Biography for Patrick McGehearty
I was born in Austin, Texas. My father was a math teacher and my mother a junior high school counselor. It is no surprise that I’m firmly committed to free public education to give everyone a fair start on life. My parents divorced when I was 5. We did not have much for a while. My mother taught me to be careful with money and stay out of debt. I know how to stretch some hamburger meat with chili powder and beans plus cornbread to make a good tasting affordable meal.
I grew up in Austin when my mother went back to the University of Texas for her graduate degree and Corpus Christi where we returned because that’s where my mother’s mother lived. With a September birthday, I was young for my grade and picked on at first. Perhaps that’s why I tend to favor an underdog. By middle school, I intervened when others were being bullied. I had a paper route to make spending money.
I majored in math at the University of Texas at Austin, but also had time to hold a part-time job as a computer room assistant and get involved with politics. I joined the University of Texas Young Democrats and become Volunteer Coordinator. We had over 500 members and actively participated in election campaigns. I met my future wife Sylvia while at UT. I stayed on to get my Masters in Computer Science at UT Austin. I recognize that without state support to make college affordable, middle class people like me find it very difficult to get a college education.
With the aid of a scholarship, I got my PhD in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That was my one extended period outside of Texas. My working career as a computer scientist has been split between Austin and the Dallas-Ft Worth area.
Sylvia and I have one son who has grown up, gotten happily married and has four children of his own, making me a proud grandparent of a 6 year old, 4 year old twins, and a 1 year old.
I’ve worked at a variety of technology companies, ranging from under 100 employees to having tens of thousands of employees. I understand the sorts of business challenges that companies see in today’s economy. I’ve participated in companies with good management and been on the receiving end of bad management. I understand the challenges that workers face in these uncertain times.
I’m running for Congress because I believe the people of the 24th U.S. Congressional District need a choice that represents a middle way which is both progressive and responsible, instead of the extreme positions of the current Tea-publicans which result in favorable tax treatment for the 1% and nothing much for anyone else.