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Bill Paxon

Bill Paxon
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 1999
31st congressional district 1989–1993
27th congressional district 1993–1999
Preceded by Jack Kemp
Succeeded by Thomas M. Reynolds
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 147th district
In office
January 1, 1983 – December 31, 1988
Preceded by Richard L. Kennedy
Succeeded by Thomas M. Reynolds
Personal details
Born L. William Paxon
(1954-04-29) April 29, 1954
Akron, New York
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Susan Molinari
Children two
Residence Alexandria, Virginia
Alma mater Canisius College

L. William "Bill" Paxon (born April 29, 1954) is a lobbyist and former member of the United States House of Representatives from New York.


  • Early life 1
  • Political career 2
  • Leadership challenge 3
  • Post-congressional career 4
  • Personal life 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Paxon was born in Akron, near Buffalo, New York. At the age of 15, Paxon volunteered for the first congressional campaign of former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jack Kemp. Kemp, decades later, was the Republican Vice Presidential nominee in 1996. Paxon graduated from St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute high school in 1972, and then from Canisius College. He was elected to the Erie County Legislature in November 1977 at the age of 23, making him the youngest member ever when elected. In addition, he holds honorary doctorates from Daemen College, Roberts Wesleyan College and Canisius College. For many years, he lived in Western New York State, including Gowanda, New York.

Political career

Paxon was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1983 to 1988, sitting in the 185th, 186th and 187th New York State Legislatures.

He was elected to the 101st, 102nd, 103rd, 104th and 105th United States Congresses, holding office from January 3, 1989, to January 3, 1999. Paxon chaired the Republican House Leadership committee during the 105th Congress. In 1992, Paxon was elected to chair the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Leadership challenge

In the summer of 1997 several House Republicans, who saw Newt Gingrich's public image as a liability, attempted to replace him as Speaker. The challenge began July 9 with a meeting between Republican conference chairman John Boehner of Ohio and Republican leadership chairman Paxon. According to their plan, House Majority Leader Dick Armey, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, Boehner and Paxon were to present Gingrich with an ultimatum: resign, or be voted out. However, Armey balked at the proposal to make Paxon the new Speaker, and told his chief of staff to warn Gingrich about the coup.[1][2]

On July 11, Gingrich met with senior Republican leadership to assess the situation. He explained that under no circumstance would he step down. If he was voted out, there would be a new election for Speaker, which would allow for the possibility that Democrats—along with dissenting Republicans—would vote in Dick Gephardt as Speaker. On July 16, Paxon offered to resign his post, feeling that he had not handled the situation correctly, as the only member of the leadership who had been appointed to his position—by Gingrich—instead of elected.[3]

Post-congressional career

After leaving Congress, Paxon became an advisor to GOP congressional members.[4][5]

Following his 21-year public service career, Paxon joined the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where, since January 1999, he has advised a wide range of public and private sector clients on policy issues. He has consistently been rated one of Washington’s top lobbyists.

Paxon was hired by Boeing to lobby members of Congress.[6]

Personal life

While in Congress, the conservative Paxon worked closely with moderate then Rep. Susan Molinari R-Staten Island, who is now a lobbyist. They married on July 3, 1994 and live in Arlington, Virginia. They have two daughters, Susan Ruby and Katherine Marie.


  1. ^ "Attempted Republican Coup: Ready, Aim, Misfire". CNN. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Attempted Republican Coup: Ready, Aim, Misfire". CNN. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  3. ^ Gingrich, Newt (1998). Lessons Learned the Hard Way. HarperCollins Publishers. pp. 159–160.  
  4. ^ Kurtz, Howard. "Moving to the Right". The Washington Post. April 19, 2006.
  5. ^ "The press breaks out: once used only by activists, outing is growing popular with mainstream reporters". The Advocate. October 13, 1998.
  6. ^ Carney, Timothy. "Who were Boeing's lobbyists?". Washington Examiner. February 24, 2011.

External links

  • Bill Paxon at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Richard L. Kennedy
New York State Assembly
147th District

Succeeded by
Thomas M. Reynolds
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jack Kemp
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 31st congressional district

Succeeded by
Amo Houghton
Preceded by
James T. Walsh
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 27th congressional district

Succeeded by
Thomas M. Reynolds
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