Image courtesy of the Honorable Nan Hayworth


A successful ophthalmologist and medical professional, Nan A. S. 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 fiscal discipline, and relied on her medical background to analyze health care initiatives. In a House Floor speech, 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 . . .They deserve that future to be as secure and prosperous as it can be, and it surely can be if we in Congress . . . can have the courage to move forward together in a spirit of true cooperation.”1

Nan Alison Sutter was born on December 14, 1959, in Chicago, Illinois, to George, a certified public accountant, and Sarah, an immigrant from England. Raised in Munster, Indiana, Nan Sutter attended the local schools and graduated from Munster High School in 1977. Sutter earned an A.B. in biology from Princeton University in 1981 and an M.D. 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, Nan 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

Considering herself a “well-informed citizen,” Hayworth considered 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 the New York Hudson 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 incumbent John Hall in the general election. A centrist Republican with Tea Party support, Hayworth ran on a platform that encompassed permanent tax cuts for all incomes, repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with health savings accounts, and endorsing a flat tax. Hayworth defeated Hall with almost 53 percent of the vote.4

Upon entering Congress on January 3, 2011, Hayworth served on the House Committee on Financial Services. Her legislative interests focused on job creation, limiting federal spending, and preserving Medicare and Social Security.5 When voting to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (P.L. 111–148), Hayworth 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 bills such as the Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act (H.R. 1062) and the Commuter Savings Act of 2012 (H.R. 6066), which reflected her commitment to curbing federal spending. 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 funding for districts that were affected by Hurricane Irene, including her own district. Hayworth suggested applying cuts to “non-defense discretionary spending.” Nevertheless, Hayworth appealed to federal, state, and local officials to secure relief funds for areas of the district damaged by the hurricane. The district eventually received $130 million in disaster relief funds.7

Hayworth also worked across the aisle with Democratic colleagues. She founded the Congressional Common Ground Caucus with David Cicilline of Rhode Island to build stronger relationships among members from different parties. “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.”8

In 2012, Hayworth sought re-election to the House. She ran on a platform that had as its centerpiece the need for “bringing the federal government to. . . 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. However, the New York state legislature’s redistricting maps complicated Hayworth’s chances for re-election by taking Republican-leaning sections of her district and replacing them with Democratic-leaning ones.9 Hayworth’s Democratic opponent was Sean Maloney, a former White House aide during the William J. (Bill) Clinton administration who also served under former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Hayworth lost re-election, as Maloney prevailed with 52 to her 48 percent of the vote.10 In 2014, Hayworth ran unsuccessfully for election to the 114th Congress (2015–2017).11


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

2Politics in America, 2012 (Washington, D.C.: CQ-Roll Call, Inc., 2011): 698; Almanac of American Politics, 2012 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011): 1167–1168; Nan Hayworth, “Nan’s Story,” http://nanhayworth.com (accessed 22 July 2013); Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index, 1930–1960, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.: http://search.ancestry.com (accessed 25 July 2013); Nan Hayworth, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HayworthForCongress (accessed 26 July 2013); Munster High School Alumni Newsletter, Fall 2012, http://www.alumniclass.com/munsterhs (accessed 25 July 2013); Mary Beth Ignas, ed.,1977 Paragon (Montgomery, AL: Paragon Press, 1977): 220.

3Maureen 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.

4Politics in America, 2012: 698; Michael Risinit, “Retired Ophthalmologist Gets Open GOP Field to Challenge Hall,” 29 November 2009, The 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, The Journal News, n.p.; Sterling C. Beard, “Tea Party-Backed Freshman Aims to Strike Ideological Balance,” 1 October 2012, The Hill: http://thehill.com (accessed 22 July 2013).

5Congressional Directory, 112th Congress (Washington, D.C.: 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, The Journal News: AWP9; Callahan, “Dr. Hayworth Goes to Washington.”

6Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, “January 19, 2011–Hayworth Statement on Health Care Law Repeal,” Congresswoman Nan Hayworth: Representing the 19th District of New York, http://web.archive.org/web/20110203092104/http://hayworth.house.gov/press-release/january-19-2011-hayworth-statement-health-care-law-repeal (accessed 26 July 2013).

7Adam Bosch, “Rep. Hayworth: Money on Storm Relief Will Have to be Offset With Other Cuts in Federal Budget,” 1 September 2011, Times Herald-Record (Middletown, NY); Nan Hayworth, “Congresswoman Hayworth Announces $37 Million in Federal Assistance for Disaster Relief,” 20 January 2012, Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, http://web.archive.org/web/20110203092104/http://hayworth.house.gov/press-release/january-19-2011-hayworth-statement-health-care-law-repeal (accessed 26 July 2013); Nan Hayworth, “Hayworth Announces $93 Million in Federal Assistance for Disaster Relief,” 20 January 2012, Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, http://web.archive.org/web/20120915212745/http://hayworth.house.gov/press-releases/hayworth-announces-93-million-in-federal-assistance-for-disaster-relief/ (accessed 26 July 2013).

8Nan Hayworth, “Reps. Hayworth, Cicilline Launch Congressional Common Ground Caucus,” Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, http://web.archive.org/web/20120916004130/http://hayworth.house.gov/press-releases/reps-hayworth-cicilline-launch-congressional-common-ground-caucus/ (accessed 9 July 2013); “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.

9Brian Tumulty, “Rep. Nan Hayworth Faces Tougher Race in Redistricting Plans,” 2 March 2012, The Journal News, n.p.

10Jessica 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); “Election Statistics, 1920 to Present,” http://history.house.gov/Institution/Election-Statistics/Election-Statistics/.

11“Election Statistics, 1920 to Present,” http://history.house.gov/Institution/Election-Statistics/Election-Statistics/.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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