William P. Huizenga (born January 31, 1969) is the member of Congress for Michigan's 2nd congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party. He previously served in the Michigan House of Representatives.
Early life, education, and career
Huizenga is the current co-owner and operator of Huizenga Gravel Company, a third generation business located in Jenison, Michigan. He has been affiliated with it for most of his life.
In the early 1990s, Huizenga obtained his Michigan Real Estate sales license, and he quickly became one of the most successful realtors in southwest Michigan. He left real estate in 1996 when he was recruited by U.S.
Congressman Peter Hoekstra to be his Director of Public Policy. For six years, from 1996 through 2002, Huizenga traveled up and down western Michigan becoming familiar with the various towns and cities, and eventually decided to run for political office.
Starting with his first election in 2002, Huizenga represented the 90th district for three terms, by winning re-election in 2004 and 2006. After the 2006 election he was term limited. The district is located in Ottawa County and includes the cities of Holland, Zeeland, Hudonsville, and the four townships of Blendon Township, Jamestown Township, Holland Township, and Zeeland Township.
Bill Huizenga voted for the initial version of the Michigan Business Tax, but opposed the MBT when an additional 22% surcharge and a sales and services tax were tacked on later in the process. This has already been the subject of debate in the 2nd district race.
When it came time to spend these tax hikes, Huizenga approved spending increases of more than $442 million above the previous year's allocation. For comparison: A half-dozen GOP lawmakers kept their spending increases well under $100 million for that year, despite the projected large influx of new revenue following the tax increase.
Huizenga voted to allow Kent County to enact a 2% hotel tax, while a majority of other Republicans in the House voted against granting such permission. Huizenga voted in favor of creating Michigan's now-embattled film producer subsidy program. In addition, Huizenga was a strong supporter and sponsor of the legislation to create this policy and remains a supporter of the subsidy.
Huizenga voted against the majority of his party when he supported a 59.9 percent general fund spending hike to support a worker retraining program known as No Worker Left Behind. The program has thus far had sketchy results according to the libertarian think tank, the Mackinac Institute.
The program's government website touts its successes, pointing out that 59% of core participants found a new job, whereas the national average was 21% during the same period.
U.S. House of Representatives
Huizenga is the U.S. Representative for Michigan's 2nd congressional district, defeating Democratic nominee Fred Johnson in the general election. 64% of the ballots were cast for Huizenga, and 32% were cast for Johnson. The district is rated "Solid Republican" by The New York Times, and simply marked as an "Open Seat" according to The Washington Post, though it hasn't elected a Democrat since 1964.
After serving 18 years, Republican incumbent Peter Hoekstra retired to run for Governor.
Huizenga defeated Jay Riemersma, State Senator Wayne Kuipers, Businessman Bill Cooper, and three others in the party primary election on August 3, 2010.
Political positions and votes
Huizenga has served as his church's representative to Michigan Right to Life for the last 9 years. Huizenga has been endorsed for the 2010 general election by a number of groups including the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, The NRA, NFIB, Right to Life, FRC, The National Association of Realtors, The Young Guns Vanguard and the Michigan Farm Bureau.
Huizenga and his wife have five children, Garrett, Adrian, Alexandra, William, and Sieger. All live in Zeeland.
Huizenga was the recipient of the West Michigan chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2000 Advocate of the Year Award, the Michigan Manufacturers Association 2003 Advocate of the Year award, the Michigan Manufacturers Association 2005 Legislator of the Year Award, the Michigan Hotel and Motel Association 2007 Tourism Legislator of the Year award, the DADS and MOMS of Michigan 2007 Legislator of the Year Award, and the Michigan Aggregates Association 2007 Legislator of the Year Award. In 2007, he was the only political leader chosen by the Holland Sentinel newspaper for their "40 under 40″ feature.
November 26th, 2011