Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: November 11, 1968, Fowler

Home: Fowler

Education: Col. of Santa Fe, B.A. 1991; American U., Ph.D. 1995.

Professional Career: Farmer, rancher.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: Married (Angela) , 4 children

Tim Huelskamp, a Republican who won the seat of retiring GOP Rep. Jerry Moran in 2010, has maintained the no-holds-barred conservatism that he was known for as a Kansas state legislator. His willingness to become perhaps the most outspoken GOP critic of his party’s leadership prompted his expulsion in December 2012 from his seats on the Budget and Agriculture committees, but raised his profile among adherents on the far right.

Huelskamp (HYUELS-kamp) was born in Fowler, Kan., and from an early age worked on the farm that his grandparents founded in 1925. He was valedictorian of his high school graduating class and was active in 4-H and Future Farmers of America. He said that his “first political realization” was President Jimmy Carter’s imposition of a grain embargo against the Soviet Union in January 1980, when Huelskamp was 11 years old. He became enamored of Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan. “He had a way of communicating basic American principles and concerns in a way that people really got it,” Huelskamp said. He briefly attended a seminary in Santa Fe, N.M., and later graduated from the College of Santa Fe, working part-time as a budget and legislative analyst for the state government while still in school. He decided to further his studies in government and graduated from American University in Washington in four years with a doctorate in political science, specializing in agricultural policy. He then went back to Fowler to work on the family farm.

In 1996, Huelskamp won a seat in the state Senate, becoming the youngest member there in 20 years. He authored the state’s anti-gay marriage amendment that voters passed in 2005 and was active on anti-abortion rights issues. In 2009, Huelskamp called for legislation to deny federal funding used by Planned Parenthood for family planning programs in Kansas. His maverick ways got him in hot water with the GOP leadership, and in 2003, he lost his seat on the Ways and Means Committee; Huelskamp said it was because he opposed wasteful spending, but two state Republican leaders told The Topeka Capital-Journal in 2010 he was booted off because he would not work with the leadership.

He initially considered running for the 1st District seat in 2005, but Moran decided to run for reelection, and Huelskamp awaited his next chance. That came in 2010, when Moran decided to challenge GOP Sen. Sam Brownback, after Brownback announced he would run for governor.

Huelskamp faced five challengers in the GOP primary, including state Sen. Jim Barnett, who lost the 2008 governor’s race to Democrat Kathleen Sebelius; Tracey Mann, a Salina real estate agent; and Rob Wasinger, a former chief of staff to Brownback. The candidates differed little in their conservative messages, but Huelskamp distinguished himself by picking up endorsements from the National Rifle Association and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. One of his television ads boasted, “He’s not one of those weak-kneed Republicans.” Huelskamp won with 35% of the vote. Barnett drew 25% and Mann received 21%, while the others were in single digits.

His general election opponent was Democrat Alan Jilka, a former Salina mayor who campaigned as a pragmatic problem-solver. Huelskamp’s commanding lead in fundraising—he took in more than $1.2 million compared to Jilka’s $162,000—and the district’s heavily Republican nature assured Huelskamp an easy 74%-23% victory.

In Washington, Huelskamp joined the Tea Party Caucus and landed a seat on the Budget Committee, a rare plum for a freshman and a good platform for his strong views on the need to slash federal spending. “The debt crisis cannot be overstated,” he said at a February 2011 town hall meeting.” He also joined the budget task force of the Republican Study Committee, a group of the most conservative House members. Huelskamp voted against a short-term resolution to fund the government in March 2011, while Democrats and Republicans sought to negotiate a budget deal for the rest of the fiscal year. In addition to spending concerns, Huelskamp said he opposed the bill because it failed to specifically rule out money for Planned Parenthood.

That early vote marked the start of Huelskamp’s apostasy. He and fellow freshman Justin Amash of Michigan opposed Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s fiscal 2013 budget blueprint, which they said didn’t cut spending enough even as it drew Democratic criticism for doing just the opposite. He blasted GOP leaders for seeking to pass a reauthorization of surface transportation programs without offsetting spending cuts. In July 2011, he was one of 22 House GOP members who refused to back the deal to raise the debt limit that Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, struck with President Barack Obama. Two months later, he was among 48 who bucked the leadership on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government.

Huelskamp also got into a well-publicized spat with Warren Buffett after the billionaire investor called for the wealthy to pay more in taxes; he demanded that Buffett release his tax returns. He later got into angry televised confrontations with both liberal MSNBC host Al Sharpton and the network’s conservative Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough. On the Agriculture panel, he opposed continuing the practice of direct federal payments to farmers, a leading concern for tea party voters. While other Kansas Republicans worked for an extension of the wind energy tax credit, he dismissed it as corporate welfare.

Kansas Democrats, realizing the futility of competing on such strongly Republican turf, didn’t field a candidate against Huelskamp in 2012. Upon returning to Washington for the lame-duck session that year, he learned of his removal from the Budget and Agriculture panels, a decision he told reporters was “petty and vindictive.” But it did nothing to curb his iconoclasm; he voted against the New Year’s Day 2013 budget deal aimed at averting the so-called “fiscal cliff,” and cast his vote for outgoing GOP Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, for speaker over Boehner. There were signs that he tried to organize a wider rebellion against Boehner, too. News outlets reported that he sat on the House floor during the vote with an iPad showing a list of members he hoped would join him in opposing the speaker. He declined to comment on the list, but later told National Journal, “I think it was the least I could do to the speaker to return the favor. We wanted to send a message that we are frustrated, all across the conference.”

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2715

(202) 225-5124

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1110
Washington, DC 20515-1601

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2715

(202) 225-5124

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1110
Washington, DC 20515-1601

DISTRICT OFFICE

(785) 309-0572

(785) 827-6957

200 South Sante Fe Suite 6
Salina, KS 67401

DISTRICT OFFICE

(785) 309-0572

(785) 827-6957

200 South Sante Fe Suite 6
Salina, KS 67401

DISTRICT OFFICE

(620) 225-0172

(620) 225-0297

100 Military Avenue Suite 205
Dodge City, KS 67801-4945

DISTRICT OFFICE

(620) 225-0172

(620) 225-0297

100 Military Avenue Suite 205
Dodge City, KS 67801-4945

DISTRICT OFFICE

(620) 665-6138

(620) 665-6360

One North Main Street Suite 525
Hutchinson, KS 67501

DISTRICT OFFICE

(620) 665-6138

(620) 665-6360

One North Main Street Suite 525
Hutchinson, KS 67501

DISTRICT OFFICE

(785) 309-0572

(785) 827-6957

727 Poyntz Avenue Suite 10
Manhattan, KS 66502

DISTRICT OFFICE

(785) 309-0572

(785) 827-6957

727 Poyntz Avenue Suite 10
Manhattan, KS 66502

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(620) 242-1125

601 Church Street
Fowler, KS 67844-7844

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

601 Church Street
Fowler, KS 67844-7844

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Mark Kelly
Chief of Staff

mark.kelly@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2715

Agriculture

Justin Higgins
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Juliana Heerschap
Legislative Director

Justin Higgins
Legislative Assistant

Banking

John Schuler
Legislative Aide

Budget

Mark Kelly
Chief of Staff

mark.kelly@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2715

Disability

Juliana Heerschap
Legislative Director

Energy

Justin Higgins
Legislative Assistant

Environment

Justin Higgins
Legislative Assistant

Finance

John Schuler
Legislative Aide

Govt Ops

John Schuler
Legislative Aide

Health

Juliana Heerschap
Legislative Director

Homeland Security

Juliana Heerschap
Legislative Director

Housing

John Schuler
Legislative Aide

Immigration

Justin Higgins
Legislative Assistant

Military

Juliana Heerschap
Legislative Director

Seniors

Juliana Heerschap
Legislative Director

Small Business

Justin Higgins
Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Juliana Heerschap
Legislative Director

Tax

Mark Kelly
Chief of Staff

mark.kelly@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2715

Telecommunications

Juliana Heerschap
Legislative Director

Trade

Justin Higgins
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Juliana Heerschap
Legislative Director

Veterans

Juliana Heerschap
Legislative Director

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Tim Huelskamp
Unopposed
2012 PRIMARY
Tim Huelskamp
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Tim Huelskamp
Votes: 142,281
Percent: 73.76%
Alan Jilka
Votes: 44,068
Percent: 22.85%
2010 PRIMARY
Tim Huelskamp
Votes: 34,819
Percent: 34.82%
Jim Barnett
Votes: 25,047
Percent: 25.05%
Tracey Mann
Votes: 21,161
Percent: 21.16%
Rob Wasinger
Votes: 9,296
Percent: 9.3%
Sue Boldra
Votes: 7,892
Percent: 7.89%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (74%)

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