|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Michigan's 3rd district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2023
|Preceded by||Peter Meijer|
|Born||February 22, 1982|
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Hillary Jeanne Scholten (born February 22, 1982) is an American attorney and politician serving as the U.S. representative from Michigan's 3rd congressional district since 2023. She is a member of the Democratic Party.
Scholten grew up in Hudsonville, Michigan. Her mother, Judi, was a principal and teacher in several Grand Rapids area schools and her father, Scott, was a sports journalist for The Grand Rapids Press. Scholten attended Unity Christian High School, and graduated from Gordon College and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
Scholten was a judicial law clerk and attorney adviser for the Board of Immigration Appeals from 2013 to 2017. When the Obama administration ended, she moved back to Grand Rapids and became a staff attorney for the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center.
In July 2019, Scholten announced her candidacy for the United States House of Representatives in Michigan's 3rd congressional district in the 2020 elections. She was unopposed in the Democratic Party primary. She lost the general election to Republican nominee Peter Meijer, but came the closest a Democrat had come to winning the district since 1982, when incumbent Republican Harold S. Sawyer was held to 51% in what was then the 5th district. It was also only the second time since 1982 that a Democrat had received 40% of the vote; the Democratic nominee received 43% two years earlier.
Scholten ran again in the 2022 elections. She was again unopposed in the Democratic primary. She was initially priming for a rematch against Meijer, but Meijer lost the Republican primary to a considerably more conservative challenger, former Trump administration official John Gibbs.
Scholten was running in a district that had been made much friendlier to Democrats in redistricting; it had been pushed to the west to grab a large portion of the Lake Michigan shoreline, including Muskegon. Had it existed in 2020, Joe Biden would have won it with 53% of the vote; Donald Trump carried the old 3rd with 51%. Scholten (54.9%) defeated Gibbs (42%) to win election to the 118th United States Congress. She is only the second Democrat to represent Grand Rapids in Congress since 1913. The only other time it not out of Democratic hands in that time was when Richard Vander Veen won a special election to succeed Gerald Ford in what was then the 5th District in 1974; he won a full term later that year but was defeated in 1976.
Scholten supports abortion rights. In a speech opposing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, she cited Jeremiah 1:5, which states, "I knew you before I formed you and placed you in your mother's womb", a verse commonly cited by Christians "to make theological or scriptural arguments in favor of legal protections for preborn children".
Scholten voted against H.Con.Res. 21 which directed President Joe Biden to remove U.S. troops from Syria within 180 days.
Scholten's husband, Jesse Holcomb, is a journalism professor at Calvin University. They have two sons. Scholten is a member of LaGrave Christian Reformed Church.