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

Biography

Elected: 2010, 3rd term.

Born: April 12, 1951, Chicago, IL

Home: Tipton, MI

Education: Fort Wayne Bible Col., B.S. 1975; Wheaton Col., M.A. 1978.

Professional Career: Minister, 1973-82; pres., Warren Reuther Center, 1999-2000; division mgr., Moody Bible Inst., 2000-05.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Protestant - Unspecified Christian

Family: Married (Susan (Sue) Gail Polensky) , 3 children ; 2 grandchildren

Republican Tim Walberg is an ardent social and fiscal conservative who was first elected in 2006. He lost narrowly two years later to Democrat Mark Schauer and then reclaimed the seat in 2010.

Walberg was born in Chicago, growing up on the city’s South Side. He worked in a steel mill to get through college and ultimately got degrees from Fort Wayne Bible College and Wheaton College. He was a minister for 10 years before running for office for the first time. In 1982, he won a seat in the Michigan House by beating a moderate GOP incumbent. In his 16 years as a state legislator, Walberg had a reputation as a tireless advocate for gun rights, an opponent of abortion rights, and a foe of reckless government spending. He belonged to a group dubbed the “No” caucus for its unflinching opposition to tax hikes and increased spending. Term limits put an end to his tenure, and from 1998 to 2005, he was president of a conservative education foundation and a division manager for the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.

Walberg made a bid for the 7th District seat in 2004 when Republican Rep. Nick Smith retired after 12 years. He came in third in a GOP primary field crowded with other conservatives, and moderate Republican Joe Schwarz went on to win the general election. Two years later, Walberg tried again. In a primary challenge reminiscent of 2010’s tea party-fueled campaigns, he ran on a record of having never once voted for a tax increase in the legislature. The well-funded anti-tax Club for Growth took notice and poured $500,000 into television ads attacking Schwarz. The national GOP backed the incumbent, and Schwarz had a spending advantage of 2-to-1. Walberg nevertheless prevailed and went on to defeat a weak Democratic opponent, 50% to 46%. He became a prime target for Democrats in 2008.

That year, Democrats nominated Schauer, the Michigan Senate’s minority leader and a former community organizer. With unemployment rising, Schauer focused on the economy and secured an endorsement from Republican Schwarz. Schauer also benefited from the favorable national environment for Democrats and the enthusiasm generated by then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign for president. The Club for Growth again spent heavily for Walberg, but Schauer had strong union support and eked out a win, 49% to 46%.

Walberg came back for a rematch in 2010 in a much more favorable climate for his party. In August, he won a three-way Republican primary with 57% of the vote. In the general election, Walberg and his allies attacked Schauer for his vote for Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill, saying that he was part of the problem of deficit spending in Washington. Schauer and his backers portrayed Walberg as too far right for the district, highlighting his support for privatizing Social Security. They also spotlighted a September radio interview in which Walberg said he didn’t know whether Obama is an American citizen. “We don’t have enough information about this president,” he said. By day’s end, he reversed course and acknowledged that Obama is “certainly an American citizen.”

Outside groups and both national parties showered money on the race. And on Election Day, Walberg won the seat back, 50% to 45%.

In the House, Walberg has had one of the most conservative voting records among the Michigan delegation’s Republicans. His amendment proposing to cut National Endowment for the Arts by more than $20 million narrowly passed the House in February 2011 but went nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate. He also introduced a resolution expressing support for prayer at school board meetings. On the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Walberg expressed the popularly held view among the far right that the botched “Operation Fast and Furious” operation intending to trace guns actually was designed to take away gun owners’ rights. As chairman of the Education and the Workforce’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, he joined panel Chairman John Kline of Minnesota in 2011 in arguing that the Obama administration’s proposal giving home-care workers minimum wage and overtime protections would result in reduced hours for workers and higher costs for taxpayers. He later helped block a Labor Department proposal to ban youths younger than 16 from working on family farms.

Schauer declined a rematch 2012 after Michigan’s GOP redistricters moved Schauer’s Battle Creek home into the 3rd District. In the GOP primary, Walberg easily beat former police officer Dan Davis, setting up a general election matchup against Democratic attorney Kurt Haskell. Walberg refused to debate Haskell, citing Haskell’s claim that the federal government was involved in supplying a faulty explosive to the so-called “underwear bomber” who tried to set off a bomb aboard an airplane in 2009. Despite raising $1.5 million to Haskell’s $101,000, Walberg won with just 53% of the vote, a potential sign he could vulnerable in the future.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6276

(202) 225-6281

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2436
Washington, DC 20515-2207

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6276

(202) 225-6281

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2436
Washington, DC 20515-2207

DISTRICT OFFICE

(517) 780-9075

(517) 780-9081

110 First Street Suite 2
Jackson, MI 49201

DISTRICT OFFICE

(517) 780-9075

(517) 780-9081

110 1st Street Suite 2
Jackson, MI 49201

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(517) 795-2147

6769 Teachout Road
Tipton, MI 49287-9807

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

6769 Teachout Road
Tipton, MI 49287-9807

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Joanna Brown
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Jonathan Hirte
Legislative Director

Appropriations

Jonathan Hirte
Legislative Director

Banking

Jonathan Hirte
Legislative Director

Budget

Joanna Brown
Legislative Assistant

Commerce

Evan Armstrong
Legislative Counsel

Communication

Evan Armstrong
Legislative Counsel

Education

Jonathan Hirte
Legislative Director

Energy

Jonathan Hirte
Legislative Director

Environment

Evan Armstrong
Legislative Counsel

Family

Joanna Brown
Legislative Assistant

Finance

Jonathan Hirte
Legislative Director

Foreign

Joanna Brown
Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Joanna Brown
Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Jonathan Hirte
Legislative Director

Health

Evan Armstrong
Legislative Counsel

Homeland Security

Jonathan Hirte
Legislative Director

Housing

Joanna Brown
Legislative Assistant

Human Rights

Joanna Brown
Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Evan Armstrong
Legislative Counsel

Intelligence

Joanna Brown
Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Evan Armstrong
Legislative Counsel

Labor

Evan Armstrong
Legislative Counsel

Medicare

Evan Armstrong
Legislative Counsel

Military

Joanna Brown
Legislative Assistant

Rules

Joanna Brown
Legislative Assistant

Science

Joanna Brown
Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Evan Armstrong
Legislative Counsel

Social Security

Evan Armstrong
Legislative Counsel

Tax

Jonathan Hirte
Legislative Director

Technology

Joanna Brown
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Evan Armstrong
Legislative Counsel

Trade

Jonathan Hirte
Legislative Director

Transportation

Jonathan Hirte
Legislative Director

Veterans

Joanna Brown
Legislative Assistant

Evan Armstrong
Legislative Counsel

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Tim Walberg
Votes: 169,668
Percent: 53.34%
Kurt Haskell
Votes: 136,849
Percent: 43.02%
2012 PRIMARY
Tim Walberg
Votes: 45,592
Percent: 76.01%
Dan Davis
Votes: 14,386
Percent: 23.99%
2010 GENERAL
Tim Walberg
Votes: 113,185
Percent: 50.16%
Mark Schauer
Votes: 102,402
Percent: 45.38%
2010 PRIMARY
Tim Walberg
Votes: 41,784
Percent: 57.47%
Brian Rooney
Votes: 23,505
Percent: 32.33%
Marvin Carlson
Votes: 7,413
Percent: 10.2%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (50%), 2006 (50%)

* Export counts will reset after 30 days. Please contact your Dedicated Advisor if you have reached your limit.

To order a print copy of the 2016 edition of the Almanac of American Politics, click here. For questions about print orders, call Columbia Books at 1-888-265-0600 ext 0266 or email customer service.

For questions about the digital Almanac, please contact your Dedicated Advisor or Membership@NationalJournal.com.

×