David Obey was elected to the U.S. House during a special election in 1969 and has won re-election each time since.
He was re-elected in 1992 with 64 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Dale Vannes. He defeated Republican Scott West in 1994 with 54 percent. In 1996, he was re-elected with 57 percent of the vote, beating West again. Obey also defeated West in 1998, winning re-election with 61 percent of the vote.
In 2000, he was re-elected with 63 percent of the vote. Obey defeated Republican Joe Rothbauer of Bloomer with 64 percent of the vote in the 2002 general election.
Obey served in the Wisconsin Legislature, 1962-69.