Biography:Craig Huey

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Craig Huey
Craig Alan Huey

(1950-06-16) June 16, 1950 (age 72)[1]
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
CitizenshipUnited States
EducationB.A., political science
Alma materCalifornia State University, Long Beach[2]
OccupationBusinessman, Direct marketing
Years active1972 – present.
OrganizationCreative Direct Marketing Group, Inc., founder and CEO
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Angela Combs (divorced); 3 children (Asher, Caleb, Julia)
Shelly Huey
AwardsBest of Show, Web Marketing Assn (2011)
WebsiteCraig Huey for Restoring the American Dream

Craig Alan Huey (born June 16, 1950) is an United States Republican Party politician who was the Republican nominee in the redistricted 2012 66th State Assembly district election in California. Prior to that, Huey ran for Congress in the 2011 special election to replace Jane Harman.

Huey is a businessman who runs and owns two direct marketing companies as well as several websites that provide guidelines for voting. A conservative political activist, he ran with Tea Party backing, donor-backing, and self-financing in California's 36th congressional district special election to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of long term Democratic U.S. Representative Jane Harman.[4][5] Huey was one of the top two finalists in California's first open primary, which was held on May 17, 2011. He faced Democratic Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in the general election runoff on July 12, 2011, losing the election by a margin of 54.6% to 45.4%.[1]

Early life and education

Huey grew up in Hawthorne, California, and graduated from El Segundo High School.[5] He attended California State University, Long Beach, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with minors in history and economics.[2]

Business career

Huey became wealthy running direct marketing firms.[6][7] He was said to be an expert in direct mail marketing in the 1990s,[8] later gaining expertise and recognition for his internet marketing. He is president of Creative Direct Marketing Group of Torrance and InfoMat.[2]

Although the 2011 special election was his first run for office, he has been involved in politically related activities for years. He served on party committees including the Republican Central Committee, and has been an informal adviser to candidates.[2] He runs three non-profit voter advisory websites for evangelical Christians[9] including the 2011 California Election Forum Website, which has the stated purpose of "Helping Christians vote for, not against, their Biblical values" by describing the candidates' views on various social issues from the point of view of a conservative Christian.[10]

Direct marketing

After college, Huey began work at InfoMat, a mailing list-market segmentation company, and became the owner and president of the company three years later. In 1984, he founded Creative Direct Marketing Group, Inc. (CDMG), a firm that provides direct mail, direct marketing websites, direct response television, infomercials, radio commercials and web-based marketing services.[11][12] CDMG's client list of more than 200 companies includes many large corporations.[13] Huey pioneered the magalog, created a proprietary direct marketing system and developed the internet landing page as a tool for marketers. He has been recognized for his effective use of viral marketing and list segmentation.[14] His agencies have received 73 marketing awards;[15] including the 2011 Best of Show Email Message WebAward from the Web Marketing Association.[16]

Publishing and public speaking activities

In 1977, Huey launched the industry newsletter Direct Response and in 2001, the Direct Marketing Update e-zine. Articles by and about Huey have appeared in Inc., USA Today, Target Marketing, Christianity Today and Adweek.[17][18][19] In 2010 he published an article about the inefficiencies of the United States Postal Service, arguing for full privatization.[18][20] He has given numerous speeches at the national Direct Marketing Association (DMA) annual meeting:[21] as well as for DMA affiliates and other organizations listed in his company profile. In early 2011, he spoke for the third time at the FreedomFest World Economic Summit in Nassau, Bahamas.[22]

Community activism

Huey founded three voter information and political discussion websites:,, and He publishes the twice-monthly Reality Alert online newsletter.[23] He has also appeared on Los Angeles' Fox 11 News as a political analyst,[24] and has been a frequent guest on radio programs for the LA market and Internet syndication.[25][26][27][28]

He has served on local committees, including as chairman (a rotating chairmanship) of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District Measure P Parcel Tax Committee[29] and as president of Peninsula Residents for a Better Community. His op-eds have been published in the South Bay weekly newspaper, The Daily Breeze.[30][31]

Campaign for Congress

Huey ran for election to the United States House of Representatives in California 's 36th congressional district and edged out Democratic Secretary of State Debra Bowen to finish second in the jungle primary, (an election in which all candidates run in the same primary regardless of political party). The election went to a runoff, which was decided on July 12, 2011, when Democrat Janice Hahn defeated Huey with 54.6 percent of the vote to his 45.4 percent. Hahn will serve out the remainder of Democrat Jane Harman's term in the House.

Political positions

LA Weekly credits Huey with having a "red meat message that Republican voters wanted to hear."[7] He believes the deficit, taxes and regulations on businesses must be cut, and that these cuts will give business owners the incentive to create and bring back jobs.[2][7] He supports a constitutional amendment that will require Congress to balance the federal budget each year.[2] He says he will oppose pork barrel spending that rewards special interests and will work to defeat wasteful programs.[2] He is opposed to California's anti-global warming law, (AB 32), and believes that the health care law passed under Obama is unconstitutional and that it will destroy businesses.[7] He also supports term limits for Congress.[32] He has said he will not moderate his positions for the general election and that radical changes are needed.[7]

Primary election

Huey faced 16 candidates in California's first "top two" primary, a new voter-approved open primary for California federal elections in which candidates for all parties appear on the same ballot, and voters—regardless of their registration—can choose candidates from any party.[33][34] If no candidate receives 50 percent or more of the votes, a run-off election is held 60 days later between the two top vote-getters.[33][nb 1]

With so many contenders, it was expected that the election would go to a run off as no single candidate would likely receive a majority of the votes.[35] Because the district has been strongly Democratic in previous elections, with Democratic voter registrations exceeding Republican registrations by 45% to 27.5%, conventional wisdom held that the two Democrats, Hahn and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, would compete in the general election.[34][35] Media coverage had also centered on the two Democrats, ignoring Republican candidates, including Huey.[6] Huey then beat Bowen for second place by more than 750 votes, scoring something of an upset.[34] Huey attributed his strong performance in the primary to the message he directed at independents, Democrats and Republicans who are dissatisfied with the economy.[33] The $500,000 that Huey invested in his own campaign and the direct mail advertising he sent to district homes in the conservative South Bay area also contributed to his victory, according to local sources.[6][36] He was endorsed in the primary by local business leaders, California GOP congressmen Dana Rohrabacher, Ed Royce and Tom McClintock, and Indiana congressman Mike Pence.[37]

General election

The National Journal said that Huey was still facing long odds in the general election, noting that more than 56 percent of the primary voters cast ballots for Democratic Party candidates, and that DCCC Chair Steve Israel had called the district "staunchly Democratic".[6] Following his primary victory, Huey pledged to spend $800,000 toward his general election expenses.[5] He was hailed as a conservative hero according to LA Weekly, and said of his opponent "She won't know what's gonna hit her".[7]

Campaign ads

In early June 2011 a Hahn television ad compared Huey's positions on abortion, Medicare reform and tax cuts to those of Sarah Palin, and quoted Huey as saying that Planned Parenthood is a "murder mill".[38][39] Huey's campaign consultant criticized the ad, saying it was a negative smear that insults voters' intelligence.[39] When contacted by the fact-checking site Politifact, the consultant clarified that the "murder mill" language was not a quote from Huey, but had been posted on his website by a staffer.[40]

An anti-Hahn campaign video appeared on YouTube on June 14, 2011,[41] that falsely depicted Hahn as a pole dancer with red eyes who is friendly to hip hop gang members who call her "bitch" and pull money out of her waistband.[42][43] The video generated national attention.[44] Democratic leaders and Hahn called it offensive and sexist.[42] Huey's campaign quickly issued a statement clarifying that "the video has no connection whatsoever to the Craig Huey campaign", agreeing the video was offensive and inappropriate.[42][44] The California Republican Party also distanced itself from the ad, affirming that the ad was not connected with either the campaign or the state party.[43] The following day, Huey told Politico: "The ad is blatantly racist and sexist and neither racism nor sexism has any place in the public sphere".[45] The video was sponsored by a one-week-old political action committee called Turn Right USA PAC,[43] and produced by Ladd Ehlinger, Jr., described by political analyst David Weigel as a "rogue conservative filmmaker".[46] Subsequently, Hahn's campaign filed a complaint with the FEC, alleging that Turn Right USA and Huey's campaign had engaged in an illegal degree of coordination and communication because, among other things, Turn Right USA's founder was a former Huey campaign volunteer, and the organization shared a mailing address with a campaign sign vendor that Huey had used.[47]


According to USA Today, a poll conducted by the Daily Kos and Services Employees International Union shortly before the July 2011 election had Hahn with an 8-point lead over Huey, (52 percent to 44 percent) with 4 percent undecided.[48]

Personal life

Huey was first married to Angela Combs; the couple eventually separated and divorced circa 1991.[49] Huey has three adult children from the marriage who have all graduated from college.

Huey and his wife Shelly live in Rolling Hills Estates, just outside the 36th District.[50] (Residency within the district is not required to run for the office, and Huey has indicated his home was once in the district but was gerrymandered out of it).[51] He also believes that redistricting in 2011 will bring his residence back into the district.[5] He and Shelly attend Kings Harbor Church, an Evangelical Christian church.[50] He met Shelly at a Bible studies class. He has served as a youth pastor for junior high and high school students, and as a teacher for single adults.

Electoral history

Template:Election box turnout no change
Special election July 13, 2011,
U.S. House of Representatives, 36th District, CA[52]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Janice Hahn 41,585 54.56
Republican Craig Huey 34,636 45.44
Template:Election box turnout no change
Open primary election May 17, 2011,
U.S. House of Representatives, 36th District, CA
Top 5 out of 16 candidates[53]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Janice Hahn 15,647 24.6
Republican Craig Huey 14,116 22.2
Democratic Debra Bowen 13,407 21
Democratic Marcy Winograd 5,905 9.3
Republican Mike Gin 4,997 7.9

District 66

Template:Election box open primary begin no change

|- class="vcard" | style="background-color: Template:California Democratic Party/meta/color; width: 2px;" | | class="org" style="width: 130px" | [[California Democratic Party|Template:California Democratic Party/meta/shortname]] | class="fn" | Al Muratsuchi | style="text-align:right;" | 27,360 | style="text-align:right;" | 40.5 |-

|- class="vcard" | style="background-color: Template:California Republican Party/meta/color; width: 2px;" | | class="org" style="width: 130px" | [[California Republican Party|Template:California Republican Party/meta/shortname]] | class="fn" | Craig Huey | style="text-align:right;" | 26,298 | style="text-align:right;" | 38.9 |-

|- class="vcard" | style="background-color: Template:California Republican Party/meta/color; width: 2px;" | | class="org" style="width: 130px" | [[California Republican Party|Template:California Republican Party/meta/shortname]] | class="fn" | Nathan Mintz | style="text-align:right;" | 13,914 | style="text-align:right;" | 20.6 |- |- style="background-color:#F6F6F6" ! colspan="3" style="text-align:right;" | Total votes | style="text-align:right;" | 67,572 | style="text-align:right;" | 100.0 |-

|- class="vcard" | style="background-color: Template:California Democratic Party/meta/color; width: 5px;" | | class="org" style="width: 130px" | [[California Democratic Party|Template:California Democratic Party/meta/shortname]] | class="fn" | Al Muratsuchi | style="text-align: right; margin-right: 0.5em" | 102,136 | style="text-align: right; margin-right: 0.5em" | 54.8 |-

|- class="vcard" | style="background-color: Template:California Republican Party/meta/color; width: 2px;" | | class="org" style="width: 130px" | [[California Republican Party|Template:California Republican Party/meta/shortname]] | class="fn" | Craig Huey | style="text-align:right;" | 84,372 | style="text-align:right;" | 45.2 |- |- style="background-color:#F6F6F6" ! colspan="3" style="text-align:right;" | Total votes | style="text-align:right;" | 186,508 | style="text-align:right;" | 100.0 |- Template:Election box new seat win



  1. According to Eric Kleefeld of TPMDC, "This system allows for the possibility of two Democrats or two Republicans facing off in very safe districts, which is thought to benefit more moderate candidates, though in statewide races and swing districts there will likely be one Dem vs. one GOPer.", see "Dem Hahn Vs. GOPer Huey For CA-36 Special Election Runoff". 


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Special Election To Replace Rep. Jane Harman: Janice Hahn Leads The Pack". The Huffington Post. May 18, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Voter Information for Craig Huey. May 17, 2011 Election". The League of Women Voters. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  3. Paul Chavez (April 20, 2011). "Hahn, Huey Lead Campaign Fundraising in 36th Congressional District Race". The Redondo Beach Patch. Archived from the original on August 25, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  4. Eric Bradley (May 18, 2011). "36th Congressional District race outcome a surprise: Huey vs. Hahn". Press-Telegram. Long Beach, CA. Retrieved June 15, 2011. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Mark McDermott (June 2, 2011). "Huey, Hahn square off in race for U.S. Congress". Easy Reader. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Jessica Taylor (May 19, 2011). "Bowen Concedes In CA 36, Republican Heads to Runoff". The National Journal. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Gene Maddus (May 18, 2011). "Craig Huey Takes Aim At Janice Hahn: 'She Won't Know What's Gonna Hit Her'". LA Weekly. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  8. Grant Luckenbill (September 27, 1999). "Internet Big Focus at DMB, But Direct Mail Draws Crowd". Direct Marketing News. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  9. Jean Merl (May 10, 2011). "Craig Huey: Republican Craig Huey faces long odds in a strongly Democratic district". Los Angeles Times.,0,3200609.story. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  10. "California Election Forum". Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  11. "Creative Direct Marketing Group". 
  12. "Creative DirectMarketing Group – Professional services". 
  13. "Creative Direct Marketing Group – Client List". 
  14. "V.I.V.A. System – Valuable Information, Value Added". 
  15. "Creative Direct Marketing Group – Marketing Awards". 
  16. "Web Marketing Association – WebAward". 
  17. "DM News – Magalogs Catch On with Fashion Retailers". 
  18. 18.0 18.1 "The Biggest Threat to Direct Mail: The U.S. Postal Service". Direct Magazine. 
  19. "The Direct Approach". INC. Magazine. 
  20. "DM NEWS – How to Save the U.S. Postal Service". 
  21. "Google Profile". 
  22. "Freedomfest – Speakers". 
  23. "Reality Alert – Election Forum". 
  24. "Fox News – Craig Huey gives LA taxpayers a voice". 
  25. "$18 billion religious travel industry gives birth to international association". Christian Examiner. 
  26. "Frank Pastore Show Run Sheets: Monday, November 1, 2010". 
  27. "Liberty Speaks Podcast – with Phil Liberatore". 
  28. "Calvary Chapel La Habra – Election Forum with Craig Huey". 
  29. "Parcel Tax Annual Report". 
  30. "L.A. Voter Guide". Daily Breeze. 
  31. "hrPeople – Californians Tax Burden Gets Heavier". 
  32. "Craig Huey's web page on term limits". "July 13, 2011.  File:Hueytermlimits.png
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Thomas Watkins (May 19, 2011). "Republican advances to runoff in Calf.". Los Angeles Daily. The Associated Press. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Eric Kleefeld (May 20, 2011). "Dem Hahn Vs. GOPer Huey For CA-36 Special Election Runoff". TPMDC. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  35. 35.0 35.1 Gary Walker (May 16, 2011). "Challengers for former Rep. Harman’s seat head down home stretch toward May 17 congressional special election". The Argonaut. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  36. Gary Walker (May 25, 2011). "Hahn, Huey set to battle for 36th Congressional District seat after taking first, second place in open primary". Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  37. Catalina Camia (May 18, 2011). "Race for Congress in Calif. takes unexpected turn". USA Today. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  38. Jean Merl (June 6, 2011). "Janice Hahn blasts Craig Huey in first TV spot of special runoff for Harman congressional seat". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 15, 2011. 
  39. 39.0 39.1 Paul Chavez (June 7, 2011). "Hahn Ad Compares Huey to Palin". Hermosa Beach, CA Patch. 
  40. "Ad: Craig Huey called Planned Parenthood a "murder mill"". Politifact. St. Petersburg Times. June 7, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2011. 
  41. "Give Us the Cash, Bitch!". YouTube. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 "YouTube video roils special congressional campaign". Los Angeles Times. June 14, 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 McMorris-Santoro, Evan (June 14, 2011). "In CA-36, Democrat Calls For Blanket Condemnation Of Stunning New Web Ad". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  44. 44.0 44.1 Maddaus, Gene. "Craig Huey Calls Anti-Janice Hahn Video "Highly Offensive"". LA Weekly. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  45. David Catanese (June 15, 2011). "Huey denounces 'racist, sexist' ad". Politico. 
  46. Weigel, David. "The Most Offensive Political Ad Ever, This Hour". Slate. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  47. Paul, Chavez (June 17, 2001). "Hahn Files FEC Complaint Over Ad". Redondo Beach Patch. Retrieved June 19, 2011. 
  48. Catalina Camia (July 11, 2011). "011 Poll: Dem leads in Calif. special election for House". USA Today. 
  49. David Catanese (July 11, 2011). "Huey's ex-wife seeks child support payments". Politico. Retrieved July 18, 2011. 
  50. 50.0 50.1 "Meet South Bay's Craig Huey". Retrieved January 29, 2013. 
  51. Jean Merl (May 18, 2011). "Janice Hahn, Craig Huey appear headed for Congress seat runoff". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  53. "CD 36 Spec Primary & Consolidated Elec: Final Official Election Returns". County of Los Angeles-Department of Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. May 17, 2011, as of May 20, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 

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