The New Members of the House
Dan Lungren (R)
Occupation: Lawyer/lobbyist, former state attorney general and former Congressman
Home: Gold River
Lungren, the unsuccessful Republican nominee for California governor in 1998, is one of three former House Members now returning for the 109th Congress.
Lungren represented the Long Beach area from 1978 to 1988, where he became one of Ronald Reagan’s favorite Congressmen and was known as a staunch conservative. Then he spent eight years as the Golden State’s attorney general before losing to Democrat Gray Davis in the 1998 gubernatorial election.
But by the time Lungren had decided to return to public service after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the definition of conservatism had shifted significantly, and Lungren found himself the centrist in a nasty GOP primary with state Sen. Rico Oller and businesswoman Mary Ose. Squeezed in the middle, Lungren caught crossfire from both sides. He was also badly outspent: Lungren was the only candidate not to make a significant contribution to his own campaign, and in late polls, he was running third.
But when the primary votes were tallied, Lungren emerged victorious, with almost 39 percent. After waiting several days for absentee ballots to be counted, Oller conceded, and Republicans closed ranks quickly.
Lungren glided to victory over Democrat Gabe Castillo, a financial adviser, last week.
Lungren comes by politics naturally: His father was Richard Nixon’s personal physician from 1951 to 1968, and Lungren started passing out political literature with his parents when he was 6. He got his bachelor’s degree in English from Notre Dame and earned a law degree from Georgetown University.
Lungren served on the Judiciary Committee during his first stint in Congress and is angling for another assignment there. He would also be interested in assignments on the Intelligence and Homeland Security panels. And he is hoping to restore his Congressional seniority upon his return to Washington.
Lungren and his wife, Bobbi, have three adult children, Jeff, Kelly and Kathleen.
Jim Costa (D)
Occupation: Former state Senator, farmer
Costa, who had long been touted as a possible candidate for Congress, won a closer-than-expected race to succeed retiring Rep. Cal Dooley (D), 54 percent to 46 percent.
Although the Central Valley 20th district generally favors Democrats, it is becoming more conservative, and the Republican nominee, state Sen. Roy Ashburn, was helped by a National Republican Congressional Committee advertising expenditure that approached $2 million.
Costa drained most of his resources on a bitter March primary against Dooley’s former chief of staff that cost him more than $850,000.
Despite the Republican efforts to defeat him, Costa was aided by his two dozen years in the state Legislature and his long record of service on issues of interest to the mostly agricultural district. A lifelong resident of the Central Valley and a third-generation farmer, Costa received a bachelor’s degree from the valley’s leading university, Fresno State.
Before winning election to the state Assembly in 1978, Costa served apprenticeships with two Democratic Members of Congress who represented the Central Valley: Bernie Sisk and Richard Krebs.
Costa, who is single, has not discussed his desired committee assignments, a spokesman said. But it is reasonable to assume, given his legislative priorities in Sacramento, that his first choices would be Agriculture or Transportation and Infrastructure.
John Salazar (D)
Occupation: State Representative, farmer
Salazar, brother of state Attorney General and Senator-elect Ken Salazar (D), defeated former state Natural Resources Director Greg Walcher (R), despite the conservative underpinnings of the sprawling 3rd district.
The 3rd preferred President Bush to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) on Tuesday, and outgoing Rep. Scott McInnis (R) had won each of his re-elections easily. But the district has been represented by Democrats in the House before, most recently by retiring Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who began his Congressional career as a Democrat before switching to the GOP.
Salazar, a potato-seed farmer from the rural San Luis Valley, won by emphasizing his rural roots and moderate politics.
Salazar is a lifelong resident of the San Luis Valley, a region rich with history and Hispanic culture. His family has owned farming land there for more than a century. Salazar received a degree in business from Adams State College in 1981.
Salazar and his wife, Mary Lou, have three sons, Jesus, Esteban and Miguel.
It would not be surprising if Salazar sought a seat on the Agriculture or Resources committees. In the state House, he is a member of the Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee.
Connie Mack IV (R)
Occupation: Marketing Consultant, former state Representative
Home: Fort Myers
Mack’s face may be unfamiliar in the halls of the Capitol, but his name certainly is not.
As the son and namesake of former Sen. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), he became the instant favorite in the race to succeed now-CIA Director Porter Goss (R) when he resigned his seat in the Florida House in October 2003 and moved across state to run for this seat, which was once held by his father.
Mack won a crowded August primary by a 4-point margin despite his foes, who worked to paint him as a carpetbagger and political lightweight.
In last week’s general election, Mack had no trouble defeating a little-known Democrat. This Fort Myers-based district is heavily Republican, and Mack should be able to hold this seat as long as he wants.
Mack received a bachelor’s from the University of Florida’s College of Communication. He has worked in a variety of sales and marketing jobs, but most recently he was a marketing executive for the Fort Myers-based LTP Management. He was elected to the state House in 2000 and is now an independent business and marketing consultant.
With his business background, Mack ultimately aspires to serve on the Financial Services Committee, but snagging an “A” committee slot would be a tall order for a freshman.
He and his wife, Ann, have two children, Addison, 4, and Connie V, 2, who is jokingly nicknamed “Cinco de Macko.”
Mack also has some very prominent roots in the game of baseball, and he no doubt is happy that his arrival on Capitol Hill will coincide with the sport’s return to Washington, D.C. Mack’s great-grandfather, Connie Mack, was a Hall of Fame baseball manager and owner of the then-Philadelphia Athletics.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D)
Occupation: State Senator
If one Democrat is destined to be a star in the freshman class, it is Wasserman Schultz, who at the age of 26 was the youngest woman ever elected to the Florida Legislature and has been on a meteoric rise ever since.
Schultz has been on the national radar screen since 2000, when Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-Fla.) contemplated running for Senate and Schultz, then a state Representative, talked openly of running for his seat. When Deutsch decided to skip that Senate race, Schultz sought and won a state Senate seat instead.
After Deutsch jumped into this year’s Senate race, Schultz was essentially handed the Democratic nomination on a platter, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) came to the Fort Lauderdale-based district early to stump on her behalf. Schultz took a commanding 70 percent of the vote last week against unknown Republican Margaret Hostetter.
Like her predecessor Deutsch, Schultz was born in metropolitan New York. She got both her bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Florida and decided to stay in the Sunshine State. Schultz and her husband, Steve, have three children — twins Jacob and Rebecca, 4, and daughter Shelby, 1.
While it is not clear what committee assignments she will seek, Schultz focused on education, children’s issues, insurance law and gender equity in Tallahassee.
Cynthia McKinney (D)
Occupation: Educator, former House Member
Proving she was able to overcome the controversy that led to her primary defeat in 2002, McKinney won back her House seat in suburban Atlanta, which she held from 1993 to 2003.
McKinney defeated little-known Republican Catherine Davis to succeed fellow Democrat Denise Majette, who defeated McKinney in a bitter 2002 primary. McKinney shocked state and national politicos by winning a crowded July primary outright, and avoided what was expected to be a nasty runoff.
McKinney, an outspoken critic of the war on terrorism and the Bush administration’s policies in Iraq, has come under fire for her positions and become a lightning rod in Georgia politics.
She angered Jewish groups in 2002 by voting against a House resolution condemning Palestinian suicide bombings. She also infuriated many observers by suggesting in a radio interview that President Bush had previous knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but did nothing to prevent them. She also suggested that Bush took on a pro-Iraq war position to help out friends in the defense industry. Many say those comments led to her 2002 defeat.
A former Georgia state legislator, McKinney served on the Armed Services and International Relations committees during her tenure in the House. She has asked Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) to reclaim seniority and those committee assignments upon her return, but the Democratic leader has made no commitments.
McKinney is a graduate of the University of Southern California, has a master’s from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and is working on her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley. She has one son, Coy.
Tom Price (R)
Occupation: State Senator, orthopedic surgeon
Price had no opponent in the general election after winning a competitive runoff in August.
He was the only Fulton County resident in the crowded July primary, and geography played a key role in his primary and runoff victories.
This suburban Atlanta district is split between Fulton and Cobb counties, and Price will be the first non-Cobb County resident to hold this seat, once held by then-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R). About two-thirds of the district’s population resides in Cobb.
Despite facing free-spending fellow state Sen. Robert Lamutt (R), Price won large margins in Cobb and secured the runoff victory with 54 percent.
Price was first elected to the state Senate in 1996 and went on to serve as Minority Whip. In 2002 he was elected as the chamber’s first Republican Majority Leader after his party gained control for the first time in the state’s history.
Price received a medical degree from the University of Michigan and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Emory University in Atlanta. He went on to establish an orthopedic clinic and after 22 years of private practice returned to teach at Emory’s School of Medicine.
Price later became medical director of the orthopedic clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where he taught resident doctors. Although he is no longer practicing medicine, Price will become the fourth member of the Peach State delegation with a medical background.
Price is definitely interested in a seat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, because traffic congestion is a key issue in this metro Atlanta district. He is also interested in serving on the Judiciary and Financial Services panels and ultimately would like a seat on Ways and Means.
Price and his wife, Elizabeth, have a 14-year-old son, Robert.
Lynn Westmoreland (R)
Occupation: State Senator, construction company owner
Westmoreland easily won last week’s election to succeed Rep. Mac Collins (R) after emerging victorious from a bitter runoff battle in August.
In the runoff, Westmoreland faced political appointee Dylan Glenn, who was waging his third attempt to win a seat in Congress.
The contest turned into a nasty and high-profile affair in which race became a central theme because, if elected, Glenn would have become the only black Republican in the House.
Ultimately, Westmoreland beat Glenn, 55 percent to 45 percent. Last week he defeated little-known Democrat Silvia Delamar, 76 percent to 24 percent.
Westmoreland was first elected to the state House in 1992. In 2000 he was elected House Republican leader, a position he held until he stepped down to run for Congress.
He still runs the construction company he built from scratch, L.A.W. Builders. He is also a licensed real estate broker.
Westmoreland attended Georgia State University for two years, during which time he married his high school sweetheart, Joan Eskew.
Together they have three grown children, Heather, Trae and Marcy, and three grandchildren, Elisabeth, Madison and Acton.
The 8th district is heavily Republican territory and stretches from the southern suburbs of metro Atlanta to Columbus.
John Barrow (D)
Occupation: Athens-Clarke County commissioner, attorney
Barrow was elected to represent Georgia’s 12th Congressional district after defeating freshman Rep. Max Burns (R), who was considered one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the House from the day he was elected in 2002.
But the narrow victory by Barrow, an Athens-Clarke County commissioner, is likely owed to a decision by the Georgia Legislature to craft a solidly Democratic district in 2001 than to the prowess of Barrow’s campaign.
The 12th district, which stretches for 200 miles from Savannah to Augusta to Athens, voted 54 percent for Democrat Al Gore in 2000 even as the rest of the state went for President Bush by 12 points.
Burns won an upset victory in 2002 by defeating a flawed Democratic opponent who had a past arrest record, among other things.
Coming into the 2004 election cycle, Democrats made Burns their No. 1 target for defeat and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poured resources into the race to boost Barrow.
During the campaign, Barrow stressed his Democratic roots and portrayed Burns as a puppet of the Bush administration.
Burns, meanwhile, cast Barrow as a liberal trial lawyer who flip-flopped on gay marriage, an issue Republicans tried to capitalize on with the district’s culturally conservative voters.
But Barrow withstood the attack and knocked off the incumbent, 52 percent to 48 percent. Black voters, who make up more than one-third of the voting-age population in the 12th district, were crucial to Barrow’s success.
Barrow, a seventh-generation Georgian, graduated from the University of Georgia and Harvard Law School before returning to Georgia two decades ago to found Winburn, Lewis, Barrow & Stolz.
(Barrow’s stint in Cambridge became a campaign issue when Burns charged: “If you’re in Georgia, people don’t think you have to go to Boston to get your education and then return to impose those values.”)
Born and still living in Athens, Barrow served four terms as a county commissioner in Athens-Clarke County. He is an active member of the First Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon and a member of the choir.
On Capitol Hill, Barrow hopes to serve on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Agriculture Committee or the Education and the Workforce panel — though he jokes that he would “swap them all in for a tiny little seat on the Appropriations Committee.”
Barrow is married to Victoria Pentlarge, a veterinarian, and has two children, James, 10, and Ruth, 6.
Dan Lipinski (D)
Occupation: Assistant professor of political science
Home: Western Springs
Lipinski was so confident of winning this South Side Chicago district that he told his would-be constituents in August something that could have been his undoing in a competitive race: He’s a Cubs fan.
In the southern parts of the Windy City, Cubs fans are figuratively drop-kicked back to the North Shore, but Lipinski was elected overwhelmingly to represent a solidly pro-White Sox district after his father, Rep. Bill Lipinski (D), orchestrated his takeover. The senior Lipinski announced he would not seek a 12th term well after the March primary but not before he lined up support for his son among the Democratic committeemen who would choose his successor on the November ballot. Dan Lipinski soundly defeated 26-year-old political novice Ryan Chlada (R) last week.
The younger Lipinski left his post as an assistant professor of political science at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville earlier this year to return to his hometown to run for Congress. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from Duke University and holds engineering degrees from Northwestern and Stanford universities.
In what could make him a candidate for the House Administration Committee, Lipinski’s academic expertise is centered on Congressional procedure, Members’ newsletters and how lawmakers use Web sites to court journalists. Lipinski actually interned for House Administration in 1990, one of many stints he had in the nation’s capital. In addition to internships with Rep. Lane Evans (D-Ill.) and the Labor Department, Lipinski also served on the legislative staffs of Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), and then-Reps. George Sangmeister (D-Ill.) and Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.).
He recently released a book titled “Congressional Communication: Content and Consequences.” He and his wife, Judy, live in the suburb of Western Springs.
Melissa Bean (D)
Occupation: Business consultant
Although not entirely surprising to some political observers in this increasingly Democratic state, Bean’s defeat of 17-term Rep. Phil Crane is still something of an upset. Crane, the most senior Republican in the House, had held the seat since winning a 1969 special election to replace now-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
The race this fall was a rematch of their 2002 contest, in which Bean held the incumbent to his lowest re-election percentage in a decade despite being outspent 3-to-1.
Bean appealed to this Republican-leaning suburban Chicago district with her business credentials and strong ties to the community and portrayed Crane as an out-of-touch Washington, D.C., bench warmer. (Her campaign even passed out seat cushions decrying what she deemed Crane’s 34 years of lackluster service.)
Bean is president of a consulting firm advising high-tech Fortune 1000 clients. Before founding Sales Resources Inc. in 1995, she worked for several Chicago-area technology companies including: Arrow Electronics, Motorola, SynOptics (now Nortel) and Dataflex. She has also served on numerous area boards, including the Palatine Chamber of Commerce, Barrington Area Professional Women and the National Association of Women Business Owners.
The oldest of four children, Bean was born in Chicago and grew up in suburban Park Ridge. She earned her bachelor’s in political science from Roosevelt University. She and her husband of 19 years, Alan, have two daughters, Victoria, 13, and Michelle, 11.
Bean believes her background best suits her for the Small Business Committee and the Ways and Means panel.
Mike Sodrel (R)
Occupation: Owner, transportation companies
Home: New Albany
Although he initially vowed not to run again following his narrow defeat in 2002 to Rep. Baron Hill (D), Mike Sodrel returned and waged a more successful campaign to unseat the three-term incumbent.
Sodrel, who owns three transportation companies based in the 9th district (Sodrel Logistics, Sodrel Truck Lines, and The Free Enterprise System), was able to raise more than $2 million in his second shot at Hill.
In addition to a funding advantage over the incumbent, Sodrel was aided by visits from high-profile Republicans, including Vice President Cheney, Speaker Dennis Hastert (Ill.) and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Texas).
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Sodrel came from behind to capture a district that has been in Democratic hands for four decades. But Sodrel was aided by President Bush’s strong showing.
A native of the district, Sodrel believes his experience in the transportation industry and military leaves him well suited for service on the Transportation or Armed Services committees. He and his wife of 36 years, Marquita Dean, have two children: Noah, 33, and Keesha, 28.
Geoff Davis (R)
Occupation: Manufacturing consultant
When Rep. Ken Lucas (D) announced his retirement from Congress, national Republicans quickly targeted the 4th district seat as one of their prime pickup opportunities. While Democrats went for the star power of Cincinnati newsman Nick Clooney — and his actor son George, who helped tap Hollywood for fundraising dollars — the increasingly Republican makeup of the district helped carry Davis to victory in one of the most hotly contested and hard-to-read races of the cycle. Davis’ 31,000-vote victory margin was larger than most pundits had anticipated. He had finished 6,600 votes behind Lucas.
After high school, Davis enlisted in the Army and later secured an appointment to West Point, where he studied Arabic and focused on national security and international affairs. A former assault helicopter flight commander, Army Ranger and senior parachutist, Davis ran Army aviation operations for peace enforcement between Israel and Egypt.
Later, Davis started his own consulting firm specializing in manufacturing and technology integration.
Davis’ campaign said with his military experience, he’d be an obvious fit for the Armed Services Committee, but indicated that he’d be interested in a slot on Financial Services and Transportation and Infrastructure.
The Congressman-elect has been married for 21 years and has six children.
Bobby Jindal (R)
Jindal cruised to victory against token opposition in the 1st district open-seat contest, one year after losing by a nose in an upstart bid for governor.
A wunderkind who by 25 was running Louisiana’s health and hospitals agency, Jindal has been marked for political stardom in much the same way as Barack Obama (D), the equally precocious Senator-elect from Illinois. Perhaps it raised some eyebrows when President Bush appointed him as assistant secretary of Health and Human Services in 2001, when Jindal was 30 — but then, the Member-elect was president of the University of Louisiana System at age 28.
Given Jindal’s background, it may come as little surprise that he wishes to focus his legislative efforts on the gamut of issues surrounding the modern health care system.
“That’s his background, and he has unique abilities in this area,” said Jindal’s campaign manager, Timmy Teepell. This interest points the incoming lawmaker in the direction of the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees, but Teepell said Jindal is “willing to serve wherever the leadership wants him.”
Jindal, who is of Indian descent, was born in Baton Rouge, graduated from a local high school at age 16 and then attended Brown University, where he achieved double honors in biology and public policy. Jindal then went to Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, after which he was picked up, in 1994, by the elite consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
In 1998, following his stint at the helm of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals, Jindal made his first foray into national politics, taking on the job of executive director for the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, which was co-chaired by Louisiana Sen. John Breaux (D). He returned to Louisiana in 1999 to assist the state with efforts to allocate its $4.4 billion share of the tobacco settlement.
Jindal is married to the former Supriya Jolly and has two children: Selia Elizabeth, 2, and a newborn, Shaan Robert.
Joe Schwarz (R)
Occupation: Physician, former state Senator
Home: Battle Creek
Schwarz comes to Congress with one of the more diverse résumés on Capitol Hill.
He grew up in Battle Creek, home to Kellogg cereals, and eventually went on to become mayor — but not before earning a medical degree and serving in the military.
Schwarz received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Michigan and his medical degree from Wayne State University.
He served as a naval officer during the Vietnam War and became a covert CIA officer, work which he still cannot talk about much. He returned to Battle Creek, got married and started a family. Now a widower, Schwarz has a 30-year-old daughter, Brennan.
After returning to Battle Creek, Schwarz began his surgical practice and entered politics.
He became a city commissioner and went on to serve as mayor before entering the state Senate. He spent 16 years there and was elevated to chairman of the Appropriations Committee and was also selected president pro tempore before being term-limited in 2002.
He kept his private practice the whole time and became involved in national politics when he served as state chairman to the 2000 presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). He helped his fellow Vietnam veteran win Michigan before McCain finally flamed out — an affiliation local party leaders never quite forgave him for.
When Rep. Nick Smith (R) announced that he would retire, Schwarz was the last to enter the crowded GOP primary to replace him.
While Schwarz’s five more conservative opponents piled on him from the day he entered the race, he ultimately bested them all by honing in on his hometown of Battle Creek, Calhoun and Eaton counties, which he represented in the state Senate, and by letting them splinter the conservative vote.
In the end, the race came down to Schwarz, who was backed by the League of Conservation Voters, the Republican Main Street Partnership and McCain, and attorney Brad Smith, the son of the retiring Congressman, who had the deep-pocketed Club for Growth on his side.
Schwarz won the primary with 28 percent of the vote. He then went on to defeat Sharon Renier (D), 58 percent to 36 percent.
As a practicing physician, he is an expert on health care and would like to serve on committees overseeing health issues, he said. He also has a background in higher education and, as a former CIA operative, national security. He also has a strong interest in transportation issues, especially rail.
“I understand how much say a freshman has in committee assignments, so I will take whatever I get and be happy,” Schwarz said.
Russ Carnahan (D)
Occupation: State Representative, attorney
Home: St. Louis
Born in Rolla, Mo., Russ Carnahan is the latest in a long line of Democratic politicians in his family.
He is the son of the late Gov. Mel Carnahan and former Sen. Jean Carnahan as well as the grandson of former Rep. A.S.J. Carnahan (D-Mo.).
His sister, Robin, narrowly won the Missouri secretary of state race Tuesday.
Russ Carnahan entered the crowded Democratic race to replace 14-term Rep. Richard Gephardt (D) as the heavy favorite.
In a contest largely ignored by voters, Carnahan claimed a 1,700-vote primary victory over Washington University professor Jeff Smith on Aug. 3.
He defeated perennial candidate Bill Federer (R) last week in this strongly Democratic St. Louis-area seat.
While Carnahan said he has not given much thought to committee assignments, he has mentioned that a spot on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee would be a good fit for his district.
The win over Federer is simply the latest step in Carnahan’s lightning-fast political rise.
He was first elected to the state House in 2000 in a seat entirely contained in the 3rd district and re-elected with 75 percent in 2002.
Prior to that first race, he served as an attorney in private practice. He graduated from the University of Missouri at Columbia law school in 1983, where four years earlier he received his bachelor’s degree.
He and his wife, Debra, have two children: Austin, 14, and Andrew, 10.
Emanuel Cleaver (D)
Occupation: Former Kansas City mayor, pastor
Home: Kansas City
Despite being severely outspent by a wealthy political newcomer, Democrat Cleaver pulled out a narrow victory.
Cleaver, a former Kansas City mayor with strong ties to the community, defeated Republican Jeanne Patterson to secure the seat held by retiring Rep. Karen McCarthy (D). Cleaver easily defeated Democrat Jamie Metzl in the August primary and was deemed a shoo-in for the seat.
But Cleaver’s position didn’t remain solid for long. He fell into a tight contest with Patterson as the general election neared. Patterson, the wife of a corporate CEO, spent more than $3 million on the race while Cleaver ran short on cash.
The Methodist pastor, a friend of former President Bill Clinton, enjoyed strong backing throughout his campaign from fellow Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay (D) and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Cleaver is expected to join the CBC during the 109th Congress.
In the week before the election, a spokesman said Cleaver has yet to decide which committees he’d like to serve on.
Cleaver, born in Texas, now lives in Kansas City. He is a graduate of the Prairie View A&M University. He and his wife Diane have four children, Emanuel, Emil, Evan and Marissa.
Jeff Fortenberry (R)
Occupation: Sales representative, former City Councilman
Left vacant by the resignation of Rep. Doug Bereuter (R), this seat seemed to offer Democrats at least the possibility of a pickup this cycle, especially after Fortenberry, the most conservative of the three serious contenders, won the GOP primary in May.
Although the district is Republican, Fortenberry was so conservative that Democrats hoped some moderate Republicans would defect. It didn’t happen.
Republicans quickly coalesced behind the former Lincoln city councilman, and with help from Vice President Cheney and Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Fortenberry was able to edge out his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Matt Connealy.
Born in Baton Rouge, La., Fortenberry moved to the Cornhusker State in 1995 and was elected to the Lincoln City Council two years later. He left that post in 2001 and currently works for a Lincoln publishing company.
Before coming to Nebraska, Fortenberry was assistant director of the Downtown Development District in Baton Rouge and a research associate and economist at the Gulf South Research Institute.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Louisiana State University, a master’s in public policy from Georgetown University and a master’s in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.
While working on his master’s at Georgetown University, Fortenberry also worked as a Senate staffer.
He is married to Celeste Gregory, and they have four young girls.
Brian Higgins (D)
Occupation: State Assemblyman
Higgins’ win Tuesday was a bright spot for Democrats, taking back a Congressional seat that had been in Republican hands for a dozen years despite the Democratic tilt of the Buffalo-area district.
Higgins won by appealing to many of the same Reagan Democrats who had faithfully supported retiring Rep. Jack Quinn (R) — long considered the most pro-labor Republican in the House.
Higgins, a state Assemblyman, narrowly defeated Erie County Comptroller Nancy Naples (R) in a rematch of their 1993 county comptroller’s race, which Naples handily won. (At press time, Naples was seeking a recount, but even most Republicans conceded that Higgins’ 4,000-vote margin was too big to overcome.)
Naples, like Quinn, is a political moderate, but her experience on Wall Street and in running her family’s insurance business may have lent an impression that she lacked the common touch that Quinn used to his advantage.
Higgins, by contrast, has a working-class background and was almost immediately the favorite of local and national party leaders to run for the Quinn seat. His father and uncles were bricklayers, and his father and one uncle also became union leaders in the Buffalo area. Higgins’ father’s union work eventually led to a seat on the Buffalo Common Council — a seat Brian Higgins later held himself, from 1987 to 1993.
After losing the comptroller’s race, Higgins worked for the Erie County government and earned a master’s degree in public policy and administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He received a bachelor’s degree from Buffalo State College.
Higgins was elected to the state Assembly in 1998. He is also a lecturer in the history and economics departments at Buffalo State College.
He is expected to seek assignments on the Transportation and Infrastructure or Appropriations committees.
Higgins and his wife, Mary Jane, a special education teacher in the Buffalo Public School system, have two children, John and Maeve.
Randy Kuhl (R)
Occupation: State Senator, attorney
Kuhl won a surprisingly bruising battle against 27-year-old Democrat Samara Barend in the race to replace retiring Rep. Amo Houghton (R).
Some of the difficulty was of Kuhl’s own making. His sealed divorced records were illegally removed from a county clerk’s office two months before Election Day, and the details, which began trickling out in mid-October, were not pretty. They included allegations that an inebriated Kuhl had pulled two shotguns on his then-wife during a dinner party in 1994.
But some of the fallout from the revelations was blunted when county law enforcement officials concluded that a student connected to Barend’s campaign had removed the papers from the clerk’s office and given them to the Democrat’s campaign manager. That led to a bloody round of charges and counter-charges between the two campaigns.
But Kuhl had built up sufficient goodwill in the community after 24 years in the state Legislature to win anyway, with 50 percent of the vote to Barend’s 41 percent.
A lifelong resident of the Southern Tier — which was also Houghton’s home base — Kuhl earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering from Union College and a law degree from Syracuse University. After a decade of practicing law, Kuhl was elected to the state Assembly in 1980 and then won election to the state Senate in 1986.
During his long tenure in the state Senate, Kuhl put in time as chairman of three different committees: Agriculture, Education and Transportation.
Kuhl said he’d like to serve on the House Agriculture Committee, noting that no Member from the Northeast is currently on that committee. He’d also consider a seat on Transportation and Infrastructure, given the transportation challenges facing his sprawling district, which is not well-served either by Interstate highways or by air carriers.
Virginia Foxx (R)
Occupation: State Senator, nursery and landscaping business owner
Residence: Watauga County
After surviving a brutal GOP primary and runoff, Foxx, a five-term North Carolina state Senator, coasted to a relatively easy victory over her Democratic opponent, Surry County Commissioner and dentist Jim Harrell Jr., in a heavily Republican seat.
The 5th district, which stretches from Winston-Salem to the Tennessee and Virginia borders, was vacated by Rep. Richard Burr (R), who won his Senate bid against Democrat Erskine Bowles.
During the August runoff, Foxx’s opponent, Winston-Salem City Councilman Vernon Robinson, who is black, tried unsuccessfully to paint the reliably conservative Foxx as a liberal along the lines of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). Foxx charged that his divisive style would hurt the party’s chances to hold the seat in November.
A native of New York City, Foxx attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She later received a doctorate in education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to her election to the state Senate in 1994, she spent more than two decades as a college administrator and professor, including a stint as president of Mayland Community College. Foxx served 12 years on the Watauga Board of Education and was also in the administration of then-Gov. Jim Martin (R).
For the past 28 years, Foxx and her husband, Tom, have owned and operated a nursery and landscaping business. They have one 40-year-old daughter, Theresa Foxx Ozdemir.
Foxx, whose campaign emphasized homeland security, affordable health care and conservative family values, will seek slots on the Financial Services, Government Reform, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Education and the Workforce committees.
Patrick McHenry (R)
Occupation: State Representative, small-business owner and real estate agent
McHenry won the 10th district general election in a landslide, after squeaking by Catawba County Sheriff David Huffman — a man nearly twice his age — by just 85 votes in a vicious August GOP runoff.
McHenry’s beleaguered Democratic opponent Anne Fischer, whose personal financial problems resulted in the foreclosure of her house not long into the campaign, never really had a chance in this heavily Republican seat.
McHenry, who will succeed retiring Rep. Cass Ballenger (R), will become the youngest Member of Congress when he takes office in January. With his aggressive, high-tech campaigning style — credited for his primary win — he represents a new face for national Republican politics.
His age belies an impressive résumé, as well as considerable experience in past political campaigns. The former chairman of the state college Republicans proved his mettle early on when the then-22-year-old college student knocked off the chairman of the Gaston County commissioners in the GOP primary for a state House seat.
Although McHenry lost that general election, the Charlotte native would go on to head George W. Bush’s college outreach effort during the 2000 presidential campaign and serve as a GOP operative during the Florida recount. After Bush’s election, he was an aide to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, before winning a seat in the state House in 2002.
McHenry, who attended North Carolina State University and received a bachelor’s in history from Belmont Abbey College in 1999, has also worked as an executive for DCI/New Media Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based firm that specializes in business and political Internet applications. A real estate agent, McHenry is the owner of McHenry Real Estate.
McHenry, a social conservative who supports making President Bush’s tax cuts permanent, is aiming for seats on the Financial Services and Education and the Workforce committees.
He is single.
Dan Boren (D)
Occupation: State Representative
Boren is one of several political legacies who will be new Members in the 109th Congress. He is also one of three new House Members who are the sons of former Senators.
His father is former Sen. David Boren (D-Okla.), who now serves as president of the University of Oklahoma, and his grandfather, the late Rep. Lyle Boren (D-Okla.), represented parts of the 2nd district when he served in the House from 1937 to 1947.
The Borens are one of only nine families who have had three successive generations elected to Congress.
Dan Boren’s real test in this eastern Oklahoma seat was winning the July primary. He faced a spirited challenge from former District Attorney Kalyn Free (D) but he ultimately prevailed, winning 58 percent of the vote.
In the general he rolled over horsebreeder Wayland Smalley (R), 66 percent to 34 percent.
Boren was elected to the Oklahoma House in 2002, defeating an 8-year incumbent. At age 29, he was one of the youngest nonincumbents to be elected to the state Legislature.
Before entering public service, Boren was president and CEO of the Seminole State College Educational Foundation. He has also worked as a senior aide at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and to former Rep. Wes Watkins (R-Okla.). He has also served as a vice president of Robbins Energy.
Boren would ultimately like to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee, but in the meantime he’d be happy to land seats on the Resources and Armed Services panels.
Boren has a bachelor’s in economics from Texas Christian University and later earned a master’s in business from the University of Oklahoma. He is single.
Michael Fitzpatrick (R)
Occupation: Bucks County commissioner, attorney
Home: Middletown Township
Fitzpatrick won a close race against Ginny Schrader in Pennsylvania’s politically marginal and hotly contested 8th district.
Though the district leans Republican by registration, it has trended Democratic in many statewide and national races in recent years, and there was uncertainty about whether a candidate as conservative as Fitzpatrick could win against a moderate Democrat. Outgoing Rep. Jim Greenwood (R) — who announced his retirement to run the leading biotech trade group — supported a more moderate, pro-abortion-rights candidate during the GOP nominating process.
Schrader was unable to peel off enough moderate Republicans, however, to defeat Fitzpatrick. A lack of support from Democratic groups such as EMILY’s List may have spelled her doom.
Fitzpatrick has served as Bucks County commissioner since 1995. Prior to his work in local government, he had been an attorney dealing mostly with real estate.
He and his wife, Kathleen, have six children: three boys and three girls.
Allyson Schwartz (D)
Occupation: State Senator
Schwartz, a four-term state Senator, defeated Republican ophthalmologist Melissa Brown to capture the seat formerly held by Rep. Joe Hoeffel (D) in one of the most competitive open-seat contests this cycle.
The Democratic-leaning 13th district, which includes parts of Philadelphia and suburban Montgomery County, had been held since 1998 by Hoeffel, who lost his race against Sen. Arlen Specter (R) on Tuesday.
Schwartz, who won the Democratic nomination after a tough primary fight against former National Constitution Center President Joe Torsella, has served in the Pennsylvania state Senate since 1991, representing Philadelphia County.
The New York-born Schwartz began her career in 1973 with the Philadelphia Health Plan, a nonprofit she helped establish.
Two years later, Schwartz founded the Elizabeth Blackwell Center, a women’s health facility in Philadelphia. She served as the center’s executive director until 1988, when she moved to the Philadelphia Department of Human Services to become the agency’s acting commissioner and first deputy commissioner.
In 1990, Schwartz made her first bid for elected office, winning the seat she now holds in the state Senate.
Schwartz won re-election to that seat three times. In 2000 she sought the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate but lost in a six-way primary.
A 1970 graduate of Massachusetts’ Simmons College, Schwartz received her bachelor’s from Bryn Mawr’s college of social work and social research in 1972.
Schwartz and her husband, David, have two sons, Daniel and Jordan.
As of late October, a spokeswoman said Schwartz had not yet determined which committee she would like to serve on.
Charlie Dent (R)
Occupation: State Senator
Home: Allentown Dent’s victory over Democratic businessman Joe Driscoll will allow House Republicans to hold on to a crucial Pennsylvania swing seat.
Selected early on by the national Republican Party as heir apparent to Rep. Pat Toomey (R) — who unsuccessfully challenged GOP Sen. Arlen Specter in a primary — Dent will represent the 15th district, anchored by Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.
Dent, an Allentown native, has served in the state Senate since 1999, representing parts of Lehigh, Monroe and Northampton counties.
Before winning his senate seat, Dent spent four terms as a state Representative for Lehigh County from 1991 to 1998.
Dent began his career as a sales representative for Lehigh Valley-based P.A. Peters Inc., an electronic parts distributor. He went on to spend four years working as development officer at Lehigh University until 1990.
A member of Pennsylvania State University’s class of 1982, Dent holds a bachelor’s degree in foreign service and international politics. He earned a master’s in public administration from Lehigh University in 1993.
Dent and his wife, Pamela, have three children: Kathryn Elizabeth, William Reed and Charles John.
Bob Inglis (R)
Occupation: Real estate attorney, ex-Congressman
Home: Traveler’s Rest
Inglis won a June Republican primary with 84 percent in the Upstate 4th district and defeated funeral home executive Brandon Brown (D) in the general election to reclaim the Upstate seat that he held from 1992 to 1998.
He was never seriously opposed for the Republican nomination as he had announced his intentions to seek a return to Congress even before the current Congressman, Sen.-elect Jim DeMint (R), was re-elected in 2002.
Inglis left the House in keeping with a three-term-limit pledge. He embarked on an unsuccessful 1998 challenge to Sen. Fritz Hollings (D). Inglis has not term limited himself in his return to Congress.
Though he served on the Budget and Judiciary committees during his previous stint on Capitol Hill, Inglis’ prime interest now is energy-related.
The International Center for Automotive Research is based in Greenville and is researching smart-car technology and alternative fuels. The project, which is based at Clemson University, received $13 million in funding from BMW and Michelin, both of which have headquarters in the district.
Prior to coming to Congress, Inglis received his undergraduate degree from Duke University in 1981 and his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1984.
He is married to Mary Anne, and the two have five children ranging in age from 18 to 7.
Louie Gohmert (R)
Occupation: Attorney, retired judge
Though Rep. Max Sandlin (D) put up a stiff fight to retain his redistricted seat, the Republican-leaning district proved too hard to hold for one of the targeted “Texas Five.”
Anchored by his strong base in Smith County, the most populous in the new district, Gohmert was able to make enough inroads around eastern Texas in Smith and Gregg counties to secure his victory.
Prior to his Congressional bid, Gohmert was elected three times as Smith County district judge before being appointed by Gov. Rick Perry (R) to complete an unexpired term as Chief Justice of the 12th Court of Appeals. He returned to private practice before making his bid for Congress.
Gohmert and his wife Kathy have three daughters, Katy, 20, Caroline, 18, and Sarah, 15.
The Mount Pleasant, Texas, native and retired U.S. Army Captain earned his law degree from Baylor Law School in Waco, Texas, in 1977 and attended Texas A&M as an undergraduate.
Although aides have said that Gohmert might be well suited for the Judiciary Committee when he comes to Washington, D.C., Gohmert has yet to make a decision on where he wants to serve and said he will make that decision based on what is available and what will best help his constituents.
Ted Poe (R)
Occupation: Retired judge
After emerging from a crowded March primary with more than 60 percent of the vote (90 percent of which came from his home county), Poe’s race against Rep. Nick Lampson (D) came down to a battle of the bases in this targeted Texas district.
One of the embattled “Texas Five” — Democratic incumbents who were threatened by the re-redistricting of 2003 — Lampson, who is from Jefferson County, lost because he was not able to make enough inroads into Poe’s Harris County base, which is located in the suburbs of Houston and contains 53 percent of the district’s population.
Poe, a resident of Humble, made a name for himself in Harris County as a judge who came up with innovative and attention-grabbing punishments for criminal offenders. He left the bench after 22 years to seek the Congressional seat. Poe also served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and worked as a prosecutor with the Harris County district attorney prior to becoming a judge.
Born in Temple, Texas, Poe graduated from Abilene Christian University in 1970 and the University of Houston Law Center in 1973. He and his wife, Carol, have four grown children: Kim, Kara, Kurt and Kellee.
Although Poe’s spokeswoman said that her boss hasn’t made any decisions yet on which committee assignments he’d seek in Congress, she did say he has voiced interest in the Energy and Commerce, Transportation and Infrastructure and Judiciary committees.
Al Green (D)
Occupation: Former Harris County justice of the peace
Green scored perhaps the most eye-opening upset of the cycle with his decisive 35 percent primary victory over freshman Rep. Chris Bell (D) in the redrawn 9th district.
In that race he depended heavily on his high-profile status in the black community developed from more than 25 years as Harris County Justice of the Peace.
He also spent a decade heading up the NAACP Houston office.
Green graduated from Texas Southern University law school in 1974 and went on to teach at his alma mater. During that time he co-founded a law firm in the Houston area.
He was sworn in as Justice of the Peace in 1979 and held that post until he resigned in early 2004 to run for Congress.
Green was supported by a number of members of the Congressional Black Caucus during his primary race, which led to some private grumbling from fellow Democratic Members following Bell’s defeat.
Nonetheless, those endorsements were essential in a district where 37 percent of the voting-age population is black.
Green glided to victory in the general election against attorney Arlette Molina (R), who was struck by a car while campaigning in mid-August.
Mike McCaul (R)
McCaul, a former federal prosector, used a combination of personal wealth and powerful political endorsements to win the 10th district Republican runoff, a victory that ensured he would be the next Congressman in the redrawn seat that spans from Houston in the east to Austin the west.
No Democrats even filed for this strongly Republican seat.
McCaul gave $1.5 million from his own pocket to the primary and runoff, a personal donation that delivered him a strong victory over businessman Ben Streusand (R), who spent more than $3 million of his own money.
In the runoff, McCaul was endorsed by Texas Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn as well as Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Prior to his Congressional bid, McCaul served as the head of the terrorism and national security division in the western judicial district of Texas.
He also spent time in Washington, D.C., as a deputy attorney general for criminal justice under Attorney General John Ashcroft.
McCaul graduated from Trinity University and received his law degree from St. Mary’s University.
He is married to Linda, and the pair have five children: Caroline , 7, Jewell, 6, Michael, 2, Avery, 2, and Lauren, 2.
McCaul is also the son-in-law of Clear Channel Communications CEO Lowry Mays, whose estimated net worth is more than $1 billion.
Mike Conaway (R)
For Conaway, the second time was the charm.
After losing by just 587 votes to now-Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R) in a June 2003 special election in the 19th district, Conaway took almost 75 percent against a little-known opponent in the 11th district GOP primary in March and cruised to a general election victory against teacher Wayne Raasch (D).
The Midland-based district was drawn by Republican state legislators last year with Conaway in mind.
He has long roots in West Texas, having graduated from Permian High School in Odessa in 1966. Conaway was a member of that school’s first state championship football team; the team is the subject of “Friday Night Lights,” a book and now a movie about football in West Texas.
Conaway went on to graduate from Texas A&M University at Commerce in 1970 with a degree in accounting.
After a stint in the Army at Fort Hood, Conaway joined the accounting firm Price Waterhouse & Co., and he and his wife, Debbie, made their home in Midland. The couple has four children.
From 1981 to 1986, Conaway and President Bush were partners in Bush Exploration, an oil company, and Bush, as Lone Star State governor, appointed Conaway to the state Board of Public Accountancy in 1995.
Now Conaway will do something that Bush was never able to accomplish: represent the people of Midland in Congress. Bush lost a 1978 Congressional race there.
Conaway has said that he would like to serve on the Agriculture Committee.
Kenny Marchant (R)
Occupation: State Representative
When statehouse Republicans redrew the Congressional district lines last year, they made sure to carve Marchant a seat — the new 24th district. The state Representative won the March primary and easily defeated computer programmer Gary Page (D) last week.
Marchant has spent most of his life in public service since graduating from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla., in 1973.
Marchant was elected to the Carrollton City Council in 1980 and four years later was elected Carrollton mayor. In 1986, he was elected to the state House and is currently in his ninth term.
In the state House, he headed the Texas House Republican caucus and was the engineer of the GOP’s takeover of that body from Democrats in 2002, a victory that allowed Republicans to redraw the state’s Congressional map last year.
Marchant was expected to come to Congress in 2002 when the state gained two seats in redistricting, one of which — the 32nd — was tailor-made for him.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R), however, decided to move from the 5th district into the 32nd, postponing Marchant’s Congressional career by two years.
Marchant and his wife, Debbie, have four children. In 1998, while on a missionary trip in Mexico, Marchant’s family was involved in an automobile accident that left his son paralyzed from the waist down.
Henry Cuellar (D)
Occupation: Former Texas secretary of state, attorney
No new Member enters Congress with more controversy surrounding his election than Cuellar, who ousted four-term Rep. Ciro Rodriguez in a March Democratic primary.
On primary night, Rodriguez led by 145 votes, but a recount found hundreds of untabulated ballots in the Laredo area — Cuellar’s base.
After that initial recount, Cuellar led by 203 votes, a margin that was progressively whittled with each court appeal by Rodriguez.
On July 13, however, the state’s 4th District Court of Appeals effectively ended Rodriguez’s candidacy and left Cuellar with a 58-vote margin of victory. Rodriguez has pledged to run again 2006.
Cuellar served seven terms representing Laredo in the Texas House before being appointed secretary of state by Republican Gov. Rick Perry following the 2000 election. He resigned from that post shortly afterward to pursue his race against Rep. Henry Bonilla (R) in the 23rd district.
In that race, Cuellar came up 6,500 votes short out of more than 150,000 cast. But his ties to Perry — and his avowed friendship with President Bush — made some Democrats suspicious of Cuellar’s political loyalties.
Prior to running for elected office, Cuellar served as a private-practice attorney in Laredo. He also was an instructor from 1982 to 1986 at Laredo Community College.
Cuellar graduated from that school himself in 1976. Two years later he received a bachelor of science degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Cuellar also has a doctorate from the University of Texas.
He and his wife, Imelda, make their home in Laredo with their two daughters, Christina Alexandria, 10, and Catherine Ann, 5.
Thelma Drake (R)
Occupation: State Delegate, realtor
Drake won the race to succeed Rep. Ed Schrock (R), defeating Democrat David Ashe 55 percent to 45 percent.
Republicans in the 2nd district coalesced behind Drake and made her their nominee shortly after Schrock’s surprise retirement announcement in late August.
Fiscal conservatives (including the anti-tax Club for Growth) especially rallied for Drake, highlighting her vote against a $1.3 billion tax increase that passed the Virginia General Assembly in May.
Drake, a native of Elyria, Ohio, was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1995. She has already been promised a seat on the Armed Services Committee, a requisite assignment in this military rich district.
For 20 years she has been a realtor with RE/MAX in the Hampton Roads area. She and her husband, Ted, have two grown children and four grandchildren.
Drake is not expected to have any trouble winning re-election in this district, which includes all of Virginia Beach and parts of Norfolk and Hampton, in addition to the two counties on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
Cathy McMorris (R)
Occupation: State Representative
Home: Deer Lake
McMorris grew up on a family farm in British Columbia and on a fruit orchard in Kettle Falls, Wash., and is very in tune with the rural nature of her vast district. Nonetheless, her entire professional career has been in politics and she comes to Congress as one of its youngest, but most politically experienced, new Members.
She entered the state House at 24. By 33 she was elected Republican leader, and now at 35, she is headed to Congress.
She received a bachelor’s in pre-law from Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola, Fla., and an executive master’s in business from the University of Washington.
Immediately, she went to work in Olympia as a legislative aide and was appointed to her boss’ House seat three years later when he moved on to the Senate.
Despite being appointed by the local party pooh-bahs by only one vote, she was unopposed in the 1994 GOP primary to win the seat outright and was re-elected five times in a district that is larger than Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut and D.C. put together.
She is ambitious and conservative so when Rep. George Nethercutt (R) vacated the seat to run for the Senate, she thought nothing of jumping into the Republican primary against two older men. The late primary became rather pitched but McMorris prevailed over a state Senator and a Spokane attorney rather easily, taking 50 percent of the vote.
Democrats had high hopes for taking back the Spokane-based seat — which was previously held by then-Speaker Tom Foley (D) — but McMorris won a decisive, 60 percent to 40 percent victory Tuesday over Democrat Don Barbieri.
McMorris, who is single, would like to serve on the all-powerful Appropriations Committee. Knowing that is a long shot, she has also expressed interest in joining the House Resources Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Dave Reichert (R)
Occupation: King County sheriff
Reichert comes to Congress with a number of firsts under his belt.
He is probably the first Member of Congress who can say he caught an infamous serial killer. He also penned a book about his experience and was featured in a cable TV movie detailing the 21-year odyssey to bring Green River killer Gary Ridgway to justice.
Now the 32-year veteran lawman will replace retiring Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R) as the Congressman for this suburban Seattle district.
He was born in Detroit Lakes, Minn., the oldest of seven children and the grandson of a town marshal. He was kidnapped as a child but returned safely to his family. He attended high school in Kent, Wash.
In 1970 he earned an associate’s degree from Concordia Lutheran College in Portland where he played football and met his wife of 34 years, Julie. Reichert has three grown children, Angela Mathena, 31, Tabitha Bussey, 29, and Daniel Reichert, 27.
Dave Reichert joined the sheriff’s office in 1972 after serving in the US Air Force. In 1997, he became King County’s first elected sheriff.
In that capacity he has been stabbed, shot at and had his throat slit. Despite those work hazards, Reichert says he considers himself a “protector of the underdog” and continued to work in the field.
Most recently, he was on the front line during the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle and this fall chased down a car thief while off-duty.
Reichert won the 2004 National Sheriff’s Association’s Sheriff of the Year award and served as president of the Washington State Sheriff’s Association.
In one of the most unique House races of the cycle, he narrowly defeated radio talk show host Dave Ross to win the swing district House seat both parties vigorously sought.
Gwen Moore (D)
Occupation: State Senator
Moore certainly has heeded the old advice that when life hands you lemons, make lemonade, on her path to becoming the Badger State’s first black Member of Congress.
Born to a factory worker and teacher in Racine as the eighth of nine children and reared in a poor Milwaukee neighborhood, Moore entered Marquette University as an 18-year-old pregnant freshman on welfare.
She worked her way through school and graduated with a bachelor’s in political science.
Since then, Moore’s professional life has been dedicated to helping others.
She served in the volunteer VISTA program and then helped her community combat red-lining — the illegal banking industry practice of refusing to lend in minority communities — by helping form a credit union in her neighborhood.
She then went to work in the city’s planning department as a neighborhood development specialist and eventually landed in the state’s housing development agency.
By 1989 she was elected to the state House and moved up to the Senate in 1992.
With the support of EMILY’s List and other liberal and labor groups, Moore handily dispensed with a former Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman and a fellow state Senator in the Democratic primary on her way to replacing outgoing Rep. Jerry Kleczka (D). She captured 64 percent of the vote in what was supposed to have been a competitive contest.
She had no problem defeating political neophyte Gerald Boyle.
Moore already has expressed her intention to join the Congressional Black Caucus, the Women’s Caucus and the Progressive Caucus.
Like any Member of Congress, she wants to serve on either the Appropriations or Ways and Means committees and believes she is well qualified to do so.
“I am not going to accept the self-limiting” expected of freshman, she said in an October interview. “I came here to make a difference.”
Moore has three children: Jessalyn Moore, 34; Adesolu Omokunde, 27; and Sowande Omokunde, 25.