native American Housing Block Grants.[14]

Gun controlEdit

After the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, O'Halleran, who had long supported expanded background checks but opposed an assault-weapon ban, suggested he might shift toward a stronger position on gun control. “At times you have to look at yourself in the mirror and do the right thing and say forget about the political consequences,” he said, but admitted he was concerned about those consequences.[15]

Health careEdit

In March 2017, O'Halleran denounced the Republican health-care replacement plan, saying that it would fail “to provide affordable access to health coverage,” would disproportionately affect rural communities, force seniors to pay higher premiums, and give CEOs "a tax break on the backs of hardworking Arizona families."[16]


When President Donald Trump ordered a travel ban on visitors and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim nations in January 2017, O'Halleran said that the order “does not represent our nation's values” and that it violated the Constitution and "the bedrock ideals of our democracy."[17]

In April 2017, O'Halleran criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions's tougher new guidelines on expelling illegal immigrants who belong to criminal gangs. “I have no problem with getting the felons out of the country,” O'Halleran said. "But some of these people that they're taking out of the country, they have children that are Americans, and they have not had a violent felony conviction. Here we are, taking mothers away from their children."[18]

O'Halleran was part of a group of Arizona Democrats who, in an August 2017 letter to President Trump, urged him not to pardon former Maricopa County chief Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted in a federal court of racially profiling Latinos as part of border patrols.[19] "It is imperative for a society to hold elected leaders to the highest level of accountability, and when they are convicted of crimes and lose the trust of the public, they must face their punishment,” said O'Halleran. “As a former law enforcement officer, Joe Arpaio's abuse and exploitation of his power to target vulnerable communities is beyond egregious and tarnishes the sworn duty of our brave officers across Arizona."[20][21]

Personal lifeEdit

O'Halleran and his wife, Pat, live in unincorporated Yavapai County (with a Sedona address), and have three grown children and four grandchildren.[1][22]


  1. ^ a b "Meet Tom - Tom O'Halleran for Congress". Retrieved 2016-07-30.
  2. ^ Bell, David (August 7, 2015). "Former state Rep. O'Halleran joins CD1 candidate field". Eastern Arizona Courier. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  3. ^ "Tom O'Halleran". Ballotpedia. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  4. ^ "O'Halleran announces candidacy in 1st Congressional District". Arizona Capitol Times. Associated Press. August 5, 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  5. ^ Sanders, Rebekah L. "Tom O'Halleran running for Congress as Democrat". azCentral. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Red to Blue - DCCC". Retrieved 2016-07-30.
  7. ^ Reagan, Kevin (August 3, 2016). "Bennett joins Babeu in pledging to term limits". Arizona City Independent. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Ray Parrish |". Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  9. ^ "It's Republican Paul Babeu And Democrat Tom O'Halleran In Monstrous CD-1 Race". 31 August 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Democrat Tom O'Halleran defeats Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu in CD-1". ABC 15. November 8, 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  11. ^ "Members". Blue dog coalition. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  12. ^ Resnik, Brahm. "GOP lawmaker running for Congress in northern Arizona district". 12News. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  14. ^ Singleton, Laura. "O'Halleran concerned about rural programs on the Trump administration's chopping block". White Mountain Independent. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  15. ^ BADE, RACHAEL; EVERETT, Burgess. "Could gun control flip the House to Democrats?". Politico. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  16. ^ "REP. O'HALLERAN DENOUNCES HEALTH CARE REPLACEMENT". Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  17. ^ FARZAN, ANTONIA NOORI. "Here's Where Arizona's Top Elected Officials Stand on Trump's Border Wall". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  18. ^ Nintzel, Jim. "Congressman Raul Grijalva sues Trump administration over border wall plans". The Skinny - Tucson Weekly. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  19. ^ Cross, Jim. "Arizona members of US Congress ask president not to pardon Arpaio". KTAR News. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  20. ^ "Arizona Congressmen to Trump: Don't Pardon Joe Arpaio". Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  21. ^ HANSEN, RONALD J.; WINGETT SANCHEZ, YVONNE. "Some in Arizona who sought Joe Arpaio's support mum on possible pardon". The Republic - az Central. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  22. ^ Official list of congressmen for 115th Congress, on which O'Halleran is listed as "D-Sedona")

External linksEdit