Walter Clifford (Walt) Minnick
Founder and Partner, The Majority Group
Minnick is a congressional Democrat who served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Idaho's 1st congressional district. After earning both an MBA and a law degree from Harvard in the sixties, Minnick joined the US Army and did a tour of duty in Vietnam, after which he worked in the Nixon administration. He then went into business, most recently founding and running a chain of garden centers in Idaho. After taking office in 2009, Minnick–who says he really considers himself an independent–aligned himself with the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats. In January 2009, he was one of only eleven House Democrats to vote against President Obama's economic stimulus package, saying he would have rather seen it pared down to three areas: tax cuts, unemployment and infrastructure. Minnick was considered one of the most independent-minded Democrats in Congress, voting with his own party only 40 percent of the time. He said he wanted to show his new constituents a different style of representation -- one not marked by partisanship. In one of the most unusual House races in the country, underdog Republican Raul Labrador beat Minnick in the battle for his seat in 2010. In 2011 Minnick co-founded The Majority Group, lobbying firm that positions iself as "a bipartisan government affairs and strategic consulting firm designed to assist its clients achieve their strategic goals by giving them an inside perspective on the workings of the legislative and regulatory process." Minnick resides in Boise and is a gun-owning outdoorsman who ran the Boston marathon in 2008.