Fred Upton Frederick Stephen Upton, better known as Fred Upton, (born April 23, 1953), is a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan. He is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, serving the state's 6th Congressional District (map). The district is based in Kalamazoo and stretches along the Michigan-Indiana border in the southwestern part of the state.
Born in St. Joseph, Michigan, Upton earned a B.A. in Journalism in 1975 from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He served in the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan from 1981-85. A protege of OMB director and former congressman Dave Stockman, he ran in the 1986 Republican primary against Stockman's successor in what was then the 4th District, Mark D. Siljander. He won, and was handily elected in November. He has been reelected nine times. His district became the 6th District after reapportionment following the 1990 census caused Michigan to lose two seats.
Upton has never missed a vote in 19 years in Congress, a record which has earned him the nicknames "Ironman of the House" and "the Cal Ripken of Congress." A leading moderate Republican, he has earned a reputation as a leader and a dealmaker, helping to guide a powerful bloc of moderate congressmen in unison, playing influential roles in a number of tax relief and budget matters.
Despite his willingness to buck the right leaning House leadership (he harshly criticized Newt Gingrich for his failure to compromise with Bill Clinton in the 1995 budget crisis), his down to earth demeanor and frequent greeting of "call me Fred" when referred to as "Congressman" has earned him the respect and admiration of his fellow Representatives, staff, and members of the public affairs community. He claims to read every letter he receives from his constituents, and often calls them himself.
In the 109th Congress, Upton serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He is chairman of the Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, and also serves on the Health Subcommittee.
In 2002, he faced former State Senator Dale Shugars in a contested primary. Shugars ran well to Upton's right and harshly criticized Upton for supposedly being pro-choice on abortion as well as for supporting stem cell research and some forms of gun control. However, Upton easily defeated Shugars in the primary, effectively clinching a 9th term.
Upton is an enthusiastic Chicago Cubs and Michigan Wolverines fan.