Before running for Congress he worked as a teacher at a private school, and worked as a part time as an instructor at a community college.
Ferguson was Executive Director of the Catholic Campaign for America, whose board members include William Bennett, Tom Monaghan and Mary Ellen Bork (wife of Robert Bork). Other notable members of the Catholic Campaign for America include Rick Santorum and Pat Buchanan. He also served as the executive director of the Better Schools Foundation, which was founded by Lamar Alexander and whose purpose was to promote the use of school vouchers.
After the 2000 election, Tom Kean Jr. subsequently sued Mike Ferguson and the Council for Responsible Government (a 527 group headquartered in Virginia). The complaint alleged that Ferguson and the Council illegally coordinated their messaging. The complaint also alleged that the Council funded and distributed a brochure under the guise of a nonpartisan group while acting as a partisan advocacy group on behalf of Ferguson ().
In June 2003, after a three-year dispute with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Congressman Ferguson agreed to pay $210,000 for a loan that he made to his campaign during his first election of $525,000 from a trust established for the Congressman by his parents. The FEC claimed that this loan from the trust equated to a gift from his parents. According to Federal law, the cap on personal contributions from an individual to a candidate is capped at $25,000 per election cycle. The fine was one of the highest ever paid to the FEC. Ferguson maintained that he did nothing wrong.
Ferguson received the third most money of all recipients of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ARMPAC campaign contributions. DeLay is being prosecuted on charges of felony money laundering of campaign finances and conspiracy to launder money. To date, Ferguson has not offered to return any of the $54,403 he received from DeLay or ARMPAC, despite calls from Democrats to do so (, ).
In 2006, Mike Ferguson fought off a tight race with Democratic state legislator Linda Stender. Stender portrayed Ferguson as too conservative for the district and associated him with President Bush, who was extremely unpopular at the time in New Jersey. The Seventh district had a slight Republican lean, and Stender managed to defeat Ferguson in the more liberal suburban counties of Middlesex and Union, but Ferguson held on to the more Conservative areas in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties, and only kept Stender to slim victory in Union County. Nevertheless, he only defeated Stender by just over 3,000 votes and a margin of less than 2%.
Ferguson's voting record is moderate by national Republican standards. His lifetime American Conservative Union rating is 74, second-highest in the state's congressional delegation.
|Year||Democrat||Votes||Pct||Republican||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct|
|2000||113,479||46%||128,434||52%||Jerry L. Coleman||Independent||5,444||2%||Darren Young||Independent||973||<1%||*|
|2002||Tim Carden||74,879||41%||Mike Ferguson||106,055||58%||Darren Young||Libertarian||2,068||1%|
|2004||Steve Brozak||119,081||42%||Mike Ferguson||162,597||57%||Thomas Abrams||Libertarian||2,153||1%||Matthew Williams||Independent||2,016||1%|
|2006||Linda Stender||95,454||48%||Mike Ferguson||98,399||49%||Thomas Abrams||Withdraw Troops Now||3,176||2%||Darren Young||Libertarian||2,046||1%|