Paul Gosar

Paul Gosar
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Ed Pastor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2011  January 3, 2013
Preceded by Ann Kirkpatrick
Succeeded by Ann Kirkpatrick
Personal details
Born Paul Anthony Gosar
(1958-11-27) November 27, 1958
Rock Springs, Wyoming, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Maude Gosar (3 children)
Residence Flagstaff, Arizona (1985–2012)
Prescott, Arizona (2012–present)
Alma mater Creighton University (B.S, D.D.S)
Profession dentist, politician
Religion Roman Catholicism[1]
Website House website

Paul Anthony Gosar[2] (born November 27, 1958) is an American politician and member of the United States House of Representatives from Arizona since 2011, representing Arizona's 4th congressional district. The district includes most of the rural western portion of the state, as well as a few outer suburbs of Phoenix. He represented the neighboring 1st district during his first term. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life, education and dental career

Gosar was born in Rock Springs, Wyoming in 1958,[1] son of Antone John Gosar and Bernadette M. (Erramouspe) Gosar. His paternal grandparents were Slovenian and his maternal grandparents were Basque immigrants from Banca, France.[3] He is the older brother of Pete Gosar, a former college football player at the University of Wyoming, who is a former chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party and was a candidate for governor of Wyoming, in 2010[4] and 2014.[5]

Gosar received his B.A. from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and later, his D.D.S. from the Boyne School of Dentistry at Creighton. He owned his own dentistry practice in Flagstaff for twenty-five 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.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives



In 2009, Gosar – who had never run for elected office before – announced he would challenge Democratic incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick in the 1st district in the 2010 elections. Gosar has been identified as a Tea Party candidate by The New York Times because the Arizona Tea Party features Gosar on its website.[7] Libertarian nominee Nicole Patti was also on the ballot.

Gosar won the Republican primary. He was endorsed by Sarah Palin and three Arizona county sheriffs: Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio, Coconino County sheriff, Joe Richards, and Pinal County sheriff, Paul Babeu.[8] Kirkpatrick challenged him to five debates across the district.[9][10] Gosar initially agreed to one debate but later withdrew. Gosar released a statement explaining the decision to withdraw from the debate was based on the long drive to and from KAET in Phoenix, which organized the debate.[11] A producer at KAET said Gosar's staff told the station the candidate could not participate in the debate because he would be attending a fundraiser instead.[12]

Gosar defeated Kirkpatrick in the November 2, 2010, general election, taking 49.7 percent of the vote.


Following changes made in redistricting, Gosar was going to seek re-election in the 1st district, which was made less favorable to Republicans.[13] However, with Kirkpatrick priming for a rematch, Gosar changed his mind and announced in January 2012 he would run in the newly created 4th district, which is heavily Republican. As part of the move, he bought a second home in Prescott, which he claimed as his official residence.[14][15]

Gosar initially faced a tough primary fight against Babeu. However, Babeu pulled out in May 2012 due to allegations of abuse of power.[16] Gosar then easily defeated former state senator Ron Gould and businessman Rick Murphy in the Republican primary, all but assuring him of a second term.

In the November general election, he defeated Democratic challenger Johnnie Robinson, with 67 percent of the vote.[17]



Paul Gosar describes himself as pro-life. On abortions, Gosar states, “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.”[18] These beliefs are reflected in his voting record. Gosar cosponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a bill that would make permanent restrictions on federal funding of abortions in the US.[19] Gosar also cosponsored the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, an act placing restrictions on abortions in the District of Columbia.[20] 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.[21]

Gun rights

Gosar has stated that the “Second Amendment is one of the most important rights set forth by the Bill of Rights” and has stated he will “continue to oppose efforts to restrict, infringe, or remove this constitutionally protected right.”[22] Gosar cosponsored the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, a bill that would allow noncitizens of a state to, with concealed carry permits, carry concealed weapons in that state.[23] Gosar also sponsored the “Amendment to Restore 2nd Amendment Rights on Army Corps of Engineers Administered Recreational Lands”, which would allow citizens to carry weapons on land administered by the Army Corps of Engineers.[24] Gosar 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%.[25]


Regarding immigration, Gosar has stated, “I strongly believe we need to immediately secure our border and oppose amnesty for anyone who blatantly violates our law.”[26] Gosar has cosponsored multiple bills that would impose regulations on immigration. For example, Gosar cosponsored the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011, a bill that would eliminate birthright citizenship for children born in the US to undocumented immigrants.[27] Gosar also cosponsored the Keeping the Pledge on Immigration Act of 2011, a bill that would increase border security.[28] Gosar was given an “A” rating by NumbersUSA, an organization in support of immigration reduction.[29]

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 that stunned people at the round-table talk in Flagstaff, Arizona. The topic 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 Billiton. Troy Eid, a Republican and former U.S. Attorney in Colorado, responded to Gosar's comments and said: "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.[30]


In 2010 Gosar signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.[31]

Attempt to Impeach EPA Administrator

On September 11, 2015, Gosar announced that he had filed articles of impeachment against EPA administrator Gina McCarthy for "high crimes and misdemeanors:", claiming that she had "lied to the American people in order to force misguided and overreaching regulations, which have no scientific basis, down our throats.".[32] 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." [33]

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' planned address to Congress, unless the Pope spoke about issues such as "violent Islam" or Planned Parenthood, instead of global warming. While he stated that he remains proud to be a Catholic and to have attended a Jesuit university, where he learned to "think critically [and] welcome debate and discussion," nonetheless, he would treat the Pope the same way he believes "leftist politicians" should be treated. Fearing the possibility the Pope would discuss climate change, he said "I will not attend."[34] According to Gosar, Pope Francis had “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,”[35] and Laudato si', Francis's encyclical on the environment, had been "written with the consultation of that great seminary the EPA and its embattled head Gina McCarthy."[34] Gosar did skip Pope Francis's September 24 address, the only member of Congress to do so;[36] the gesture generated comment on television and the Internet.[37] Shortly after the Pope's visit, Gosar sent out a fundraising email that focused on his recent action. The message repeated, four times, the Townhall 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." Citing criticism from Stephen Colbert, an article in, and an unnamed website, the message positioned Gosar as the victim of "unprecedented attacks" from "the liberals, the left-wing media and the Obama political machine": "I chose not to attend the speech of Pope Francis. And then 'all hell broke loose.' Will you support me by giving $15 to my campaign today? Will you help me fend off the liberal sharks who are out for my blood?"[37] Phoenix news station Fox 10 wrote, "The whole thing was part of Gosar's latest fundraising pitch."[36]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Gosar is a member of several caucuses.[38]

Electoral history

Arizona's 1st Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Gosar 21,941 30.73
Republican Sydney Hay 16,328 22.87
Republican Bradley Beauchamp 11,356 15.91
Republican Russell "Rusty" Bowers 10,552 14.78
Republican Steve Mehta 5,846 8.19
Republican Thomas Zaleski 2,105 2.95
Republican Jon Jensen 1,736 2.43
Republican Joe Jaraczewski 1,530 2.14
Arizona's 1st Congressional District Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Gosar 112,816 49.77
Democratic Ann Kirkpatrick (inc.) 99,233 43.73
Libertarian Nicole Patti 14,869 6.55
Arizona's 4th Congressional District Republican Primary Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Gosar (inc.) 40,033 51.35
Republican Ron Gould 24,617 31.57
Republican Rick Murphy 13,315 17.08
Arizona's 4th Congressional District Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Gosar (inc.) 162,907 66.83
Democratic Johnnie Robinson 69,154 28.37
Libertarian Joe Parnelia 9,306 3.82
Americans Elect Richard Grayson 2,393 0.98
Arizona's 4th Congressional District Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Gosar (inc.) 122,560 69.96
Democratic Mike Weisser 45,179 25.79
Libertarian Chris Rike 7,440 4.25


  1. 1 2 "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). CQ Roll Call. 2010-11-04. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  2. "Elections 2012 – AP Election Guide : Paul Anthony Gosar". NPR. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  3. "Paul Anthony Gosar, D.D.S". Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  4. Profile contrasting Paul and Pete Gosar Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. "Mead wins GOP primary for Wyoming governor". Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  6. "Arizona's Former Dentist of The Year Launches Robust Bid to Unseat Ann Kirkpatrick in Congressional District One". Gosar for Congress. 14 October 2009. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  7. Zernike, Kate (October 14, 2010). "Where Tea Party Candidates Are Running". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  8. "Endorsements". Gosar For Congress. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
  9. "Paul Gosar Finds Easy Victory in CD1 Primary". Prescott eNews. 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
  10. "Arizona Capitol Times Blog Archive » Kirkpatrick wants 5 debates with GOP challenger". Retrieved 2010-10-19.
  11. "Gosar pulls plug on televised debate". Arizona Daily Sun. 2010-10-19. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
  12. "Gosar backs out of today's TV debate in favor of fundraiser". Prescott Daily Courier. 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  13. Taylor, Jessica (October 5, 2011). "House Democrats Gain With New Arizona Map". National Journal. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  14. Wilson, Reid (January 7, 2012). "Gosar Will Switch Districts". National Journal. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  15. Sheriff Babeu Abandons Race for Arizona Congressional Seat. Fox News Latino. 2012-05-11. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  16. "election 2012: Results from The Arizona Republic, 12 News and". Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  17. "Dr. Gosar Condemns Abortion Genocide: Disgusted at Congress' Failure to Protect the Unborn and Ban Pain Capable Abortions". July 31, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  18. "Bill Summary & Status – 112th Congress (2011 – 2012) – H.R.3 – All Information – THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  19. "Bill Summary & Status – 112th Congress (2011 – 2012) – H.R.3803 – All Information – THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  20. "Paul Gosar – Ratings and Endorsements". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  21. "Second Amendment Gun Rights". Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  22. Rep. Clifford “Cliff” Stearns [R-FL6]. "National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 (H.R. 822)". Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  23. "Sponsored Legislation | Congressman Paul Gosar". 2011-05-29. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  24. "Paul Gosar – Ratings and Endorsements". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  25. "". Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  26. "H.R.140: Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 – U.S. Congress". OpenCongress. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  27. Rep. Edward “Ed” Royce [R-CA40]. "Keeping the Pledge on Immigration Act of 2011 (H.R. 1274)". Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  28. "2012 Arizona 04th Congressional District | NumbersUSA – For Lower Immigration Levels". NumbersUSA. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  29. Fonseca, Felicia (December 10, 2014). "Rep. Paul Gosar Calls Native Americans 'Wards Of The Federal Government'". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  31. Smith, Steven "Rep. Gosar Files Articles of Impeachment against EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy", Press Release, September 11, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2015
  32. "GOP lawmaker moves to impeach EPA chief McCarthy", Fox News, September 15, 2015, Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  33. 1 2 Hall, Paul Gosar / Town. "Why I Am Boycotting Pope Francis's Address to Congress". Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  34. Viebeck, Elise, "Who is Paul Gosar, the congressman boycotting Pope Francis?", 'Washington Post', September 21, 2015, Retrieved September 22, 2015
  35. 1 2 Flores, Jessica (September 30, 2015). "Gosar goes after Pope; uses boycott to raise campaign money". KSAZ-TV. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  36. 1 2 Weigel, Dave (September 30, 2015). "Arizona congressman raises funds off his boycott of Pope Francis". Washington Post. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  37. "Committees and Caucuses". 2011-03-20. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
  38. Bialik, Carl; Bycoffe, Aaron (25 September 2015). "The Hard-Line Republicans Who Pushed John Boehner Out". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2015-09-28.

External links

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

January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Succeeded by
Ann Kirkpatrick
Preceded by
Ed Pastor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 4th congressional district

January 3, 2013 – present
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Chris Gibson
R-New York
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Trey Gowdy
R-South Carolina
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