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Republican

Rep. Sean Duffy (R)

Sean Duffy Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-3365

Address: 1208 LHOB, DC 20515

Websites: duffy.house.gov
State Office Contact Information

Phone: (715) 298-9344

Address: 208 Grand Avenue, Wausau WI 54403-6217

Superior WI

Phone: (715) 392-3984

Fax: (715) 392-3999

Address: 823 Belknap Street, Superior WI 54880-2942

Hudson WI

Phone: (715) 808-8160

Address: 502 2nd Street, Hudson WI 54016-1546

Sean Duffy Staff
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Robinson, Caroline
Legislative Assistant
Robinson, Caroline
Legislative Assistant
Hamill, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Hamill, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Robinson, Caroline
Legislative Assistant
Hamill, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Robinson, Caroline
Legislative Assistant
Hamill, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Robinson, Caroline
Legislative Assistant
Hamill, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Hamill, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Robinson, Caroline
Legislative Assistant
Robinson, Caroline
Legislative Assistant
Hamill, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Robinson, Caroline
Legislative Assistant
Hamill, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Hamill, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Hamill, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Hamill, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Cronin, Maggie
District Scheduler
Garza, Jesse
District Director
Hamill, Robert
Legislative Assistant
McCormack, Ryan
Legislative Correspondent
Meachum, Pete
Chief of Staff
Reilly, Jackie
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Robinson, Caroline
Legislative Assistant
Rosen, Craig
Regional Representative
Smedile, Cassie
Communications Director
Woeber, Amie
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Meachum, Pete
Chief of Staff
Smedile, Cassie
Communications Director
Woeber, Amie
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Garza, Jesse
District Director
Reilly, Jackie
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
Hamill, Robert
Legislative Assistant
Robinson, Caroline
Legislative Assistant
McCormack, Ryan
Legislative Correspondent
Woeber, Amie
Legislative Director; Deputy Chief of Staff
Rosen, Craig
Regional Representative
Cronin, Maggie
District Scheduler
Reilly, Jackie
Scheduler; Executive Assistant
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Sean Duffy Committees
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Sean Duffy Biography
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  • Elected: 2010, 2nd term.
  • District: Wisconsin 7
  • Born: Oct. 03, 1971, Hayward
  • Home: Ashland
  • Education:

    St. Mary's Col., MN, B.A. 1994; William Mitchell Col. of Law, J.D. 1999.

  • Professional Career:

    Practicing atty., 1999-2000; special prosecutor, Ashland Cnty., 2000-02.

  • Political Career:

    District atty., Ashland Cnty., 2002-10.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Catholic

  • Family: Married (Rachel Campos-Duffy); 6 children

Republican Sean Duffy won the seat of retiring Democratic stalwart David Obey in one of 2010’s most bitterly disappointing races for the Democratic Party. In 2012, he overcame his widely-publicized remark that he “struggles” on his $174,000 annual House salary to hold onto his seat. Read More

Republican Sean Duffy won the seat of retiring Democratic stalwart David Obey in one of 2010’s most bitterly disappointing races for the Democratic Party. In 2012, he overcame his widely-publicized remark that he “struggles” on his $174,000 annual House salary to hold onto his seat.

Duffy hails from the sparsely populated, thickly forested northern end of the state, the 10th of 11 children. He became adept at the local craft of lumberjacking, eventually earning multiple world-champion titles in the 60-foot and 90-foot pole speed climb. In college, he studied business marketing, earning a degree in 1994. On a lark after graduation, Duffy joined the cast of MTV’s The Real World: Boston, one of the earliest reality-TV series. The program brought young people with diverse backgrounds together to live as roommates, with the aim of spurring lively confrontations. Duffy was cast as the conservative in the show, and he frequently sparred with a liberal roommate. Around that time, he met his future wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy, who had been cast as the conservative foil in the Real World season taped in San Francisco.

Eventually, Duffy enrolled in law school in Minnesota. With degree in hand, he moved back to Wisconsin to work for his family’s law firm for a short time before becoming a prosecutor. In 2002, Republican Gov. Scott McCallum appointed Duffy as Ashland County district attorney. In that role, he boasted a 90% success rate in jury trials and prosecuting child sex offenders. Duffy was serving his fourth term when he resigned to challenge Obey in the 2010 election.

Then, Obey unexpectedly announced that he would not seek reelection, removing himself as a ready target for Duffy and his conservative, anti-government message. Instead of facing the 72-year-old Obey, an old-time appropriator who had been in Washington for four decades, Duffy drew as an opponent a young Washington outsider like himself, Democratic state Sen. Julie Lassa.

In his campaign, Duffy made an issue of the government’s big-spending ways and, specifically, the $787 billion economic stimulus bill that Obey, as Appropriations chairman, had helped push to passage. Duffy was adept at raising money, and he ran as an unabashedly family-values and small-government conservative. Rachel Campos-Duffy wrote a book in 2009 titled Stay Home, Stay Happy: 10 Secrets to Loving At-Home Motherhood, which she calls “a love letter to at-home moms.” The couple has six young children.

Lassa accused Duffy of supporting deep cuts in entitlement spending after he embraced Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan. She campaigned as a champion of the middle class, calling for a first-time home buyers’ tax credit, a payroll tax holiday for businesses that hire new workers, and a 10% pay cut for members of Congress until the unemployment rate dropped. But Lassa, despite strong backing from national Democrats, had difficulty connecting with voters, giving stump speeches that were heavily reliant on notes. By contrast, Duffy was at ease and even charming in a crowd. He even overcame an unflattering video clip that was circulated of him dancing on a pool table in his underwear at a “toga” party. On Election Day, Duffy won, 52% to 44%.

In the House, Duffy has backed his party on big votes, especially on fiscal issues, but has shown greater independence on matters that touch on his district. He refused to join most other tea party-backed freshmen in 2012 in voting to end subsidies to rural airports and to defund National Public Radio, which maintains a strong audience in non-urban regions. He formed a close friendship with South Carolina’s Trey Gowdy, a fellow freshman and ex-prosecutor, and the two cosponsored each other’s legislation aimed at reining in spending.

From his seat on the Financial Services Committee, Duffy challenged Ben Bernanke at a February 2013 hearing about the Federal Reserve chairman’s assertion that looming automatic spending cuts would harm economic growth. Duffy responded that a 2% cut in the federal budget would not be devastating, and said, “Mr. Chairman, that doesn’t make sense to me.” But nothing brought Duffy more attention that his attempt to show empathy with an economically struggling constituent at a 2011 town hall meeting. When the man pointed out that Duffy’s salary was “three times what I make,” Duffy responded, “If you think I’m living high off the hog, I’ve got one paycheck … I struggle to meet my bills right now.”

Democrats jumped on the comment, contending that it illustrated how out of touch Duffy was, and launched an aggressive attempt to unseat him. His Democratic opponent, Pat Kreitlow, a former state senator, raised a respectable $1.2 million. But Duffy drew on the financial industry’s largesse and took in more than twice that amount to win, 56%-44%.

Show Less
Sean Duffy Election Results
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2012 General
Sean Duffy (R)
Votes: 201,720
Percent: 56.15%
Pat Kreitlow (D)
Votes: 157,524
Percent: 43.85%
2012 Primary
Sean Duffy (R)
Votes: 46,987
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (52%)
Sean Duffy Votes and Bills
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National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 18 (L) : 82 (C) 25 (L) : 75 (C) 27 (L) : 71 (C)
Social 43 (L) : 54 (C) 42 (L) : 58 (C) 37 (L) : 62 (C)
Foreign 24 (L) : 68 (C) 43 (L) : 54 (C) 41 (L) : 57 (C)
Composite 30.2 (L) : 69.8 (C) 37.2 (L) : 62.8 (C) 35.8 (L) : 64.2 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC9066
LCV93
CFG5864
ITIC-91
NTU7776
20112012
COC100-
ACLU-0
ACU8884
ADA50
AFSCME0-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Find AG in contempt
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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