Representative Claudia Tenney of New York says she received a threatening email just hours after the shooting in Alexandria, Virginia at a baseball field where her fellow Congressional Republicans were practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game. The subject for the threatening email was “One down, 216 to go.”
Tenney is a freshman member of Congress, winning her first Congressional election in November. She previously represented New York’s 101st district in the State Assembly. In Congress, she represents the Empire State’s 22nd Congressional District, which includes eight Upstate New York counties.
The 56-year-old Tenney is a single mother. Her son, Trey Cleary is in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Here’s what you need to know about Tenney and the threat she received.
1. Tenney Says She Feels More Safe in Washington Than in Her Own District
Tenney’s office said she received a threatening email just hours after the shooting in Virginia. The subject line reads, “One down, 216 to go.” According to Syracuse.com, the email included an address and phone number in Boonville, Oneida County.
“Did you NOT expect this?” the writer added. “When you take away ordinary peoples very lives in order to pay off the wealthiest among us, your own lives are forfeit(ed). Certainly, your souls and morality were lost long before. Good riddance.”
Tenney told Syracuse.com that she actually feels more safe in Washington than in her own district.
“I always feel safe here at the Capitol,” Tenney told the site. “But when I’m back home in the district, not always. People always recognize me. There is a lot of angst, and unfortunately the dialogue and the protesters and the Resist movement has gotten very aggressive.”
Of Scalise, Tenney told Syracuse.com that he has to be “one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. He’s universally liked by both sides. You don’t get to a leadership position as fast as he did if you’re not well-liked.”
2. Tenney Praised President Donald Trump’s Decision to Leave the Paris Climate Agreement
Tenney was among the Republican members of Congress who praised President Donald Trump for leaving the UN’s Paris Agreement on Climate Change earlier this month. She told Syracuse.com that she thought it was a “good sign of leadership.”
“I don’t think there are any teeth in the Paris accord,” she said, adding that she still hopes the U.S. will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
During a September 2016 forum, Tenney also said she didn’t think renewable energy projects would help stop climate change. “The science is not determined. It’s not certain,” she said of climate change, even though she also said she thinks climate change is real.
3. Tenney Voted for the House Republicans’ American Health Care Act
Tenney also voted for the American Health Care Act, which has passed in the House and is now before the Senate. In her statement defending her vote, Tenney insisted that Obamacare is “on the brink of collapse” and that the bill will result in lower insurance costs.
“Although the American Health Care Act is not a perfect piece of legislation, it is the first step in a comprehensive process to bring choice, affordability, and quality back to health care,” Tenney said.
She also said she pushed for the inclusion of the Collins-Faso Amendment, which shift New York State’s Medicaid costs from the counties to the state. New York Governor Chris Cuomo didn’t support the amendment, saying that Congressional Republicans “declared war on New York.”
“This amendment would relieve Upstate counties of Albany’s egregious and burdensome Medicaid property tax mandate, which costs taxpayers in the 22nd District more than $160 million each year and drives up our local taxes,” Tenney said in a statement. “As a Member of the New York State Assembly, I co-sponsored this bipartisan piece of legislation, and now as a Member of Congress, I am gratified to finally see this initiative pass.”
4. Tenney’s Son Trey Cleary Was Deployed to Iraq in April
Tenney is a single mom, raising her son Trey Cleary after her divorce. Her son is a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. As Syracuse.com notes, Cleary was deployed to Iraq for six months in April.
Tenney was proud to have Trump speak with her son over the phone just before he was deployed. Tenney was by Trump’s side at the Treasury Department on April 21, when he signed a memorandum and she handed him her cell phone so he could speak with her son.
“They had quite a long conversation for a couple of minutes,” Tenney told Syracuse.com. “I said, ‘What’s going on? (Trump) laughed a little bit. They must have been joking or something. He handed me the phone back and my son said, ‘Oh my God.'”
Cleary attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. His father is Wayne R. Cleary, Jr.
5. Tenney Previously Ran for Congress in 2014, but Lost to Richard Hanna
The 2016 election was Tenney’s second attempt to make it to Congress. In 2014, she mounted a primary campaign against Richard Hanna, but she lost. Hanna retired in 2016 and Tenney was successful in a three-way race for the Republican nomination.
As Syracuse.com noted, Tenney comes from a prominent family. Her father is the late State Supreme Court Justice John R. Tenney, who also served as the Oneida County Republican chairman. Her grandfather was the GOP chairman of Madison County and helped establish the Hamilton Community Memorial Hospital.
Tenney lives in New Hartford, New York when she’s not in Washington. Prior to her law career, she also worked at the Consulate General of Yugoslavia and even worked as a liaison between ABC Sports and the Yugoslavia government during the Sarajevo Winter Olympics in 1984. She spent a summer in the former Yugoslavia while attending Colgate University and learned Serbo-Croatian.