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  Stenholm, Charles W. "Charlie"
NameCharles W. "Charlie" Stenholm
Stamford, Texas , United States
Born October 26, 1938 (80 years)
ContributorWishful Thinking
Last ModifedRBH
Sep 23, 2016 10:57pm
Tags Caucasian - Moderate-to-Conservative - Anti Environment - Anti School Vouchers - Anti-Gay Marriage - Anti-Social Security Privatization - Pro Alaska/Offshore Oil Drilling - Pro Free Trade - Pro- gun - Pro-Capital Punishment - Pro-Life - Married - Lutheran - Straight -
InfoA Blue Dog, a Boll Weevil, a farmer, a third generation Texan, a father, a very proud grandfather--all of these describe Congressman Charles W. (Charlie) Stenholm of the 17th Congressional District of Texas.

Charlie Stenholm arrived in Washington with a vision of amplifying the voice of mainstream, rural America in the U.S. House of Representatives. Now hailed as "the guy who leads by example and experience," Stenholm continues to proudly represent residents of the sprawling, 32 county, 17th District of Texas. As a genuine native son, he personifies a district characterized by traditional beliefs and conservative values, agriculture, oil and gas, and a variety of small businesses.

Known for his trademark cowboy boots and a good-natured but no-nonsense, common-sense style, Stenholm often assumes the role of bridge builder between political parties, ideological extremes, and generational opposites.

"If it grows out of the ground, Charlie Stenholm understands it," noted a colleague, commenting on Stenholm's vast agricultural experience, including his continued active involvement in his Jones County family cotton farm. Having served on the Agriculture Committee since his Washington arrival, Stenholm won the post of Ranking Democrat on the Committee in the 105th Congress. There, he focuses on expanding agricultural world trade, streamlining the agricultural bureaucracy, boosting agricultural research and promoting the needs of agriculture producers and consumers.

Named "the spiritual godfather of fiscal austerity," Stenholm has consistently advanced fiscal responsibility in the federal budget. Originally a lone voice in the wilderness, Stenholm's persistence over the years finally resulted in House passage of his Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment in the 104th Congress, which subsequently met defeat by just one vote in the Senate. The actual balanced budget plans which Stenholm crafted in both the 104th and 105th Congresses with a group of moderate and conservative Democrats known as the "Blue Dog Coalition" have received wide national acclaim as the most honest, pragmatic, and fair proposals on the table.

In addition to agriculture and budget, Stenholm has shown leadership on an unusually wide portfolio of legislative activities, including health care, small business protections, social security, welfare reform, juvenile justice, and restricting unfunded mandates. His demonstrated independence allows careful responsiveness to constituent opinion.

Increasingly mindful of the growing need for improved Congressional comity and cooperation, Stenholm played an active role on the steering committee of the first ever House-wide bipartisan retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania, held without taxpayer or interest group expense. The steering committee is pursuing additional avenues to higher levels of civility in the 106th Congress. Stenholm continues to find the weekly Prayer Breakfast to be one of the greatest sources of non-partisan, positive fellowship for Members of the House.

Stenholm graduated from Tarleton State Junior College and Texas Tech University, and has received honorary Doctor of Law degrees from Abilene Christian, Hardin-Simmons, and McMurry Universities.

Charlie and his wife Cindy have three children (Chris, Cary, and Courtney) and two grandchildren (Chase and Cole). All of the Stenholms live in Texas. Charlie and Cindy are members of the Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ericksdahl.


Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor

Importance? 7.33330 Average


  11/02/2004 TX - District 19 Lost 40.06% (-18.36%)
  03/09/2004 TX - District 19 - D Primary Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/05/2002 TX District 17 Won 51.36% (+3.98%)
  11/07/2000 TX District 17 Won 59.03% (+23.55%)
  11/03/1998 TX District 17 Won 53.57% (+8.29%)
  11/05/1996 TX District 17 Won 51.65% (+4.27%)
  12/01/1994 US House Minority Whip Lost 28.57% (-42.86%)
  11/08/1994 TX District 17 Won 53.66% (+7.32%)
  03/08/1994 TX District 17 - D Primary Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/03/1992 TX District 17 Won 66.07% (+32.14%)
  03/10/1992 TX District 17 - D Primary Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/06/1990 TX District 17 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/08/1988 TX District 17 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/04/1986 TX District 17 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/06/1984 TX District 17 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  05/05/1984 TX District 17 - D Primary Won 88.21% (+76.42%)
  11/02/1982 TX District 17 Won 97.10% (+94.19%)
  11/04/1980 TX District 17 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/07/1978 TX District 17 Won 68.12% (+36.25%)
  06/03/1978 TX District 17 - D Runoff Won 67.08% (+34.17%)
  05/06/1978 TX District 17 - D Primary Won 35.88% (+2.32%)
TX US President - D Primary - Mar 04, 2008 D Hillary Clinton
TX US President - D Primary - Mar 09, 2004 D Wesley Clark
US President - D Primaries - Jun 09, 2004 D Wesley Clark
US House Speaker - Jan 07, 2003 I No Preference
TX US President - D Primary - May 01, 1976 D Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr.