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United States Congressman

curt clawson

Congressman Curt Clawson has been coming to Southwest Florida since his family settled in Bonita Springs in 1993. After a successful career as a business leader and former college basketball player, Clawson moved to Southwest Florida in 2011. He soon became involved in local water issues.  

Urged by local leaders and motivated by his family’s generations of service to their country, Clawson decided in 2014 to run in a special election to fill the vacated seat in Florida’s 19th Congressional District.  Clawson won the election on messages of constitutional conservatism, growing the economy and unifying the Republican Party of Southwest Florida.  

Clawson was sworn into office by House Speaker John Boehner on June 25, 2014, one day after winning the special election by nearly forty percentage points. 

Born in Tacoma, Washington, Clawson attended Batesville High School in Batesville, Indiana – a hotbed of Indiana high school basketball. As a senior in high school, Clawson led the state of Indiana in scoring and was recruited by Purdue Head Basketball Coach Gene Keady, where he later helped his team win the 1984 Big Ten Championship. As a senior captain on that 1984 Team, Clawson is known for making the first 3-point basket in Purdue history and making two clutch free throws to clinch the Big Ten Championship.

After graduating from Purdue, Clawson served a year-long Ambassadorial Scholarship for Rotary International, enrolled in graduate MBA studies in Monterrey, Mexico, and took some time to play for the local university basketball team. Clawson began his working career in manufacturing in 1986, as a supervisor on a muffler production line in Columbus, Indiana for Arvin Industries – the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive exhaust systems.

In 1990, Clawson graduated from Harvard Business School with a Masters of Business Administration degree, sponsored by Arvin. He returned to Arvin and held a variety of senior management level positions. 

In 1995, Clawson joined AlliedSignal (now Honeywell) as President of the Filters and Spark Plugs Group, which manufactured Autolite® spark plugs and FRAM® filters.  In 1999, he became President and Chief Operating Officer of American National Can – the world's largest manufacturer of beverage cans.

In 2001, Clawson joined Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc., a global leader in wheel rim manufacturing.  He served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company from September 2001 until his retirement in February 2012.  During his time at Hayes, Clawson successfully led the company out of the financial distress he inherited – without taking one penny of taxpayer money – saving thousands of jobs.

While at Hayes, Clawson established, and still principally funds, a shelter for homeless teen mothers on the east side of Detroit. He also stays active advising and mentoring young athletes in Southwest Florida. 

Clawson’s parents, Jack and Cherie, are residents of Bonita Springs.  When not in Washington, Curt enjoys spending time with them during the autumn of their lives. Together, they enjoy walking the beach, swimming in the Gulf, and watching beautiful sunsets.    Read More


Clawson, Rooney vote no on president's ISIS plan

By Ledyard King, THe News-Press, Ft. Myers

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Washington, Sep 18 | comments
Lawmakers representing Southwest Florida voted Wednesday against a measure authorizing President Barack Obama's plan to train and arm Syrian rebels so they can help attack the militant group Islamic State.

Republicans Curt Clawson and Tom Rooney also voted against a spending bill that would keep the federal government open through Dec. 11. Programs and offices are scheduled to shut down after the 2014 fiscal year ends on Sept. 30 unless Congress approves funding to keep the lights on.

Both proposals passed the House with solid majorities and now head to the Senate, where they are expected to pass today. Authorization of the president's Syrian plan was folded into the larger spending bill, known as a continuing resolution.

Clawson said the president's proposal to mainly use air strikes and limited training to deal with the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is incomplete, involves untrustworthy partners, and could cause weapons to fall into the wrong hands and eventually be used against Israel.

"I think this is fraught with risk and unpredictability with folks we're not sure we want to work with," Clawson, of Bonita Springs, said after the vote.

He said he's not ready to commit U.S. soldiers, though some fellow GOP lawmakers have criticized Obama for refusing to consider such an option.

"I don't want troops in the sand unless I'm defending Israel or something that's very, very dire," Clawson said. "I'm not there yet."

Rooney voted against the Syria plan in part because he believes ground troops should be considered.

"I cannot support the losing strategy of arming the so-called Syrian rebels," the Okeechobee Republican, who represents part of Lee County, said in a statement. "Although I believe ISIS clearly poses a security threat to the Middle East, and potentially to the United States itself, handcuffing our strategy by restricting kinetic activity to air power alone is insufficient."

It's the same reason he voted against the overall spending bill.

"I don't believe this plan is anything close to a winning strategy, and I cannot support it," he said. "Accordingly, I must also oppose the continuing resolution, which includes this language as a poison pill."

Clawson opposed the spending bill for other reasons too. He said the measure punted on "hard choices."

It would extend the charter of the Export-Import Bank through June 2015 and would retain a temporary ban on state and local taxation of Internet access under the Internet Tax Freedom Act. Clawson said those issues should be considered separately, with full debate.

"Why are we linking things that are totally unrelated and of far less importance to the (continuing resolution) and the increasing debt?" he said.

Clawson opposes extending the Export-Import Bank, a federal program that mainly helps smaller U.S. companies break into foreign markets. He called it "yesterday's solution to yesterday's world."
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