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Maine’s Bruce Poliquin Loses in Ranked-Choice Voting
Democrat Jared Golden claimed lead after third-party candidates eliminated

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin has lost to Democrat Jared Golden. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrat Jared Golden has defeated Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the nation’s first use of ranked-choice voting for a congressional race, according to state election officials.

The Democrat won just over 50 percent of the vote in the ranked-choice tabulation, meaning he’ll be the next congressman from the 2nd District unless Poliquin’s legal challenges to the voting system prevail. 

A Father Drops Off His Son for Congress’ Freshman Orientation
Andy Levin, who will succeed his father in the House, was one of dozens of new members in Washington to learn the ropes

Members-elect from left, Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., Colin Allred, D-Texas, and Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., arrive for New Member Orientation at the Courtyard Marriott in Southeast Washington on Nov. 13. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Retiring Rep. Sander M. Levin drove away from the Courtyard Marriott in Southeast Washington, leaving his son on the curb in front of the hotel.

It was a true first day of school moment for Michigan Rep.-elect Andy Levin, who will be succeeding his father. As the Democrat made his way into the lobby around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, the official orientation for new members of Congress was just getting started.

Thank you, Dan Crenshaw
Injured Navy SEAL an example of humor, forgiveness and leadership

That Dan Crenshaw survived his injuries to eventually run for Congress must feel like a miracle, Patricia Murphy writes. (Courtesy Crenshaw for Congress)

OPINION — As a political columnist, the hardest part isn’t finding something to write about, it’s narrowing your focus to just one topic. For today’s column, I could have written about the election mess in Florida, President Trump’s non-attendance at a Veterans Day parade in France, the fact that Nancy Pelosi could soon be second-in-line to the presidency (it could happen), or my complaint that 2020 speculation is the new Christmas decorating (too much too soon).

But after I saw Dan Crenshaw on Saturday Night Live, everything else seemed small in comparison. If you don’t know his name, you will. If you don’t know the story, here it is.

Veterans Still Outpace Civilians in Congress, But Declines Continue
Midterms saw House increase in Democratic Vets, women with military experience

Jason Crow, Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District won his election Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file)

The number of military veterans in both chambers of Congress will at best remain unchanged despite a midterm cycle featuring dozens of candidates with military experience on both sides of the aisle.

Seventy-four veterans won House seats Tuesday night. Eight others were locked in races still too close to call Wednesday afternoon. In the Senate, a projected win for retired Air Force office Martha McSally in an Arizona race would bring the number of veterans in the next Congress to 17 — the same number that finished the 115th Congress. Even if veterans win all the outstanding races in the House, the percentage of House lawmakers with military experience will remain unchanged: 19 percent. 

These Democrats Already Lost. Here’s What They Learned
We caught up with 3 also-ran candidates from high-profile House races

Laura Moser lost her primary in Texas’ 7th District after the DCCC came out against her. (Arun Chaudhary/Courtesy Moser for Congress)

The campaign signs are in the trash and the ads have gone dark. The midterm elections may not be over yet, but these defeated Democrats have had plenty of time to think about what went wrong.

A surge of Democratic energy earlier this year led to crowded primaries around the country, and that meant more losers than usual. Now first-time candidates like Laura Moser, Sam Jammal and Pat Ryan — a deep-blue activist, a son of immigrants and a moderate veteran, respectively — are looking at their dashed campaigns in the rearview mirror.

Supporters of Rep. John Carter ‘Threw Candy At My Children’ Opponent Says
Mary Jennings Hegar alleges Carter supporters followed the family while they trick-or-treated

Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, followed by Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol in February 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Supporters of Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, harassed his opponent while she trick-or-treated with her family and threw candy at her young children, Democratic candidate Mary Jennings Hegar alleged in a video she posted to Twitter Wednesday night. 

The Carter campaign said it “wholly disagrees” with Hegar's account of the night and referred to the video as an attempt “to gain attention for her failing campaign.”

Frankel, Brooks Push for Girls Education on International Day of the Girl
Bipartisan effort aims to help girls around the world stay in school

Rep. Susan W. Brooks, R-Ind., left, and Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., right, co-chair the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In their travels around the world, Reps. Lois Frankel and Susan W. Brooks have seen firsthand the challenges girls face when it comes to getting an education. So to mark the International Day of the Girl, the two lawmakers are introducing legislation to do something about it. 

The bipartisan effort, known as the Keeping Girls in School Act, would ensure the U.S. Agency for International Development spends allocated money to keep girls in school and get more of them into secondary schools.

Veteran Who Threatened Rep. Frank LoBiondo, Staff Is Convicted
Defendant was unhappy with VA care

Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A veteran with post traumatic stress disorder was convicted in federal court Wednesday on two counts of making threats to New Jersey Rep. Frank LoBiondo and his staffers, according to the Department of Justice.

Over the spring and summer of 2017, Joseph Brodie, 39, of Millville, New Jersey, sought assistance from LoBiondo’s office in receiving care from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Exchange Programs Aren’t Just for High Schoolers. Congressmen Do It Too
Nebraska and California congressmen trade views of their districts

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., left, visited Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., in his district in August. (Courtesy office of Rep. Salud Carbajal)

Say “exchange program,” and most people think of traveling teens.

That was true for Rep. Don Bacon, whose family hosted a German exchange student when he was 16. Mostly, the pair geeked out over American cars.

The Price of Voting Against the Iraq War
Retiring Tennessee Republican looks back on another time he thought his career was over

John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr., R-Tenn., during the Transportation Committee markup of legislation which would create a new Department of Homeland Security. The Committee approved amendments to keep the Coast Guard and Federal Emergency Management Agency separate from the proposed new department. (Scott Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The five decade-long tradition of Duncan family dominance in Tennessee’s 2nd District will end with the 115th Congress. With an ethics probe clouding his legacy and retirement closing in, Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. looked back to another time he thought his career might be ending.

In 2002, as fear and speculation swirled, Duncan sided with just a handful of other House Republicans, including Amo Houghton of New York, in voting against the Iraq War. He knew it could be political suicide.