Gary Palmer (politician)

Gary Palmer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 6th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Spencer Bachus
Personal details
Born (1954-05-14) May 14, 1954
Hackleburg, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Alabama,
Website House website

Gary James Palmer (born May 14, 1954) is an American politician from the state of Alabama. Elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2014, he represents Alabama's 6th congressional district. Prior to his career as an elected official, Palmer co-founded and served as the long-time president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a conservative think tank.[1] He is a member of the Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives.[2]

Early life, education and career

Palmer was born in Hackleburg, Alabama.[3] He has a bachelor's degree in operations management from the University of Alabama.[4] In 1989, Palmer co-founded the Alabama Family Alliance, which later became the Alabama Policy Institute. Palmer served as president of the conservative think tank for 25 years, stepping down in 2014 to pursue a run for Congress.[5] Palmer helped found the State Policy Network, a nonprofit umbrella organization for conservative and libertarian think tanks which focus on state-level policy, and served as its president.[6]

Palmer is a longtime member of Briarwood Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church in America) in Birmingham.

U.S. House of Representatives

2014 election

Palmer declared his candidacy for the 6th district following the retirement announcement of 11-term incumbent Spencer Bachus.[4] In the Republican primary election—the real contest in this heavily Republican district—Palmer finished second behind state representative Paul DeMarco. In the ensuing runoff election, Palmer picked up the support of the Club for Growth.[7] Palmer won the runoff election by a margin of 64% to 36%.[8] In the November 4, 2014 general election, Palmer defeated Democratic nominee Mark Lester, a history professor at Birmingham-Southern College, 76% to 24%.[9]


Palmer took office on January 3, 2015, along with the other freshmen members of the 114th Congress.

Conservative Review has graded Palmer's voting record an A with a Liberty Score of 100%. Palmer is one the two Republican congressmen to receive this highest possible grade out of 247 Republicans in the House of Representatives.[10]

Committee assignments

Electoral history

Alabama's 6th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Demarco 30,894 32.68
Republican Gary Palmer 18,655 19.73
Republican Scott Beason 14,451 15.29
Republican Chad Mathis 14,420 15.25
Republican Will Brooke 13,130 13.89
Republican Tom Vingelle 2,397 2.54
Republican Robert Shattuck 587 0.62
Alabama's 6th Congressional District Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Gary Palmer 47,524 63.00
Republican Paul Demarco 27,329 37.00
Alabama's 6th Congressional District Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Gary Palmer 135,945 76.18
Democratic Mark Lester 42,291 23.70
Write-ins Write-ins 213 0.12


  1. Cason, Mike (October 24, 2013). "Gary Palmer announces he will run for Congress in Alabama's 6th congressional district". Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  2. Bialik, Carl; Bycoffe, Aaron (25 September 2015). "The Hard-Line Republicans Who Pushed John Boehner Out". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2015-09-28.
  4. 1 2 "Gary Palmer announces he will run for Congress in Alabama's 6th congressional district". Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  5. Moseley, Brandon (September 2014). "Crosby to Replace Palmer at API". Alabama Political Reporter. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  6. Barnes, Fred (May 22, 2014). "A Conservative Candidate of Character, Conviction, Knowledge, and Leadership". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  7. "Gary Palmer Marks Second Chance for Club for Growth in Alabama Race". At the Races. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  8. "Gary Palmer swamps Paul DeMarco in 6th District Republican runoff". Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  9. "Gary Palmer victorious in Alabama's 6th congressional district race". Shelby County Reporter. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  10. "Conservative Review - Scorecard". Retrieved August 1, 2016.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Spencer Bachus
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 6th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Dan Newhouse
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Bruce Poliquin
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