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Sean Duffy

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Title: Sean Duffy  
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Collection: 1971 Births, American People of English Descent, American People of German Descent, American People of Irish Descent, American People of Norwegian Descent, American Prosecutors, American Television Personalities, District Attorneys, Living People, Members of the United States House of Representatives from Wisconsin, Participants in American Reality Television Series, People from Ashland County, Wisconsin, People from Sawyer County, Wisconsin, Republican Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Alumni, The Real World Cast Members, William Mitchell College of Law Alumni, Wisconsin Lawyers, Wisconsin Republicans
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Sean Duffy

Sean Duffy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 7th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Dave Obey
Ashland County District Attorney
In office
August 1, 2002 – July 9, 2010
Governor Scott McCallum
Jim Doyle
Preceded by Michael Gableman
Succeeded by Kelly McKnight
Personal details
Born Sean Patrick Duffy
(1971-10-03) October 3, 1971
Hayward, Wisconsin
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Rachel Campos-Duffy (married 1999; 7 children)
Residence Weston, Wisconsin
Alma mater St. Mary's University
William Mitchell College of Law
Profession Prosecutor
Religion Roman Catholic[1]

Sean Patrick Duffy (born October 3, 1971) is an American politician, prosecutor, former sports commentator and reality television personality. He first entered public life as a cast member on The Real World: Boston and 2002's Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, before going on to serve as district attorney of Ashland County, Wisconsin and the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 7th congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party.


  • Early life 1
  • Television career 2
  • Political career 3
    • 2002–2008 3.1
    • U.S. House of Representatives 3.2
      • Elections 3.2.1
      • Tenure 3.2.2
      • Legislation sponsored 3.2.3
      • Committee assignments 3.2.4
  • Electoral history 4
  • Personal life 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Sean Patrick Duffy was born in Hayward, Wisconsin,[2][3][4] on October 3, 1971, the tenth of 11 children of Carol Ann (née Yackel) and Thomas Walter Duffy. He is of Irish, English, German, and Norwegian descent.[5] Duffy has a marketing degree from St. Mary's University, and a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law.[6]

Duffy started log rolling at age five and speed climbing (sprinting up 60 and 90 foot poles) at 13. He holds two speed-climbing titles.[7]

Television career

Duffy has been an ESPN color commentator for televised competitions and in 2003 appeared as both a competitor and commentator on ESPN's Great Outdoor Games. He was named Badger State Games Honorary Athlete of the 2004 Winter Games.[6]

In 1997, Duffy appeared on The Real World: Boston, the sixth season of the MTV reality television show, and on Road Rules: All Stars in 1998, where he met his future wife Rachel. Duffy later appeared on Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, which aired in 2002. Both appeared in a filmed segment on 2008's The Real World Awards Bash, while Duffy served as district attorney.[8]

Political career


Duffy, a Republican,[9] was appointed to the district attorney's post in 2002[10] by then Governor Scott McCallum, and was elected unopposed in 2002,[10] 2004,[11] 2006[12] and 2008. Upon assuming the office of district attorney, he succeeded Michael Gableman, a current justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Duffy was on the Republican slate of the 10 Wisconsin electors for the 2008 Presidential Election.[13]

U.S. House of Representatives



On July 8, 2009, Duffy announced his campaign for Congress in Wisconsin's seventh congressional district. Duffy was considered an underdog in the race until May 2010 when 15-term incumbent Democrat Representative Dave Obey announced that he would not seek re-election.[14] Following Obey's announcement, Democratic State Senator Julie Lassa joined the race.

On June 4, 2010, Duffy announced his resignation from the position of District Attorney of Ashland County to focus on the congressional race. The resignation was effective three weeks later and Duffy returned to work in his father's law practice.[15]

He won the race on November 2, 2010, in a nationwide wave of Republicans being elected to Congress.[16] Different sources attribute his victory to his ten-month head start on Lassa's campaign, his grassroots organization and fundraising, his experience as a district attorney, and voter discontent with the economy.[17]


Duffy was challenged by Democratic nominee Pat Kreitlow.


Duffy was challenged by Democratic nominee Kelly Westlund.


Duffy voted to eliminate Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage requirements for federal projects.[18][19][20] The first piece of legislation he sponsored was the RESET Act, which called for using unspent money in Obama's economic stimulus plan to pay down the debt. The idea was later incorporated into a spending bill. He also introduced a resolution to ban earmarks. One of his sponsored legislation, to reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, passed the U.S. House but hasn't passed the U.S. Senate.[20] The bill created a bipartisan commission made up of five members of Congress to replace the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director. The bill also gave the committee more room to get rid of polices that Duffy believes jeopardize the safety of the US banking system.[21]

In March 2011, Duffy was criticized when a video published by the Polk County Republicans, showing a public town hall-style meeting in his district, was picked up by media commentators. In the video, made in the wake of the passage of a controversial state bill which would have effectively frozen the salaries of state employees, Duffy was asked about whether he would be willing to cut his own $174,000 salary. Duffy responded that he would only be willing to do so as part of a general round of salary cuts for government employees, and insisted that he was "struggling" to get by, despite his salary being nearly three times the average for Wisconsin residents. [22][23][24][25]

On December 22, 2011, Duffy and fellow GOP House freshman Rick Crawford (Arkansas), published an open letter to Speaker Boehner, urging the leader to allow the House to vote on the Senate's 2-month tax cut extension compromise.[26]

In 2013, Duffy and Democrat House member Michael Michaud (Maine) introduced a resolution calling for government action to ensure that people be provided with paper-based information along with electronic.[27]

In October 2015, Duffy was named to serve on the Select Investigative Panel on Planned Parenthood.[28]

Legislation sponsored

Duffy introduced the Small Cap Liquidity Reform Act of 2013 (H.R. 3448; 113th Congress) on November 12, 2013.[29] The bill is intended to increase the liquidity on the stock market of stocks belonging to emerging growth companies.[30] It would allow small companies to choose a tick size of $0.05 or $0.10 instead of the standard $0.01.[30][31] To participate, companies would need to have stock prices of over $1.00 and revenues of less than $750 million.[32]

Duffy introduced the Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R. 3193; 113th Congress) on September 26, 2013.[33] It is a bill that would restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by transforming it into a five-person commission and removing it from the Federal Reserve System.[34] The CFPB would be renamed the "Financial Product Safety Commission." This bill is also intended to make overturning the decisions about regulations that the new commission makes easier to do.[34]

Committee assignments

Duffy serves on the Committee on Financial Services, in particular the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit and the Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity.[35]

Electoral history

  • 2014 Race for U.S. House of Representatives – 7th District
    • Sean Duffy (R), 60%
    • Kelly Westlund (D), 39%
  • 2012 Race for U.S. House of Representatives – 7th District
    • Sean Duffy (R), 56%
    • Pat Kreitlow (D), 44%
  • 2010 Race for U.S. House of Representatives – 7th District
    • Sean Duffy (R), 52%
    • Julie Lassa (D), 44%
  • 2008 Race for District Attorney of Ashland County, Wisconsin
    • Sean Duffy (R) (inc.)
    • unopposed
  • 2006 Race for District Attorney of Ashland County, Wisconsin
    • Sean Duffy (R) (inc.)
    • unopposed
  • 2004 Race for District Attorney of Ashland County, Wisconsin
    • Sean Duffy (R) (inc.)
    • unopposed
  • 2002 Race for District Attorney of Ashland County, Wisconsin
    • Sean Duffy (R) (inc.)
    • unopposed

Personal life

Duffy is married to Rachel Campos-Duffy, an alumna of The Real World: San Francisco.[36][37][38] They once lived in Ashland, Wisconsin.[39][40] They moved to Weston, Wisconsin in late 2011,[41] and in 2013 they moved to Wausau, Wisconsin so that Duffy could be closer to an airport for his weekly commute to Washington, D.C., where he spends three or four days a week.[42]

They have seven children: Evita Pilar, Xavier Jack, Lucia-Belen, John-Paul, Paloma Pilar, MariaVictoria Margarita, and Margarita Pilar.[43][44]


  1. ^ Sean Duffy at Who Runs Gov, The Washington Post, Accessed November 16, 2010.
  2. ^ "Rep. Sean Patrick Duffy". LegiStorm. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  3. ^ "Wisconsin: Sean Patrick Duffy". The Washington Times. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  4. ^ "Sean Duffy's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Accessed November 3, 2010
  5. ^ "Sean Duffy ancestry". Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Hayward Lumberjack Champion Sean Duffy Named Honorary Athlete | Sports in Wisconsin". 2007-07-17. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  7. ^ "Lumberjack World Championships, Hayward". Classic Wisconsin. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  8. ^ "The Real World Awards Bash (Extended Version)". MTV. accessed April 5, 2011.
  9. ^ "Real World: Washington – The Scorecard". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  10. ^ a b "Bloomer passes referendum on first try". 2003-02-19. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  11. ^ "Wisconsin State Elections Board Results of Fall General Election – 11/02/2004", December 1, 2004, accessed January 2, 2011.
  12. ^ "Wisconsin State Elections Board Results of Fall General Election – 11/07/2006", December 5, 2006, accessed January 2, 2011.
  13. ^ Marrero, Diana (2008-10-30). "Wisconsin slate of potential electors cut from all cloths". JSOnline. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  14. ^ "Sean Duffy running for congress". WAOW. 2009-07-08. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  15. ^ WLUK-TV, "Sean Duffy resigns as Ashland Co. DA", June 4, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2010
  16. ^ "Wisconsin's Duffy says he's ready to get to work". Chicago Tribune/Associated Press. November 3, 2010
  17. ^ "Strong campaign, voter discontent keys to Duffy victory". News Talk 550AM 99.9AM WSAU (AM). November 4, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2010
  18. ^ "Republican Representative Sean Duffy of Wisconsin". That's My Congress. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  19. ^ "Sean Duffy on Jobs". On The Issues. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  20. ^ a b Bivins, Larry (December 24, 2011). "Duffy ends 2011 with bill he promised at start". The Marshfield News-Herald.
  21. ^ "Congress to hear impact of regulations in Wausau". WSAU News/Takl 550AM 99.9FM. October 31, 2011
  22. ^ Stewart, Rebecca. "'Real World' congressman's money troubles", CNN, March 30, 2011
  23. ^ Gilbert, Craig. "House freshman Duffy tells constituents "he's not living high on the hog" on congressional pay", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 29, 2011
  24. ^ Downie, JAmes. "How to Prolong a Scandal, Wisconsin Edition", The New Republic, March 31, 2011
  25. ^ Bivins, Larry. "Dems mock Sean Duffy's $174,000 salary 'struggles'", Wausau Daily Herald, March 31, 2011
  26. ^ "Payroll tax cut: Two GOP frosh bail, push for two-month bill". Politico. December 22, 2001.
  27. ^ Rein, Lisa (February 16, 2013). "Group tries to slow federal government’s move away from paper to the Web". Washington Post.
  28. ^ Paul Kane (October 23, 2015). "Boehner’s next select committee, focusing on Planned Parenthood, to be led by Marsha Blackburn". Washington Post. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  29. ^ "H.R. 3448 – All Actions". United States Congress. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  30. ^ a b Cooley, Tracy (4 December 2013). "Emerging Company Policy Deconstructed: Small Cap Liquidity Reform Act (H.R. 3448)". Bio Tech Now. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  31. ^ "H.R. 3448 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  32. ^ Lebrecht, Brian (21 November 2013). "Want More Liquidity? Choose to Increase the Spread". ClydeSnow Securities Blog. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  33. ^ "H.R. 3193 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  34. ^ a b Kasperowicz, Pete (7 February 2014). "House to take another swing at Dodd-Frank reform". The Hill. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  35. ^ Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Official Homepage, accessed March 9, 2011.
  36. ^ "Sean Duffy for Congress". Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  37. ^ Sean Duffy (April 5, 2010). "Welcome MariaVictoria Duffy!". Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  38. ^ Campos-Duffy, Rachel. "I'm Expecting My 5th: What To Make Of The Trend In Bigger Families", Parent Dish, December 19, 2007
  39. ^ "Reality Couples: Rachel Campos". Latina. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  40. ^ "Cast and Crew". The Wedding Video. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  41. ^ Olivo, Rick (October 19, 2011). "Mr. Duffy moves to Weston".
  42. ^ Pabst, Georgia (May 11, 2003). "Rachel Campos-Duffy balances motherhood with activism". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  43. ^ "Rachel Campos-Duffy Welcomes Daughter MariaVictoria Margarita", People magazine; April 16, 2010 "Sean and Rachel Campos-Duffy welcome fifth child, daughter Paloma Pilar". People. May 20, 2008
  44. ^

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dave Obey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 7th congressional district

January 3, 2011 – present
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Scott DesJarlais
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jeff Duncan
R-South Carolina
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