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Richard Burr

Richard Burr

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Richard Mauze Burr is the senior United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 and a member of the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

. Previously, Burr represented North Carolina's 5th congressional district
North Carolina's 5th congressional district
North Carolina's 5th congressional district covers the northwestern corner of North Carolina from the Appalachian Mountains to the Piedmont Triad. The district includes Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Davie, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties and parts of Forsyth, Iredell, and...

 in the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

.

As Senator, Burr has had a non-controversial and perhaps non-remarkable tenure so far, espousing most of the Republican Party's expected positions, from general support for former Pres. Bush's actions in Iraq to abortion opposition. Strikingly however, he voted to repeal the military's employment discrimination policy against gays. As well, in October, he announced he seeks the post of minority whip, the number two Republican position in the Senate.

Burr is the son of a minister. He has children with Brooke, his wife of 27 years. He is distant kin of former U.S. Vice-President Aaron Burr.

Background


Burr was born in Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville is an independent city geographically surrounded by but separate from Albemarle County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, and named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of King George III of the United Kingdom.The official population estimate for...

, the son of Martha (née Gillum) and Rev. David Horace Burr, a minister. He graduated from Richard J. Reynolds High School
Richard J. Reynolds High School
Richard J. Reynolds High School now the Richard J. Reynolds Magnet School for the Visual and Performing Arts is a high school in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Named for R. J. Reynolds, the founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the...

 in Winston-Salem, N.C. in 1974 and earned a B.A. from Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University is a private, coeducational university in the U.S. state of North Carolina, founded in 1834. The university received its name from its original location in Wake Forest, north of Raleigh, North Carolina, the state capital. The Reynolda Campus, the university's main campus, is...

 in 1978. Burr was on the football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 team at both Reynolds High School and Wake Forest. Burr lettered for the Demon Deacons during the 1974 and 1975 seasons; however, the team went winless in ACC play during his tenure. He is a member of the Kappa Sigma
Kappa Sigma
Kappa Sigma , commonly nicknamed Kappa Sig, is an international fraternity with currently 282 active chapters and colonies in North America. Kappa Sigma has initiated more than 240,000 men on college campuses throughout the United States and Canada. Today, the Fraternity has over 175,000 living...

 fraternity.

Prior to running for Congress, Burr worked for 17 years as a sales manager for Carswell Distributing Company, a distributor of lawn equipment. Burr is currently a board member of Brenner Children's Hospital
Brenner Children's Hospital
Brenner Children's Hospital is a children's hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.The Brenner Children's Hospital is dedicated to tertiary pediatric care with specialty children's services such as chronic disease treatment, cancer/acute leukemia treatment, and infant and child cardiothoracic...

, as well as of the group Idealliance - a group of local, academic, and government officials working to expand North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad Research Park,

In 1984, Burr married Brooke Fauth; the couple has two sons.

Burr's father claims he is a 12th cousin of Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr, Jr. was an important political figure in the early history of the United States of America. After serving as a Continental Army officer in the Revolutionary War, Burr became a successful lawyer and politician...

, the former Vice-President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

, Senator, lawyer, and Continental Army officer known most for defeating Founding Father Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 in an 1804 duel. He is the first Burr in the Senate—and only the second person with his last name to win election to Congress (the first being the presumably unrelated Albert G. Burr
Albert G. Burr
Albert George Burr was a United States Representative in Congress from the state of Illinois for two terms, the 40th and 41st Congresses . He was a member of the Democratic Party....

)—since Aaron. Sen. Burr himself has stated that there are no longer any direct descendants of Aaron Burr, and that he descends from Aaron's brother. When queried, Burr states that he has tempered pride of the association: "I am [proud] ... though history has proved to shine a different light on him."

House career


In 1992, Burr ran against incumbent Democratic Representative Stephen L. Neal
Stephen L. Neal
Stephen Lybrook "Steve" Neal was a North Carolina Democratic politician who served ten terms in the U.S. House of Representatives ....

 and lost. He ran again in 1994
United States House elections, 1994
The 1994 U.S. House of Representatives election was held on November 8, 1994, in the middle of President Bill Clinton's first term. As a result of a 54-seat swing in membership from Democrats to Republicans, the Republican Party gained a majority of seats in the United States House of...

 after Neal chose not to seek re-election, and was elected to Congress during a landslide year for Republicans. He ran on a platform that advocated accountability for the federal government, lower health care costs, economic development, and strong school systems. Burr was elected to the legislature by increasingly large margins during his term in the House, especially because of growing Republican trends within his district.

Senate career


In July 2004, Burr won the Republican primary to seek the U.S. Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 seat being vacated by Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 John Edwards
John Edwards
Johnny Reid "John" Edwards is an American politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in...

, who launched a presidential campaign. He faced Democratic party nominee Erskine Bowles
Erskine Bowles
Erskine Boyce Bowles is an American businessman and political figure from North Carolina. He served from 2005 to 2010 as the President of the University of North Carolina system...

 and Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...

 Tom Bailey.

Burr won the election by five percentage points. His and Bowles' combined campaign expenditures totaled over $26 million, making it one of the most expensive Senate races in the country. Burr raised more money from political action committees, $2.8 million, than any other Senate candidate in 2004, primarily from the business community.

In 2007, Burr ran for the leadership post of Republican Conference chairman
Republican Conference Chairman of the United States Senate
The Republican conference of the United States Senate chooses a conference chairperson. The office was created in the mid-19th century with the founding of the Republican party...

 but lost to Sen. Lamar Alexander
Lamar Alexander
Andrew Lamar Alexander is the senior United States Senator from Tennessee and Conference Chair of the Republican Party. He was previously the 45th Governor of Tennessee from 1979 to 1987, United States Secretary of Education from 1991 to 1993 under President George H. W...

 by a vote of 31 to 16.

Committee assignments

  • Committee on Armed Services
    United States Senate Committee on Armed Services
    The Committee on Armed Services is a committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of the nation's military, including the Department of Defense, military research and development, nuclear energy , benefits for members of the military, the Selective Service System and...

    • Subcommittee on Airland
      United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Airland
      The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Airland is one of six subcommittees within the Senate Armed Services Committee.-Jurisdiction:The Airland Subcommittee has primary jurisdiction over all issues related to the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and U.S...

    • Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
      United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
      The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities is one of six subcommittees within the Senate Armed Services Committee.-Jurisdiction:...

    • Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
      United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
      The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support is one of six subcommittees within the Senate Armed Services Committee.-Jurisdiction:...

       (Ranking Member)
  • Committee on Finance
    United States Senate Committee on Finance
    The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance is a standing committee of the United States Senate. The Committee concerns itself with matters relating to taxation and other revenue measures generally, and those relating to the insular possessions; bonded debt of the United States; customs, collection...

  • Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    The United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions generally considers matters relating to health, education, labor, and pensions...

    • Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
      United States Senate Health Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
      The Senate Health Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety is one of the three subcommittees within the Senate Committee on Health-Jurisdiction:...

    • Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging (Ranking Member)
  • Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    The United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs deals with oversight of United States veterans issues.-Members, 112th Congress:The Committee is chaired by Democrat Patty Murray of Washington, and the Ranking Member is Republican Richard Burr of North Carolina.Source: -Chairmen of the Senate...

     (Ranking Member)
  • Select Committee on Intelligence
    United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
    The United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is dedicated to overseeing the United States Intelligence Community—the agencies and bureaus of the federal government of the United States who provide information and analysis for leaders of the executive and legislative branches. The...

  • Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
    Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
    The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe , also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent U.S. Government agency created by Congress in 1976 to monitor and encourage compliance with the Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE commitments. It was established in 1976 pursuant to...


Caucus membership

  • Congressional Boating Caucus (Co-Chair)
  • International Conservation Caucus
    United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus
    The U.S. Congressional International Conservation Caucus is a bipartisan congressional organization that was founded in September 2003 with the conviction that “the United States of America has the opportunity, the obligation and the interests to advance the conservation of natural resources for...

  • Sportsmen's Caucus
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Caucus

2008 banking crisis


In the fall of 2008, Burr described his response to problems in the U.S. financial system:
On Friday night, I called my wife and I said, "Brooke, I am not coming home this weekend. I will call you on Monday. Tonight, I want you to go to the ATM machine, and I want you to draw out everything it will let you take. And I want you to go tomorrow, and I want you to go Sunday." I was convinced on Friday night that if you put a plastic card in an ATM the last thing you were going to get was cash.
This statement attracted considerable attention from the national press when an April 2009 story in the News and Observer made it more widely known. In late April, Burr told WFAE
WFAE
WFAE is the flagship National Public Radio station in Charlotte, North Carolina broadcasting at 90.7 MHz on the FM dial.The station went on the air on June 29, 1981 as a service of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, taking over from a student-run carrier current station that had begun...

, a public radio station in North Carolina, "Absolutely I'd do it [again]." He said that "The exact situation we were faced with was a freeze bank to bank. And as I stated, my attempt was to make sure my wife had enough cash at home to make it through the next week." Burr also said that "It was not an attempt to run a bank," and "Nor was it a bank that was even considered then or now to be in trouble."

In a campaign debate on June 26, 2010, Burr responded to a question asking if "the government should take a more active role or a lesser role in regulating large corporations" in light of "the Wall Street meltdown and now the BP oil spill". His response focused on the banking and credit crisis:
Whatever we craft to stop people from cheating, we're just not smart enough to stop cheaters. When Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson...brought us the bad news, he talked about something 90% of congress didn't know what it was, a credit default swap. And when he talked about the exposure he talked about it from a standpoint of hundreds of trillions of dollars and nobody knew where they were. We should have regulated that product...
Burr voted against the financial reform bill Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010
Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a federal statute in the United States that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010...

, which regulates credit default swaps and other derivatives (Senate vote 162 on May 20, 2010). In the June 26 debate he stated:
"I fear we're headed down a path that will be too overburdensome, too duplicative, it will raise the cost of credit....The balance that we've got to have is more focus on the products that we didn't regulate....more so than government playing a bigger role with a stronger hand".

Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal


On December 18, 2010, Burr voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 is a landmark federal statute that establishes a legal process for ending the Don't ask, don't tell policy , which since 1993 prevented openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the United States Armed Forces.The Act did not immediately repeal the...

. The repeal would go on to end the core aspect of official Department of Defense employment discrimination against openly-homosexual individuals. Burr and John Ensign
John Ensign
John Eric Ensign is a former United States Senator from Nevada, serving from January 2001 until he resigned amid an investigation of an ethics violation in May 2011...

 were the only Senators who voted against cloture but voted in support of the final passage. Senator Susan Collins (R) of Maine who spearheaded the fractional Republican party support for the repeal expressed grateful surprise at Burr's joining her group in the final vote: "I think that was a gutsy vote" said Collins, "he was not someone who I thought to lobby." Burr strongly expressed his opposition to the timing of the vote, reasoning he said that the chaos of double wars warranted delay, but decided it was right to support the bill when the Senate decided to stop waiting.

Social issues


Burr is opposed to abortion rights, supports second amendment gun rights and the death penalty, and favors a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. He also co-sponsored a bill prohibiting the creation of human-animal hybrids.

Iraq War and Congressional pay raise


In May 2007, Burr was one of 14 Senators to vote against an Iraq War funding bill despite his strong support of the war, due to his opposition to the clauses of the bill that provided for an increase in domestic spending. In February 2009, he added an amendment to the proposed economic stimulus package that would end the automatic pay increases of Congress. Burr wrote on his Senate blog: "As the law is currently written, Congress has to hold a vote to disapprove an automatic pay raise. As you can guess, these votes don't happen too often."

Energy


Burr is a member of the Subcommittee on Energy
United States Senate Energy Subcommittee on Energy
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy is one of four subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.-Jurisdiction:...

, which has responsibility to oversee regulators of the petroleum industry
Petroleum industry
The petroleum industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting , and marketing petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline...

, and he is one of the top US Senate recipients of campaign contributions from that industry in 2010. In a Senate campaign debate on June 26, 2010, he defended deepwater oil and gas drilling following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Deepwater Horizon oil spill
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed unabated for three months in 2010, and continues to leak fresh oil. It is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry...

, and suggested that oil companies are forced into risky deepwater drilling by excessive regulation:
Thirty percent of the oil we use in this country comes from the Gulf of Mexico....Why are they drilling in deepwater? Because we chased them off of the shore. We chased them off the land, we put them in shallow water, we chased them out of shallow water, now they're in deep water. It comes with a greater risk.
Burr's statement conflicts with official statistics maintained by the US Energy Information Administration
Energy Information Administration
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and...

: in 2009, oil extraction from US offshore wells in the Gulf of Mexico was 8.4% of oil consumed in the US; more than twice as much oil was extracted from US wells on land.

Environment


Burr has generally received low ratings from environmental-protection organizations. In 2007-2008, for example, he received a rating of 0% from Environment America
Environment America
Environment America is a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations. Its mission is to advocate for and protect clean air, water, and open spaces in the United States...

, 12% from the League of Conservation Voters
League of Conservation Voters
The League of Conservation Voters is a political advocacy organization founded in 1969 by American environmentalist David Brower in the early years of the environmental movement. LCV's mission is to "advocate for sound environmental policies and to elect pro-environmental candidates who will adopt...

, and 29% from Republicans for Environmental Protection.

Burr was one of 21 senators who voted against the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. Supporters of this measure did so to protect millions of acres of wild land, stating that its provisions enjoyed bipartisan backing in Congress and strong local support in the areas affected. Opponents said that it was laden with expensive earmarks, and noted that it precluded oil and gas production on large tracts of federal land, and said that it would harm rural economies.

The American Land Rights Association
American Land Rights Association
The American Land Rights Association is a Wise Use organization based in Battle Ground, Washington. The group describes itself as "dedicated to the wise-use of our resources, access to our Federal lands and the protection of our private property rights."...

, a property-rights group generally opposed to the expansion of national parks and in favor of less restrictions on public lands,
gave him a rating of 70 in 2007.

Immigration


On June 26, 2007, Burr voted in favor of cloture
Cloture
In parliamentary procedure, cloture is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. It is also called closure or, informally, a guillotine. The cloture procedure originated in the French National Assembly, from which the name is taken. Clôture is French for "ending" or "conclusion"...

 for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, or, in its full name, the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 was a bill discussed in the 110th United States Congress that would have provided legal status and a path to citizenship for the approximately 12 to...

. Two days later, he voted against cloture.

Tobacco


Burr opposes the regulation of the tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 industry by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). During the 108th Congress, Burr proposed the National Uniformity for Food Act, which would have banned states from forcing manufacturers to include labels other than those that are required by the Food and Drug Administration on consumables and health and beauty products. The Consumers Union
Consumers Union
Consumers Union is a non-profit organization best known as the publisher of Consumer Reports, based in the United States. Its mission is to "test products, inform the public, and protect consumers."...

 opposed the bill, since it would have lowered safety regulations that are more stringent in certain states. A similar bill passed the House, but it died in the Senate.

Biodefence and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development


Burr was the sponsor of Senate bill 1873, the Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005
Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005
The Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005 , nicknamed "Bioshield Two" and sponsored by Senator Richard Burr , aims shorten the pharmaceutical development process for new vaccines and drugs in case of a pandemic, and to protect vaccine makers and the pharmaceutical...

, nicknamed "Bioshield Two", which he says will give the Department of Health and Human Services "additional authority and resources to partner with the private sector to rapidly develop drugs and vaccines." Portions of Senate Bill 1873 were eventually included in Senate Bill 3678 (the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act), which was signed into law in December 2006.

Opposition to Healthcare Reform


Senator Burr is a vocal opponent of President Obama's Healthcare Reform bill, claiming that the President's health care proposal ignored the demands of the American people and will result in a Government takeover of individual healthcare decisions, increased taxes, and rationed care. Critics note that he was ranked second for senators to receive contributions to their campaign committees and leadership PACs between January and September from health and accident insurers and ranked first for funding from pharmaceuticals companies. According to the OpenSecrets.org server, Burr was the top recipient of money from the Big Pharma
Pharmaceutical lobby
The pharmaceutical lobby — also known as the drug lobby — refers to the paid representatives of large pharmaceutical and biomedicine companies in the United States who seek to influence federal government policy.-Political influence in the U.S.:...

 in 2009–2010. During that period, Burr has received $227,119. Burr voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The law is the principal health care reform legislation of the 111th United States Congress...

 in December 2009, and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 is a law that was enacted by the 111th United States Congress, by means of the reconciliation process, in order to amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...

.

Uranium Enrichment and MDS Nordian


As a representative, Burr co-sponsored, with Senator Kit Bond (R-MO)
Kit Bond
Christopher Samuel "Kit" Bond is a former United States Senator from Missouri and a member of the Republican Party. First elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, he defeated Democrat Harriett Woods by a margin of 53%-47%. He was re-elected in 1992, 1998, and 2004...

 an amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 2003 relaxing restrictions on the exports of specific types of enriched uranium
Enriched uranium
Enriched uranium is a kind of uranium in which the percent composition of uranium-235 has been increased through the process of isotope separation. Natural uranium is 99.284% 238U isotope, with 235U only constituting about 0.711% of its weight...

, first enacted in the Schumer Amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 1992. The original Schumer amendment placed increased controls on U.S. civilian exports of weapons grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU) to encourage foreign users to switch to reactor grade low-enriched uranium (LEU) for isotope production. HEU is attractive to terrorists because it can be used to create a simple nuclear weapon, while LEU cannot be used directly to make nuclear weapons.

The primary agent in the weakening of the Schumer amendment was a Canadian company MDS Nordian, which lobbied Burr to relax the previous restrictions on enrichment of HEU, due to the additional costs conversion to LEU would levy on their medical isotope production. In general, Burr received $66,500 in campaign contributions for his previous congressional campaign from the nuclear industry, “making him the 7th highest recipient from the industry among all 435 members of the House of Representatives”.

2010 Senate campaign


Burr defeated North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (D) on November 2, 2010 with 55% of the vote. He is the first Republican since Jesse Helms to be re-elected to the United States Senate from North Carolina. He also broke the "curse" that his seat held, being the first Senator re-elected to the seat since 1968 (when Sam Ervin
Sam Ervin
Samuel James "Sam" Ervin Jr. was a Democratic Senator from North Carolina from 1954 until 1974. A native of Morganton, Burke County, North Carolina, he liked to call himself a "country lawyer", and often told humorous stories in his Southern drawl...

 won his final term).

Electoral history



Richard Mauze Burr (born November 30, 1955) is the senior United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 and a member of the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

. Previously, Burr represented North Carolina's 5th congressional district
North Carolina's 5th congressional district
North Carolina's 5th congressional district covers the northwestern corner of North Carolina from the Appalachian Mountains to the Piedmont Triad. The district includes Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Davie, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties and parts of Forsyth, Iredell, and...

 in the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

.

As Senator, Burr has had a non-controversial and perhaps non-remarkable tenure so far, espousing most of the Republican Party's expected positions, from general support for former Pres. Bush's actions in Iraq to abortion opposition. Strikingly however, he voted to repeal the military's employment discrimination policy against gays. As well, in October, he announced he seeks the post of minority whip, the number two Republican position in the Senate.

Burr is the son of a minister. He has children with Brooke, his wife of 27 years. He is distant kin of former U.S. Vice-President Aaron Burr.

Background


Burr was born in Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville is an independent city geographically surrounded by but separate from Albemarle County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, and named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of King George III of the United Kingdom.The official population estimate for...

, the son of Martha (née Gillum) and Rev. David Horace Burr, a minister. He graduated from Richard J. Reynolds High School
Richard J. Reynolds High School
Richard J. Reynolds High School now the Richard J. Reynolds Magnet School for the Visual and Performing Arts is a high school in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Named for R. J. Reynolds, the founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the...

 in Winston-Salem, N.C. in 1974 and earned a B.A. from Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University is a private, coeducational university in the U.S. state of North Carolina, founded in 1834. The university received its name from its original location in Wake Forest, north of Raleigh, North Carolina, the state capital. The Reynolda Campus, the university's main campus, is...

 in 1978. Burr was on the football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 team at both Reynolds High School and Wake Forest. Burr lettered for the Demon Deacons during the 1974 and 1975 seasons; however, the team went winless in ACC play during his tenure. He is a member of the Kappa Sigma
Kappa Sigma
Kappa Sigma , commonly nicknamed Kappa Sig, is an international fraternity with currently 282 active chapters and colonies in North America. Kappa Sigma has initiated more than 240,000 men on college campuses throughout the United States and Canada. Today, the Fraternity has over 175,000 living...

 fraternity.

Prior to running for Congress, Burr worked for 17 years as a sales manager for Carswell Distributing Company, a distributor of lawn equipment. Burr is currently a board member of Brenner Children's Hospital
Brenner Children's Hospital
Brenner Children's Hospital is a children's hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.The Brenner Children's Hospital is dedicated to tertiary pediatric care with specialty children's services such as chronic disease treatment, cancer/acute leukemia treatment, and infant and child cardiothoracic...

, as well as of the group Idealliance - a group of local, academic, and government officials working to expand North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad Research Park,

In 1984, Burr married Brooke Fauth; the couple has two sons.

Burr's father claims he is a 12th cousin of Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr, Jr. was an important political figure in the early history of the United States of America. After serving as a Continental Army officer in the Revolutionary War, Burr became a successful lawyer and politician...

, the former Vice-President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

, Senator, lawyer, and Continental Army officer known most for defeating Founding Father Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 in an 1804 duel. He is the first Burr in the Senate—and only the second person with his last name to win election to Congress (the first being the presumably unrelated Albert G. Burr
Albert G. Burr
Albert George Burr was a United States Representative in Congress from the state of Illinois for two terms, the 40th and 41st Congresses . He was a member of the Democratic Party....

)—since Aaron. Sen. Burr himself has stated that there are no longer any direct descendants of Aaron Burr, and that he descends from Aaron's brother. When queried, Burr states that he has tempered pride of the association: "I am [proud] ... though history has proved to shine a different light on him."

House career


In 1992, Burr ran against incumbent Democratic Representative Stephen L. Neal
Stephen L. Neal
Stephen Lybrook "Steve" Neal was a North Carolina Democratic politician who served ten terms in the U.S. House of Representatives ....

 and lost. He ran again in 1994
United States House elections, 1994
The 1994 U.S. House of Representatives election was held on November 8, 1994, in the middle of President Bill Clinton's first term. As a result of a 54-seat swing in membership from Democrats to Republicans, the Republican Party gained a majority of seats in the United States House of...

 after Neal chose not to seek re-election, and was elected to Congress during a landslide year for Republicans. He ran on a platform that advocated accountability for the federal government, lower health care costs, economic development, and strong school systems. Burr was elected to the legislature by increasingly large margins during his term in the House, especially because of growing Republican trends within his district.

Senate career


In July 2004, Burr won the Republican primary to seek the U.S. Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 seat being vacated by Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 John Edwards
John Edwards
Johnny Reid "John" Edwards is an American politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in...

, who launched a presidential campaign. He faced Democratic party nominee Erskine Bowles
Erskine Bowles
Erskine Boyce Bowles is an American businessman and political figure from North Carolina. He served from 2005 to 2010 as the President of the University of North Carolina system...

 and Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...

 Tom Bailey.

Burr won the election by five percentage points. His and Bowles' combined campaign expenditures totaled over $26 million, making it one of the most expensive Senate races in the country. Burr raised more money from political action committees, $2.8 million, than any other Senate candidate in 2004, primarily from the business community.

In 2007, Burr ran for the leadership post of Republican Conference chairman
Republican Conference Chairman of the United States Senate
The Republican conference of the United States Senate chooses a conference chairperson. The office was created in the mid-19th century with the founding of the Republican party...

 but lost to Sen. Lamar Alexander
Lamar Alexander
Andrew Lamar Alexander is the senior United States Senator from Tennessee and Conference Chair of the Republican Party. He was previously the 45th Governor of Tennessee from 1979 to 1987, United States Secretary of Education from 1991 to 1993 under President George H. W...

 by a vote of 31 to 16.

Committee assignments

  • Committee on Armed Services
    United States Senate Committee on Armed Services
    The Committee on Armed Services is a committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of the nation's military, including the Department of Defense, military research and development, nuclear energy , benefits for members of the military, the Selective Service System and...

    • Subcommittee on Airland
      United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Airland
      The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Airland is one of six subcommittees within the Senate Armed Services Committee.-Jurisdiction:The Airland Subcommittee has primary jurisdiction over all issues related to the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and U.S...

    • Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
      United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
      The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities is one of six subcommittees within the Senate Armed Services Committee.-Jurisdiction:...

    • Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
      United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
      The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support is one of six subcommittees within the Senate Armed Services Committee.-Jurisdiction:...

       (Ranking Member)
  • Committee on Finance
    United States Senate Committee on Finance
    The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance is a standing committee of the United States Senate. The Committee concerns itself with matters relating to taxation and other revenue measures generally, and those relating to the insular possessions; bonded debt of the United States; customs, collection...

  • Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    The United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions generally considers matters relating to health, education, labor, and pensions...

    • Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
      United States Senate Health Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
      The Senate Health Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety is one of the three subcommittees within the Senate Committee on Health-Jurisdiction:...

    • Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging (Ranking Member)
  • Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    The United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs deals with oversight of United States veterans issues.-Members, 112th Congress:The Committee is chaired by Democrat Patty Murray of Washington, and the Ranking Member is Republican Richard Burr of North Carolina.Source: -Chairmen of the Senate...

     (Ranking Member)
  • Select Committee on Intelligence
    United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
    The United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is dedicated to overseeing the United States Intelligence Community—the agencies and bureaus of the federal government of the United States who provide information and analysis for leaders of the executive and legislative branches. The...

  • Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
    Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
    The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe , also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent U.S. Government agency created by Congress in 1976 to monitor and encourage compliance with the Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE commitments. It was established in 1976 pursuant to...


Caucus membership

  • Congressional Boating Caucus (Co-Chair)
  • International Conservation Caucus
    United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus
    The U.S. Congressional International Conservation Caucus is a bipartisan congressional organization that was founded in September 2003 with the conviction that “the United States of America has the opportunity, the obligation and the interests to advance the conservation of natural resources for...

  • Sportsmen's Caucus
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Caucus

2008 banking crisis


In the fall of 2008, Burr described his response to problems in the U.S. financial system:
On Friday night, I called my wife and I said, "Brooke, I am not coming home this weekend. I will call you on Monday. Tonight, I want you to go to the ATM machine, and I want you to draw out everything it will let you take. And I want you to go tomorrow, and I want you to go Sunday." I was convinced on Friday night that if you put a plastic card in an ATM {{sic|machine}} the last thing you were going to get was cash.
This statement attracted considerable attention from the national press when an April 2009 story in the News and Observer made it more widely known. In late April, Burr told WFAE
WFAE
WFAE is the flagship National Public Radio station in Charlotte, North Carolina broadcasting at 90.7 MHz on the FM dial.The station went on the air on June 29, 1981 as a service of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, taking over from a student-run carrier current station that had begun...

, a public radio station in North Carolina, "Absolutely I'd do it [again]." He said that "The exact situation we were faced with was a freeze bank to bank. And as I stated, my attempt was to make sure my wife had enough cash at home to make it through the next week." Burr also said that "It was not an attempt to run a bank," and "Nor was it a bank that was even considered then or now to be in trouble."

In a campaign debate on June 26, 2010, Burr responded to a question asking if "the government should take a more active role or a lesser role in regulating large corporations" in light of "the Wall Street meltdown and now the BP oil spill". His response focused on the banking and credit crisis:
Whatever we craft to stop people from cheating, we're just not smart enough to stop cheaters. When Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson...brought us the bad news, he talked about something 90% of congress didn't know what it was, a credit default swap. And when he talked about the exposure he talked about it from a standpoint of hundreds of trillions of dollars and nobody knew where they were. We should have regulated that product...
Burr voted against the financial reform bill Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010
Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a federal statute in the United States that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010...

, which regulates credit default swaps and other derivatives (Senate vote 162 on May 20, 2010). In the June 26 debate he stated:
"I fear we're headed down a path that will be too overburdensome, too duplicative, it will raise the cost of credit....The balance that we've got to have is more focus on the products that we didn't regulate....more so than government playing a bigger role with a stronger hand".

Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal


On December 18, 2010, Burr voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 is a landmark federal statute that establishes a legal process for ending the Don't ask, don't tell policy , which since 1993 prevented openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the United States Armed Forces.The Act did not immediately repeal the...

. The repeal would go on to end the core aspect of official Department of Defense employment discrimination against openly-homosexual individuals. Burr and John Ensign
John Ensign
John Eric Ensign is a former United States Senator from Nevada, serving from January 2001 until he resigned amid an investigation of an ethics violation in May 2011...

 were the only Senators who voted against cloture but voted in support of the final passage. Senator Susan Collins (R) of Maine who spearheaded the fractional Republican party support for the repeal expressed grateful surprise at Burr's joining her group in the final vote: "I think that was a gutsy vote" said Collins, "he was not someone who I thought to lobby." Burr strongly expressed his opposition to the timing of the vote, reasoning he said that the chaos of double wars warranted delay, but decided it was right to support the bill when the Senate decided to stop waiting.

Social issues


Burr is opposed to abortion rights, supports second amendment gun rights and the death penalty, and favors a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. He also co-sponsored a bill prohibiting the creation of human-animal hybrids.

Iraq War and Congressional pay raise


In May 2007, Burr was one of 14 Senators to vote against an Iraq War funding bill despite his strong support of the war, due to his opposition to the clauses of the bill that provided for an increase in domestic spending. In February 2009, he added an amendment to the proposed economic stimulus package that would end the automatic pay increases of Congress. Burr wrote on his Senate blog: "As the law is currently written, Congress has to hold a vote to disapprove an automatic pay raise. As you can guess, these votes don't happen too often."

Energy


Burr is a member of the Subcommittee on Energy
United States Senate Energy Subcommittee on Energy
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy is one of four subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.-Jurisdiction:...

, which has responsibility to oversee regulators of the petroleum industry
Petroleum industry
The petroleum industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting , and marketing petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline...

, and he is one of the top US Senate recipients of campaign contributions from that industry in 2010. In a Senate campaign debate on June 26, 2010, he defended deepwater oil and gas drilling following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Deepwater Horizon oil spill
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed unabated for three months in 2010, and continues to leak fresh oil. It is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry...

, and suggested that oil companies are forced into risky deepwater drilling by excessive regulation:
Thirty percent of the oil we use in this country comes from the Gulf of Mexico....Why are they drilling in deepwater? Because we chased them off of the shore. We chased them off the land, we put them in shallow water, we chased them out of shallow water, now they're in deep water. It comes with a greater risk.
Burr's statement conflicts with official statistics maintained by the US Energy Information Administration
Energy Information Administration
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and...

: in 2009, oil extraction from US offshore wells in the Gulf of Mexico was 8.4% of oil consumed in the US; more than twice as much oil was extracted from US wells on land.

Environment


Burr has generally received low ratings from environmental-protection organizations. In 2007-2008, for example, he received a rating of 0% from Environment America
Environment America
Environment America is a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations. Its mission is to advocate for and protect clean air, water, and open spaces in the United States...

, 12% from the League of Conservation Voters
League of Conservation Voters
The League of Conservation Voters is a political advocacy organization founded in 1969 by American environmentalist David Brower in the early years of the environmental movement. LCV's mission is to "advocate for sound environmental policies and to elect pro-environmental candidates who will adopt...

, and 29% from Republicans for Environmental Protection.

Burr was one of 21 senators who voted against the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. Supporters of this measure did so to protect millions of acres of wild land, stating that its provisions enjoyed bipartisan backing in Congress and strong local support in the areas affected. Opponents said that it was laden with expensive earmarks, and noted that it precluded oil and gas production on large tracts of federal land, and said that it would harm rural economies.

The American Land Rights Association
American Land Rights Association
The American Land Rights Association is a Wise Use organization based in Battle Ground, Washington. The group describes itself as "dedicated to the wise-use of our resources, access to our Federal lands and the protection of our private property rights."...

, a property-rights group generally opposed to the expansion of national parks and in favor of less restrictions on public lands,
gave him a rating of 70 in 2007.

Immigration


On June 26, 2007, Burr voted in favor of cloture
Cloture
In parliamentary procedure, cloture is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. It is also called closure or, informally, a guillotine. The cloture procedure originated in the French National Assembly, from which the name is taken. Clôture is French for "ending" or "conclusion"...

 for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, or, in its full name, the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 was a bill discussed in the 110th United States Congress that would have provided legal status and a path to citizenship for the approximately 12 to...

. Two days later, he voted against cloture.

Tobacco


Burr opposes the regulation of the tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 industry by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). During the 108th Congress, Burr proposed the National Uniformity for Food Act, which would have banned states from forcing manufacturers to include labels other than those that are required by the Food and Drug Administration on consumables and health and beauty products. The Consumers Union
Consumers Union
Consumers Union is a non-profit organization best known as the publisher of Consumer Reports, based in the United States. Its mission is to "test products, inform the public, and protect consumers."...

 opposed the bill, since it would have lowered safety regulations that are more stringent in certain states. A similar bill passed the House, but it died in the Senate.

Biodefence and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development


Burr was the sponsor of Senate bill 1873, the Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005
Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005
The Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005 , nicknamed "Bioshield Two" and sponsored by Senator Richard Burr , aims shorten the pharmaceutical development process for new vaccines and drugs in case of a pandemic, and to protect vaccine makers and the pharmaceutical...

, nicknamed "Bioshield Two", which he says will give the Department of Health and Human Services "additional authority and resources to partner with the private sector to rapidly develop drugs and vaccines." Portions of Senate Bill 1873 were eventually included in Senate Bill 3678 (the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act), which was signed into law in December 2006.

Opposition to Healthcare Reform


Senator Burr is a vocal opponent of President Obama's Healthcare Reform bill, claiming that the President's health care proposal ignored the demands of the American people and will result in a Government takeover of individual healthcare decisions, increased taxes, and rationed care. Critics note that he was ranked second for senators to receive contributions to their campaign committees and leadership PACs between January and September from health and accident insurers and ranked first for funding from pharmaceuticals companies. According to the OpenSecrets.org server, Burr was the top recipient of money from the Big Pharma
Pharmaceutical lobby
The pharmaceutical lobby — also known as the drug lobby — refers to the paid representatives of large pharmaceutical and biomedicine companies in the United States who seek to influence federal government policy.-Political influence in the U.S.:...

 in 2009–2010. During that period, Burr has received $227,119. Burr voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The law is the principal health care reform legislation of the 111th United States Congress...

 in December 2009, and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 is a law that was enacted by the 111th United States Congress, by means of the reconciliation process, in order to amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...

.

Uranium Enrichment and MDS Nordian


As a representative, Burr co-sponsored, with Senator Kit Bond (R-MO)
Kit Bond
Christopher Samuel "Kit" Bond is a former United States Senator from Missouri and a member of the Republican Party. First elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, he defeated Democrat Harriett Woods by a margin of 53%-47%. He was re-elected in 1992, 1998, and 2004...

 an amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 2003 relaxing restrictions on the exports of specific types of enriched uranium
Enriched uranium
Enriched uranium is a kind of uranium in which the percent composition of uranium-235 has been increased through the process of isotope separation. Natural uranium is 99.284% 238U isotope, with 235U only constituting about 0.711% of its weight...

, first enacted in the Schumer Amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 1992. The original Schumer amendment placed increased controls on U.S. civilian exports of weapons grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU) to encourage foreign users to switch to reactor grade low-enriched uranium (LEU) for isotope production. HEU is attractive to terrorists because it can be used to create a simple nuclear weapon, while LEU cannot be used directly to make nuclear weapons.

The primary agent in the weakening of the Schumer amendment was a Canadian company MDS Nordian, which lobbied Burr to relax the previous restrictions on enrichment of HEU, due to the additional costs conversion to LEU would levy on their medical isotope production. In general, Burr received $66,500 in campaign contributions for his previous congressional campaign from the nuclear industry, “making him the 7th highest recipient from the industry among all 435 members of the House of Representatives”.

2010 Senate campaign


Burr defeated North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (D) on November 2, 2010 with 55% of the vote. He is the first Republican since Jesse Helms to be re-elected to the United States Senate from North Carolina. He also broke the "curse" that his seat held, being the first Senator re-elected to the seat since 1968 (when Sam Ervin
Sam Ervin
Samuel James "Sam" Ervin Jr. was a Democratic Senator from North Carolina from 1954 until 1974. A native of Morganton, Burke County, North Carolina, he liked to call himself a "country lawyer", and often told humorous stories in his Southern drawl...

 won his final term).

Electoral history



Richard Mauze Burr (born November 30, 1955) is the senior United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 and a member of the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

. Previously, Burr represented North Carolina's 5th congressional district
North Carolina's 5th congressional district
North Carolina's 5th congressional district covers the northwestern corner of North Carolina from the Appalachian Mountains to the Piedmont Triad. The district includes Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Davie, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yadkin counties and parts of Forsyth, Iredell, and...

 in the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

.

As Senator, Burr has had a non-controversial and perhaps non-remarkable tenure so far, espousing most of the Republican Party's expected positions, from general support for former Pres. Bush's actions in Iraq to abortion opposition. Strikingly however, he voted to repeal the military's employment discrimination policy against gays. As well, in October, he announced he seeks the post of minority whip, the number two Republican position in the Senate.

Burr is the son of a minister. He has children with Brooke, his wife of 27 years. He is distant kin of former U.S. Vice-President Aaron Burr.

Background


Burr was born in Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville is an independent city geographically surrounded by but separate from Albemarle County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, and named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of King George III of the United Kingdom.The official population estimate for...

, the son of Martha (née Gillum) and Rev. David Horace Burr, a minister. He graduated from Richard J. Reynolds High School
Richard J. Reynolds High School
Richard J. Reynolds High School now the Richard J. Reynolds Magnet School for the Visual and Performing Arts is a high school in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Named for R. J. Reynolds, the founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the...

 in Winston-Salem, N.C. in 1974 and earned a B.A. from Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University is a private, coeducational university in the U.S. state of North Carolina, founded in 1834. The university received its name from its original location in Wake Forest, north of Raleigh, North Carolina, the state capital. The Reynolda Campus, the university's main campus, is...

 in 1978. Burr was on the football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 team at both Reynolds High School and Wake Forest. Burr lettered for the Demon Deacons during the 1974 and 1975 seasons; however, the team went winless in ACC play during his tenure. He is a member of the Kappa Sigma
Kappa Sigma
Kappa Sigma , commonly nicknamed Kappa Sig, is an international fraternity with currently 282 active chapters and colonies in North America. Kappa Sigma has initiated more than 240,000 men on college campuses throughout the United States and Canada. Today, the Fraternity has over 175,000 living...

 fraternity.

Prior to running for Congress, Burr worked for 17 years as a sales manager for Carswell Distributing Company, a distributor of lawn equipment. Burr is currently a board member of Brenner Children's Hospital
Brenner Children's Hospital
Brenner Children's Hospital is a children's hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.The Brenner Children's Hospital is dedicated to tertiary pediatric care with specialty children's services such as chronic disease treatment, cancer/acute leukemia treatment, and infant and child cardiothoracic...

, as well as of the group Idealliance - a group of local, academic, and government officials working to expand North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad Research Park,

In 1984, Burr married Brooke Fauth; the couple has two sons.

Burr's father claims he is a 12th cousin of Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr, Jr. was an important political figure in the early history of the United States of America. After serving as a Continental Army officer in the Revolutionary War, Burr became a successful lawyer and politician...

, the former Vice-President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

, Senator, lawyer, and Continental Army officer known most for defeating Founding Father Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 in an 1804 duel. He is the first Burr in the Senate—and only the second person with his last name to win election to Congress (the first being the presumably unrelated Albert G. Burr
Albert G. Burr
Albert George Burr was a United States Representative in Congress from the state of Illinois for two terms, the 40th and 41st Congresses . He was a member of the Democratic Party....

)—since Aaron. Sen. Burr himself has stated that there are no longer any direct descendants of Aaron Burr, and that he descends from Aaron's brother. When queried, Burr states that he has tempered pride of the association: "I am [proud] ... though history has proved to shine a different light on him."

House career


In 1992, Burr ran against incumbent Democratic Representative Stephen L. Neal
Stephen L. Neal
Stephen Lybrook "Steve" Neal was a North Carolina Democratic politician who served ten terms in the U.S. House of Representatives ....

 and lost. He ran again in 1994
United States House elections, 1994
The 1994 U.S. House of Representatives election was held on November 8, 1994, in the middle of President Bill Clinton's first term. As a result of a 54-seat swing in membership from Democrats to Republicans, the Republican Party gained a majority of seats in the United States House of...

 after Neal chose not to seek re-election, and was elected to Congress during a landslide year for Republicans. He ran on a platform that advocated accountability for the federal government, lower health care costs, economic development, and strong school systems. Burr was elected to the legislature by increasingly large margins during his term in the House, especially because of growing Republican trends within his district.

Senate career


In July 2004, Burr won the Republican primary to seek the U.S. Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 seat being vacated by Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 John Edwards
John Edwards
Johnny Reid "John" Edwards is an American politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in...

, who launched a presidential campaign. He faced Democratic party nominee Erskine Bowles
Erskine Bowles
Erskine Boyce Bowles is an American businessman and political figure from North Carolina. He served from 2005 to 2010 as the President of the University of North Carolina system...

 and Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...

 Tom Bailey.

Burr won the election by five percentage points. His and Bowles' combined campaign expenditures totaled over $26 million, making it one of the most expensive Senate races in the country. Burr raised more money from political action committees, $2.8 million, than any other Senate candidate in 2004, primarily from the business community.

In 2007, Burr ran for the leadership post of Republican Conference chairman
Republican Conference Chairman of the United States Senate
The Republican conference of the United States Senate chooses a conference chairperson. The office was created in the mid-19th century with the founding of the Republican party...

 but lost to Sen. Lamar Alexander
Lamar Alexander
Andrew Lamar Alexander is the senior United States Senator from Tennessee and Conference Chair of the Republican Party. He was previously the 45th Governor of Tennessee from 1979 to 1987, United States Secretary of Education from 1991 to 1993 under President George H. W...

 by a vote of 31 to 16.

Committee assignments

  • Committee on Armed Services
    United States Senate Committee on Armed Services
    The Committee on Armed Services is a committee of the United States Senate empowered with legislative oversight of the nation's military, including the Department of Defense, military research and development, nuclear energy , benefits for members of the military, the Selective Service System and...

    • Subcommittee on Airland
      United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Airland
      The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Airland is one of six subcommittees within the Senate Armed Services Committee.-Jurisdiction:The Airland Subcommittee has primary jurisdiction over all issues related to the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and U.S...

    • Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
      United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
      The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities is one of six subcommittees within the Senate Armed Services Committee.-Jurisdiction:...

    • Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
      United States Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
      The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support is one of six subcommittees within the Senate Armed Services Committee.-Jurisdiction:...

       (Ranking Member)
  • Committee on Finance
    United States Senate Committee on Finance
    The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance is a standing committee of the United States Senate. The Committee concerns itself with matters relating to taxation and other revenue measures generally, and those relating to the insular possessions; bonded debt of the United States; customs, collection...

  • Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    The United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions generally considers matters relating to health, education, labor, and pensions...

    • Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
      United States Senate Health Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
      The Senate Health Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety is one of the three subcommittees within the Senate Committee on Health-Jurisdiction:...

    • Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging (Ranking Member)
  • Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    The United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs deals with oversight of United States veterans issues.-Members, 112th Congress:The Committee is chaired by Democrat Patty Murray of Washington, and the Ranking Member is Republican Richard Burr of North Carolina.Source: -Chairmen of the Senate...

     (Ranking Member)
  • Select Committee on Intelligence
    United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
    The United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is dedicated to overseeing the United States Intelligence Community—the agencies and bureaus of the federal government of the United States who provide information and analysis for leaders of the executive and legislative branches. The...

  • Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
    Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
    The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe , also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent U.S. Government agency created by Congress in 1976 to monitor and encourage compliance with the Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE commitments. It was established in 1976 pursuant to...


Caucus membership

  • Congressional Boating Caucus (Co-Chair)
  • International Conservation Caucus
    United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus
    The U.S. Congressional International Conservation Caucus is a bipartisan congressional organization that was founded in September 2003 with the conviction that “the United States of America has the opportunity, the obligation and the interests to advance the conservation of natural resources for...

  • Sportsmen's Caucus
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Caucus

2008 banking crisis


In the fall of 2008, Burr described his response to problems in the U.S. financial system:
On Friday night, I called my wife and I said, "Brooke, I am not coming home this weekend. I will call you on Monday. Tonight, I want you to go to the ATM machine, and I want you to draw out everything it will let you take. And I want you to go tomorrow, and I want you to go Sunday." I was convinced on Friday night that if you put a plastic card in an ATM {{sic|machine}} the last thing you were going to get was cash.
This statement attracted considerable attention from the national press when an April 2009 story in the News and Observer made it more widely known. In late April, Burr told WFAE
WFAE
WFAE is the flagship National Public Radio station in Charlotte, North Carolina broadcasting at 90.7 MHz on the FM dial.The station went on the air on June 29, 1981 as a service of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, taking over from a student-run carrier current station that had begun...

, a public radio station in North Carolina, "Absolutely I'd do it [again]." He said that "The exact situation we were faced with was a freeze bank to bank. And as I stated, my attempt was to make sure my wife had enough cash at home to make it through the next week." Burr also said that "It was not an attempt to run a bank," and "Nor was it a bank that was even considered then or now to be in trouble."

In a campaign debate on June 26, 2010, Burr responded to a question asking if "the government should take a more active role or a lesser role in regulating large corporations" in light of "the Wall Street meltdown and now the BP oil spill". His response focused on the banking and credit crisis:
Whatever we craft to stop people from cheating, we're just not smart enough to stop cheaters. When Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson...brought us the bad news, he talked about something 90% of congress didn't know what it was, a credit default swap. And when he talked about the exposure he talked about it from a standpoint of hundreds of trillions of dollars and nobody knew where they were. We should have regulated that product...
Burr voted against the financial reform bill Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010
Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a federal statute in the United States that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010...

, which regulates credit default swaps and other derivatives (Senate vote 162 on May 20, 2010). In the June 26 debate he stated:
"I fear we're headed down a path that will be too overburdensome, too duplicative, it will raise the cost of credit....The balance that we've got to have is more focus on the products that we didn't regulate....more so than government playing a bigger role with a stronger hand".

Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal


On December 18, 2010, Burr voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010
The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 is a landmark federal statute that establishes a legal process for ending the Don't ask, don't tell policy , which since 1993 prevented openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the United States Armed Forces.The Act did not immediately repeal the...

. The repeal would go on to end the core aspect of official Department of Defense employment discrimination against openly-homosexual individuals. Burr and John Ensign
John Ensign
John Eric Ensign is a former United States Senator from Nevada, serving from January 2001 until he resigned amid an investigation of an ethics violation in May 2011...

 were the only Senators who voted against cloture but voted in support of the final passage. Senator Susan Collins (R) of Maine who spearheaded the fractional Republican party support for the repeal expressed grateful surprise at Burr's joining her group in the final vote: "I think that was a gutsy vote" said Collins, "he was not someone who I thought to lobby." Burr strongly expressed his opposition to the timing of the vote, reasoning he said that the chaos of double wars warranted delay, but decided it was right to support the bill when the Senate decided to stop waiting.

Social issues


Burr is opposed to abortion rights, supports second amendment gun rights and the death penalty, and favors a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. He also co-sponsored a bill prohibiting the creation of human-animal hybrids.

Iraq War and Congressional pay raise


In May 2007, Burr was one of 14 Senators to vote against an Iraq War funding bill despite his strong support of the war, due to his opposition to the clauses of the bill that provided for an increase in domestic spending. In February 2009, he added an amendment to the proposed economic stimulus package that would end the automatic pay increases of Congress. Burr wrote on his Senate blog: "As the law is currently written, Congress has to hold a vote to disapprove an automatic pay raise. As you can guess, these votes don't happen too often."

Energy


Burr is a member of the Subcommittee on Energy
United States Senate Energy Subcommittee on Energy
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy is one of four subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.-Jurisdiction:...

, which has responsibility to oversee regulators of the petroleum industry
Petroleum industry
The petroleum industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting , and marketing petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline...

, and he is one of the top US Senate recipients of campaign contributions from that industry in 2010. In a Senate campaign debate on June 26, 2010, he defended deepwater oil and gas drilling following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Deepwater Horizon oil spill
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed unabated for three months in 2010, and continues to leak fresh oil. It is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry...

, and suggested that oil companies are forced into risky deepwater drilling by excessive regulation:
Thirty percent of the oil we use in this country comes from the Gulf of Mexico....Why are they drilling in deepwater? Because we chased them off of the shore. We chased them off the land, we put them in shallow water, we chased them out of shallow water, now they're in deep water. It comes with a greater risk.
Burr's statement conflicts with official statistics maintained by the US Energy Information Administration
Energy Information Administration
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and...

: in 2009, oil extraction from US offshore wells in the Gulf of Mexico was 8.4% of oil consumed in the US; more than twice as much oil was extracted from US wells on land.

Environment


Burr has generally received low ratings from environmental-protection organizations. In 2007-2008, for example, he received a rating of 0% from Environment America
Environment America
Environment America is a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations. Its mission is to advocate for and protect clean air, water, and open spaces in the United States...

, 12% from the League of Conservation Voters
League of Conservation Voters
The League of Conservation Voters is a political advocacy organization founded in 1969 by American environmentalist David Brower in the early years of the environmental movement. LCV's mission is to "advocate for sound environmental policies and to elect pro-environmental candidates who will adopt...

, and 29% from Republicans for Environmental Protection.

Burr was one of 21 senators who voted against the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. Supporters of this measure did so to protect millions of acres of wild land, stating that its provisions enjoyed bipartisan backing in Congress and strong local support in the areas affected. Opponents said that it was laden with expensive earmarks, and noted that it precluded oil and gas production on large tracts of federal land, and said that it would harm rural economies.

The American Land Rights Association
American Land Rights Association
The American Land Rights Association is a Wise Use organization based in Battle Ground, Washington. The group describes itself as "dedicated to the wise-use of our resources, access to our Federal lands and the protection of our private property rights."...

, a property-rights group generally opposed to the expansion of national parks and in favor of less restrictions on public lands,
gave him a rating of 70 in 2007.

Immigration


On June 26, 2007, Burr voted in favor of cloture
Cloture
In parliamentary procedure, cloture is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. It is also called closure or, informally, a guillotine. The cloture procedure originated in the French National Assembly, from which the name is taken. Clôture is French for "ending" or "conclusion"...

 for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, or, in its full name, the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 was a bill discussed in the 110th United States Congress that would have provided legal status and a path to citizenship for the approximately 12 to...

. Two days later, he voted against cloture.

Tobacco


Burr opposes the regulation of the tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 industry by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). During the 108th Congress, Burr proposed the National Uniformity for Food Act, which would have banned states from forcing manufacturers to include labels other than those that are required by the Food and Drug Administration on consumables and health and beauty products. The Consumers Union
Consumers Union
Consumers Union is a non-profit organization best known as the publisher of Consumer Reports, based in the United States. Its mission is to "test products, inform the public, and protect consumers."...

 opposed the bill, since it would have lowered safety regulations that are more stringent in certain states. A similar bill passed the House, but it died in the Senate.

Biodefence and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development


Burr was the sponsor of Senate bill 1873, the Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005
Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005
The Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act of 2005 , nicknamed "Bioshield Two" and sponsored by Senator Richard Burr , aims shorten the pharmaceutical development process for new vaccines and drugs in case of a pandemic, and to protect vaccine makers and the pharmaceutical...

, nicknamed "Bioshield Two", which he says will give the Department of Health and Human Services "additional authority and resources to partner with the private sector to rapidly develop drugs and vaccines." Portions of Senate Bill 1873 were eventually included in Senate Bill 3678 (the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act), which was signed into law in December 2006.

Opposition to Healthcare Reform


Senator Burr is a vocal opponent of President Obama's Healthcare Reform bill, claiming that the President's health care proposal ignored the demands of the American people and will result in a Government takeover of individual healthcare decisions, increased taxes, and rationed care. Critics note that he was ranked second for senators to receive contributions to their campaign committees and leadership PACs between January and September from health and accident insurers and ranked first for funding from pharmaceuticals companies. According to the OpenSecrets.org server, Burr was the top recipient of money from the Big Pharma
Pharmaceutical lobby
The pharmaceutical lobby — also known as the drug lobby — refers to the paid representatives of large pharmaceutical and biomedicine companies in the United States who seek to influence federal government policy.-Political influence in the U.S.:...

 in 2009–2010. During that period, Burr has received $227,119. Burr voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The law is the principal health care reform legislation of the 111th United States Congress...

 in December 2009, and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 is a law that was enacted by the 111th United States Congress, by means of the reconciliation process, in order to amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...

.

Uranium Enrichment and MDS Nordian


As a representative, Burr co-sponsored, with Senator Kit Bond (R-MO)
Kit Bond
Christopher Samuel "Kit" Bond is a former United States Senator from Missouri and a member of the Republican Party. First elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, he defeated Democrat Harriett Woods by a margin of 53%-47%. He was re-elected in 1992, 1998, and 2004...

 an amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 2003 relaxing restrictions on the exports of specific types of enriched uranium
Enriched uranium
Enriched uranium is a kind of uranium in which the percent composition of uranium-235 has been increased through the process of isotope separation. Natural uranium is 99.284% 238U isotope, with 235U only constituting about 0.711% of its weight...

, first enacted in the Schumer Amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 1992. The original Schumer amendment placed increased controls on U.S. civilian exports of weapons grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU) to encourage foreign users to switch to reactor grade low-enriched uranium (LEU) for isotope production. HEU is attractive to terrorists because it can be used to create a simple nuclear weapon, while LEU cannot be used directly to make nuclear weapons.

The primary agent in the weakening of the Schumer amendment was a Canadian company MDS Nordian, which lobbied Burr to relax the previous restrictions on enrichment of HEU, due to the additional costs conversion to LEU would levy on their medical isotope production. In general, Burr received $66,500 in campaign contributions for his previous congressional campaign from the nuclear industry, “making him the 7th highest recipient from the industry among all 435 members of the House of Representatives”.

2010 Senate campaign


Burr defeated North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (D) on November 2, 2010 with 55% of the vote. He is the first Republican since Jesse Helms to be re-elected to the United States Senate from North Carolina. He also broke the "curse" that his seat held, being the first Senator re-elected to the seat since 1968 (when Sam Ervin
Sam Ervin
Samuel James "Sam" Ervin Jr. was a Democratic Senator from North Carolina from 1954 until 1974. A native of Morganton, Burke County, North Carolina, he liked to call himself a "country lawyer", and often told humorous stories in his Southern drawl...

 won his final term).

Electoral history

}: Results 1992–2002
!|Year
!
!|Democrat
!|Votes
!|Pct
!
!|Republican
!|Votes
!|Pct
!
!|3rd Party
!|Party
!|Votes
!|Pct
!
!|3rd Party
!|Party
!|Votes
!|Pct
!
|-
|1992
|
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |{{nowrap|Stephen L. Neal
Stephen L. Neal
Stephen Lybrook "Steve" Neal was a North Carolina Democratic politician who served ten terms in the U.S. House of Representatives ....

}}
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} align="right" |117,835
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |53%
|
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |Richard Burr
|{{Party shading/Republican}} align="right" |102,086
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |46%
|
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} |Gary Albrecht
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} |Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...


|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} align="right" |3,758
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} align="right" |2%
| |*
|
|
|
|
|
|-
|1994
|
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |A. P. "Sandy" Sands
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} align="right" |63,194
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |43%
|
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |{{nowrap|Richard Burr}}
|{{Party shading/Republican}} align="right" |84,741
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |57%
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|-
|1996
|
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |{{nowrap|Neil Grist Cashion, Jr.}}
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} align="right" |74,320
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |35%
|
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |Richard Burr
|{{Party shading/Republican}} align="right" |130,177
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |62%
|
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} |Barbara J. Howe
Barbara Howe
Barbara Howe is the chair of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina and is a two-time Gubernatorial candidate. In 2000 Howe ran as the Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of North Carolina receiving 42,674 vote for 1.45% of the vote. In 2004 Howe made a second run for Governor receiving...


|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} |Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...


|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} align="right" |4,193
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} align="right" |2%
|
|{{Party shading/Independent}} |Craig Berg
|{{Party shading/Independent}} |Natural Law
|{{Party shading/Independent}} align="right" |1,008
|{{Party shading/Independent}} align="right" |<1%
|
|-
|1998
|
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |{{nowrap|Mike Robinson}}
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} align="right" |55,806
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |32%
|
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |{{nowrap|Richard Burr}}
|{{Party shading/Republican}} align="right" |119,103
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |68%
|
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} |Gene Paczelt
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} |Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...


|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} align="right" |1,382
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} align="right" |1%
|
|
|
|
|
|
|-
|2000
|
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |(no candidate)
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} align="right" |
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |
|
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |{{nowrap|Richard Burr}}
|{{Party shading/Republican}} align="right" |172,489
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |93%
|
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} |Steven Francis LeBoeuf
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} |Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...


|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} align="right" |13,366
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} align="right" |7%
|
|
|
|
|
|
|-
|2002
|
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |{{nowrap|David Crawford}}
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} align="right" |58,558
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |30%
|
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |{{nowrap|Richard Burr}}
|{{Party shading/Republican}} align="right" |137,879
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |70%
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
{{s-end}}
{| class="wikitable" style="margin:0.5em ; font-size:95%"
|+ North Carolina Senator (Class III) 2004 results:
!|Year
!
!|Democrat
!|Votes
!|Pct
!
!|Republican
!|Votes
!|Pct
!
!|3rd Party
!|Party
!|Votes
!|Pct
!
|-
|2004
United States Senate election in North Carolina, 2004
The 2004 United States Senate election in North Carolina was held on November 2, 2004. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator John Edwards decided to retire from the Senate, ran unsuccessfully for the 2004 Democratic Party presidential nomination, and became his party's vice presidential nominee...


|
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |{{nowrap|Erskine Bowles
Erskine Bowles
Erskine Boyce Bowles is an American businessman and political figure from North Carolina. He served from 2005 to 2010 as the President of the University of North Carolina system...

}}
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} align="right" |1,632,527
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |47%
|
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |{{nowrap|Richard Burr}}
|{{Party shading/Republican}} align="right" |1,791,450
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |52%
|
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} |Tom Bailey
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} |Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...


|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} align="right" |47,743
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} align="right" |1%
| |*
|-
|2010
United States Senate election in North Carolina, 2010
The 2010 United States Senate election in North Carolina was held on November 2, 2010. The filing deadline for the primaries was February 26; the primaries were held on May 4, with a Democratic primary runoff held on June 22. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Richard Burr won re-election to a...


|
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |{{nowrap|Elaine Marshall
Elaine Marshall
Elaine F. Marshall is the current North Carolina Secretary of State; she is the first woman to be elected to that office and the first woman elected to statewide executive office in North Carolina. Marshall was the Democratic Party's nominee for the United States Senate seat currently held by...

}}
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} align="right" |1,145,074
|{{Party shading/Democratic}} |43%
|
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |{{nowrap|Richard Burr}}
|{{Party shading/Republican}} align="right" |1,458,046
|{{Party shading/Republican}} |55%
|
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} |Mike Beitler
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} |Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...


|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} align="right" |55,682
|{{Party shading/Libertarian}} align="right" |2%
|
{{s-end}}

External links

  • U.S. Senator Richard Burr official Senate site
  • Burr for Senate official campaign site
  • Profile at The News & Observer
    The News & Observer
    The News & Observer is the regional daily newspaper of the Research Triangle area of the U.S. State of North Carolina. The N&O, as it is popularly called, is based in Raleigh and also covers Durham, Cary, and Chapel Hill. The paper also has substantial readership in most of the state east of...

  • Profile at SourceWatch
    SourceWatch
    SourceWatch is an internet wiki site that is a collaborative project of the liberal Center for Media and Democracy...



{{s-start}}
{{s-par|us-hs}}
{{USRSB
| before=Stephen L. Neal
Stephen L. Neal
Stephen Lybrook "Steve" Neal was a North Carolina Democratic politician who served ten terms in the U.S. House of Representatives ....


| state=North Carolina
| district=5
| years=1995–2005
| after=Virginia Foxx
Virginia Foxx
Virginia Foxx is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2005. She is a member of the Republican Party. The district takes in much of the northwestern portion of the state and a portion of Winston-Salem....

}}
{{s-par|us-sen}}
{{U.S. Senator box
| before=John Edwards
John Edwards
Johnny Reid "John" Edwards is an American politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in...


| state=North Carolina
| class= 3
| start=2005
| alongside=Elizabeth Dole
Elizabeth Dole
Mary Elizabeth Alexander Hanford "Liddy" Dole is an American politician who served in both the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush presidential administrations, as well as a United States Senator....

, Kay Hagan}}
{{s-prec|usa}}
{{s-bef|before=Mark Pryor
Mark Pryor
Mark Lunsford Pryor is the senior United States Senator from Arkansas, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Democratic Party and former Attorney General of Arkansas....


D-Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

}}
{{s-ttl|title=United States Senators by seniority |years=52nd}}
{{s-aft|after=Jim DeMint
Jim DeMint
James Warren "Jim" DeMint is the junior U.S. Senator from South Carolina, serving since 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party and a leader in the Tea Party movement. He previously served as the U.S. Representative for from 1999 to 2005.-Early life and education:DeMint was born in...


R-South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

}}
{{s-ppo}}
{{succession box
| title=Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 nominee for Senator from North Carolina (Class 3)
| before=Lauch Faircloth
Lauch Faircloth
Duncan McLauchlin "Lauch" Faircloth , served one term as a Republican U.S. Senator from North Carolina.Before his Senate service, Faircloth was a prominent and wealthy hog farmer...


| after=Current
| years=2004
United States Senate elections, 2004
The United States Senate election, 2004 was an election for one-third of the seats in the United States Senate which coincided with the re-election of George W. Bush as president and the United States House election, as well as many state and local elections. Senators who were elected in 1998,...

, 2010
}}
{{end}}

{{USSenNC}}
{{NC-FedRep}}
{{Current North Carolina statewide political officials}}
{{USSenChairs}}
{{Current U.S. Senators}}
{{Persondata
|NAME= Burr, Richard
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Burr, Richard Mauze
|SHORT DESCRIPTION=sales executive, Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...


|DATE OF BIRTH=1955-11-30
|PLACE OF BIRTH=Charlottesville
Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville is an independent city geographically surrounded by but separate from Albemarle County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, and named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of King George III of the United Kingdom.The official population estimate for...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...


|DATE OF DEATH=
|PLACE OF DEATH=
}}
{{DEFAULTSORT:Burr, Richard}}
{{ushr|North Carolina|5|}