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

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: January 31, 1969, Zeeland, MI

Home: Zeeland, MI

Education: Calvin Col., B.A. 1991.

Professional Career: Realtor, 1991-96; aide, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., 1997-2002; admin., Zeeland Christian Schools, 2009-10; owner, Huizenga Gravel.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Christian Reformed Church

Family: Married (Natalie) , 5 children

Republican Bill Huizenga was elected in 2010 to succeed his friend and former boss, Rep. Pete Hoekstra. He upholds the staunch conservatism of his western Michigan district and has been even further to the right on fiscal issues than Hoekstra.

Huizenga (HIGH-zen-guh) grew up in Zeeland, Mich., and minus a few short absences, he has lived there all of his life. His grandparents were farmers who started a gravel business by selling the leftover sand and stone that was lying around the farm. In high school, Huizenga was an inattentive student who ultimately transferred to vocational school. But his instructors told him he had academic potential and advised him to finish his studies and go on to college. Huizenga took the advice, studying political science at Calvin College. Between his freshman and sophomore years, he made his first real estate investment: With money saved from working in his father’s gravel pit, he became the junior stakeholder with his father and two other investors in a 19-unit housing development. As a young adult, Huizenga also indulged his love of travel, taking trips around the world. Once, during anti-government unrest just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, he was chased by riot police and dogs at a pro-democracy rally in Prague.

After college, Huizenga worked for a local real estate firm and took over as co-owner in the family business, Huizenga Gravel. Hoekstra offered him a job in his district office, and he became Hoekstra’s director of public policy. After six years, he decided to run for public office himself, winning a seat in the Michigan House in 2002. He was reelected twice and served a term as chairman of the Commerce Committee.

When Hoekstra decided to run for Michigan governor in 2010, the real contest for his House seat in the heavily Republican district was the GOP primary. In the seven-way race, former pro-football tight end Jay Riemersma, also of Zeeland, raised $850,000 to Huizenga’s $553,000. Huizenga touted his conservative credentials, saying he supported conservative proposals for a “flat tax,” which would replace the income tax with a 23% sales tax, and to create private Social Security accounts. He also ran as an anti-abortion rights candidate. Riemersma, the former regional director for the Family Research Council, also ran as an anti-abortion and fiscal conservative. He tried to weaken Huizenga’s claims by attacking him for voting for a state business tax in 2007.

Still, Huizenga managed to eke out a victory with a better political organization, built largely on the many contacts he had made among local political and business leaders during his six years on Hoekstra’s staff. He prevailed by just 663 votes out of about 106,000 cast. In the general election, he faced nominal Democratic opposition from history professor Fred Johnson.

In the House, Huizenga won notice for his facility with Congress’ inner workings in contrast to other freshmen. Washington Post conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin said admiringly in January 2011 that he “seems to understand how to advance aggressive goals without being aggressive or off-putting.” He has been a rock-solid fiscal conservative. After opposing the New Year’s Day 2013 budget deal aimed at averting the so-called “fiscal cliff” of tax hikes and deep spending cuts, he called for providing block grants for Medicare and Medicaid to states while re-examining who qualifies for Social Security. In addition to sharing many fiscal views with Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, Huizenga often joins Ryan in grueling P90X fitness workouts.

Huizenga took up Hoekstra’s longtime crusade against Federal Prison Industries, contending that it takes away work from small businesses because of its access to cheap labor. On the Financial Services Committee, he worked on ways to lessen the impact of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law on businesses. He got a bill into law in December 2012 giving taxpayers and businesses who submit information to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the same confidentiality protection that other financial regulators are required to provide.

In contrast to his earlier race, Huizenga had little trouble winning reelection. He beat write-in Democratic candidate Willie German, Jr., and three minor-party challengers with 61% of the vote.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4401

(202) 226-0779

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1217
Washington, DC 20515-2202

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4401

(202) 226-0779

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1217
Washington, DC 20515-2202

DISTRICT OFFICE

(616) 414-5516

(616) 570-0934

One South Harbor Avenue Suite 6B
Grand Haven, MI 49417

DISTRICT OFFICE

(616) 414-5516

(616) 570-0934

One South Harbor Avenue Suite 6B
Grand Haven, MI 49417

DISTRICT OFFICE

(616) 570-0917

(616) 570-0934

4555 Wilson Avenue SW Suite 3
Grandville, MI 49418

DISTRICT OFFICE

(616) 570-0917

(616) 570-0934

4555 Wilson Avenue SW Suite 3
Grandville, MI 49418

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

441 Williams Court
Zeeland, MI 49464-1509

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

441 Williams Court
Zeeland, MI 49464-1509

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Agriculture

Nathan Bult
Legislative Director

Appropriations

Nathan Bult
Legislative Director

Banking

Marliss McManus
Professional Staff Member

Budget

Nathan Bult
Legislative Director

Commerce

Marliss McManus
Professional Staff Member

Nathan Bult
Legislative Director

Consumers

Marliss McManus
Professional Staff Member

Education

Zachary Scott
Legislative Correspondent

zach.scott@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4401

Energy

Nathan Bult
Legislative Director

Environment

Zachary Scott
Legislative Correspondent

zach.scott@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4401

Family

Nathan Bult
Legislative Director

Finance

Marliss McManus
Professional Staff Member

Foreign

Raaed Haddad
Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Marliss McManus
Professional Staff Member

Zachary Scott
Legislative Correspondent

zach.scott@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4401

Grants

Marliss McManus
Professional Staff Member

Health

Nathan Bult
Legislative Director

Homeland Security

Raaed Haddad
Legislative Assistant

Housing

Marliss McManus
Professional Staff Member

Immigration

Raaed Haddad
Legislative Assistant

Insurance

Marliss McManus
Professional Staff Member

Intelligence

Raaed Haddad
Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Raaed Haddad
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Zachary Scott
Legislative Correspondent

zach.scott@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4401

Military

Raaed Haddad
Legislative Assistant

Science

Zachary Scott
Legislative Correspondent

zach.scott@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4401

Small Business

Zachary Scott
Legislative Correspondent

zach.scott@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4401

Social Security

Raaed Haddad
Legislative Assistant

Tax

Marliss McManus
Professional Staff Member

Nathan Bult
Legislative Director

Technology

Zachary Scott
Legislative Correspondent

zach.scott@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4401

Telecommunications

Zachary Scott
Legislative Correspondent

zach.scott@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4401

Trade

Marliss McManus
Professional Staff Member

Transportation

Nathan Bult
Legislative Director

Urban Affairs

Marliss McManus
Professional Staff Member

Veterans

Raaed Haddad
Legislative Assistant

Welfare

Marliss McManus
Professional Staff Member

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Bill Huizenga
Votes: 194,653
Percent: 61.16%
Willie German, Jr.
Votes: 108,973
Percent: 34.24%
2012 PRIMARY
Bill Huizenga
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Bill Huizenga
Votes: 148,864
Percent: 65.27%
Fred Johnson
Votes: 72,118
Percent: 31.62%
2010 PRIMARY
Bill Huizenga
Votes: 27,041
Percent: 25.4%
Jay Riemersma
Votes: 26,378
Percent: 24.77%
Wayne Kuipers
Votes: 23,226
Percent: 21.81%
Bill Cooper
Votes: 20,584
Percent: 19.33%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (65%)

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