Congressman Bob Etheridge is a proud native of North Carolina's Second Congressional district where he has lived virtually his entire life. He was born in Sampson County, grew up in Johnston County, and makes his home in Harnett County, where he has been a small businessman, part-time tobacco farmer, and full-time public servant.
Etheridge currently serves on the House Agriculture and Homeland Security committees and is the Chairman of the Democratic Caucus' Education Task Force and the CoChair of the Democratic Rural Working Group. As the only N.C. tobacco farmer in Congress, Bob Etheridge plays a unique role in protecting and promoting North Carolina's agricultural interests. And as the only former state schools chief serving in Congress, Bob Etheridge has emerged as one of the Capitol's most authoritative voices for school construction, character education, early childhood development, youth safety, college aid and other education issues. Etheridge has also been a staunch advocate for first responders in North Carolina and across the country, earning the Congressional Fire Services Institute's 2004 Legislator of the Year Award.
He is a member of the New Democrat Coalition (NDC), a group of moderate pro-business Democrats. The NDC plays a pivotal role in the U.S. House on important causes like balanced budgets, export promotion, research and development, education and economic growth.
Etheridge has used common sense North Carolina values to guide his work in Congress. He is active in his church and teaches Sunday School. For his diligent and decades-long work for the Boy Scouts, Etheridge has received the Silver Beaver Award, the highest district award a Scout leader can receive.
Bob Etheridge attended public school at the historic Cleveland School in Johnston County and after winning a basketball scholarship became the first member of his family to graduate from college when he earned his B.S. Degree in Business Administration from Campbell University in 1965. After graduating, Bob served two years in the U.S. Army. He has done graduate work in economics at NC State University and has received honorary degrees from Campbell University, Fayetteville State University, Pfeiffer College, and Shaw University.
Etheridge and his wife, Faye Cameron Etheridge, are the proud parents of Brian and his wife, Meredith, Catherine and her husband, Tim Otto, and David and his wife, Casey. They are also the proud grandparents of William Etheridge Otto and Virginia Parker Etheridge.
First sworn into Congress in
1997, Bob Etheridge voted to balance the federal budget, to provide tax
relief to family farmers and small businesses, and to supply bullet proof
vests to protect local law enforcement officers. Etheridge has earned
a solid reputation for his leadership on education issues, first as a
Harnett County commissioner and later in North Carolina's General Assembly.
He served eight years as North Carolina's elected State Superintendent
of Schools before taking his lifelong endeavor for better schools to Congress.