Avery Passerday

From Usgs

Avery Passerday
In Office:
July 2012 - Present
Preceded by Chris Harrison
Succeeded by incumbent

September 14, 1976
Asheville, North Carolina
Political Party Republican
Spouse None
Religion Southern Baptist

Avery Passerday (b. September 14, 1976), is the senior United States Senator from the Shenandoah Valley. A Republican from the state of North Carolina, she has served in the Senate since 2012, making her one of the senior-most Senators in service.


Early Life & Family

Avery was born to Robert and June Passerday in Asheville, North Carolina on September 14, 1976. Robert Passerday (b. May 14, 1940) was a baptist minister for the Merrimon Avenue Baptist Church in Asheville, and had a degree in theology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. June Carroll (b. January 2, 1944), was a receptionist before marrying Passerday in 1968. Robert and June remain in Asheville. Avery has one sibling, Chris (b. December 19, 1971), who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and practices law.

The Passerday family have lived in Asheville for five generations since the end of the Civil War. Before 1866, the family lived in coastal Louisiana. The first Passerday in the United States migrated from France in the 1770s. The Carroll family lived in Maryland from 1810 onward. June's grandparents moved to North Carolina in 1899. Their origin is Scottish.

Career & Education

Avery attended the University of Miami from 1994 to 2000 and studied under Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. She recieved a masters in urban planning.

Avery interned in the Miami Urban Planning Commission from 1998 to 2000, and was hired by the City of Asheville's planning department out of college. She worked on a temporary basis for Durham and Norfolk, designing renewal projects for run-down sections of both cities. In 2006, she was elected to Asheville's city council, where she served for four years. Her works on the Asheville council centered around keeping the city's commercial core strong as the city has increasingly attracted retirees.

In 2012, she released a book, "Urban Decay: A Disaster Just Around the Block" about the state of America's inner city. Proceeds went to her 2012 senate re-election campaign.

United States House

In 2010, she announced her intention to run against incumbent Congressman Heath Schuyler (D) for North Carolina's 11th congressional district. Schuyler had renegged on many promises since his election in 2006, and had narrowly won re-election in 2008. He was a soft target for the GOP in 2010, and Passerday was one of three Republicans running against the Democrat. Avery barely emerged from the three-way Republican primary with 38% of the vote. She went on to beat Schuyler 51-49 in the general election.

Washington D.C. was attacked by terrorists only weeks into Avery's first term. Passerday was on the first floor of the Cannon Office Building when it was struck by the mortar attacks. She was knocked down by the initial explosion. She crawled towards the nearest exit, but started to sucumb from the thick black smoke that quickly filled the first level of the building. A Washington D.C. first responder pulled the half-concious Congresswoman out of the building. She was treated on site for smoke inhalation, before being wisked away with the rest of Congress to the Greenbriar bunker in West Virginia.

As a freshman representative, she quickly moved up through the ranks of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. In 2011, GOP leadership chose her to chair the Budget, Economic, Labor and Infrastructure (BELI) Committee, making her the point woman in the House for Republican policy on the economy, and rapidly advancing her prominence in Washington.

During the 112th Congress, she served on the House Judiciary (JUD) Committee and briefly served on the Science, Health, Education and Environment Committee.

United States Senate

In the United States Senate, Avery Passerday has been noted for her outspoken support for the Tobacco industry. Though she calls herself a conservative, she is generally seen as a moderate by political spectators. Since her appointment, she has served on the Senate Judiciary Committee, for two to years as Ranking Member. She has also served on the Senate Domestic Affairs and Senate Government Regulations and Commerce committees at various times.

Senator Passerday often times points out to supporters, detractors, media, and constituents that in her many years of service, she has yet to miss one floor vote.


In the summer of 2012, Senator Chris Harrison (D-NC) was killed during a trip to Korea. Governor Peter Vandenberg was expected to appoint Richard Schneiter (R-NC) to the vacancy, Schneiter having been defeated by Harrison for the seat in 2010. Avery was expected to run against incumbent Keith Carter (D-VA) in 2012 for Shenandoah's other Senate seat. Avery had been criticising Carter in the press in the run-up to the election, and had even started to fundraise. Those expectations were unfullfilled when, in a surprise even to Avery, Governor Vandenberg appointed her to Senator Harrison's seat. Within days, Senator Carter suddenly resigned his seat, and Schneiter was appointed to serve alongside Avery, making Avery's tenure as the junior Senator of her region one of only a few days. Both Republicans were set to face highly contested elections in 2012.

2012 Election

Democrats had both Shenandoah Valley Senate seats in their crosshairs in 2012. Both were held by Democrats just months before the election, and both were now being defended by - as the Democrats saw it - weak Republicans, appointed by a Governor whose election that year was also a toss up due to some controversial policies.

The Democrats expected to run were Daniel Smith (D-VA) and Calum Daniels (D-NC). The former was a left-ish Democrat who had never run for higher office before. The latter was the father of the late, popular Senator Jared Daniels (D-NC), who was compelled to public service by the death of his son some years earlier. Daniels was considered the more-likely candidate to win, as was Richard Schnieter, inevitably pairing those two against one another. Passerday and Smith were seen as the two party's weaker candidates. Schnieter dropped out of the running and was replaced by William Tavington at the last minute, inevitably tipping the scales in Daniels' favor.

The election prepolls favored Passerday 35.8% to 29.2%. Passerday, who as yet had achieved very little in legislation, was supported merely by her base. The same was true for Smith and his base. as he had never served in any office.

Passerday's strategy was to target North Carolina Republicans and Virginia Independents and talk about what she would accomplish for the region, while Smith targetted Virginia and West Virginia balancing between Democrats and Independents and talking about what he would do, and attacking Passerday for a thin record. The halfpolls showed that Passerday's strategy was paying off, with a 55.1% to 44.5% spread, over 10 points in favor of the incumbent.

Smith continued to run ads with small budgets in Virginia and West Virginia, turning increasingly negative on the last leg of the race. Passerday kept raising Republican turnout in North Carolina, while trying to keep Virginia tied. She saved her money for one big ad buy on the last day of the election. The ad, "California Dreaming," used the song of the same name while attacking Smith with words he used in his ACLU application, painting him as a West Coast liberal.

Final polls were almost unchanged from halfpolls, with Smith slipping slightly. Passerday won with 55.7% of the vote. This was not an election to her own term, however, merely to complete the term of Senator Harrison. It's worth noting that Senator Passerday was out-funded by over $4,000,000 during this campaign.

Shanendoah Valley, Class One
Party Candidate Votes  %
Democrat Daniel Smith 3,077,909 43.9%
Republican Avery Passerday 3,906,440 55.7%
Total 6,984,349

2016 Election

Yet to be written

Shanendoah Valley, Class One
Party Candidate Votes  %
Democrat Matthias Kimmer 3,361,428 49.6%
Republican Avery Passerday 3,397,543 50.1%
Total 6,758,971

2022 Election

Yet to be written

Shanendoah Valley, Class One
Party Candidate Votes  %
Democrat Cecil Vance 3,283,247 46.5%
Republican Avery Passerday 3,765,566 53.3%
Total 7,048,813

External Links

Old Press Office
House Voting Record (2011-2012)
H-BELI Voting Record (2011-2012)
H-JUD Voting Record (2011-2012)
H-SHEE Voting Record (2011)

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