Hillary Scholten
Scholten in 2023
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byPeter Meijer
Personal details
Hillary Jeanne Scholten

(1982-02-22) February 22, 1982 (age 42)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseJesse Holcomb
WebsiteHouse website

Hillary Jeanne Scholten (/ˈskltən/ SKOHL-tən; born February 22, 1982)[1][2] is an American attorney and politician serving as the U.S. representative from Michigan's 3rd congressional district since 2023. The district, which was once represented by late President Gerald Ford, is based in Grand Rapids and includes much of the urban core of West Michigan. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life and career

Scholten grew up in Hudsonville, Michigan. She attended Unity Christian High School and graduated from Gordon College and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.[3]

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.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives



See also: 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in Michigan § District 3

In July 2019, Scholten announced her candidacy for the United States House of Representatives in Michigan's 3rd congressional district in the 2020 elections.[3] She was unopposed in the Democratic Party primary.[5] She lost the general election to Republican nominee Peter Meijer,[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]


See also: 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in Michigan § District 3

Scholten ran again in the 2022 elections.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11] Had it existed in 2020, Joe Biden would have won it with 53% of the vote;[12] Donald Trump carried the old 3rd with 51%.[13] Scholten (54.9%) defeated Gibbs (42%) to win election to the 118th United States Congress.[14] She is only the second Democrat to represent Grand Rapids in Congress since 1913.[citation needed] The only other time it was out of Republican hands in that time was when Richard Vander Veen won a special election to succeed Ford in what was then the 5th District in 1974; he won a full term later that year but was defeated in 1976. She is also the first Democrat to represent a West Michigan-based district since Howard Wolpe, who represented a Kalamazoo-based district, left office in 1993.[citation needed] As a measure of how Republican this area has been, Scholten is the only elected Democrat above the county level in much of the district. In some portions, she is the only elected Democrat above the municipal or township level.[citation needed]

Caucus memberships


Committee assignments

Political positions

Scholten supports abortion rights.[18] 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".[19][20]

Scholten voted against H.Con.Res. 21 which directed President Joe Biden to remove U.S. troops from Syria within 180 days.[21][22]

Personal life

Scholten's husband, Jesse Holcomb, is a journalism professor at Calvin University. They have two sons.[3] Scholten is a member of LaGrave Christian Reformed Church.[23]


  1. ^ "Candidate Conversation: Hillary Scholten (D)". Inside Elections.
  2. ^ McVicar, Brian (October 2, 2020). "Democrat Hillary Scholten Raises $1.5M in Race to Replace Congressman Amash, Tops GOP Rival Meijer". MLive. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Nann Burke, Melissa (July 8, 2019). "Democrat Scholten joins race for Amash's seat in U.S. House". The Detroit News. Detroitnews.com. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  4. ^ "Immigration attorney jumps into Democratic primary for 3rd Congressional District". mlive. July 8, 2019. Retrieved June 16, 2022.
  5. ^ Rod, Marc (August 3, 2020). "The race to succeed Rep. Justin Amash heats up". Jewish Insider.
  6. ^ Boucher, Dave. "Peter Meijer defeats Hillary Scholten in west Michigan congressional race". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 16, 2022.
  7. ^ "MI District 5 Race – Nov 02, 1982". Our Campaigns.
  8. ^ "Our Campaigns – MI District 03 Race – Nov 06, 2018".
  9. ^ "Hillary Scholten jumping into Democratic primary to replace Rep. Peter Meijer in Congress". mlive. February 1, 2022. Retrieved June 16, 2022.
  10. ^ "Peter Meijer concedes to John Gibbs in Republican primary for 3rd Congressional District race". Michigan Radio. August 3, 2022.
  11. ^ Nisa Khan; Emma Ruberg (February 14, 2022). "The changes to Michigan's congressional map, district by district". Michigan Radio.
  12. ^ Nir, David (November 14, 2022). "Daily Kos presidential results by congressional district". Daily Kos.
  13. ^ Nir, David (November 19, 2020). "Presidential election results by congressional district". Daily Kos.
  14. ^ "Scholten defeats Gibbs for Grand Rapids Congress seat". Freep.com. November 9, 2022. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  15. ^ "Committees and Caucuses". Representative Hillary Scholten. January 3, 2023. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  16. ^ "Endorsed Candidates". NewDem Action Fund. Retrieved December 3, 2022.
  17. ^ a b "Congresswoman Hillary Scholten Appointed to the Transportation and Infrastructure and Small Business Committees". Representative Hillary Scholten. January 31, 2023. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  18. ^ McVicar, Brian; Frick, Melissa (November 9, 2022). "Hillary Scholten defeats Trump-backed John Gibbs for West Michigan congressional seat". mlive. Retrieved April 4, 2023.
  19. ^ Kamman, Samantha; Reporter, Christian Post (January 13, 2023). "Democrat cites Jeremiah 1:5 to defend abortion: 'It doesn't say the government's womb'". The Christian Post. Retrieved April 4, 2023.
  20. ^ Saksa, Jim (September 14, 2023). "For Hillary Scholten, faith (and Jerry Ford) led the way to Congress - Roll Call". rollcall.com. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  21. ^ "H.Con.Res. 21: Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of … -- House Vote #136 -- Mar 8, 2023".
  22. ^ "House Votes Down Bill Directing Removal of Troops From Syria". US News & World Report. March 8, 2023. Retrieved April 4, 2023.
  23. ^ Rani, Rikha Sharma (August 3, 2020). "Could These Evangelical Democrats Change the Party?". POLITICO. Retrieved December 6, 2022.