Birthdate: Nov. 11, 1971
Birth Place: Joliet, IL, United States
Residence: Corning, NY
First Elected: 2010
State: New York
District: District 23
Tom Reed was born in Joliet, Ill., and now lives in Corning, N.Y., in the house his grandfather built in 1922 and that Reed grew up in. Reed earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Alfred University, where he was captain of the swim team, and a law degree in 1996 from Ohio Northern University.
His father was a career Army officer and died when Reed was 2, leaving his mother to raise a large family on Social Security and military death-benefit checks.
Reed worked as an attorney in Rochester until 1999 when he started a private law practice in Corning. He also operated three real estate and property businesses.
Reed was elected mayor of Corning in 2007. On completing his two-year term, he announced his run for New York's open 29th District U.S. House seat.
Reed and his wife, Jean, have two children.
Tom Reed is running for a second term to represent a mostly rural region that traditionally favors Republicans. He has stressed his deep family roots in Corning, N.Y., including living in the house he grew up in and that his grandfather built in 1922.
Corning lies in the Southern Tier, a conservative redoubt with more than its share of economic woes. New York's newly drawn 23rd Congressional District covers most of the Tier, minus Binghamton, and reaches up into the Finger Lakes.
Reed will face Democrat Nate Shinagawa in the November 2012 general election.
Reed touts his conservative values of limited government, lower taxes and a reduction of the national debt. His campaign website even includes an ever-increasing, real-time national debt clock.
He has been highly critical of the Affordable Care Act, saying after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law in June 2012 that "this decision greatly expands the government's ability to tax and interfere in people's lives."
He is a forceful proponent of natural-gas exploration for its potential to lift the Southern Tier economy. Drilling of the Marcellus Shale formation has become a hot-button issue in New York because it would rely on a method in which chemical-laced water is blasted in deep shale deposits to stimulate gas production. New York regulators are still considering whether to allow the process, known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
"We need to realize the potential that Marcellus Shale holds for improving our struggling economy and reducing our reliance on foreign energy," he wrote in an editorial.
Reed was elected mayor of Corning in 2007 in his first run for political office. He launched his congressional bid when his two-year mayoral term ended in 2009. His prospects blossomed significantly after Democrat Eric Massa resigned in March 2010 amid an investigation into whether he sexually harassed male staffers. Reed won the seat that November.
Source: Associated Press