Joe Walsh (Illinois)

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Joe Walsh
Joe Walsh.jpg
U.S. House, Illinois, District 8
Former member
In office
January 3, 2011-January 3, 2013
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Term limitsN/A
High schoolBarrington High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Iowa
Master'sUniversity of Chicago
Date of birthDecember 27, 1961
Place of birthNorth Barrington, Illinois
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Campaign website
Joe Walsh campaign logo

William Joseph "Joe" Walsh (b. December 27, 1961) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Walsh was elected by voters from Illinois' 8th congressional district. Walsh ran unopposed in the Republican primary on March 20, 2012.[1] He was defeated by Tammy Duckworth (D) in the general election on November 6, 2012.

According to a March 2012 article in Roll Call, Walsh is one of the top 10 most vulnerable incumbents.[2]

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Walsh is a "rank-and-file Republican".[3]


The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors

Walsh was born and raised in the 8th district, growing up in a family of 9 children.[4] He has a BA in English from the University of Iowa and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. He has taught American government and American history at the community college level for a number of years, at Oakton Community College and the Hebrew Theological College.[4]


Committee assignments

U.S. House of Representatives


Walsh served on the following committees:[5]

  • Homeland Security Committee
    • Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence
    • Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications
    • Subcommittee on Transportation Security Vice Chair
  • Oversight and Government Reform Committee
    • Subcommittee on Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives
    • Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs
  • Small Business Committee
    • Subcommittee on Healthcare and Technology
    • Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Chair
    • Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations


Campaign themes

According to Walsh's website, his campaign themes included:

  • Economy: "If we want our economy to grow and produce jobs again, we must rely on a vibrant private sector to pull us out of the recession."
  • Healthcare: "What America needs instead is more health care choice through reform not overhaul."
  • Immigration: "It is the responsibility of our government to foster, manage and maintain a secure – and fair – immigration process."[6]

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" Walsh 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 one of 151 Republicans that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[7]



See also: Illinois' 8th congressional district elections, 2012

Walsh lost to newcomer Tammy Duckworth.[8] Walsh was running in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Illinois' 8th District. Walsh sought the nomination on the Republican ticket.[9] The signature filing deadline was December 27, 2011, with the primary taking place on March 20, 2012.

Walsh ran unopposed in the Republican primary on March 20, 2012. Tammy Duckworth defeated candidate Raja Krishnamoorthi in the Democratic primary.[1] Walsh was defeated by Duckworth in the general election on November 6, 2012.

An October 2012 article in The Daily named Walsh one of the 20 worst candidates in 2012.[10] He was criticized for comments he made about Duckworth during the campaign, including diminishing her military record. After referring to John McCain as a "noble hero" for not often talking about his service record, he said of Duckworth, “Now I’m running against a woman who, my God, that’s all she talks about.”[11]

U.S. House, Illinois District 8 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTammy Duckworth 54.7% 123,206
     Republican Joe Walsh Incumbent 45.3% 101,860
     Independent Robert Gregory Canfield 0% 0
Total Votes 225,066
Source: Illinois Board of Elections "2012 General Election Official Vote Totals"


On November 2, 2010, Walsh won election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Melissa L. Bean (D) and Bill Scheurer (Green) in the general election.[12]

U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois' 8th Congressional District, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Walsh 48.5% 98,115
     Democratic Melissa L. Bean 48.3% 97,825
     Green Bill Scheurer 3.2% 6,495
Total Votes 202,435


8th Congressional District Race
Poll Tammy Duckworth Joe WalshUndecidedSample Size
"2012 District 8 Poll" September 18-20
"Illinois 8th Congressional District Poll" October 25-26
AVERAGES 53% 39% 7.5% 504
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

Campaign donors


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

Walsh lost election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Walsh's campaign committee raised a total of $2,011,080 and spent $1,995,015.[13]

On October 15, 2012, quarterly reports were submitted by campaigns to the Federal Election Commission. The political blog Daily Kos did an analysis of the fundraising figures and found Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth outraised Republican incumbent Joe Walsh in the third quarter. Duckworth raised $1,508,000 and has $763,000 cash-on-hand to Walsh's $254,000 in fundraising and $592,000 cash-on-hand.[14]


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

Walsh won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that election cycle, Walsh's campaign committee raised a total of $624,694 and spent $602,803.[15]


Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Walsh paid his congressional staff a total of $637,362 in 2011. He ranked 5th on the list of the lowest paid Republican Representative Staff Salaries and he ranked 7th overall of the lowest paid Representative Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Illinois ranked 46th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[16]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Walsh's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $3,004 and $46,000. That averages to $24,502, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Representatives in 2010 of $7,561,133.[17]

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. Walsh ranked 162nd in the conservative rankings.[18]

Voting with party


Joe Walsh voted with the Republican Party 87 of the time, which ranked 217 among the 242 House Republican members as of November 2011.[19]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Joe + Walsh + Illinois + House

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Walsh and his wife, Helene, have five children.[4]

External links


Political offices
Preceded by
Melissa Bean
U.S. House of Representatives - Illinois, District 8
Succeeded by
Tammy Duckworth (D)