|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 6th district
April 3, 1979 – January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Bill Steiger|
|Succeeded by||Glenn Grothman|
|Member of the Wisconsin Senate
from the 2nd district
January 1973 – January 1979
|Preceded by||Myron Lotto|
|Succeeded by||Don Hanaway|
May 28, 1940 |
Marinette, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
Early life, education, and early career
Born in Marinette, Wisconsin of German and Norwegian ancestry, he graduated from Goodrich High School in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Petri then attended Harvard University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees. He served as a volunteer with the Peace Corps.
Early political career
1974 U.S. Senate election
Petri ran for the U.S. Senate in 1974. He won the Republican primary with 85% of the vote. In the general election, incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson defeated Petri 62%–36%. Petri only won five counties in the state. In 1977–78, Petri made a run for governor for Wisconsin, but lost his party's convention nomination to Bob Kasten in 1978. Kasten lost the Republican primary to Lee Sherman Dreyfus, who won the general election over incumbent Marty Schreiber.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 1979, he won a special election to finish the term of the late U.S. Congressman William A. Steiger, who had died shortly after being re-elected in 1978. He won the seat in his own right in 1980 and has been reelected 16 times. He has only won re-election with less than 64% once, in 1992. That year, he defeated State Representative Peg Lautenschlager 53% to 47%. He won ten of the district's thirteen counties. He lost Manitowoc, Brown, and Outagamie counties. He has run unopposed in 1990, 1994, 2002, and 2006. He faced no major-party opposition in 1986 and 1998. In April 2014, Petri announced he would not seek re-election in November 2014.
Petri was a member of The Republican Main Street Partnership and supports stem-cell research, although he generally opposes abortion. Although he also has called for a moratorium on the death penalty, he has voted against other restrictions on it. Petri was a member of the moderate  Republican conference, The Tuesday Group, and received a $10,000 contribution from The Tuesday Group in 2008  as well as a $5,000 contribution in the 2012 cycle.
On transportation issues, Petri was the author and sponsor of three surface transportation laws. He supported the laws that eliminated the 55-miles-per-hour speed limit and got rid of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Petri's three largest contributors in the 2012 campaign cycle were labor unions, and Petri has often voted with labor unions on closely contested issues. Petri has repeatedly voted for Project Labor Agreements (PLAs), and twice cast a deciding vote to allow the use of PLAs in government contracts. Petri also voted to permit the use of taxpayer funds to comply with the Davis-Bacon Act, voted to use federal funds for collective bargaining by the Transportation Security Administration, and voted in favor of $233 million in taxpayer funding for the National Labor Relations Board.
In 1994, Petri introduced H.R. 4469, titled "The Multicare Act of 1994", which would have greatly expanded the government's role in healthcare. This bill would have established federally funded government-run health insurance programs, and would have authorized states to require an individual to purchase insurance from one of these government-run insurance plans. Petri continued to push for the passage of Multicare until 2004.
On November 2, 2005, Petri voted against the Online Freedom of Speech Act.
On January 18, 2007 Petri voted in favor of HR 6, which made it more difficult to obtain a lease to drill for oil domestically.
On August 1, 2011, Petri voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011 which raised the nation's debt limit and included the creation of the "super committee" that was empowered to produce legislation that would be immune from amendments or filibuster.
In 2011, Petri sponsored an amendment to allow Michigan based Badger Ferry to dump more than 500 tons of coal ash a year into Lake Michigan. He received $14,751 in campaign donations from executives of Lake Michigan Carferry, the owner of Badger Ferry.
In 2012, Petri introduced H.R. 4148, titled "Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway National Heritage Area Act of 2012", which would place 1,444 square miles of land in Wisconsin under the control of the federal government.
Petri was honored by U.S. English, Inc. in May 2008 for his votes and co-sponsorships of official English legislation in the 110th Congress. Petri had previously sponsored legislation declaring English as an official language in 1999.
Petri has pushed for additional federal spending for Oshkosh Corporation while he bought stock in the company. The third-most-senior Republican representative is under additional ethics violations scrutiny by the Office of Congressional Ethics in regard to another Wisconsin-based business, the Manitowoc Company, in which he owns a sizable financial interest.
Committee assignments in final term
- Committee on Education and Labor
- Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- Caucus Membership
- Congressional Arts Caucus
|Year||Republican||Votes||%||Democratic||Votes||%||Third Party||Party||Votes||%||Third Party||Party||Votes||%|
|1979||Tom Petri||71,715||50%||Gary R. Goyke||70,492||50%|
|1980||Tom Petri||129,574||57%||Gary R. Goyke||98,628||43%|
|1982||Tom Petri||111,348||65%||Gordon Loeher||59,922||35%|
|1984||Tom Petri||170,271||76%||David Iaquinta||54,266||24%|
|1986||Tom Petri||124,328||97%||No candidate||John Daggett||Independent||4,268||3%|
|1988||Tom Petri||165,923||74%||Joseph Garrett||57,552||26%|
|1990||Tom Petri||111,036||100%||No candidate|
|1992||Tom Petri||143,875||53%||Peggy Lautenschlager||128,232||47%|
|1994||Tom Petri||119,384||99%||No candidate||Scattering||603||1%|
|1996||Tom Petri||169,213||73%||Floyd Brenholt||55,377||24%||James Dean||Libertarian||4,494||2%||Timothy Farness||U.S. Taxpayers||2,532||1%|
|1998||Tom Petri||144,144||93%||No candidate||Timothy Farness||U.S. Taxpayers||11,267||7%|
|2000||Tom Petri||179,205||65%||Dan Flaherty||96,125||35%|
|2002||Tom Petri||169,834||99%||No candidate||Scattering||1,327||1%|
|2004||Tom Petri||238,620||67%||Jef Hall||107,209||30%||Carol Rittenhouse||Green||10,018||3%|
|2006||Tom Petri||201,367||99%||No candidate||Scattering||2,190||1%|
|2008||Tom Petri||221,875||64%||Roger Kittelson||126,090||36%|
|2010||Tom Petri||183,271||71%||Joe Kallas||75,926||29%|
|2012||Tom Petri||223,460||62%||Joe Kallas||135,921||38%|
- "tom petri". Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- "Wisconsin History". Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1979-1980, Biographical Sketch of Thomas Petri, pg. 15
- "Our Campaigns – WI US Senate- R Primary Race – Sep 10, 1974". Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- "Our Campaigns – WI US Senate Race – Nov 05, 1974". Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1975,' pg. 779, 815
- "Our Campaigns – WI District 6 Race – Nov 03, 1992". Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- 'U.S. Rep. Tom Petri won't seek re-election,' Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, Jason Stein, Patrick Marley, Don Walker, April 11, 2014
- "Tom Petri on the Issues". OnTheIssues.org. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
- "The Tuesday Group Still Lives". National Review Online. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
- Tuesday Group PAC Expenditures OpenSecrets.org. Accessed January 20, 2012
- Top 20 Contributors – Representative Tom Petri 2011 – 2012 OpenSecrets.org. Accessed January 17, 2012
- Martin, Aaron (15 April 2014). "Petri won’t seek re-election". The Ripon Advance. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
- FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 396 House Clerk. June 3, 2011. Accessed January 14, 2012
- FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 126 House Clerk. February 19, 2011. Accessed January 14, 2012
- FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 413 House Clerk. June 13, 2011. Accessed January 14, 2012
- Red State: Dozens of Republicans Vote for Handouts to Big Labor June 14, 2011. Accessed January 14, 2012
- FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 395 House Clerk. June 2, 2011. Accessed January 17, 2012
- FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 403 House Clerk. June 2, 2011. Accessed January 17, 2012
- FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 75 House Clerk. February 17, 2011. Accessed January 17, 2012
- H.R. 4469 (103rd): Multicare Act of 1994 GovTrack.us. Accessed June 24, 2012
- "Tom Petri for Congress – Legislative Issues". Archived from the original on 7 June 2004. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 65 House Clerk. March 10, 2005. Accessed January 14, 2012
- FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 122 House Clerk. April 20, 2005. Accessed January 14, 2012
- FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 559 House Clerk. November 2, 2005. Accessed January 14, 2012
- FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 40 House Clerk. January 18, 2007. Accessed June 27, 2012
- FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 690 House Clerk. August 1, 2011. Accessed April 5, 2012
- Groups oppose Badger ferry's effort for pollution exemption Bergquest, Lee. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel November 8, 2011. Accessed January 20, 2012
- Individuals Who Gave To: PETRI, THOMAS – Whose Last Name Begins With 'A-E' FEC.gov. Accessed January 20, 2012
- Individuals Who Gave To: PETRI, THOMAS – Whose Last Name Begins With 'K-O' FEC.gov. Accessed January 20, 2012
- H.R. 4148: Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway National Heritage Area Act of 2012 GovTrack.us. Accessed June 24, 2012
- "U.S. Representative Tom Petri Endorses Governor Mitt Romney" (Press release). Mitt Romney Campaign. 2007-08-27. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
- "Rep. Tom Petri recognized for dedication to English language". Fond Du Lac Reporter. 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2008-07-05.[dead link]
- Mathews, Charlie (2005-02-07). "Tom Petri Touted his Direct Loan Reward Act". Herald Times. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
- "Petri receives education honor". 2007-03-13.
- SLACK, DONOVAN (8 February 2014). "Lawmaker Holds Stock in Defense Contractor He Champions". www.defensenews.com. Gannett Government Media. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- House, Billy (September 30, 2014). "Ethics Committee will Continue investigation of Tom Petri" National Journal. Retrieved November 25, 2014. http://www.nationaljournal.com/congress/ethics-committee-will-continue-investigation-of-tom-petri-20140930
- "Office of the House Clerk – Electoral Statistics". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.
- "Election Results". Federal Election Commission.
- "Wisconsin U.S. House elections 1848-2008" (PDF). University of Minnesota.
- "2012 PRESIDENTIAL AND GENERAL ELECTION" (PDF). Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- Tom Petri at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Tom Petri at DMOZ
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 6th congressional district