|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Oklahoma's 1st district
|Assumed office |
November 13, 2018
|Preceded by||Jim Bridenstine|
|Born||December 4, 1961|
Belton, Missouri, U.S.
|Education||Arkansas Tech University (BS)|
Georgia Institute of Technology
University of Arkansas, Little Rock (MBA)
Kevin Ray Hern (born December 4, 1961) is an American businessman and politician from the state of Oklahoma. A Republican, he is a member of the United States House of Representatives for Oklahoma's 1st congressional district. He was first elected in 2018.
Hern graduated from Dover High School and Arkansas Tech University in 1986 before working at Rockwell International while pursuing a PhD in astronautical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his MBA from University of Arkansas, Little Rock in 1999.
After the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, Hern had difficulty finding a job, and became a McDonald's franchisee. He bought his first McDonald's in North Little Rock, Arkansas in 1997. He sold the North Little Rock franchise in 1999 to move to Muskogee, Oklahoma, where he bought two franchises. He expanded his business to 18 franchises in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area.
After Jim Bridenstine resigned from the United States House of Representatives in 2018 to become administrator of NASA, Hern ran to succeed him in Oklahoma's 1st congressional district in the 2018 elections. Hern advanced to the runoff, where he defeated Tim Harris. He then advanced to the general election, where he defeated Democratic nominee Tim Gilpin. Outgoing Governor Mary Fallin then appointed Hern to serve the balance of Bridenstine's third term. She was able to do so because under Oklahoma law, if a House seat falls vacant in an even-numbered year and the incumbent's term is due to end the following year, the governor can appoint someone to serve the remainder of the term. Accordingly, Hern was sworn into the House on November 13.
Hern defeated Democratic nominee Kojo Asamoa-Caesar and Independent Evelyn L. Rogers in the November 2020 general election.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hern's KTAK Corporation received between $1 million and $2 million in federally backed small business loans from American Bank and Trust as part of the Paycheck Protection Program. KTAK stated it would retain 220 jobs. The loan was seen as notable since Hern is a vocal opponent of deficit spending; in 2018, discussing a balanced budget, he said, "While there is no easy fix to this, the first step is clear: stop adding to it." In 2020, he said, "This isn't a bailout. It's a repayment of what the government has taken away from American workers and businesses." KTAK operates franchises. During the Paycheck Protection Program negotiations, Hern pushed to increase the amount of aid going to franchises.
In December 2020, Hern was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden prevailed over incumbent Donald Trump. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.
In July 2021, Hern voted against the bipartisan ALLIES Act, which would increase by 8,000 the number of special immigrant visas for Afghan allies of the U.S. military during its invasion of Afghanistan, while also reducing some application requirements that caused long application backlogs; the bill passed in the House 407–16.
Hern voted against the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, which authorizes DHS to nearly double the available H-2B visas for the remainder of FY 2020.
Hern voted against the Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 1158), which effectively prohibits ICE from cooperating with Health and Human Services to detain or remove illegal alien sponsors of unaccompanied alien children (UACs).
|Independent||Evelyn L. Rogers||12,130||3.62|
Hern and his wife, Tammy, have three children and two grandchildren.