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Why did this NC politician make the Most Stylish list? It’s the bow ties

Rep. Patrick McHenry once described himself as “a little guy with a bow tie walking around doing my thing.”

Now the Lincoln County Republican’s bow ties have landed him on The New York Times’ Most Stylish list for 2023.

Seventh from the top of the newspaper’s list of best dressers is a picture of McHenry in a red, white and blue striped bow tie, addressing the media.

The caption under McHenry’s photo reads: “A silver lining of watching the many House speaker votes? Seeing the outgoing Republican congressman’s various bow ties.”

McHenry is one of 71 people or things making this year’s list, which also includes the likes of Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce and Olivia Rodrigo.

It also includes fellow North Carolinians Ariana DeBose and Jerrod Carmichael.

Carmichael, a comedian from Winston-Salem, hosted the Golden Globes this year, with several outfit changes.

DeBose, who trained at CC & Co. Dance Complex in Raleigh, is a triple-threat actress, singer and dancer.

McHenry did not immediately respond to requests for comment about being on the most stylish list. He’s a politician who prefers to stay out of the spotlight, but garnered national attention earlier this year after finding his name at the top of a secret list kept by former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of successors in case anything happened to McCarthy.

In October, Republican infighting led to McCarthy being ousted from his leadership position, and McHenry spending three weeks leading the chamber in its quest to find a successor.

That meant McHenry was front and center for 22 days of news reports.

His most viral moment came when he — wearing a pink-and-white bow tie — slammed his gavel down to recess the House following McCarthy’s ouster.

He has a plethora of bow ties to choose from that includes blue and red stripes, red and white checkered, yellow, dark blue, light blue, green and black.

Occasionally he breaks out a necktie. And when the House is especially chaotic, when policy debates stretch into long weekends, or when he’s working hard to whip votes, he sometimes opts to wear neither.

On Tuesday, McHenry made the surprising announcement that after 20 years serving in Congress he would not run for reelection.

A day later, McCarthy followed suit.