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Twelve U. alumni seek election to the House

This year, 12 University alumni are seeking election to the U.S. House of Representatives. Six alumni are running as incumbents. Eight are running as Democrats and four are running as Republicans. The six incumbents include Reps. Ken Buck ’81, Leonard Lance GS ’82, Derek Kilmer ’96, Jared Polis ’96, John Sarbanes ’84, and Terri Sewell ’86.

Buck, a Republican, is running for his second term in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, which includes the state’s Eastern Plains and the city of Greeley. Buck was the former Weld County District Attorney and the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in 2010. He is being challenged by Democrat Bob Seay.

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Lance, a Republican, is running for his fifth term in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, which includes Central and Western New Jersey, and includes Bridgewater Township and the city of Flemington. Lance previously served in the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly and is being challenged by Democrat Peter Jacob.

Kilmer, a Democrat, is running for his third term in Washington’s 6th Congressional District, which includes the Olympic Peninsula and the city of Gig Harbor. Kilmer previously served in the Washington House of Representatives and the State Senate and is being challenged by Republican Todd Bloom.

Polis, a Democrat, is running for his second term in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes the cities of Boulder and Vail. Polis co-founded American Information Systems and ProFlowers, and runs an education foundation called the Jared Polis Foundation. He also served on the Colorado Board of Education and is being challenged by Republican Nicholas Morse.

Sarbanes, a Democrat, is running for his sixth term in Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes the city of Annapolis and the Baltimore suburbs. Sarbanes was previously a lawyer at Venable LLP and sponsored the No Child Left Inside Act in Congress. He is being challenged by Republican Mark Plaster.

Sewell, a Democrat, is running for her fourth term in Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, which includes the city of Selma and part of the city of Birmingham. Sewell previously served as a public-finance lawyer in Birmingham, and was the co-chair of the Women’s Fund “Voices Against Violence” campaign. She is running unopposed.

Sewell, Sarbanes, Polis, and Kilmer are running as incumbent Democrats, and Lance and Buck are running as incumbent Republicans.

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The six alumni who are running for their first term in Congress include Raja Krishnamoorthi ’96, Mike Gallagher ’06, Tom Nelson GS ’04, D. Peter Theron ’78, Brady Walkinshaw ’06, and Paul Clements GS ’92 GS ’96.

Gallagher, a Republican, and Nelson, a Democrat, are running against each other for an open seat in Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Green Bay and Appleton.

Gallagher served seven years as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and was deployed twice to Iraq as a commander of intelligence teams. He is currently a Senior Global Market Strategist at Breakthrough Fuel, an energy and supply chain management company.

Nelson is the Outagamie County Executive and is a former member of the Wisconsin State Assembly. In 2010, Nelson ran for the position of Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin.

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Theron, a Republican, is running against incumbent Democrat Rep. Mark Pocan in Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes the city of Madison. Theron is a mathematician and instructor at Madison College, and ran for Congress in both 2008 and 2014 in the same district.

In a statement, Theron said that if elected, his first priority would be to unleash the economy by cutting spending and reducing regulation. He also noted that he would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with a market-oriented plan, strengthen the military to defeat ISIS, and secure the border.

“We have had a Democrat in Congress here since 1998,” Theron said. “It’s time for a change.”

Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat, is running for an open seat in Illinois’s 8th Congressional District, which includes the Chicago suburbs of Schaumburg and Palatine. Krishnamoorthi is the President of Sivananthan Labs and Episolar, Inc., two businesses that develop products for national security and renewable energy purposes. He previously served as the Illinois Deputy Treasurer and was Vice-Chairman of the Illinois Innovation Council. He is running against Republican Peter DiCianni.

Walkinshaw, a Democrat, is running for an open seat in Washington’s 7th Congressional District, which includes the city of Seattle and the northern suburbs. Walkinshaw currently serves in the Washington State House of Representatives and previously worked as a program manager for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is running against another Democrat, Pramila Jayapal, due to the district’s jungle primary.

Walkinshaw said that he is running on a platform that emphasizes sustainability and the environment. He noted that he wants to form a partnership between Seattle and the federal government in order to implement Seattle’s successful policies on a national level, and has emphasized this local focus throughout the campaign.

“The partnership would explore what it looks like to grow an urban center in America in an equitable, just, and environmentally sustainable way, and what that looks like for federal policy,” Walkinshaw said.

He added that he has also worked across party lines to implement criminal justice and mental health reforms, and will be able to bring this approach to Congress if elected.

Clements, a Democrat, is running against incumbent Republican Rep. Fred Upton in Michigan’s 6th Congressional District, which includes the city of Kalamazoo. Clements is currently a professor of political science at Western Michigan University, and previously served in the Peace Corps. Clements ran for the same seat in 2014.

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