ENG: Charles Michael "Mike" Thompson (born January 24, 1951) is the U.S. Representative for California's 5th congressional district and cuurent Chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes Napa, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties as well as parts of Yolo and Sonoma Counties.
Early life, education and career
Thompson was born in St. Helena, California, the son of Beverly Ann (née Forni) and Charles Edward Thompson. His father had English ancestry and his mother was of mostly Italian and some Swiss descent.
He was educated at California State University, Chico, served in Vietnam with the United States Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade, was a vineyard owner and maintenance supervisor, taught Public Administration and State Government at San Francisco State University and California State University, Chico, and was a member of the California State Senate before entering the House.
Early political career
Thompson served as an aide to Democrat Jackie Speier (then a state Assemblywoman) before winning election to the California State Senate in 1990. He very narrowly unseated 4th district Republican incumbent Jim Nielsen after Nielsen's reputation took a hit following a series of ethical missteps; Thompson's margin of victory was less than 1 percent.
Following the 1992 general election, Democratic state Senator Barry Keene of the neighboring 2nd District resigned. Thompson, whose hometown of St. Helena had shifted from the 4th district and into the 2nd district after reapportionment, decided to run in the 1993 special election for Keene's seat. He narrowly beat Republican businesswoman Margie Handley but won easy reelection in 1994.
Thompson was approached by national Democrats about running for Congress in 1996 against freshman Republican Frank Riggs, but he declined, believing his senate seniority would be more beneficial to his district than would his being a freshman congressman.
In 1998, however, Thompson was due to be termed out of the state senate, and opted to run against Riggs after all. Thompson was sufficiently known and respected in the area that Riggs opted to retire, believing Thompson was unbeatable. Thompson won handily. He has been reelected six times with no substantive opposition, and has turned what was a swing district for most of the 1980s and 1990s into a fairly safe Democratic seat.
U.S. House of Representatives
Thompson is a Blue Dog Democrat and was previously a member of the New Democrat Coalition. He has been labeled as a "moderate Democratic leader". Thompson has voted with the Democratic party 91% of the time.
He is married to Janet Thompson and has two sons.
February 5, 2013