Paul Gosar

Last updated

Paul Gosar
Paul Gosar official portrait September 2016.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Ann Kirkpatrick
Constituency 1st district (2011–2013)
4th district (2013–present)
Personal details
Paul Anthony Gosar

(1958-11-27) November 27, 1958 (age 60)
Rock Springs, Wyoming, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)Maude Gosar
Education Creighton University (BS, DDS)
Website House website

Paul Anthony Gosar [1] ( /ˈɡsɑːr/ ; born November 27, 1958) is an American politician who has served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Arizona since 2011. Since 2013 he has represented Arizona's 4th congressional district , which includes most of the rural western portion of the state, as well as a few suburbs of Phoenix; he represented the neighboring 1st district during his first term. Gosar is a member of the Republican Party.

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the Lower House of the United States Congress, the Senate being the Upper House. Together they compose the national legislature of the United States.

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.

Arizonas 4th congressional district

Arizona's 4th congressional district is a congressional district located in the U.S. state of Arizona. It stretches from the periphery of Phoenix to contain much of the rural western and northwestern portion of the state.


Early life and dental career

Gosar was born in Rock Springs, Wyoming, in 1958. [2] He is the oldest of the seven sons and three daughters [3] [4] born to Antone John Gosar and Bernadette M. (née Erramouspe) Gosar. His paternal grandparents were Slovenian and his maternal grandparents were Basque immigrants from Banca, France. [5] Gosar was raised in Pinedale, Wyoming. His parents have been described as devoted Republicans who attended the national conventions for former presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald Ford. Gosar's brother Pete Gosar, a former college football player at the University of Wyoming, is a former chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party and was a candidate for governor of Wyoming in 2010 [3] [6] and 2014. [7] As of 2019 Pete Gosar is the executive director of a free health care clinic in Laramie, Wyoming, where he works with his physician sister, Grace. [3]

Rock Springs, Wyoming City in Wyoming, United States

Rock Springs is a city in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, United States. The population was 23,036 at the 2010 census, making it the 5th most populated city in the state of Wyoming, and the most populous city in Sweetwater County. Rock Springs is the principal city of the Rock Springs micropolitan statistical area, which has a population of 37,975. Rock Springs is known as the Home of 56 Nationalities because of the influx of immigrants from all over the world who came to work in the coal mines that supplied the fuel to power the steam engines of the Union Pacific Railroad. The city's rich cultural heritage is celebrated each summer on International Day, a festival where the foods, costumes, and traditions of residents' ancestors are recreated and enjoyed at Bunning Park in downtown Rock Springs.

Slovenes South Slavic ethnic group living in historical Slovene lands

The Slovenes, also known as Slovenians, are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group native to Slovenia, and also to Italy, Austria and Hungary in addition to having a diaspora throughout the world. Slovenes share a common ancestry, culture, history and speak Slovene as their native language.

Banca, Pyrénées-Atlantiques Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Banca is a commune of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of south-western France in the former province of Lower Navarre.

Gosar received his B.A. from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and his D.D.S. from the Boyne School of Dentistry at Creighton. He owned his own dentistry practice in Flagstaff, Arizona for 25 years. He was the Arizona Dental Association's "Dentist of the Year" in 2001, and was inducted into the ADA Hall of Fame, also serving as its president. He was also president of the Northern Arizona Dental Society and vice-chair of the ADA council on governmental affairs. [8]

Creighton University Jesuit and Catholic university located in Omaha, Nebraska in the United States

Creighton University is a private, Jesuit university in Omaha, Nebraska. Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1878, the school is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Omaha, Nebraska City in Nebraska, United States

Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County. Omaha is in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 10 miles (15 km) north of the mouth of the Platte River. The nation's 40th-largest city, Omaha's 2018 estimated population was 466,061.

Creighton University School of Dentistry

The Creighton University School of Dentistry is the dental school of Creighton University. It is located in the city of Omaha, Nebraska. It was one of the first dental schools in the United States, having been established in 1905.

U.S. House of Representatives

Election campaigns


In 2009 Gosar, who had never run for elected office before, announced that he would challenge Democratic incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick in the 1st district in the 2010 elections. He was identified as a Tea Party candidate by The New York Times because the Arizona Tea Party featured him on its website. [9]

Ann Kirkpatrick American politician

Ann Leila Kirkpatrick is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Arizona's 2nd congressional district. She previously represented Arizona's 1st congressional district from 2009 to 2011 and again from 2013 to 2017. A Democrat, she is also a former member of the Arizona House of Representatives.

<i>The New York Times</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.

Gosar won the Republican primary. He was endorsed by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and three Arizona county sheriffs: Maricopa County's Joe Arpaio, Coconino County's Joe Richards, and Pinal County's Paul Babeu. [10] Kirkpatrick challenged him to five debates across the district. [11] [12] Gosar initially agreed to one debate, but later withdrew. He released a statement explaining that his decision to withdraw from the debate was based on the long drive to and from the television station, KAET in Phoenix, which had organized the debate, [13] but a producer at KAET said that Gosar's staff had told the station that the candidate could not participate in the debate because he would be attending a fundraiser instead. [14]

Sarah Palin 9th Governor of Alaska

Sarah Louise Palin is an American politician, commentator, author, and reality television personality, who served as the ninth governor of Alaska from 2006 until her resignation in 2009. As the Republican Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2008 election alongside presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain, she was the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major political party and the first Republican woman selected as a vice presidential candidate. Her book Going Rogue has sold more than two million copies.

Joe Arpaio former Maricopa County Sheriff

Joseph Michael Arpaio is an American former law enforcement officer and politician. He served as the 36th Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona for 24 years, from 1993 to 2017, losing reelection to Democrat Paul Penzone in 2016.

Paul Babeu American police officer

Paul Raymond Babeu is an American politician and member of the Republican Party who was sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona, from January 1, 2008, to January 1, 2017. He was Pinal County's first Republican sheriff.

Gosar defeated Kirkpatrick in the November 2010 general election, taking 49.7 percent of the vote.


Gosar initially planned to seek reelection in the 1st district, which had been made less favorable to Republicans as a result of redistricting, [15] but with Kirkpatrick priming for a rematch, he changed his mind and announced in January 2012 that he would run in the newly created 4th district. The 4th had absorbed much of the western portion of the old 1st district, and was heavily Republican. As part of the move, Gosar bought a second home in Prescott, which he claimed as his official residence. [16]

Redistricting is the process of drawing electoral district boundaries in the United States. A congressional act passed in 1967 requires that representatives be elected from single-member districts, except when a state has a single representative, in which case one state-wide at-large election be held.

Prescott, Arizona City in Arizona, United States

Prescott is a city in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 39,843. The city is the county seat of Yavapai County. In 1864 Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory, replacing the temporary capital at Fort Whipple. The Territorial Capital was moved to Tucson in 1867. Prescott again became the Territorial Capital in 1877, until Phoenix became the capital in 1889.

Gosar initially faced a tough primary fight against Babeu, but Babeu pulled out in May 2012 due to allegations of abuse of power. [17] Gosar defeated former state senator Ron Gould and businessman Rick Murphy in the Republican primary, all but assuring him a second term in Congress. In the November general election, he defeated Democratic challenger Johnnie Robinson with 67 percent of the vote. [18]

Gosar speaking at the 2018 Arizona Manufacturing Summit in Phoenix, Arizona Paul Gosar (44217542045).jpg
Gosar speaking at the 2018 Arizona Manufacturing Summit in Phoenix, Arizona

In September 2018 six of Gosar's nine siblings spoke out against their brother and endorsed his Democratic opponent, David Brill, in a series of television campaign ads that drew national and international coverage. [19] [20] In the first ad, sisters Grace and Jennifer, both identified as health care providers, told viewers that their brother did not care about people in rural Arizona. In another ad, called "A family defends its honor," brother David Gosar, a lawyer, declared, "We've got to stand up for our good name. This is not who we are." Paul Gosar responded to the ads on Twitter, describing his siblings as "disgruntled Hillary supporters" who "put political ideology before family". [20]

Gosar defeated Brill in the November 2018 general election with 68.2% of the vote.

Political positions


Gosar describes himself as pro-life. Of abortions, he has said, "These procedures undeniably rob the world of a human life in a most cruel fashion... The right thing to do is to ban these procedures." [21] Gosar cosponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a bill that would make permanent restrictions on federal funding of abortions in the US. [22] He also cosponsored the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, an act placing restrictions on abortions in the District of Columbia. [23] Gosar was given a 100% rating by the National Right to Life Committee, a pro-life interest group, and a 0% rating by NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League), a pro-choice interest group. [24]

Boycott of Pope Francis

On September 17, 2015, in an op-ed on the conservative website, Gosar announced that he would not attend Pope Francis's planned address to a joint meeting of Congress unless the Pope spoke about issues such as "violent Islam" or Planned Parenthood instead of climate change. He wrote that he would treat the Pope the same way he believes "leftist politicians" should be treated. [25] Gosar accused Francis of having "adopted all of the socialist talking points, wrapped false science and ideology into 'climate justice' and is being presented to guilt people into leftist policies." [26] He called climate science "questionable" and criticized Laudato si' , Francis's encyclical on the environment. [25]

Gosar did not attend Francis's September 24 address, the only member of Congress not to do so. [27] [28] Shortly after Francis's visit, Gosar used his opposition to Francis's addresses as a fundraising tool. [28] [27] A fundraising email for Gosar used his op-ed's catchphrase, "When the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one", [3] and positioned Gosar as the victim of "unprecedented attacks" from "the liberals, the left-wing media and the Obama political machine." [28]


Gosar is against the legalization of marijuana and has expressed concerns about public safety, children, and the commercial industry. He voted against the Veterans Equal Access Amendment, which allows veterans to access medical marijuana, if legal in their state, per their Veterans Health Administration doctor's recommendation. He has an "F" rating from NORML regarding his voting record on cannabis-related matters. [29]


In 2015 Gosar scored 3% on the National Environmental Scorecard of the League of Conservation Voters. On January 30, 2017, he introduced House Joint resolution 46, which would repeal the authority of the National Park Service to decline private drilling for oil, gas and minerals in 40 U.S. National Parks if the Park Service determines that the mining operation would threaten the environment. The Washington Post said Gosar was "no friend of environmentalists." [30] [31] [32]

In September 2015 Gosar submitted articles of impeachment against EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, asserting that she had committed "high crimes and misdemeanors" and "lied to the American people in order to force misguided and overreaching regulations, which have no scientific basis, down our throats." [33] An EPA spokeswoman said Gosar's resolution "has zero merit and is nothing more than political theater" while fellow Republican and House majority leader Kevin McCarthy confirmed that "There's no plan to impeach Gina McCarthy." [34]


In 2010 Gosar signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any global warming legislation that would raise taxes. [35]

Gosar voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. [36]

Foreign policy

In 2019 Gosar signed a letter led by Representative Ro Khanna and Senator Rand Paul to President Trump asserting that it is "long past time to rein in the use of force that goes beyond congressional authorization" and that they hoped this would "serve as a model for ending hostilities in the future—in particular, as you and your administration seek a political solution to our involvement in Afghanistan.” [37] [38]


Gosar has stated that the "Second Amendment is one of the most important rights set forth by the Bill of Rights" and that he will "continue to oppose efforts to restrict, infringe, or remove this constitutionally protected right." [39] He was endorsed by the NRA (National Rifle Association) and given a rating of 92%. He was also endorsed by Gun Owners of America and given a rating of 75%. [40]


The Arizona Republic described Gosar as "one of the staunchest opponents in Congress to legalizing undocumented dreamers". [41] Gosar stated, "I strongly believe we need to immediately secure our border and oppose amnesty for anyone who blatantly violates our law." [42] He has cosponsored legislation to repeal the 14th Amendment, thus eliminating birthright citizenship for children born in the US to undocumented immigrants. [43] [44] In a May 2018 interview he accused immigration attorneys providing legal advice to undocumented immigrants of committing a crime: "What we need to do is also hold those that are actually helping — what they're saying is help, but assisting in a crime — to be prosecuted as well." [45]

He was given an "A" rating by NumbersUSA, an organization in support of immigration reduction. [46]

Native Americans

In December 2014 Gosar drew controversy when he referred to American Indians as "wards of the federal government". He was responding to concerns from members of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in eastern Arizona when he made the comment at the round-table talk in Flagstaff. The discussion had addressed the proposal to swap 2,400 acres of southeastern Arizona's Tonto National Forest for about 5,300 acres of environmentally sensitive land. The proposal, which was attached as a rider to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, would give land sacred to the Apache in Arizona to Resolution Copper Mine, a joint venture owned by Rio Tinto and BHP BillitonTroy Eid, a Republican and former U.S. Attorney in Colorado, responded to Gosar's comments, "In the heated context of what this represents, it's especially inappropriate to be resorting to what amounts to race baiting." A Gosar spokesperson said his comments were misconstrued. [47]

Treason accusations against the FBI and DOJ

In February 2018 Gosar posted on his Facebook page that the so-called Nunes memo showed "clear and convincing evidence" that certain members of the FBI and Justice Department committed treason. [48] [49] He also specifically said conduct by James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein was "not just criminal but constitutes treason." In what Gosar referred to as "My full statement on the declassified memo", he said he would be "leading [sic] a letter to the Attorney General seeking criminal prosecution against these traitors to our nation."

White supremacism and the far right

In July 2018 Gosar spoke at a rally in London in support of former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson. He also used his speech to attack "disgusting and depraved" Muslim immigrants. [50] [51] [20] Gosar and five other congressmen invited Robinson to speak to United States Congress on November 14, 2018, on a trip sponsored by the Islamophobic Middle East Forum. He was expected to get a visa despite his criminal convictions and use of fraudulent passports to enter and depart the U.S. [52]

In October 2017 Gosar promoted the conspiracy theory that the Unite the Right rally that occurred earlier that year was a left-wing plot to stoke racial discord and to undermine President Trump. [53] Gosar's statements echoed debunked claims that were promoted by Alex Jones of Infowars . [53] Gosar further claimed the Charlottesville rally might have been funded by George Soros, who he said "turned in his own people to the Nazis" despite being 13 years old in 1944. [54] Seven of Gosar's siblings wrote an open letter to the Kingman (Arizona) Daily Miner newspaper denouncing Gosar's claims about Soros as "despicable slander...without a shred of truth", saying the congressman "owes George Soros a personal apology." [55]

In 2019 Gosar sought to reinstate Representative Steve King to the House committees King had been removed from due to a series of racist remarks. [56]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

As of November 2017, Gosar is a member of dozens of House caucuses. They include:

Electoral history

Arizona's 1st congressional district Republican primary election, 2010
RepublicanPaul Gosar21,94130.73
RepublicanSydney Hay16,32822.87
RepublicanBradley Beauchamp11,35615.91
RepublicanRussell "Rusty" Bowers10,55214.78
RepublicanSteve Mehta5,8468.19
RepublicanThomas Zaleski2,1052.95
RepublicanJon Jensen1,7362.43
RepublicanJoe Jaraczewski1,5302.14
Arizona's 1st congressional district election, 2010
RepublicanPaul Gosar112,81649.77
DemocraticAnn Kirkpatrick (inc.)99,23343.73
LibertarianNicole Patti14,8696.55
Arizona's 4th congressional district Republican primary election, 2012
RepublicanPaul Gosar (inc.)40,03351.35
RepublicanRon Gould24,61731.57
RepublicanRick Murphy13,31517.08
Arizona's 4th congressional district election, 2012
RepublicanPaul Gosar (inc.)162,90766.83
DemocraticJohnnie Robinson69,15428.37
LibertarianJoe Parnelia9,3063.82
Americans ElectRichard Grayson2,3930.98
Arizona's 4th congressional district election, 2014
RepublicanPaul Gosar (inc.)122,56069.96
DemocraticMike Weisser45,17925.79
LibertarianChris Rike7,4404.25
Arizona's 4th congressional district election, 2016
RepublicanPaul Gosar (inc.)203,48771.5
DemocraticMikel Weisser81,29628.5

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U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ann Kirkpatrick
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Ann Kirkpatrick
Preceded by
Ed Pastor
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 4th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Bob Gibbs
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Morgan Griffith