SEMA News—September 2019


By Eric Snyder

Friends in High Places

Congressional Caucus Grows in 2019

In the halls of Congress, success is often directly related to the size of your rolodex. The more friends you have in your corner, the more likely you are to get things accomplished. With the automotive specialty aftetmarket industry continuing to grow, having a powerful voice in the nation’s capital is critical to keeping that engine running smoothly. Thanks to the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus, the industry is connected with some of the most important contacts in Washington—the politicians.

The American auto industry celebrated its centennial in 1996. To mark the occasion, SEMA helped form the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus to pay tribute to America’s love affair with the car and motorsports. More than two decades later, the caucus continues to raise the industry’s profile in the nation’s capital.

Today, the bipartisan caucus is helmed by Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA) in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Jon Tester (D-MT) in the U.S. Senate. Thanks to their leadership, a dozen new members have recently registered their support for the industry by joining the Caucus.

Jim Baird

Jim Baird (R-IN)

Freshman Congressman Jim Baird brings a strong private-sector background along with military and government service to the House of Representatives, as he previously served as an Indiana state legislator, a Putnam County (Indiana) commissioner, a farmer, and a small-business owner. He is also a Vietnam veteran.

Rep. Baird is a lifelong resident of the Putnam County area, just west of Indianapolis. He was a second lieutenant in the Army, earning two purple hearts and a bronze star. He went on to earn both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University and his doctorate in animal science from the University of Kentucky.

Ted Budd

Ted Budd (R-NC)

Rep. Ted Budd is currently serving in his second term representing North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, which spans five counties between Statesville and Greensboro. Prior to running for Congress in 2016, he helped to manage his family’s landscaping supply and janitorial businesses and owned a gun shop and an indoor shooting range. Rep. Budd earned an MBA from Wake Forest University and a master’s in leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary.

Gil Cisneros

Gil Cisneros (D-CA)

Freshman Congressman Gil Cisneros represents California’s 39th District, which is home to SEMA’s Diamond Bar headquarters. A first-time elected official, Rep. Cisneros served 10 years in the Navy, reaching the rank of lieutenant commander. He served in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Shield and later worked as a shipping and production manager for Frito-Lay. Rep. Cisneros has a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University, an MBA from Regis University, and a master’s from Brown University.

Henry Cuellar

Henry Cuellar (D-TX)

Rep. Henry Cuellar is currently serving in his eighth term representing Texas’ 28th Congressional District, which stretches from San Antonio to Laredo. He is one of the most bipartisan members of the House of Representatives and is an original RPM Act cosponsor. Rep. Cuellar has a J.D. and a PhD from the University of Texas, a master’s from Texas A&M International University, and a bachelor’s from Georgetown. Prior to coming to Washington, Cuellar was a college professor and a lawyer, and he served as Texas’ Secretary of State and in the state legislature.

Paul Gosar

Paul Gosar (R-AZ)

Rep. Paul Gosar is serving in his fifth term representing Arizona’s 4th Congressional District, which stretches from the Phoenix suburbs west to the California border. Rep. Gosar owned and operated a dental practice in Flagstaff, Arizona, for 25 years. He is a member of the Natural Resources Committee and the Oversight and Reform Committee.

Josh Gottenheimer

Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)

Rep. Josh Gottheimer represents New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District, which spans from the New York suburbs all the way to the Pennsylvania border. Rep. Gottheimer is the co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, which is comprised of 24 democrats and 24 republicans who work together to find areas of agreement on key issues, including cutting taxes, eliminating unnecessary regulations, making health care more affordable, and upgrading U.S. infrastructure.

Rep. Gottheimer is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, studied at Oxford and has a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Prior to running for Congress in 2016, he worked for the Ford Motor Company, Microsoft and the Federal Communications Commission. He also created a nonprofit that expanded access to high-speed internet for low-income students in New Jersey.

George Holding

George Holding (R-NC)

U.S. Rep. George Holding was first elected to Congress in 2012, where he serves on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Rep. Holding received his bachelor’s and law degrees at nearby Wake Forest University. Before his election to Congress, he served as a U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

David Joyce

Dave Joyce (R-OH)

Originally from the Cleveland area, U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2012. In Congress Rep. Joyce serves on the Appropriations Committee, where he is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, which has jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Prior to his service in Congress, Rep. Joyce was a prosecutor in Geauga County, Ohio.

Roger Marshall

Roger Marshall (R-KS)

A physician by trade, U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall defeated incumbent Rep. Tim Hueslskamp (R-KS) in the Republican primary en route to his election to Congress in 2016. Originally from El Dorado, Kansas, Rep. Marshall attended Kansas State University as an undergraduate and medical student. Today, he serves on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and the Agriculture Committee.

John Moolenaar

John Moolenaar (R-MI)

After serving in Michigan’s state legislature for 13 years, U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar was elected to represent the Great Lake state in Congress in 2014. Originally from Midland, Michigan, Rep. Moolenaar worked as a chemist before hearing the call to public office. He serves on the powerful Appropriations Committee.

Steve Stivers

Steve Stivers (R-OH)

U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers came to Washington, D.C., as part of the Republican electoral wave in 2010. Originally from Ripley, Ohio, Rep. Stivers received both a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Ohio State University and currently serves in the Ohio Army National Guard. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee.

Mike Waltz

Mike Waltz (R-FL)

Freshman Congressman Mike Waltz is a combat-decorated Green Beret and a former White House and Pentagon policy advisor. Originally from Boynton Beach, Florida, Rep. Waltz also co-founded a national defense business, growing it to more than 400 employees. He serves on the Science, Space and Technology Committee and the Armed Services Committee.

To learn more about the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus or how to recruit your elected representative, contact Director of State Government Affairs and SEMA PAC Christian Robinson at

SEMA PAC Redline Club Spotlight: Lori and Jay Ramsey
Lori and Jay RamseyLori and Jay Ramsey are the owners of Hypertech Vehicular Performance, which is based in Bartlett, Tennessee. The Ramseys joined the SEMA PAC Redline Club in 2018.

“SEMA PAC provides a means to inform and educate bureaucrats and politicians that performance does not mean pollution and that aftermarket producers support safety and the environment,” the Ramseys said. “We believe that consumers drive markets, not government rebates or subsidies. Consumers need freedom of choice, and our industry provides choices that make automobiles fun again. The SEMA PAC is our industry advocate, protecting our industry and consumers with choices that benefits car enthusiast and owners alike.”

SEMA PAC helps you keep pace by supporting the candidates and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., who understand the importance of what SEMA members do. For more information on SEMA PAC, contact Christian Robinson at 202-794-8279 or



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