Randy Cunningham   REPUBLICAN

 Randy Cunningham biography:
Randy "Duke" Cunningham was born December 8, 1941, in Los Angeles, California. After earning his bachelors degree in 1964 and his masters in education in 1965 from the University of Missouri, Cunningham began his career as an educator and a coach at Hinsdale (Ill.) High School. As a swimming coach, Duke trained two athletes to Olympic gold and silver medals. He later expanded his education experience as the Dean of the School of Aviation at National University in San Diego.

In 1966, at the age of 25, Cunningham joined the U.S. Navy and became one of the most highly decorated pilots in the Vietnam War. As the first fighter ace of the war, Cunningham was nominated for the Medal of Honor, received the Navy Cross, two Silver Stars, fifteen Air Medals, the Purple Heart, and several other decorations.

Duke's experience in Vietnam and his background as an educator prepared him well to train fighter pilots at the Navy Fighter Weapons School -- the famed "Top Gun" program at Miramar Naval Air Station. As Commanding Officer of the elite Navy Adversary Squadron, Cunningham flew Russian tactics and formations against America's best combat fighter pilots. Many of his real-life experiences as a Navy aviator and fighter pilot instructor were depicted in the popular movie "Top Gun."

Upon his retirement from the Navy in 1987, Cunningham translated the Masters in Business Administration he earned at National University into a successful business in San Diego.

In 2004, the people of California's 50th Congressional District elected Duke Cunningham to his eighth term in the House of Representatives. As the voters returned a Republican majority to both chambers of Congress, Congressman Cunningham retained his position on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Cunningham serves on the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations subcommittee, which is instrumental in providing key funding for education and medical research, two of his priorities. He also serves on the panel's Defense subcommittee, which provides funding for our national defense and armed services. At the beginning of the 109th Congress, Cunningham was selected to serve as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Intelligence Analysis and Counterintelligence on the House Select Committee on Intelligence. Cunningham was first named to the Select House Committee by Speaker Hastert in the 107th Congress. His extensive military experience, continued service on defense and intelligence committees, and recognition as a congressional leader on national security issues make him an ideal fit for this prestigous position.

Through his committee assignments and the pursuit of his legislative priorities, Congressman Cunningham continues to work for a stronger economy; quality education for our children, a strong and efficient national defense; and smart investment in medical research and innovation. He places a priority on the effective use of taxpayer resources for our children's future.

Several organizations have honored Congressman Cunningham for his work in Congress. Most notably, he has been recognized for his work as a fiscal conservative by such organizations as Citizens for a Sound Economy, the National Taxpayer's Union, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. He has also been recognized by education groups for his tireless advocacy and by several law enforcement organizations for his tough-on-crime position.

Duke and his wife Nancy, the Director of Administrative Support Services for the Encinitas Union School District, have three children -Todd, April and Carrie.

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Other pages referencing Randy Cunningham: Nathan Fletcher,

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