Sean Duffy

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Sean Duffy
Sean Duffy.jpg
U.S. House, Wisconsin, District 7
In office
January 3, 2011-present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 3
PredecessorDave Obey (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Cost per vote$12.89 in 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next primaryAugust 12, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
District Attorney, Ashland County, WI
Bachelor'sSt. Marys College
J.D.William Mitchell College of Law
BirthdayOctober 3, 1971
Place of birthHayward, WI
Net worth$-99,999
Office website
Campaign website
Sean Duffy (b. October 3, 1971, in Hayward, Wisconsin) is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Wisconsin. Duffy represents the 7th Congressional District of Wisconsin and was first elected to the House in 2010. He was re-elected in 2012.[1] He is running for re-election in 2014.

Duffy was a professional lumberjack athlete, and he competed in lumberjack shows to put himself through law school.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Duffy is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.


After earning his J.D., Duffy went into private practice and soon became District Attorney of Ashland County, WI.[2]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Duffy's professional and political career:[2]

  • 2011-Present: U.S. House of Representatives
  • 2002-2010: District Attorney of Ashland County, WI

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Duffy serves on the following committees:[3][4]


Duffy was a member of the following House committees:[5]:

Key votes

113th Congress


The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[6] For more information pertaining to Duffy's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[7]

National security


Voted "Yes" Duffy voted for HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[8]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "Yes" Duffy voted for HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 that was largely along party lines.[9]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Voted "No" Duffy voted against House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[10]

CISPA (2013)

Voted "Yes" Duffy voted for HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities. The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[11]


Farm bill

Voted "Yes" On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[12] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[13][14] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[14] Duffy voted with 161 other Republican representatives in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Voted "Yes" On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[15][16] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[16] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[17] It included a 1% increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and protected the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Duffy voted with the majority of the Republican party in favor of the bill.[15]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[18] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[19] Duffy voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[20]

Voted "No" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[21] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Duffy voted against HR 2775.[22]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "Yes" Duffy voted for House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[23] The vote largely followed party lines.[24]


Healthcare Reform Rules

Voted "Yes" Duffy voted for House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires that all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.[25]

Social issues


Voted "Yes" Duffy voted for HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196 that largely followed party lines. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[26]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" Duffy voted against the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was 1 of 151 Republicans that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[27]

Criticism of Ted Cruz

Duffy criticized Cruz in September 2013 because of Cruz's handling of Obamacare. He said, "It is a concern, and that’s why when these conservatives in the Senate were running ads, raising money and holding rallies about this great strategy and using House conservatives as pawns in that strategy, we were silent. We believe in this rule of Ronald Reagan where we don’t take shots at fellow Republicans. So we held our fire. We kept our powder dry. It’s just when it came to us agreeing with the strategy and Ted Cruz and others bailing on us, that it was a boiling point where that this is absolutely ridiculous. You can’t talk to the American people, you can’t talk to our bases on this strategy and then completely roll over. Thank God he wasn’t there fighting at the Alamo." Duffy's criticism followed Cruz's comments that the bill to repeal Obamacare would fail in the Senate.[28][29]

Assaulted outside of Capitol

During the 2013 government shutdown over the budget debate, Duffy was walking to a vote at the Capitol when a citizen began screaming at him and then grabbed his arm. Duffy was not hurt, but he reported the incident to police.[30]


On The Issues Vote Match

Duffy's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of all Congressional members based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Duffy is a Libertarian-Leaning Conservative. Duffy received a score of 32 percent on personal issues and 77 percent on economic issues.[31]

On The Issues organization logo.
On The Issues Vote Quiz
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Favors Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Favors Human needs over animal rights Strongly Favors
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Favors
Support & expand free trade Unknown Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Unknown
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Unknown Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Favors
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Strongly Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Opposes Stay out of Iran Strongly Opposes
Privatize Social Security Strongly Opposes Never legalize marijuana Unknown
Note: Information last updated in 2014.[31]



See also: Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District elections, 2014

Duffy is running in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent Wisconsin's 7th District. Duffy is seeking the Republican nomination in the primary. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.


See also: Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District elections, 2012

Duffy ran for re-election in 2012.[32] He was unopposed in the Republican primary and defeated Democrat Pat Kreitlow in the November general election.[33]

U.S. House, Wisconsin District 7 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Pat Kreitlow 43.8% 157,524
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSean Duffy Incumbent 56.1% 201,720
     Independent Dale Lehner 0% 20
     Miscellaneous N/A 0.1% 405
Total Votes 359,669
Source: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Duffy is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Duffy raised a total of $4,624,381 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 18, 2013.[35]

Sean Duffy's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Wisconsin, District 7) Won $2,647,209
2010 US House (Wisconsin, District 7) Won $1,977,172
Grand Total Raised $4,624,381


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Duffy's reports.[36]

Sean Duffy (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[37]April 15, 2013$105,183.08$225,046.85$(107,368.40)$222,861.53
July Quarterly[38]July 15, 2013$222,861.53$330,833.44$(73,943.37)$479,751.60
October Quarterly[39]October 15, 2013$479,751.60$309,805.17$(104,021.21)$685,535.56
Year-end[40]January 31, 2014$685,535$273,454$(95,856)$863,133
April Quarterly[41]April 15, 2014$860,351.15$259,287.79$(136,481.23)$983,157.71
Running totals


Breakdown of the source of Duffy's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Duffy won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that re-election cycle, Duffy's campaign committee raised a total of $2,647,210 and spent $2,601,113.[42]

Cost per vote

Duffy spent $12.89 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Duffy's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Duffy won election to the U.S. House in 2010. During that election cycle, Duffy's campaign committee raised a total of $1,977,172 and spent $1,918,211.[43]

U.S. House, Wisconsin District 7, 2010 - Sean Duffy Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $1,977,172
Total Spent $1,918,211
Total Raised by General Election Opponent $1,271,594
Total Spent by General Election Opponent $1,270,399
Top contributors to Sean Duffy's campaign committee
Wausau Homes$23,700
Johnson Timber$19,200
Marshfield Clinic$17,489
Grassland Dairy$17,200
First Impressions$14,450
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Leadership PACs$125,500
Health Professionals$113,846
Misc Manufacturing & Distributing$56,339
Misc Finance$41,600

Race Background

In 2011 redistricting, The Hill published a list of the "Top Ten House Members" who were helped by.[44] Duffy ranked 7th on the list.[44] The article noted that Republican state legislators traded some of the Democratic leaning areas with Republican areas, "making the district a toss-up and giving him a better chance of holding on to the seat."[44] Wisconsin's 7th District became more Republican following redistricting after the 2010 census, giving Duffy an edge over Kreitlow.[45] While the district became more Republican, Duffy came under fire in 2011 for comments he made about his personal wealth. He complained that it was difficult to pay bills on his congressional salary, which was $174,000.[46]

The 2012 race brought in a lot of money. Kreitlow raised $1.2 million by mid-October, and Duffy had raised twice that amount. Another $4.3 million was spent by outside groups on attack ads on both sides.[47]

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have personally benefited from their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics pioneered by the Government Accountability Institute:

PGI: Net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Duffy's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $-194,995 to $-5,003. That averages to $-99,999, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican House members in 2012 of $7,614,097.96. Duffy ranked as the 432nd most wealthy representative in 2012.[48] Between 2009 and 2012, Duffy's calculated net worth increased from $-446,795 to $-99,999. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[49]

Sean Duffy Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2009 to 2012:N/A
Average annual growth:N/A
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[50]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[51]

Duffy most often votes with:

Duffy least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking


Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Duffy is a "moderate Republican follower," as of May 9, 2013.[52]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Duffy was 1 of 3 members who ranked 163rd in the conservative rankings in 2012.[53]


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Duffy was 1 of 3 members of congress who ranked 170th in the conservative rankings.[54]

Voting with party


The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Sean Duffy has voted with the Republican Party 97.2% of the time, which ranked 66th among the 234 House Republican members as of June 2013.[55]

Lifetime missed votes

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Duffy missed 28 of 1,702 roll call votes from January 2011 to April 2013. This amounts to 1.6%, which is better than the median of 2.1% among current congressional representatives as of April 2013.[56]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Duffy paid his congressional staff a total of $780,342 in 2011. Overall, Wisconsin ranks 32nd in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[57]


Duffy and his wife, Rachel, met on the MTV reality show "The Real World." They have six children.[2]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Sean + Duffy + Wisconsin + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Sean Duffy News Feed

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See also

External links

Political Tracker has an article on:
Sean Duffy


  1. Politico, "2012 House Race Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Official House website, "Biography," accessed November 22, 2011
  3., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  4. U.S. House of Representatives, "Committee assignments," accessed March 31, 2014
  5. Official House website, "Committees," accessed November 22, 2011
  6. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  8. Project Vote Smart, "HR 1960 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  9. Project Vote Smart, "HR 2217 - DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014 - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  10. Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 69 - Requires Threat Assessment of Pipeline Vulnerabilities to a Terrorist Attack - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  11. Project Vote Smart, "HR 624 - CISPA (2013) - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  12. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  13. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled farm bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  17. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  18. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  19. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  20. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  21. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  22. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  23. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed September 16, 2013
  24. Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  25. Project Vote Smart, "H Amdt 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  26. Project Vote Smart, "HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Voting Record," accessed September 16, 2013
  27. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  28. Huffington Post, "Ted Cruz Infuriates House GOP By Conceding Defeat On Obamacare Repeal," accessed September 26, 2013
  29. Daily Caller, "GOP congressman: 'Thank God (Cruz) wasn’t there fighting at the Alamo’ (AUDIO)," accessed September 26, 2013
  30. Fox News, "Rep. Duffy of Wisconsin assaulted outside Capitol," accessed October 3, 2013
  31. 31.0 31.1 On The Issues, "Duffy Vote Match," accessed July 7, 2014
  32. Politico, "Freshmen face 2012 dilemma," April 22, 2012
  33. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Candidates registered by office," accessed June 10, 2012
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  35. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Sean Duffy," accessed April 18, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Duffy 2014 Summary reports," accessed July 25, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  39. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 30, 2013
  40. Federal Election Commission, "Year-End Report," accessed February 19, 2014
  41. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 18, 2014
  42. Open Secrets, "Reid Ribble Campaign Contributions," accessed February 22, 2013
  43. Open Secrets, "2010 Race: Wisconsin District 07," accessed November 22, 2011
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 The Hill, "House members most helped by redistricting," accessed April 17, 2012
  45. RealClearPolitics, "WI 7th District," accessed March 22, 2013
  46. Talking Points Memo, "So How Rich Is Sean Duffy? Not Very…For A Congressman," accessed March 22, 2013
  47. Chippewa Herald, "Duffy-Kreitlow House race drawing attention," accessed March 22, 2013
  48. OpenSecrets, "Duffy, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
  49. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  50. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  51. OpenCongress, "Sean Duffy," accessed August 8, 2013
  52. GovTrack, "Duffy," accessed May 9, 2013
  53. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  54. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  55. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed June 6, 2013
  56. GovTrack, "Duffy," accessed April 11, 2013
  57. LegiStorm, "Sean Duffy," accessed September 7, 2012
Political offices
Preceded by
Dave Obey
U.S. House of Representatives - Wisconsin, 7th District
Succeeded by