Image courtesy of the U.S. House of Representatives Photography Office


A successful ophthalmologist and medical professional, Nan Hayworth entered Congress on a wave of anti-establishment sentiment during the 2010 elections. As a Member of Congress, Hayworth promoted conservative economic principles and used her medical background to inform health care policy. In a speech on the House Floor, Hayworth asserted, “I am here to fight for what is best for my constituents. . . . I am here to serve them and not any party or ideology,” she said. America had a bright future, she continued, “if we in Congress … can have the courage to move forward together in a spirit of true cooperation.”1

Nan Hayworth was born Nan Alison Sutter on December 14, 1959, in Chicago, Illinois, to George Sutter, a certified public accountant, and Sarah Sutter, an immigrant from England. Raised in Munster, Indiana, Hayworth attended the local schools and graduated from Munster High School in 1977. She earned an AB in biology from Princeton University in 1981 and a medical degree from Cornell University in 1985. She met her husband, Scott Hayworth, an obstetrician/gynecologist, in college. The couple has two sons: Will and Jack. After managing a successful ophthalmology practice for seven years, Hayworth worked for the Mount Kisco Medical Group in 1996 until her retirement in 2005. She also served as an attending physician and a clinical instructor at local hospitals and worked as vice president of a health care communications agency in 2007.2

Before entering politics, Hayworth described herself as a “well-informed citizen,” but she began seriously considering public office after the 2008 elections. “I was worried that the very character of America was going to be changing in ways I would very much dislike. . . . My comments were frequent and vivid, and my husband said to me one night … ‘perhaps you should run for Congress.’ And I said, ‘You know, maybe I could.’”3 Ari Fleischer, a family friend and former press secretary for President George W. Bush, also encouraged Hayworth to run. Launching her campaign in the fall of 2009, Hayworth ran in a district that extended along New York’s Hudson River Valley corridor linking New York City to the upstate suburbs. She faced minimal opposition in the Republican primary, beating Neil DeCarlo, a chief compliance officer at a small brokerage firm, with 69 percent of the vote. Hayworth faced two-term Democratic incumbent John Hall in the general election. With support from the small government Tea Party movement, Hayworth’s platform called for permanent tax cuts for all incomes, a general flat tax, and health savings accounts to replace the Affordable Care Act. On Election Day, Hayworth defeated Hall with almost 53 percent of the vote.4

In the 112th Congress (2011–2013), Hayworth served on the House Financial Services Committee. Her legislative interests focused on creating jobs, limiting federal spending, and preserving Medicare and Social Security.5 When Hayworth voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, she commented, “Our vote today to repeal is not merely symbolic. . . . We all honor the goals of the Affordable Care Act but this law increases spending, raises taxes, and destroys jobs.”6 Hayworth submitted eight bills during her term in the House, including the Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act, which sought to roll back disclosure regulations on Wall Street, and the Commuter Savings Act of 2012, which provided additional benefits to people who took mass transit to work rather than driving.7

In August 2011, Hayworth underlined her commitment to reining in federal spending by agreeing with House colleagues who sought to withhold an estimated $7 billion in disaster relief for districts—including her own— affected by Hurricane Irene. Hayworth called for cuts to “non-defense discretionary spending” to cover the costs. She did eventually appeal to federal, state, and local officials to secure relief funds for areas back home damaged by the hurricane. Her district eventually received $130 million in disaster relief.8

Hoping to build stronger cross-party relationships, Hayworth worked with Democrat David N. Cicilline of Rhode Island to found the Congressional Common Ground Caucus. “Bringing together Members with divergent political views to share congenial conversation,” Hayworth said, “will improve the atmosphere in which we work, to better serve our constituents and the nation.”9

In 2012, Hayworth ran for re-election promising to cut regulations. The government, she said, should “serve us and not get in the way of the kind of enterprise that has made our economy the strongest in the world.” She emphasized her record for supporting job creation initiatives, curbing federal spending, and preserving Medicare and Social Security. Following New York’s redistricting process, however, the state legislature had made Hayworth’s district more Democratic.10 Hayworth’s opponent in the general election was Sean Patrick Maloney, a former White House aide during the William J. (Bill) Clinton administration who also served under former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Hayworth ended up losing to Maloney who prevailed with 52 percent of the vote; Hayworth took 48 percent.11 In 2014 Hayworth ran unsuccessfully for election to the 114th Congress (2015–2017). President Donald J. Trump later appointed Hayworth to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.12


1Congressional Record, House, 112th Cong., 2nd sess. (29 November 2012): H6508.

2Politics in America, 2012 (Washington, DC: CQ-Roll Call, Inc., 2011): 698; Almanac of American Politics, 2012 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011): 1167–1168; “Nan Hayworth (R),” 11 July 2013, Wall Street Journal, http://projects.wsj.com/campaign2012/candidates/view/nan-hayworth--NY-H (link discontinued); Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index, 1930–1960, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, accessed 25 July 2013, http://search.ancestry.com; “Dr. Nan Hayworth,” President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, Department of Health & Human Services, last updated 20 September 2018, https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/meet-the-council/dr-nanhayworth/index.html; Mary Beth Ignas, ed., 1977 Paragon (Montgomery: Paragon Press, 1977): 220; Maureen Callahan, “Dr. Hayworth Goes to Washington—The New Yorker and Her 86 Freshman Colleagues Are Part of a Revolution,” 9 January 2011: New York Post: 24.

3Callahan, “Dr. Hayworth Goes to Washington."

4Politics in America, 2012: 698; Michael Risinit, “Retired Ophthalmologist Gets Open GOP Field to Challenge Hall,” 29 November 2009, Journal News (Westchester, NY): AWP3; Emily Cadei, “A GOP Moderate in N.Y. Race-Sound Familiar?” 10 December 2009, Roll Call; Craig Wolf, “Hall vs. Hayworth Debate Follows Along Party Lines,” 22 September 2010, Poughkeepsie Journal (NY): 5BPJ; Michael Risinit, “Hayworth Seeks Center: Rival’s Votes ‘Harmed Us,’” 25 October 2010, Journal News, n.p.

5Congressional Directory, 112th Congress (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2011): 482; John W. Barry, “19th Congressional District: Newly Elected Hayworth Targets Taxes,” 4 November 2010, Poughkeepsie Journal: APJ3; Brian Tumulty, “New Congresswoman Nan Hayworth Pledges to Rein in Spending,” 6 January 2011, Journal News: AWP9; Callahan, “Dr. Hayworth Goes to Washington.”

6“Hayworth Statement on Health Care Law Repeal,” official website of Representative Nan Hayworth, press release, 19 January 2011, https://web.archive.org/web/20110203092104/http://hayworth.house.gov/press-release/january-19-2011-hayworth-statement-health-care-law-repeal.

7Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act, H.R. 1062, 112th Cong. (2011); Commuter Savings Act of 2012, H.R. 6066, 112th Cong. (2012); “Hayworth Introduces Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act,” official website of Representative Nan Hayworth, press release, 14 March 2011, https://web.archive.org/web/20110406212540/http://hayworth.house.gov/press-release/march-14-2011-hayworth-introduces-burdensome-data-collection-relief-act; “Hayworth Introduces Legislation to Reduce Mass Transit Commuting Costs,” official website of Representative Nan Hayworth, press release, 2 July 2012, https://web.archive.org/web/20121017062504/http://hayworth.house.gov/press-releases/hayworth-introduces-legislation-to-reduce-mass-transitcommuting-costs/.

8Heather Yakin, “Rep. Hayworth: Money on Storm Relief Will Have to be Offset With Other Cuts in Federal Budget,” 31 August 2011, Times Herald-Record (Middletown, NY), https://www.recordonline.com/article/20110831/NEWS/110839942; “Congresswoman Hayworth Announces $37 Million in Federal Assistance for Disaster Relief,” official website of Representative Nan Hayworth, press release, 3 February 2011, https://web.archive.org/web/20110203092104/http://hayworth.house.gov/press-release/january-19-2011-hayworth-statement-health-care-law-repeal; “Hayworth Announces $93 Million in Federal Assistance for Disaster Relief,” official website of Representative Nan Hayworth, 15 September 2012, https://web.archive.org/web/20120915212745/http://hayworth.house.gov/press-releases/hayworth-announces-93-million-in-federal-assistance-for-disaster-relief/.

9“Reps. Hayworth, Cicilline Launch Congressional Common Ground Caucus,” official website of Representative Nan Hayworth, press release, 16 September 2012, https://web.archive.org/web/20120916004130/http://hayworth.house.gov/press-releases/reps-hayworth-cicilline-launch-congressional-common-ground-caucus/; “No Labels Helps Convince 182 Members of Congress to Participate in Bipartisan Seating at SOTU,” 23 January 2012, States News Service. Hayworth was one of 182 Members who sat with colleagues from a different party during the 2012 State of the Union Address.

10Brian Tumulty, “Rep. Nan Hayworth Faces Tougher Race in Redistricting Plans,” 2 March 2012, The Journal News, n.p.

11Jessica Glenza, “Rep. Hayworth Reflects on 2011, Looks to 2012,” 2 January 2012, Bedford Daily Voice (Bedford, NY); Nan Hayworth, “Meet Congressional Candidate: Nan Hayworth”: http://nanhayworth.com (accessed 22 July 2013); Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives, “Election Statistics, 1920 to Present."

12“Election Statistics, 1920 to Present”; “Dr. Nan Hayworth,” President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition.

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