Judy Wages McCarthy, Kevin McCarthy’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

kevin mccarthy wife

Getty Kevin McCarthy and his wife Judy Wages McCarthy.

Judy Wages McCarthy is the wife of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, who serves California’s 23rd district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

According to Bakersfield.com, Judy McCarthy has been Kevin McCarthy’s wife since 1992, was his high school sweetheart, and is the mother of his two children.

On January 4, 2023, Kevin McCarthy was embroiled in a tough battle to be elected speaker of the U.S. House, with a faction of fellow Republicans blocking his victory, according to The New York Times.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Judy McCarthy Was Described as a ‘Simple, Not Showy, Caring’ Woman

A 2014 profile of Judy McCarthy by Bakersfield.com reported that Judy McCarthy is a person who puts “family first.”

The newspaper described Judy as “simple, not showy, caring and effective.”

“I recently left a job and had casually mentioned to Judy that it was a hard step. My last day was the day after Kevin had been elected Majority Leader,” her friend friend Sally Thornberry told Bakersfield.com.

“The first text I got that morning was from Judy, letting me know that she was thinking of me. It was typical Judy that with all she had going on in her own life, she was focused on somebody else,” Thornberry told the newspaper.


2. McCarthy & His Wife Met in High School Biology Class & Are the Parents of Two Children

judy wages

GettyNominee for Speaker of the House Congressman Kevin McCarthy (C) walks with his wife Judy.

According to McCarthy’s House bio, he and Judy have “two children Connor and Meghan.”

The Bakersfield article reported that Meghan was diagnosed with Lyme Disease.

“Judy is unaffected by the notoriety, always keeping her focus on her convictions of faith, family and friends,” said Alison Norris, who knows the McCarthy family, to Bakersfield.com.

“When Kevin is not in Washington working for the constituents of California’s 23rd District and for the future of America, he is home in Bakersfield with his wife Judy,” McCarthy’s House biography says.

kevin mccarthy

GettyHouse Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and his wife Judy (2nd L) walk out of the caucus room after he announced that he will not be a candidate for Speaker of the House in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill October 8, 2015 in Washington, DC. Creating a sense of chaos among Republican members of the House, McCarthy was the front runner for Speaker until his surprise announcement.

The Bakersfield.com article says that the McCarthys, in 2014, had lived in the same Bakerfield neighborhood for 17 years.

She was born in the city, and her parents still live there, the article notes.

“My dad is the perfect example of hard work. He worked for National Cement. I didn’t grow up wealthy, but we have a very close family, and my foundation of faith came from my mother,” Judy told the newspaper, which reported that Kevin and Judy McCarthy met in biology class at Bakersfield High School.

“I actually liked one of his friends, but you know, Kevin’s personality wins you over, and he doesn’t give up,” she told the newspaper, which says they married in August 1992.


3. Kevin McCarthy Is the Fourth Generation of His Family in Bakersfield, California

judy mccarthy

GettyThe Honorable Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Judy McCarthy walk the Ovation TV-sponsored red carpet at the 2019 Ford’s Theatre Gala at Ford’s Theatre on June 02, 2019 in Washington, DC.

According to McCarthy’s House bio, he was first elected to Congress in 2006 and “is a native of Bakersfield and a fourth-generation Kern County resident.”

The bio says McCarthy is the “grandson of a cattle rancher and the son of a firefighter” who “grew up a working-class family and is committed to preserving and promoting the American dream for hardworking Americans.”

He sold a business “to put himself through college and graduate school at California State University, Bakersfield,” the bio says, adding that, while at school, “he interned for Congressman Bill Thomas and later became a member of Congressman Thomas’s staff.”

McCarthy was later elected a trustee of the Kern Community College District, as a state Assembly person in California, as Assembly leader, and then Congress, according to his House bio.

In Congress, McCarthy held the positions of Chief Deputy Whip and Majority whip before being elected House Leader in 2014, the bio says.


4. A Company Run By Judy McCarthy’s Brother Has Been the Subject of Scrutiny Over Claims of Cherokee Heritage

kevin mccarthy

Kevin Dietsch/GettyGOP House leader Kevin McCarthy wants to be Speaker of the House.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a company owned by Judy McCarthy’s family “won more than $7 million in no-bid and other federal contracts at U.S. military installations and other government properties in California.”

The Times reported that this award was “based on a dubious claim of Native American identity by McCarthy’s brother-in-law.” The Times reported that William Wages, Judy McCarthy’s brother, is the principal owner of Vortex Construction, which received “a total of $7.6 million in no-bid and other prime federal contracts since 2000.”

Judy McCarthy’s mother co-owns the company and her father and sister-in-law work there, The Times reported, adding that Judy was a partner in Vortex “in the early 1990s.”

Her brother claimed he is a Cherokee Indian so he did not face competitive bids, The Times reported. However, The Times reported that government and tribal records and a “leading Cherokee Genealogist” cast “doubt on that claim,” saying he belongs to the Northern Cherokee Nation, which is not federally or state recognized as a tribe.

The Times noted that it “has found no evidence that McCarthy did anything to steer contracts to the company,” and William Wages denied wrongdoing.

“Neither Wages nor any of his known ancestors appear on the rolls” of recognized Cherokee nations, The Times reported.


5. McCarthy Denied an Affair Rumor With Renee Ellmers That Was Raised by a Political Opponent During Another Speaker’s Race

renee ellmers

GettyU.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) is greeted by an immigration reform activist in front of the U.S. Capitol October 23, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

In 2015, Politico reported that Kevin McCarthy suddenly withdrew from the speaker’s race after “unsubstantiated rumors of an extramarital affair” between Kevin McCarthy and then-North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers.

The reports were “fueled, in a large part, by Rep. Walter Jones,” a fellow Republican in an “ideological battle” with Ellmers, according to Politico.

According to Intelligencer, Jones released a letter calling on candidates to withdraw from the 2015 speaker race if “there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself, the Republican Conference and the House of Representatives if they become public,” and confirmed he had read a blog post about McCarthy and Ellmers.

The Intelligencer reported that both McCarthy and Ellmer denied the rumor. Ellmers lost her seat in a Republican primary in 2022, according to Ballotpedia.

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