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Timothy Lee "Tim" Walberg (born April 12, 1951) is the former Republican Congressman for in the U.S. House of Representatives. He defeated moderate incumbent Representative Joe Schwarz in the August 2006 Republican primary, campaigning on a platform of continued support for the Iraq War, tax cuts, and opposition to "pork barrel" spending. Walberg is known as both a social and economic conservative. Walberg was a congressional candidate in Michigan's 7th congressional district in the 2004 Republican Party primary in which he placed third behind Schwarz and attorney Brad Smith, receiving 18% of the vote. He was defeated for re-election by Democrat Mark Schauer in 2008.

Early History

Walberg was born and educated in Chicagomarker, Illinois. Upon graduating high school, he became a member of the U.S. Forest Service. Walberg soon left this work and entered Fort Wayne Bible College, now Taylor Universitymarker, where he was trained as a minister. He also obtained a M.A. from Wheaton College. He served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1983 to 1998. Since 1999, his seat has been held by former State Rep. Doug Spade and currently by State Rep. Dudley Spade, both Democrats. Walberg also spent time as a pastor and as a division manager for the Moody Bible Institutemarker in Chicago, Illinoismarker while continuing to live in Michigan.

Congressional elections

After six years out of politics, Walberg ran in the 2004 Republican primary for the 7th District after six-term incumbent Nick Smith retired. He narrowly lost to former state senator Joe Schwarz, a considerably more moderate Republican. Schwarz went on to win in November.

However, Walberg never really stopped campaigning, and immediately began gearing up for a rematch against Schwarz in 2006. During the 2006 primary, Walberg received financial support from various pro-life groups and the Club for Growth. His campaign criticized Schwarz for his positions on abortion, taxes, government / pork-barrel spending, and national security. Additionally, Walberg campaigned for cutting taxes, against providing amnesty to illegal immigrants, against gay marriage, and against pork-barrel spending. Walberg defeated Schwarz in the primary by 3,915 votes.

In October 2006, the Walberg campaign faced scandal when the campaign's volunteer coordinator plead guilty to child abuse charges. The allegations first appeared in the Jackson Citizen Patriot.According to the Jackson Citizen Patriot, "Walberg said he knew of the alleged abuse 'on or about Sept. 12'."The staffer plead guilty to the charges on September 18 and left the campaign only after the charges became public in October. Walberg frequently stated the matter was "private" and he hoped the best for the family involved.

Walberg's defeat of Schwarz gave the Democrats hope of winning the seat. Although Republicans had held it for decades, the 7th is a somewhat marginal district on paper; it narrowly voted for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 and voted for George W. Bush almost as narrowly in 2000 and 2004. On the other hand, Schwarz had won the previous election (against the same Democratic opponent) by 22%.

On November 7, 2006, Walberg defeated Democrat Sharon Renier, the 2004 Democratic nominee. Walberg received 49.93% to Renier's 45.98%. The Renier campaign spent $46,000 to Walberg's $1.2 million

Iraq War Security Comments

In March 2007, Walberg was a guest on the Jack Ebling show on WILS-AM. During the broadcast Walberg stated that most of Iraq was as stable as Detroit, MI or Harvey, IL. Both the offices of the Mayor of Detroit and the Mayor of Harvey released statements requesting an apology from Walberg. "Unfortunately, for years people have beat up on the city of Detroit. Detroit is the word for negative. We are working very hard to transform that image of our city." said James Canning, spokesman for the Detroit office of the Mayor. Mayor Kellogg of Harvey was also deeply disappointed in the comments, stating that: "Even though our country appears to have accomplish(ed) great gains in racial harmony, we still have members of congress who suffer from the highest levels of ignorance and stupidity."

Great Lakes Drilling Controversy

Walberg received criticism from the Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer following statements suggesting support for oil drilling in the Great Lakesmarker. Following the criticism, at a constituent meeting, Walberg noted that drilling in the Great Lakes is currently prohibited by Michigan and federal law, and would not comment on whether he would support changing those laws.

Recall Efforts

On August 6, 2007, the Lenawee Countymarker Elections Commission approved the wording for Jacksonmarker resident James Carr's recall petition. While Michigan laws and constitution allow for recall elections, an attorney for Walberg says there is no provision in the U.S. constitution for recalling a United States Congressperson and challenged the action in court. On August 28, 2007, Lenawee County Circuit Court Judge Harvey Koselka issued an injunction that prohibited filing signed petitions with the state until a ruling is made on the constitutionality of recalling a member of Congress. Carr has since ended his campaign.


Tim and his wife Sue live in Tiptonmarker (near Tecumsehmarker, Michigan), where they raised their three children, now adults, Matthew, Heidi and Caleb. Walberg's son Matthew works as a crime reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

Committee Assignments

  • Agriculture Committee
    • Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy, and Research
    • Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry
  • Education and Labor Committee
    • Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions
    • Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness

2008 election

Entering the 2008 race, Walberg was identified by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Chris Van Hollen as one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents in congress. On August 23, 2007, State Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer announced he would challenge Walberg in the 2008 election. The prior occupant of the seat, Joe Schwarz, who was defeated by Walberg in the 2006 Republican primary declined to run himself, but on September 30 endorsed Schauer.

Schauer defeated Walberg in the November 2008 election. Republican presidential candidate John McCain lost the district to Democrat Barack Obama by nearly 17,000 votes but outpolled Walberg by over 6,000 votes, while Walberg lost to Schauer by 7,432 votes. Between the two candidates, around $3.5 million dollars were spent on the campaign, along with the massive amount spent by independent groups, made it the most expensive House race in the 2008 election.

2010 election

On July 14, 2009, Walberg announced that he is running for his old congressional seat, but he will have Republican opponents in the August 2010 party primary.

Electoral history

2004 election for the U.S. House of Representatives — 7th District Republican Primary

  • Joe Schwarz (R), 28%
  • Brad Smith (R), 22%
  • Tim Walberg (R), 18%
  • Clark Bisbee (R), 14%
  • Gene DeRossett (R), 11%
  • Paul DeWeese (R), 7%

2006 election for the U.S. House of Representatives — 7th District Republican Primary

  • Tim Walberg (R), 33,144, 53%
  • Joe Schwarz (R) (inc.), 29,349, 47%

2006 election for the U.S. House of Representatives — 7th District

  • Tim Walberg (R), 49.93%
  • Sharon Renier (D), 45.98%
  • Robert Hutchinson (L), 1.55%
  • David Horn (UST), 1.47%
  • Joe Schwarz (write-in), 1.07%

2008 election for the U.S. House of Representatives - 7th District

  • Mark Schauer (D), 48.79%
  • Tim Walberg (R), 46.49%
  • Lynn Meadows (G), 2.96%
  • Ken Proctor (L), 1.76%


  3. The Club For Growth -
  4. The Club For Growth -
  6. WLNS TV 6 Lansing Jackson Michigan News and Weather - WLNS.COM | Our Apologies
  7. 2006 Official Michigan General Election Results - 7th District Representative in Congress 2 Year Term (1) Position
  8. FEC Disclosure Form 3 for Sharon Renier for Congress
  9. FEC Candidate Summary Reports - Candidate ID H4MI07103
  10. Lansing State Journal: The article requested can not be found! Please refresh your browser or go back. (A3,20070322,NEWS01,70322004,AR)
  11. Press Release
  12. The article requested can not be found! Please refresh your browser or go back. (A5,20070605,NEWS01,706050316,AR). | Battle Creek Enquirer - - Battle Creek, Mich
  13. Recall campaign launched against Walberg Retrieved August 8, 2007
  14. Misusing the recall process again The Daily Telegram. September 10, 2007. Retrieved September 21, 2007
  15. Hotline On Call: Van Hollen's Top '08 Targets

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