A University of Dallas Alumnus Sets His Sights on Congress

Deal W. Hudson
September 24, 2009

At age 37 and married only a month, Kevin Calvey volunteered for deployment in Iraq. When he returned to his wife, Toni, in Oklahoma City a year later – 2008 – he restarted his private law practice but was soon alarmed by the “dire situation” of our nation. It was then that Calvey decided to run for Congress from the 5th Congressional District of his hometown.

Calvey, a 1988 graduate of the University of Dallas, is one more unapologetically pro-life Catholic running for national office. Last year we profiled Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Joseph Cao (R-LA), both of whom went on to win seats in Congress.

Before the general election, however, Calvey faces four challengers for the GOP nomination. Of the five candidates, Calvey told me over the phone, “I am the most conservative and the most pro-life.” When I asked him whether he was concerned about being hurt politically by his outspoken defense of life and marriage, his response was quick, “This is why I got started in politics in the first place; if it hurts me, so be it.”

A graduate of Georgetown University Law School, Calvey’s year in Iraq was spent prosecuting terrorists for high crimes in Iraqi courts. Bombs were often heard exploding nearby as he worked his cases, and he received verbal death threats on several occasions by members of al-Qaeda.

His Iraq experience has led Calvey to have very definite views about foreign policy: “I was face-to-face with over 100 terrorists – many of them will never quit trying to kill us. We must engage them effectively before they overcome us and change our way of life.”

As a fiscal conservative, Calvey laments the overspending of the last administration but says with Obama it has gone “from bad to worse.” “The level of our national debt is unsustainable and immoral,” he told me. To illustrate, Calvey used the example of his ten-month-old daughter, Anastasia, who was born is $30,000 in debt by virtue of being a future taxpayer.

When asked what the key issue will be in the upcoming nomination battle, Calvey answered, “The voters are wondering who they can actually trust.” He sees himself in a better position than his opponents to fill that need since he represents no special interests and is a reform-minded politician ready to oppose the growth of government and its intrusions on individual and family freedom.

For example, Calvey completely rejects a government takeover of medical care: “A government solution is almost always worse.” Instead, he proposes a tax break to individuals who purchase their own health insurance to provide an incentive for controlling consumption and creating portability. He also advocates the purchase of health insurance across state lines, as well as tort reform.

Calvey is no political beginner. His first experience in politics was as an intern at National Right to Life in Washington, D.C. He was elected to the Oklahoma legislature in 1998, the first Republican and Catholic ever to represent Del City. He joined the Army National Guard in 2003, and after losing in his first run for Congress in 2006, decided it was time to go to Iraq. His wife rather remarkably agreed that this was the right thing for her new husband to do after being married only month. “We talked almost every day on the phone, which was harder for her than for me.”

Whoever wins the GOP nomination in the 5th Congressional District of Oklahoma will very likely win the general election and take his seat in Congress. This district, which includes Oklahoma City and a few adjacent cities to the east, has been heavily Republican since the 1970s. Kevin Calvey may well be joining the new wave of pro-life Catholic members of Congress who are setting a very different example from the generation symbolized by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

By Deal Hudson

Deal W. Hudson was born November 20, 1949 in Denver, CO, to Emmie and Jack Hudson, both native Texans. Dr. Hudson had an older sister Ruth, and eventually, a younger sister, Elizabeth. Emmie Hudson, Ruth Hudson and Elizabeth Hudson now live in Houston, TX; Jack Hudson passed away some years ago. The late Jack Hudson was a captain for Braniff Airlines in Denver at the time of Dr. Hudson’s birth. Later the family moved to Kansas City when his father joined the Federal Aviation Agency. From Kansas City, the Hudson family moved to Minneapolis, then to Massapequa, NY, and finally to Alexandria, VA, where they first occupied a home overlooking the Potomac River adjacent to the Mount Vernon estate. After a year, the family moved to a home on Tarpon Lane a few houses up the street from the Yacht Haven boat docks. Dr. Hudson attended Mt. Vernon Elementary School from grades 4 to 6 and has a special gratitude for the teaching of Mr. Hoppe who first told him was a ‘smart lad.’ Having moved with his family to Fort Worth, TX in 1960, Dr. Hudson attended William Monnig Junior High and Arlington Heights HS. In high school, Dr. Hudson was captain of the golf team, editor of the literary magazine (Guerdon), and performed the role of Peter in the ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ during his senior year. Dr. Hudson graduated cum laude with a major in philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin in 1971 where his undergraduate advisor was Prof. John Silber. His teachers at the University of Texas included Prof. Louis Mackey and Prof. Larry Caroline. Dr. Hudson minored in both classics and English literature. Dr. Hudson lived in Atlanta from 1974-1989, where he attended Emory University, receiving a Phd from the Graduate Institute for the LIberal Arts. He also taught philosophy at Mercer University in Atlanta from 1980-89. In 1989 Dr. Hudson and his family left Atlanta when he was hired to teach philosophy at Fordham University in the Bronx. Dr. Hudson taught at Fordham, and also part-time at New York University, from 1989 to 1994. Dr. Hudson first came to Atlanta in after graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) with an M.Div. While at PTS, Dr. Hudson managed the Baptist Student Union at Princeton University and became its first director. Dr. Hudson also was licensed at a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention at Madison Baptist Church in Madison, NJ. Dr. Hudson’s primary area of study at PTS was the history of Christian doctrine which he pursued with Dr. Karlfried Froelich. In 1984 Dr. Hudson was received in the Catholic Church by Msgr. Richard Lopez, with the special permission of Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan, at the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home in Atlanta. Dr. Hudson has been married twenty-five years to Theresa Carver Hudson and they have two children, Hannah Clare, 23, and Cyprian Joseph (Chip), 15, adopted from Romania when he was three years old. The Hudson family has lived in Fairfax, VA for more than fifteen years, after having lived five years in Bronxville, NY and a year in Atlanta, GA, where Theresa and Deal were married.

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