Dan Benishek

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Dan Benishek
Dan Benishek.JPG
U.S. House, Michigan, District 1
In office
January 3, 2011-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 4
PredecessorBart Stupak (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$3,601,071
Term limitsN/A
High schoolWest Iron County High School, Iron River, MI
Bachelor'sUniversity of Michigan
M.D.Wayne State University Medical School
Date of birthApril 20, 1952
Place of birthIron River, Michigan
Net worth$1,863,527
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Campaign website
Dan Benishek campaign logo
Daniel Joseph Benishek (b. April 20, 1952 in Iron River, Michigan) is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Michigan's 1st congressional district. Benishek was first elected to the House in 2010.

Benishek most recently won re-election to the House in 2012. He defeated Gary McDowell (D), Emily Salvette (L), and Ellis Boal (G) in the general election on November 6, 2012.

According to a Washington Post article in December 2012, Benishek is one of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents in 2014.[1]

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


Benishek was born in 1952 in Iron River, Michigan. After graduating from West Iron County High School in 1970, Benishek went on to earn his B.S. at the University of Michigan in 1974, followed by his M.D. at Wayne State University Medical School in 1978. Prior to his political career, Benishek worked as a physician.[2]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Benishek's political career:[2]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Benishek serves on the following committees:[3]


Benishek served on the following House committees:[4]


Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Dan Benishek endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [5]

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Benishek voted for 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 one of 85 Republicans that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[6]

Campaign themes


The following were several policy positions highlighted on Benishek's campaign website.[7]

  • Budget & Spending

Excerpt: "Dr. Benishek has supported measures to reduce federal spending, erase the annual deficits, and provide a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution."[8]

  • Health Care

Excerpt: "Dr. Benishek strongly supports the repeal of President Obama’s health care bill, the 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act' (PPACA), and is been extremely concerned about the impact that this law could have, should it remain in place."[9]

  • Growing Small Business

Excerpt:"He is supportive of efforts that will help decrease burdensome regulations on small businesses and policies that will grant small business owners the ability to reinvest profits to expand and create jobs. In addition, Dr. Benishek is supportive of efforts to lower tax rates on businesses and simplify the tax code, which he believes will create opportunities for businesses to invest, expand and become more competitive."[10]

  • Saving Medicare

Excerpt: "Dr. Benishek has supported a plan to make Medicare permanently solvent, which was developed with bipartisan support. This plan will make no changes for existing retirees or those nearing retirement—anyone age 55 or older."[11]

  • Life

Excerpt: "Dr. Benishek believes that life begins at conception. During his time in Congress, Dr. Benishek has worked to promote a culture of life which, among other things, upholds and actively supports pro-life policies."[12]

  • Solidly 2nd Amendment

Excerpt: "Dr. Dan Benishek believes the right to bear arms is a fundamental right that should be protected for all law-abiding citizens of the U.S."[13]



See also: Michigan's 1st congressional district elections, 2014

According to a Washington Post article in December 2012, Benishek is one of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents in 2014.[14]


See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Michigan, 2012

Benishek won re-election in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Michigan's 1st District.[15] He ran unopposed in the August 7 Republican primary. He then defeated Gary McDowell (D), Emily Salvette (L), and Ellis Boal (G) in the November 6, 2012, general election.[16]

Dan Benishek campaign ad [17]
U.S. House, Michigan District 1 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Gary McDowell 47.6% 165,179
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDan Benishek Incumbent 48.1% 167,060
     Libertarian Emily Salvette 3.1% 10,630
     Green Ellis Boal 1.2% 4,168
Total Votes 347,037
Source: Michigan Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


Gary McDowell vs. Dan Benishek
Poll Gary McDowell Dan BenishekUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
(June 25, 2012)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.


Benishek was targeted for defeat in the 2012 elections by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.[18]

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Benishek is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Benishek raised a total of $3,601,071 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[20]

Dan Benishek's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Michigan, District 1) Won $2,221,760
2010 US House (Michigan, District 1) Won $1,379,311
Grand Total Raised $3,601,071


Breakdown of Benishek's funds according to source.

Benishek won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Benishek's campaign committee raised a total of $2,221,760 and spent $2,128,930.[21]


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

Benishek won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that election cycle, Benishek's campaign committee raised a total of $1,379,311 and spent $1,343,624.[22]


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Benishek is a "rank-and-file Republican" as of June 2013.[23]

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Benishek missed 13 of 1,695 roll call votes from Jan 2011 to Mar 2013, which is 0.8% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[24]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Benishek paid his congressional staff a total of $853,111 in 2011. He ranked 84th on the list of the lowest paid Republican Representative Staff Salaries and he ranked 99th overall of the lowest paid Representative Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Michigan ranked 13th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[25]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Benishek's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $950,054 and $2,777,000. This averages to $1,863,527, which is a 66.99% decrease since 2010. This is lower than the $7,859,232 average net worth for Republican representatives in 2011.[26]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Benishek's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $3,335,080 and $7,956,000. That averages to $5,645,540, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Representatives in 2010 of $7,561,133.[27]

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, as compared to other members in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Benishek was ranked the 129th most conservative representative during 2012.[28]


According to the data released in 2012, Dan Benishek was ranked the 106th most conservative representative during 2011.[29]

Voting with party


Dan Benishek voted with the Republican Party 96.4% of the time, which ranked 140th among the 233 House Republican members as of June 2013.[30]


Benishek lives in Crystal Falls, Michigan, with his wife, Judy. They have five children and three grandchildren.[31]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Dan + Benishek + Michigan + House

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

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External links


  1. Washington Post "House Democrats Face Long Odds in 2014," December 7, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "Dan Benishek" Accessed December 11, 2011
  3. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  4. U.S. Congress House Clerk "House of Representatives Committee Assignments" Accessed December 11, 2011
  5. Mitt Romney for President, "Mitt Romney Announces Support of Michigan Congressman Dan Benishek," January 20, 2012
  6. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  7. Benishek's Official Campaign Website, Issues (Accessed: October 5, 2012)
  8. Benishek's Official Campaign Website, Issues:Budget and Spending (Accessed: October 5, 2012)
  9. Benishek's Official Campaign Website, Issues:Healthcare (Accessed: October 5, 2012)
  10. Benishek's Official Campaign Website, Issues: Economy/Jobs (Accessed: October 5, 2012)
  11. Benishek's Official Campaign Website, Issues: Taking on Washington (Accessed: October 5, 2012)
  12. Benishek's Official Campaign Website, Issues: Life (Accessed: October 5, 2012)
  13. Benishek's Official Campaign Website, Issues: 2nd Amendment (Accessed: October 5, 2012)
  14. Washington Post "House Democrats Face Long Odds in 2014," December 7, 2012
  15. Politico "2012 Election Map, Michigan"
  16. Associated Press primary results
  17. Benishek's Campaign Website, News (Accessed: October 5, 2012)
  18. http://www.freep.com/article/20120118/NEWS15/120118041/Red-to-blue-Democrats-target-one-Michigan-soon-to-be-district "Red to blue? Democrats target one Michigan soon-to-be district" January 18, 2012]
  19. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  20. 'Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Dan Benishek," Accessed May 16, 2013
  21. Open Secrets " 2012 Re-Election Cycle," Accessed February 15, 2013
  22. Open Secrets "Dan Benishek 2010 Re-Election Cycle," Accessed December 3, 2011
  23. Gov Track "Dan Benishek," Accessed June 7 2013
  24. GovTrack, "Dan Benishek" Accessed April 2013
  25. LegiStorm "Dan Benishek"
  26. OpenSecrets.org, "Benishek, (R-Michigan), 2011"
  27. OpenSecrets.org, "Benishek, (R-Michigan), 2010"
  28. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  29. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  30. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  31. Official House Site "Biography," Accessed December 11, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Bart Stupak
U.S. House of Representatives - Michigan District 1
Succeeded by