John Faso

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John Faso
John Faso official congressional photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by Chris Gibson
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 102nd district
In office
January 1, 1987 – December 31, 2002
Preceded by Clarence Lane
Succeeded by Joel Miller
Personal details
Born John James Faso Jr.
(1952-08-25) August 25, 1952 (age 66)
Massapequa, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Frances Faso
Children 2
Alma mater State University of New York, Brockport
Georgetown University
Website House website

John James Faso Jr. /ˈfæs/ (born August 25, 1952) is an American politician and the U.S. Representative for New York's 19th congressional district since January 3, 2017. He served as minority leader of the New York State Assembly from 1998 until 2002, representing the 102nd district from 1987 until 2002. A Republican, he gave up his seat in the Assembly to run for New York State Comptroller in 2002, losing to Alan Hevesi. In 2006, he ran for Governor of New York, and lost to Democratic nominee Eliot Spitzer.

In 2016, he ran for U.S. Congress in New York's 19th congressional district.[1] He was the endorsed Republican, Conservative, Independence, and Reform candidate.[2] On November 8, 2016, Faso won the election to Congress for New York's 19th district, defeating Democratic challenger Zephyr Teachout.[3]

Early life, education, and early career

Faso is of Italian and Irish descent, the eldest of five siblings.[4] He attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, New York and SUNY-Brockport. After college, Faso became a grants officer for Nassau County, New York.[4] Faso graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1979.[5] After law school, Faso took political jobs in Washington, D.C. while considering running for elective office in New York.[4]


In 1983, Faso moved to upstate New York, purposely choosing to live in a district where an Assembly seat would soon become open so that he could run. He was elected to the New York State Assembly for the first time in 1986.[4]

Assembly tenure

Faso was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1987 to 2002.[4] He received the 1997 Nelson A. Rockefeller College Award for distinguished public service.[6] In 1987, Faso called Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision regarding abortion rights, a "black mark upon this country."[7][8] In late 1994, Faso served on George Pataki's transition team, where he chaired the budget committee.[9] He became head of the team that wrote Pataki's first budget as governor.[4]

In 1995, Faso became Ranking Member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.[10] He was the original sponsor of charter school legislation and was involved in the passage of Governor Pataki's proposal to create charter schools in New York State in 1998. He supported expanding the current cap on charter schools.[11] Faso was elected Assembly Minority Leader in 1998.[4]

Faso and Governor George Pataki attend the NY State Fair.

2002 to 2016

In late 2002, Faso joined the firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; he took a leave of absence to run for governor in 2006, then rejoined the firm.[6]

From 2003 to 2006, Faso served as a member of the control board working to fix the financial and managerial issues with the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo City School District.[12]

From 2012 to 2015, Faso worked as a public affairs consultant for the Constitution Pipeline Co., an energy company that was attempting to build a pipeline to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York State. The pipeline was controversial because the pipeline would have transported gas extracted from hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Construction of the pipeline was ultimately blocked by the state.[13]

2002 Comptroller campaign

Faso's work on the state budget fueled a run for New York Comptroller in 2002. Initially trailing Democrat Alan Hevesi (then-Comptroller of New York City) by a 20-point margin,[14] Faso lost the election by a 50%-47% margin. Faso accused Hevesi of having mismanaged the city's pension funds.[15] Hevesi was later jailed in a pay-to-play scheme involving New York's state pension fund.[1] In 2010, Faso's law firm agreed to a five-year ban from appearing before the state's public pension funds and paid a $550,000 fine as part of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's pay-to-play investigation into public pension funds.[16]

2006 gubernatorial campaign

Faso campaigning for governor in 2006

In 2005, Faso announced his intention to run for governor. For the Republican nomination, Faso faced former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, former New York Secretary of State Randy Daniels, and Assemblyman Patrick Manning. Weld reportedly offered Faso the chance to join his ticket as a candidate for lieutenant governor.[17] Faso received the Conservative Party's endorsement[18] while Weld received the Libertarian Party's nomination.[19] After a weak showing at the state Republican convention, Weld announced his withdrawal from the race.[20]

In June, the Republican State Convention voted to endorse Faso.[21] Faso's running mate was former Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef.[22] Faso was opposed by Democratic nominee Eliot Spitzer.[23] Spitzer won with 69% of the vote, Faso received 29% of the vote.[24]

2009 U.S. House campaign

After then-Representative Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to the U.S. Senate, a special election was called in 2009 to determine her successor in New York's 20th congressional district. Faso positioned himself against Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman Jim Tedisco in the Republican primary, but eventually withdrew after party support coalesced around Tedisco.[25] Tedisco lost the election to Democrat Scott Murphy, who in turn, lost to Chris Gibson at the next election.

2016 U.S. House campaign

On September 14, 2015, Faso announced he would run for New York's 19th congressional district in the 2016 election.[26] Republican Chris Gibson, the retiring incumbent, endorsed Faso.[27] He won the Republican primary against Andrew Heaney, 67.5% to 32.5%.[28] During the general election, Faso faced academic and political activist Zephyr Teachout. Faso defeated Teachout with 54.7% of the vote.

Congressional tenure

Faso was named to the House Budget and House Agriculture Committee as well as the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he serves as Vice Chairman of the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Material Subcommittee.[29]

Faso at an Indivisible movement protest in Kinderhook

As of January 2018, Faso had voted with his party in 87.7% of votes so far in the 115th United States Congress and voted in line with President Trump's position in 84.7% of votes.[30][31]

Faso is a member of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership.[32]

Health care

In January 2017, The Washington Post reported on a closed-door meeting in which Faso said that he had "no problem" with defunding Planned Parenthood, but urged his fellow Republicans not to do so as part of the proposed repeal of the ACA (Obamacare); Faso added that using Obamacare repeal legislation to defund Planned Parenthood would be "a gigantic political trap," "a political minefield," and a "grave mistake."[33][34] In a later interview, Faso clarified that he "does not favor defunding Planned Parenthood" and that "if a separate up-or-down vote on Planned Parenthood funding came up in the House, he would vote for the status quo, effectively keeping the organization funded."[35] In February 2017, Faso voted against a resolution that "reverse[d] an Obama Administration rule barring states from defunding Planned Parenthood."[36] In March 2017, Faso voted to amend an Obamacare repeal bill to remove language that would have defunded Planned Parenthood for one year.[37]

On May 4, 2017, Faso voted in favor of American Health Care Act, the House Republican bill to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare);[38][39] this legislation would have defunded Planned Parenthood for one year. He faced protests in his congressional district over his position on the AHCA.[40][41][42]


Faso voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[43] "From the beginning, I wanted to support a tax reform plan that would increase economic growth, increase worker paychecks, incentivize small business investment and ensure New York families are better off," he stated after voting against the bill. Faso argued that the $10,000 state and local tax deduction would also deeply impact New York residents of all wealth levels.[44]

Personal life

Faso is married to Mary Frances Faso; they have two children, Nicholas and Margaret. Faso is a Roman Catholic.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "New York gets another chance to listen to John Faso". September 21, 2015. 
  2. "Faso Releases ‘Better Off’". 
  3. Niedzwiadek, Nick (November 9, 2016). "Faso defeats Teachout as Republicans hold NY House seats". Politico. Retrieved November 13, 2016. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Healy, Patrick (October 18, 2006). "An Ill-Timed Candidate Believes His Time Is Now". The New York Times. 
  5. Herszenhorn, David M. "In the Race for Governor, a Big Divide on School Aid", The New York Times, November 2, 2006. Accessed December 6, 2007. "Mr. Faso, whose father worked as a janitor in the Catholic grammar school that he attended on Long Island, went on to Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens and the State University of New York at Brockport."
  6. 6.0 6.1 "John J. Faso Rejoins Manatt". Business Wire. December 1, 2006. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  7. Jessica Bruder (2005-12-12). "Is John Faso Fighting An Unbeatable Foe?". Observer. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  8. By MICHAEL COOPEROCT. 22, 2006 (2006-10-22). "A History of Going Against the Grain With Republican Colleagues - The New York Times". Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  9. "Faso to head Pataki budget team". News Bank. November 21, 1994. 
  10. Dao, James (June 5, 1995). "More Budget Battles; This Year's Fiscal Fight Is Over in Albany But Squabbling May Be Worse Next Year". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  11. Peterson, Helen (September 9, 1999). "Charter School Experiment Begins". New York Dailly News. Retrieved September 21, 2016. 
  12. "Colucci named to city control board". Buffalo Business Journal. August 29, 2006. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  13. Dan Clark (July 18, 2016). "Faso was paid for his work on pipeline project". PolitiFact. 
  14. Now it's 'real race' for controller seat. As gap closes, Faso & Hevesi get nasty 19, 2006/ Archived December 19, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  15. Jonathan P. Hicks (November 2, 2002). "Testy Debate By 2 Running To Become Comptroller". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  16. Steyer, Robert (October 12, 2010). "Faso's law firm settles in pay-to-play probe". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  17. Healy, Patrick (June 1, 2006). "Weld-Faso? Faso-Weld? The Kingmaker From Nassau Holds the Cards". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  18. Healy, Patrick (May 24, 2006). "Conservative Party Endorses Faso for Governor, Setting Up a Political Fight in G.O.P.". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  19. "Bill Weld as a Libertarian Party Candidate in New York?". Hammer of Truth. Retrieved May 19, 2016. 
  20. "Former Mass. Gov. Weld drops out of New York race". The Washington Post. June 6, 2006. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved September 12, 2016. 
  21. Edsall, Thomas B. (May 29, 2006). "Another Stumble for Ralph Reed's Beleaguered Campaign". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  22. Jennifer Medina (May 23, 2006). "Faso Expected to Name Suburban Moderate as Running Mate". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  23. Healy, Patrick (October 13, 2006). "Faso Jabs Sharply at Spitzer, Who Assails 'Angry' Tone". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  24. "New York gubernatorial election, 2006". February 17, 2017. 
  25. Huber, Michael (January 24, 2009). "Greene County GOP goes with Faso - Local Politics". Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  26. "John Faso to kick off congressional campaign". July 28, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  27. Kilgallen, Michaela (July 18, 2016). "Chris Gibson endorses GOPer John Faso in NY-19". Times Union. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  28. "New York's 19th Congressional District election, 2016". Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  29. "Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials - U.S. House of Representatives". 
  30. "Congress Tracker:John J. Faso, Republican representative for New York’s 19th District". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  31. Willis, Derek. "Legislators: John Faso (R-N.Y.)". ProPublica. Retrieved May 13, 2017. 
  32. "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Retrieved 2 October 2017. 
  33. "Behind closed doors, Republican lawmakers fret about how to repeal Obamacare". Washington Post. Retrieved February 5, 2017. 
  34. Seiler, Casey (2017-01-27). "Faso to GOP: Don't defund Planned Parenthood in ACA repeal". Times Union. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  35. "Rep. Faso Clarifies Quotes on Planned Parenthood". WAMC. January 27, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  36. Tom Strode (2017-02-17). "House votes to annul rule protecting Planned Parenthood". Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  37. "Faso Votes To Advance Health Care Bill". 2017-03-16. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  38. Kim Soffen, Darla Cameron & Kevin Uhrmacher (May 4, 2017). "How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill". Washington Post. 
  39. CNN Staff (May 5, 2017). "How every member voted on health care bill". CNN. 
  40. Brian Hubert (January 16, 2017). "People gather outside Faso office to protest GOP pledge to repeal Affordable Care Act". Daily Freeman. 
  41. Horrigan, Jeremiah (February 2, 2017). "Demonstrators at Congressman John Faso's home ask him to oppose Trump's plans". Hudson Valley One. 
  42. Patricia R. Doxsey (February 24, 2017). "Forum in Faso’s congressional district expected to draw more than 600 people, but not Faso". Daily Freeman. 
  43. Almukhtar, Sarah (19 December 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 December 2017. 
  44. Moody, Richard. "House passes final tax reform bill; Faso votes against partial elimination of SALT deductions | Hudson Valley 360". HudsonValley360. Retrieved 21 December 2017. 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Chris Gibson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th congressional district

January 3, 2017 – present
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Clarence Lane
Member of the New York Assembly
from the 102nd district

Succeeded by
Joel Miller
Preceded by
Tom Reynolds
Minority Leader of the New York Assembly
Succeeded by
Charles Nesbitt
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bruce Blakeman
Republican nominee for Comptroller of New York
Succeeded by
Christopher Callaghan
Preceded by
George Pataki
Republican nominee for Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Carl Paladino
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Adriano Espaillat
Seniority in the U.S. House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Drew Ferguson