Claudia Tenney is a businesswoman, attorney, Marine Mom, former U.S. Congresswoman and former member of the New York Assembly. A lifelong resident of the Mohawk Valley, Claudia and her family own a small manufacturing business in Central New York, which was founded by her grandfather in 1946. Her son, Trey, is a Captain in the United States Marines and graduate of the US Naval Academy. Her parents, John and Cynthia Tenney, were active in community affairs and public service Her father, John R. Tenney, served as a New York State Supreme Court Justice based in Utica.
Claudia Tenney is a graduate of New Hartford High School, Colgate University, and the University of Cincinnati School of Law. She is proficient in Bosnian/Croatian, having lived in the former Yugoslavia and worked as a Foreign Correspondent at the former Yugoslav Consulate. As the president and publisher of local newspapers (The Mid-York Weekly and Pennysaver), Claudia published the Utica-area’s first Bosnian language newspaper, “Mostovi”, in addition to English-language newsletters serving the Greater Mohawk Valley community.
In addition to serving as a law firm partner, Claudia has represented numerous clients and is admitted to the Bar in Florida, Connecticut, and Federal Court including the US Supreme Court. For over a decade, Claudia represented full-blooded Oneida Indian, Melvin Phillips and his family, in their quest to protect their land rights restored and justice done for fellow Native American tribe members.
In 2010, Claudia was elected to the New York State Assembly where she worked to reduce taxes and regulations, support small businesses and family farms, vulnerable people including seniors and those with special needs, fight corruption, and aid veterans. In 2014, Claudia led a grass-roots campaign to unseat a sitting Member of Congress that came within a few points of success, shocking the political establishment. In 2016, Claudia defeated two primary and two more wealthy general election candidates to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican. Her work in Congress included improving veterans services, enacting the largest tax reform in more than a generation, improve access to credit for small businesses and family farms, brought historic federal resources to NY22 for defense installations, opioid crisis assistance, and local infrastructure programs.
Claudia’s willingness to speak truth to power has earned her the ire of career politicians and their lobbyist cronies from Utica to Washington. After her first term in the Assembly, insiders tried to gerrymander her out of Albany – it did not work. Since then, anti-reform forces have spent over $30 million to stop her strong advocacy for working men and women, but Claudia is tenacious and will continue to fight for the truth.