Bryan Berghoef (D)

Background:

Bryan Berghoef is a member of the Democratic Party running for election to represent Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Berghoef is a West Michigan native, born in Grand Rapids and currently living in Holland. He grew up as a member of the Christian Reformed Church and earned a graduate degree from Calvin Theological Seminary in 2005. Berghoef is now a pastor, and founded Holland United Church of Christ in 2016.

On his campaign website, Berghoef says he identified as a conservative, Republican voter well into voting age and beyond. During the war in Iraq, Berghoef says he began to “wonder about the fusion of nationalism and violence and how that squared with his faith.” He sought out the views of others by founding a “Pub Theology group in Traverse City—a place for adherents of various religions or no religion, and of varying political persuasions to gather around the table for open and respectful dialogue.”

Berghoef says, “It was in conversation with Catholics and Baptists, Muslims and atheists, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, that I began to realize that a lot of the views I had toward people with such identities were rooted in stereotypes and misinformation. Here were humans with many of the same values and concerns that I had. I found that sitting at the same table allowed us to discover the common humanity in each other, and—despite some real differences—discover our shared values.”

Berghoef and his wife Christy have four children, and enjoy camping, hiking, swimming, playing disc golf and board games. For more information, check out his campaign website.

Endorsements:

LEAP Forward

Former Grand Rapids Mayor George K. Heartwell

UAW

Michigan AFL – CIO

Issues:

Health Care: “I believe that we must make quality, affordable health care available for all Americans. A society in which only some receive the care they need is not a moral or productive one, in the long-term.” Berghoef believes in affordable care for all, including care for mental and behavioral health. He believes in a system that allows choice between private and public plans. He also plans to fight for affordable prescription drugs by allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies and by buying drugs in bulk.

Infrastructure: “I will make it a priority to advocate for new and cost-effective federal-level investments in climate-smart infrastructure across our range of needs: water and wastewater infrastructure, transportation and mobility, energy, and communications infrastructure (including rural broadband).” Berghoef lists roads, water infrastructure and access to high-speed internet as some of the state’s biggest infrastructure issues, but does not detail any specific plan to fix these issues.

Voting Rights: “The federal government has a responsibility to prevent voter suppression and expand voting rights to give us all a voice in our democracy. If elected, I will work to end all types of voter suppression, expand voting access, and create a democracy where the rights of citizens no longer depend on the color of their skin, the community they live in, or for whom they want to vote.” Berghoef’s campaign website lists making Election Day a national holiday, automatic voter registration and same-day registration among his priorities.

Guns: “believe that individuals across our district, state, and country who operate guns with care and safety should be allowed to exercise the right to do so. But I also believe that too many innocent lives are being lost in this country.” Berghoef believes in passing ‘reasonable reforms’ to protect communities from gun violence. His plan to achieve this includes universal background checks, placing strict controls on devices that allow rifles to fire fully automatic or simulated automatic fire, such as bump stocks, and resuming federal funding for gun violence research.

Top Donors:

Hope College

Holland Hospital

Mecry Health

Spectrum Health

MITRE Corp.

*Donor information comes from opensecrets.org. Please note: The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations’ PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families.