Eight Princeton alumni earned congressional seats in the Nov. 8 elections, according to results published by the Associated Press, including two new representatives: Raja Krishnamoorthi ’96, a Democrat and president of two small tech companies in the Chicago area, who won Illinois’ 8th district; and Mike Gallagher ’06, a Republican foreign policy adviser, who defeated fellow Princetonian Tom Nelson *04 in Wisconsin’s 8th district.
Gallagher, a former Marine, won the seat held by retiring Rep. Reid Ribble, also a Republican. In his victory speech, he told supporters that “the world could use more of what we’re doing right here in Wisconsin and less of what they’re selling in Washington D.C.,” according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Krishnamoorthi, who was born in India and grew up in Peoria, Ill., will succeed Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat who won her race for a U.S. Senate seat. He told the Chicago Sun Times that he believed voters responded to a campaign platform that was “long on ideas and short on insults.”
All six of the alumni currently in the House of Representatives retained their seats by comfortable margins: Ken Buck ’81, a Republican who represents Colorado’s 4th district; Derek Kilmer ’96, a Democrat who represents Washington state’s 6th district; Leonard Lance *82, a Republican who represents New Jersey’s 7th district; Jared Schutz Polis ’96, a Democrat who represents Colorado’s 2nd district; John Sarbanes ’84, a Democrat who represents Maryland’s 3rd district; and Terri Sewell ’86, a Democrat who represents Alabama’s 7th district.
In addition to Nelson, three alumni were on the losing side of congressional races. Paul Clements *92 *96, the Democratic candidate in Michigan’s 6th district, and D. Peter Theron ’78, the Republican candidate in Wisconsin’s 2nd district, competed against opponents they had faced in 2014, and both lost by margins similar to those in the previous races. Brady Walkinshaw ’06, a Democratic member of the state house of representatives in Washington, lost to fellow Democrat Pramila Jayapal in the state’s 7th congressional district. Washington uses a top-two primary system, in which the top two vote-getters advance, regardless of party affiliation.