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McNerney to Bid House Adieu After 2022

January 18, 2022 by Dan McCue
McNerney to Bid House Adieu After 2022
Jerry McNerney

WASHINGTON — Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., the Northern California Democrat who jumped from energy to public service, announced Tuesday he’s retiring at the conclusion of his third term.

McNerney joined 26 other Democrats who have announced they plan to leave Congress after the midterm elections.

In a written statement, McNerney said he’s been “honored that the citizens of California’s 9th Congressional District chose me as their representative in the past five elections, and that those in California’s previous 11th Congressional District gave me the privilege of representing them for three terms.” 

Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, McNerney attended St. Joseph’s Military Academy in Hays, Kansas, and, for two years, the United States Military Academy at West Point. 

After leaving West Point in 1971 in protest of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, he enrolled at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees and, in 1981, a Ph.D. in mathematics.

Later, McNerney served for several years as a contractor to Sandia National Laboratories at Kirtland Air Force Base on national security programs, before accepting a senior engineering position with U.S. Windpower.

In 1994, he began working as an energy consultant for Pacific Gas & Electric, FloWind, the Electric Power Research Institute, and other utility companies. Before being elected to Congress, McNerney served as the CEO of a startup company manufacturing wind turbines, Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Power.                                                

A former energy consultant and CEO of a wind power startup, McNerney first ran for Congress in 2004 in the 11th Congressional District, which at the time covered parts of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Santa Clara counties in California. 

McNerney lost to incumbent Republican Richard Pombo by a wide margin, 61-39%.

In 2006, McNerney again faced off against Pombo, but this time won.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement after McNerney announced that he will retire at the end of his term:

“For 15 years, Congressman [Jerry] McNerney has been a devoted champion for his Northern California community and our nation. As a senior member on [the] Energy & Commerce [Committee] with deep expertise in energy, [he] has fought relentlessly to move our nation closer to a clean energy future. And, with a Ph.D. in mathematics, he has served as a valued and knowledgeable voice on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

“Driven by a sense of patriotic duty and inspired by his son’s military service, Congressman McNerney has brought to the House a strong commitment to our veterans,” Pelosi continued. “Whether advancing treatments for service members with traumatic brain injury, fighting to protect benefits for veterans during government shutdowns or holding accountable the leadership of the Department of Veterans Affairs, he has been a fierce fighter to ensure our nation lives up to its promise to our military communities. 

“On behalf of Congress and the country, we salute him for his legislative leadership. Congress and the country are grateful for Congressman McNerney’s leadership in our caucus,” she said.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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