Who's New in the House
The following state-by-state list includes biographies of declared winners who will be newcomers to the House.
1st District MIKE THOMPSON (D)
State Sen. Mike Thompson is the new congressman from California's North Coast, a strong Democratic district that nonetheless was won by Republican Frank Riggs in 1990, 1994 and 1996. Thompson beat Republican Tom Luce, a Napa County supervisor. The state senator entered the race even before Riggs opted out of what was likely to be another grueling election contest for him. Thompson is a former vineyard owner and a two-term state senator who chaired the Senate Budget Committee. He also sponsored child health care laws requiring that all health insurance policies sold in California include preventive care coverage, and backed legislation to track habitual sexual offenders and repeat felons.
3rd District DOUG OSE (R)
The Sacramento area seat being vacated by House Democratic Caucus Chairman Vic Fazio turned Republican after years of moving in that direction. Republican real estate developer Doug Ose poured more than $1 million of his own money into the campaign for the open seat. His Democratic opponent was Sandie Dunn, a civic group leader who co-founded a law firm that represents the local irrigation district and flood control agency. Dunn's expertise on local water issues was a key factor in the Sacramento Bee's endorsement of her candidacy. But the newspaper said either candidate was "qualified" to succeed Fazio, who served in the House for 20 years. Ose, who like Dunn was a first-time candidate, positioned himself as a social moderate and defeated the more conservative state Assemblywoman Barbara Alby in the primary.
34th District GRACE NAPOLITANO (D)
The contest for the east Los Angeles County seat left open by the retirement of Democratic Congressman Esteban Torres was decided in the primary. In that race, state Rep. Grace Napolitano beat by one point Jamie Casso, Torres' former aide and his son-in-law, who had the backing of Torres and other area Hispanic politicians including Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., the head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Those endorsements notwithstanding, Napolitano had more money and the support of EMILY's List, among others. While in the state Assembly, she headed the Committee on International Trade and Development and made the state's trade expansion a key issue in her race. Napolitano was expected to handily defeat Republican Ed Perez, a project engineering manager for a cellular telephone company.
36th District STEVE KUYKENDALL (R)
The new occupant of this Los Angeles County "beach" congressional seat now held by Democrats is Republican Steve Kuykendall. Democrats were struggling to maintain their hold on the district that has split voter registration. But Kuykendall, a state assemblyman who is a pro-choice moderate, seemed to connect with the voters' preference for social moderates who are fiscal conservatives. The current representative, Rep. Jane Harman, stepped down to make an unsuccessful run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. The Democrats congressional candidate was businesswoman Janice Hahn, an heiress to a local political dynasty who lacked Harman's personal wealth to defend the seat for her party. Kuykendall made Hahn's lack of political experience, compared to his, an issue in the race. While in the state assembly, Kuykendall worked on bills to improve schools, attack child abuse, and in his freshman year, served on the conference committee that came up with the state's electric utility deregulation bill.
41st District GARY MILLER (R)
Republican state Assemblyman Gary Miller will be the next congressman from the Inland Empire district after facing minor opposition from Democrat Eileen Ansari. Earlier this year, Miller won the distinction of causing the first defeat of an incumbent in this election season when he beat Rep. Jay Kim in the primary. From the start of his primary campaign, Miller made an issue of Kim's federal misdemeanor conviction on campaign finance violations. Miller and Kim were neighbors and served on the Diamond Bar City Council together when Kim was mayor. A conservative Republican, Miller's state legislative record included chairmanship of the Assembly Budget Committee. He supported initiatives to end bilingual education and to give teachers tax credits for money they spend on school supplies. Miller also voted to require "high-risk" sex offenders to re-register with local police every 90 days, and he favored a bill mandating health plans to provide a minimum 48-hour hospital recovery for mastectomies.
2nd District MARK UDALL (D)
One thing that Democrat Mark Udall, 48, could count on in his campaign for Colorado's second congressional seat is name recognition. His father, the well-known and widely respected Rep. Morris "Mo" Udall, D-Ariz., served in Congress for 15 terms, eventually becoming chairman of the House Interior Committee before health problems forced his retirement in 1991. His uncle, Stewart Udall, served as Interior Secretary in the Kennedy administration. So the junior Udall's strong affinity for environmental causes comes naturally to him. For ten years, he was head of the Colorado Outward Bound School and he cites outdoor activities including an attempt to climb Mt. Everest as his passion. He won endorsements from a number of national environmental organizations, including the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club. But his political experience is somewhat limited, having worked for his father's campaign when he was in his mid-twenties and more recently serving as a one-term state representative from Boulder County. He ran against Bob Greenlee, a multi-millionaire Republican entrepreneur and recent Boulder mayor.
6th District TOM TANCREDO (R)
Although Republican Tom Tancredo will be a first-time congressman representing Colorado's sixth district, he is an old hand at politics. The 52-year-old former teacher was elected to the Colorado state legislature in 1976 and served three terms, until he resigned his seat to serve in the Reagan administration. He served as the secretary of education's regional representative, where he battled with former Rep. Patricia Schroeder, D-Colo., in his successful fight to slash the size of the regional office. He was re-appointed during the Bush administration. More recently, he solidified his conservative credentials by becoming president of the Independence Institute, a conservative public policy research group in Golden, Colorado. Married, with two children and one grandchild, Tancredo supports many GOP initiatives, such as term limits, tax reform and school choice.
1st District JOHN B. LARSON (D)
Former Rep. Barbara Kennelly's First District seat stayed safely in Democratic hands as former state senator John B. Larson defeated conservative Republican attorney Kevin O'Connor, a political newcomer. The moderate Larson, 50, is a former president pro tempore of the state Senate, and a longtime advocate of workers' rights and opportunities for poor families. In his campaign literature, he notes that he authored the nation's first "Family and Medical Leave" law, which allows employees to take a leave of absence to care for sick children or parents. Larson also is a business leader and a senior fellow at the Bush Center for Child Development & Social Policy. Larson, who garnered strong endorsements from organized labor, promised to continue fighting for many of Kennelly's causes in Congress. He lists HMO reform, improved education, and retirement security among his top priorities.
MIKE SIMPSON (R)
Republican Mike Simpson combined a background in state elective office with the strong conservative bent of Idaho politics to propel his race for this House seat. Simpson, 48, was speaker of the House in the Idaho legislature for six years and served in that body since 1985 - the same year that Republican incumbent Mike Crapo (who ran for the Senate) was first elected to the House seat. While in the legislature, Simpson worked with the Christian Coalition to require minors to obtain parental consent for abortion, sponsored a bill that would prevent unions from using dues for political purposes without their members' consent, and he earned the support of the National Rifle Association. Despite his political commitments, Simpson has continued as a practicing dentist in Blackfoot, Idaho.
9th District JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D)
Democrat Jan Schakowsky will take over for a legend, retiring Democrat Sidney Yates, who served more than 24 terms that's 48 years in the House. Schakowsky is a good fit for the heavily Democratic 9th district, which encompasses Chicago's progressive North Side and surrounding neighborhoods. Elected to the Illinois House in 1990, Schakowsky has helped pass measures to strengthen the Hate Crimes Act and to allow parents time off from work for school functions. She also worked to support day care centers, libraries and Meals on Wheels programs. She serves as a board member of Mother's Voices, an AIDS-advocacy group, and the Child Care Network of Evanston; she is also a member of the National Organization for Women, the NAACP and the labor union UNITE!. She currently resides in Evanston, Ill., with her husband and three children. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1965 with a B.S. in elementary education.
13th District JUDY BIGGERT (R)
Republican Judy Biggert, who ran for the seat of the retiring Rep. Harris Fawell, also a Republican, paints herself as a moderate legislator who also happens to be a "car-pool mom and assistant soccer coach." A graduate of Stanford University and Northwestern University School of Law, Biggert has served in the Illinois House since 1992. There she served as Majority Conference Chairman and as Assistant Republican leader, guiding through tort reform, property tax caps and workers' compensation reform. She also pushed for several women's rights initiatives, including extending the time women can stay in the hospital after having babies or mastectomies. She is married and has four children.
19th District DAVE PHELPS (D)
Rep. Glenn Poshard, a Democrat, gave up this seat to run for governor, and fellow Democrat Dave Phelps will fill his shoes in Illinois' 19th district, which makes up the Southeast portion of the state and encompasses a geographic area slightly larger than New Hampshire. A former teacher, businessman and Saline County Clerk and Recorder, Phelps currently serves in the Illinois House, where he is chairman of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. He has pushed to build more roads and develop tourism and other economic development opportunities for the district, which has a high level of unemployment. Phelps has also written songs for the Oak Ridge Boys and traveled the country as part of the Phelps Brothers Gospel Singing Group. A life-long native of Eldorado, Ill., he is married with four children.
9th District BARON HILL (D)
In a come-from-behind victory, Baron Hill, a Democratic member of the state House and former candidate for U.S. Senate, defeated Republican Jean Leising, of Batesville, who served as Assistant Majority Whip in the state Senate. Hill will keep the seat in Democratic hands after the retirement of 17-term veteran Rep. Lee Hamilton. Hill ran a spirited, but unsuccessful race against Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., in 1990 that featured television ads depicting a blizzard of paper descending on Hoosiers from the many franked mailings sent at taxpayer expense by Coats.
3rd District DENNIS MOORE (D)
Dennis Moore won a tough race over Republican incumbent Vince Snowbarger to capture Kansas' third congressional district for the Democrats. Moore is a former Johnson County district attorney and criminal defense lawyer. In the Republican-leaning district, Moore painted himself as a fiscally conservative Democrat, and attacked Snowbarger's conservative views on several social issues, including abortion and gun control. Snowbarger was first elected to the seat two years ago.
4th District KEN LUCAS (D)
Democrat Ken Lucas ran for the seat vacated by Republican Jim Bunning, who opted to make a bid for the Senate this year. Lucas waged a tough fight against Gex "Jay" Williams, a staunch conservative who had strong support from the National Rifle Association. This summer, Lucas stepped down from his post as Boone County Judge-executive, a post he had held since 1992. A financial planner at Sagemark Consulting of Lincoln Financial for 31 years, Lucas's community service career has focused on economic and infrastructure development for Boone County, which is the fastest growing county in Kentucky. He is married and has five children.
6th District ERNEST FLETCHER (R)
Republican Ernest Fletcher ran to fill the seat vacated by Democrat Scott Baesler, who opted to make a bid for the Senate this year. A physician, Fletcher has run on traditional Republican values of lowering taxes, extending local control over education and making sure there is no "government-run" healthcare system. A social conservative, he is against abortion rights and advocates a ban on partial-birth abortions. On business and environmental issues, he has criticized the Environmental Protection Agency for "over-regulating" businesses and the Kyoto climate change treaty for calling for change without "guarantee of environmental benefit." He ran a tough race against Democrat Ernesto Scorsone, a former member of the Kentucky state House. Fletcher, who has served in the Kentucky House as a member of the Judiciary Committee, is married and has two children.
8th District MICHAEL E. CAPUANO (D)
Retiring Rep. Joseph Kennedy's 8th District seat stayed safely in Democratic hands as Somerville Mayor Michael E. Capuano easily defeated Republican Philip Hyde III, an economic consultant who unsuccessfully ran against Kennedy in 1996. Also trampled in Tuesday's run against Capuano were Independent candidate Anthony Schinella and Andrea Morell, of the Socialist Workers Party. Capuano faced his biggest challenge for the seat in September, when he fended off nine other Democrats in the primary election. Capuano is a veteran of Massachusetts politics, having served five terms as mayor of Somerville. Prior to that, he served as an alderman in Somerville, a member of the school committee, and president of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. Capuano, a graduate of Dartmouth University and Boston College Law School, also served as general counsel to the State Senate Committee on Taxation. Capuano listed education reform, health care, housing, job and retirement security, and reproductive rights as his top priority issues.
4th District RONNIE SHOWS (D)
In a close race to replace retiring Democrat-turn-Republican Rep. Mike Parker, Democrat Ronnie Shows played his populist hand against GOP candidate Delbert Hosemann. A former teacher, state senator and state transportation commissioner, the 51-year-old Shows stressed his roots in the community where he was born and raised four children. Shows promised to boost education funds for local schools, vowing to repeat his educational achievements in the state senate, where he sponsored a law creating public kindergartens for the first time in the state. He also urges more federal money for after-school programs to keep teenagers out of trouble. He also favors tougher penalties for violent crimes. Citing his experience on the state transportation commission, Shows promised to fight for more aid for area highway construction.
8th District ROBIN HAYES (R)
Robin Hayes is a conservative Republican whose grandfather made the family's textile business, Cannon Mills, a household name. Cannon has since been taken over by other companies, but Hayes remained in textiles as the owner and operator of the Mt. Pleasant Hosiery Mill. He also is a director of the Cannon Foundation, a philanthropic organization that is separate from the textile company. Hayes, 53, is no stranger to politics, serving in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1992-1996. He was selected as that body's majority whip for the 1994-1996 session, and made a failed bid for governor in 1996. Several prominent politicians made campaign appearances on Hayes's behalf in this election season, including former Vice President Dan Quayle, House Majority Leader Richard Armey, R-Texas, and former Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., the GOP's nominee for president in 1996. On the issues, Hayes highlighted tax reform as one of his top priorities, especially eliminating the so-called "marriage penalty" and reforming the Internal Revenue Service. His other priorities reflect conservative beliefs as well. Hayes supports a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, is anti-abortion, favors local control of education, and said he will work to strengthen the nation's military. He defeated Democrat Mike Taylor, 51, an attorney who made improving public education one of his top priorities. Social Security was an issue in the race, with Taylor favoring using budget surpluses to shore up the program while Hayes endorsed investing a portion of workers' Social Security taxes in private retirement accounts.
2nd District LEE TERRY (R)
Republican Lee Terry, a married, 36-year-old Omaha resident, worked as the managing partner of a small Omaha law firm specializing in civil cases and also served on the Omaha City Council since 1991. Terry also serves on the board of directors of the American Diabetes Association. The GOP candidate focused his campaign on protecting "family values," scaling back federal regulations and reducing the size and scope of government. He graduated in 1984 from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with a political science degree and later received a J.D. degree from Creighton Law School. His GOP predecessor, Jon Christensen, left Congress to run for governor but lost in the Republican primary.
1st District SHELLEY BERKLEY (D)
After a particularly nasty campaign in which insults and charges of ethical lapses flew freely between the candidates, Shelley Berkley, 47, emerged victorious over Republican candidate Don Chairez, a district court judge. Currently vice chairman of the University and Community College System of Nevada Board of Regents, Berkley was until last year the vice president of government and legal affairs for the Sands Hotel. But that job turned sour when her former boss, Las Vegas Sands Inc. Chairman Sheldon Adelson, fired her last year and contributed more than half a million dollars to Republican causes. It became even more sour when a tape emerged last June with Berkley purportedly suggesting that money could buy political favors for Adelson, who was then still her employer. Throughout her career, she remained active in the Democratic Party, including a two-year stint as a state representative from 1982 to 1984, when she lost in her bid to become a state senator. A resident of Las Vegas since age 11, Berkley is divorced and has two children.
12th District RUSH HOLT (D)
Democrat Rush Holt, a physicist and former arms control expert for the U.S. State Department, defeated first-term incumbent Republican Michael Pappas in New Jersey's 12th District race. Holt, 50, of Pennington, N.J., squeaked out a victory over Pappas, a former insurance agent from Somerville, N.J. Most recently Holt, worked as the assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Before that, he served as the acting chief of the Nuclear and Scientific Division of the Office of Strategic Forces Analysis at the State Department. As a member of the U.S. House, Holt said he wants to focus on the environment, protecting open spaces, ensuring clean air and clean water, preserving Social Security and Medicare programs, reforming health insurance policies and improving education while beefing up safety at schools.
3rd District TOM UDALL (D)
In New Mexico's 3rd District, Democratic state attorney general Tom Udall upset Republican incumbent Bill Redmond. Udall, 50, is the son of Stewart Udall, who served as Interior Secretary under President Kennedy. He is the nephew of former 15-term Rep. Morris K. Udall, D-Ariz. Udall touted public education reform and the need for smaller class sizes as a top priority, and opposes GOP proposals for private school vouchers, which Redmond supported. Udall also is a vocal advocate of campaign finance reform, improved health care programs, and environmental protection.
7th District JOSEPH CROWLEY (D)
Since 1993, Democrat Joseph Crowley has chaired the state Assembly committee that oversees horse racing and other games of chance but a run for Congress was no gamble in his Queens-based district. Retiring Democratic Rep. Thomas Manton handpicked Crowley as a successor and while Manton tended to focus on home district issues, Crowley touts as a key selling point his involvement in foreign affairs during six terms in Albany. Crowley's campaign literature features his travel to Israel, Nicaragua and Ireland, as well as involvement in a NATO conference in Portugal. Closer to home, Crowley, 36, sounds some familiar Democratic themes, including protection of Social Security and Medicare, reduced school class size, and health care reform.
9th District ANTHONY WEINER (D)
Democrat Anthony Weiner presents himself as a political pugilist, with campaign literature promising Brooklyn voters that he was "in our corner" as a New York City Councilman and would "take the fight for our community to Washington." But it was no upset that Weiner, 34, triumphed in a heavily Democratic district, replacing his old boss Rep. Charles Schumer who gave up the seat to challenge Republican Sen. Alfonse D'Amato. Weiner, an aide to Schumer for six years, identified himself with the popular ex-representative and will construct a similar platform in Congress, where he wants to replace Schumer on the Judiciary or Banking and Financial Services Committees. After working for Schumer as an intern, press secretary and legislative assistant, Weiner became New York's youngest-ever councilman at age 27. While he chaired a public housing safety panel, Weiner looked beyond local issues in his six-year stint. He made staple issues out of aid to Israel and calls for increased Social Security benefits for residents of high-cost areas.
22nd District JOHN SWEENEY (R)
Having popular Gov. George Pataki atop the New York Republican ballot certainly didn't hurt John Sweeney - but being a top aide to Pataki sealed the deal in this upstate district. Sweeney, 43, spent nearly as long politicking his way to the seat as retiring 10-term GOP Rep. Gerald Solomon spent occupying it. After graduating from college in 1981, Sweeney was appointed Rensselaer County's Stop-DWI director and over time climbed the party ladder to become the New York Republican State Committee's executive director in 1992. Most recently, he was Pataki's deputy secretary to the state Executive Chamber. Sweeney, a lawyer, has touted his Pataki connection and his GOP pedigree in campaigning for lower taxes and deregulation of business as a way to revitalize his suburban Albany district. He also stresses reduced school class size and "cooperation between educators and business leaders to make sure our children are trained to meet the job requirements of the next century."
27th District TOM REYNOLDS (R)
In electing Republican Tom Reynolds, this western New York district has traded in one conservative erstwhile rising star Bill Paxon for another. Reynolds, 48, is a five-term state assemblyman who until stepping down to campaign served as GOP leader of the Assembly since 1995. Both ideologically and fiscally, he shares views with Paxon, who acted as his campaign chairman. Reynolds opposes gun control and abortion rights. (This is the district where gynecologist Bernard Slepian was recently slain.) Reynolds also vows to fight for tax cuts, including an end to the so-called marriage penalty, and to move education money from Washington to local districts. Also atop his priority list, according to spokesman Mike Brady, is preserving Social Security and protecting medical decisions from "outside interference."
11th District STEPHANIE TUBBS JONES (D)
Stephanie Tubbs Jones becomes Ohio's first black congresswoman, taking over the Cleveland seat of retiring Democrat Louis Stokes, who was the state's first black congressman. Jones, 49, brings solid liberal credentials to the seat, stressing her desire to expand affirmative action, protect Social Security and senior citizens' health care. She also favors increased spending on elementary school education and to encourage private-sector child care programs. In campaign literature, she stresses her Cleveland roots and blue-collar life story. Although her legal background as a former state and municipal judge and Cuyahoga County prosecutor since 1991 could place her in line for a Judiciary Committee appointment, Jones has expressed interest in a seat on the House Rules Committee.
1st District DAVID WU (D)
Democrat David Wu could be the poster child for the American Dream. Born in Taiwan, his family moved to the United States when he was young. After graduating from a public high school, Wu now 43 graduated from Stanford University and began medical school at Harvard. However, Wu only completed his first year there, after deciding to pursue a career in law. He graduated with a law degree from Yale University in 1982 and co-founded a law firm in 1988. His firm, Cohen & Wu, serves the high-tech industry and small businesses in the Portland area, according to information from Wu's campaign. Wu made education the cornerstone of his campaign, favoring full funding for Head Start, smaller class sizes, and increased aid for college students. (His wife, Michelle, has taught Head Start classes at a Portland school, but now is on a leave of absence to care for their young son, Matthew, who was born on July 4, 1997.) Other platform items of Wu's have included controlling urban sprawl in order to protect the environment and preserving Social Security. Wu supports President Clinton's plan to use the budget surplus to shore up Social Security. He also would be an abortion-rights supporter in Congress, as was his predecessor, retiring Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Furse. Wu would not vote to give the president so-called "fast track" trade negotiating authority. Neither would he support open trade with China until the country improves its human rights record.
2nd District GREG WALDEN (R)
Greg Walden, a small business owner and former state legislator, will be assuming the U.S. House seat of retiring GOP Rep. Robert F. "Bob" Smith. Walden, whose campaign touts Smith as its chairman, has political experience at both the state and national level. He worked in Washington, D.C., from 1981 to 1987 as a press secretary and as chief of staff for former Rep. Denny Smith, R-Ore. In 1988, Walden was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives where he served for three terms two of them as House majority leader. Walden then was tapped to fill the remaining two years of the state Senate term of Wes Cooley, who in 1994 had sought the U.S. House seat being vacated at that time by Smith. Cooley, who was later disgraced by scandal as he sought re-election, eventually stepped aside and Smith won the seat back in 1996. Walden, who owns Columbia Gorge Broadcasters, Inc., with his wife, Mylene, has strong ties to the business community. He serves as director of Hood River Memorial Hospital and chairs the Hood River County Business Roundtable, according to campaign information. He also sits on two boards of directors, one for the Executive Committee of Associated Oregon Industries and the other for the Oregon Health Sciences Foundation. Walden also is a director of Columbia River Bancorp, which operates under several different names in both Oregon and Washington state. Walden, who is the son of former Oregon State Rep. Paul Walden, grew up in The Dalles, surrounded by a cherry orchard, and graduated from the University of Oregon in the early 1980s with a degree in journalism.
10th District DONALD SHERWOOD (R)
Former Rep. Joseph McDade's former seat stayed safely in Republican hands Tuesday, when car dealer Donald Sherwood won a fierce fight against Democratic lawyer Patrick Casey for the 10th District seat. Sherwood garnered an endorsement from McDade, who retired this year after serving 18 House terms. Nine local district attorneys also endorsed Sherwood in the traditionally Republican region. Sherwood has said cutting taxes and reducing the federal bureaucracy would be top priorities for him in Congress. He also listed Social Security, Medicare, and an overhaul of the tax code as leading issues. His opponent, Casey, 32, had plenty of name recognition as the son of former Governor Bob Casey, and top Democrats House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Martin Frost, D-Texas, stumped on behalf of Casey, who also had support from organized labor.
13th District JOSEPH HOEFFEL (D)
Rep. Jon Fox, R-Pa. one of the GOP's most vulnerable incumbents, lost his 13th District seat to Democratic lawyer Joseph Hoeffel. Hoeffel was declared the victor with 52 percent of the vote, compared to Fox's 46 percent. In the final days of the campaign, Fox was the recipient of an expensive advertising blitz, paid for independently by doctor's groups pleased with his support for patients' bill of rights legislation. But Hoeffel, who lost to Fox by a handful of votes two years ago, mounted an aggressive campaign. Hoeffel is a Montgomery County commissioner. The district covers the largely well-heeled suburbs of Philadelphia
15th District PATRICK TOOMEY (R)
Republican businessman Patrick Toomey scored a major victory over Democratic state Senator Roy Afflerbach Tuesday, to claim the former seat of retiring Democrat Paul McHale. Toomey, of Allentown, is a former investment banker and co-founder of an international financial consulting firm. He now owns a restaurant chain known as "Rookies." Toomey garnered endorsements from the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Rifle Association, the National Beer Wholesalers Association, and a long list of corporate political action committees. Toomey, 36, is a strong advocate of tax reform, and has said he would call for legislation to prohibit Congress from raising taxes without a two-thirds "super-majority." Toomey also opposes affirmative action and supports a constitutional amendment to ban flag-burning.
4th District JAMES DeMINT (R)
James DeMint suits South Carolina's ultraconservative 4th district to a tee, vowing to "Bring Freedom Home" by making government smaller and empowering families. DeMint, who takes over the seat fellow Republican Bob Inglis vacated to run for Senate, defeated token Democratic competition. DeMint's platform included opposition to abortion at any time after conception, support for privatizing Social Security and expanding Medical Savings Accounts. DeMint's campaign also promised that the candidate will bring "freedom from judicial oppression" by limiting product liability and malpractice awards. DeMint, who owns a market research firm, has been married for 25 years and has four children. He highlights his service to his church and the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. As the Greenville News wrote in its endorsement of DeMint, he is "conservative to the bone."
20th District CHARLIE GONZALEZ (D)
In his win over token Republican competition, Democrat Charlie Gonzalez takes over the seat held for decades by his father, Henry B. Gonazalez, in Texas's 20th District in largely Hispanic San Antonio. Gonzalez,53, served as a state district court judge until last November, when he announced he would quit to seek the Democratic nomination for his father's post. Vowing to "build a future that honors San Antonio's past," the former teacher pledged to fight against ethnic prejudice while also working to "build up" educational and job opportunities for the Hispanic community. More polished than his father, the junior Gonzalez said he would push for more funds for education and to save the federal Legal Aid program, routinely targeted for budget cuts or elimination by Republicans. Gonzalez worked for the program while he went to law school.
1st District JAY INSLEE (D)
Democrat Jay Inslee pulled 51 percent of the vote to upset GOP Rep. Rick White to represent Washington state’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. Congress. Inslee made national headlines during this campaign for airing a political advertisement criticizing White’s vote to launch an impeachment inquiry against President Clinton. In the ad, Inslee attacked the second-term congressman for voting to drag the country through the mud. This election means that Inslee will be returning to Congress -- he served one term before Republicans swept into power in 1994. At that time, Inslee represented Washington’s 4th District. However, Inslee’s campaign pointed out that Inslee -- who grew up in the 1st District -- has lived there longer than White. Inslee, who graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in economics in 1973, and graduated from Willamette University School of Law in 1976. He was in private practice for 16 years. Before his 1992 election to the U.S. Congress, Inslee also served in the Washington State House of Representatives from 1988 to 1992. Education, the environment, maintaining the solvency of Social Security and health care reform were highlighted, among other things, as important issues to the 47-year-old representative-elect. On education, Inslee favors reducing class sizes and ensuring that students have access to computers and the Internet -- an important issue for a district that includes Microsoft’s headquarters. Salmon recovery also will be key for Inslee, who supports removing the Elwha Dams and urges more resources for local governments in the Puget Sound Basin that are planning recovery projects. Inslee also will be another abortion rights vote in Congress, as well as a supporter of campaign finance reform. He would like to ban “soft money” contributions, strengthen disclosure laws for independent groups sponsoring radio and television ads and require disclsoures of campaign gifts to be posted to the Internet.
3rd District BRIAN BAIRD (D)
After narrowly losing his race for the U.S. House in 1996, Brian Baird tried again in 1998. Baird, although on a leave of absence, is a psychology professor and chair of the psychology department at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, which happens to lie outside his southwestern Washington congressional district. (Baird and his family live in Olympia, Wash.) As might be expected, Baird gave education issues a high priority in this campaign. But the 42-year-old Democrat has said that the federal government cannot bear all the responsibility for education and has encouraged parents and communities to get more involved in schools. He also advocated smaller classes especially in early grades and school-to-work programs. Baird, whose district relies heavily on the timber industry, tried to position himself as a mediator on timber issues. Still, environmental groups, such as the League of Conservation Voters, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit group, readily endorsed him. In Fact, the LCV named him one of their top 10 candidates to support. Federal tax relief for Washington state residents and reforming the Internal Revenue Service also are high on Baird's agenda. In addition to promoting his own platform, Baird attacked his opponent, State Sen. Don Benton, for absenteeism, claiming Benton missed more than 400 votes in his legislative career. Baird was endorsed by the area's major newspapers, including the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Tacoma News Tribune and the Oregonian. In his earlier race two years ago, Baird lost by about 900 votes incumbent Rep. Linda Smith, who vacated her seat this year to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.
1st DISTRICT PAUL D. RYAN (R)
Republican Paul D. Ryan, a single, 28-year-old marketing consultant for a family construction business in Janesville, Wisc., espouses a party-faithful agenda and says he wants to "fight for smaller government and stronger families." He was born and raised in Janesville and received degrees in economics and political science from Miami University in Ohio. Ryan also is no stranger to Washington, having worked in several positions on Capitol Hill, including five years in the office of former U.S. Sen. Bob Kasten, R-Wisc. Ryan also served as economic adviser and speechwriter for Jack Kemp and William Bennett at Empower America. He ran against Democrat Lydia Carol Spottswood, the former Kenosha City Council president who narrowly lost a 1996 race for this seat.
2nd District TAMMY BALDWIN (D)
Democrat Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay member of the Wisconsin legislature, takes traditional Democratic stands in fighting for universal health care coverage, reforming the nation's schools and preserving reproductive rights. She also pledges to work for equal pay for women, preserving Social Security, protecting the environment and reforming campaign finance laws. The 36-year-old Madison, Wisc., resident has served for 12 years in various Wisconsin elected public offices, ranging from Dane County Supervisor to representative in the state assembly. She graduated in 1984 from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., with degrees in political science and math. She also received a law degree in 1989 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. She defeated Republican Josephine Musser, who recently served as Wisconsin's insurance commissioner and also has worked as CEO of four state-run insurance companies.
8th District MARK GREEN (R)
Mark Green, a Republican challenger and a state legislator, was projected early Wednesday to have pulled off an upset victory over incumbent freshman Democrat Jay Johnson. Johnson, a former local TV anchorman, won the seat two years ago and had been considered vulnerable this year. Green is a lawyer from Green Bay who portrayed himself as more of a centrist than Johnson.
© Copyright 1998 LEGI-SLATE News Service