Photo: Courtesy People for Derek Kilmer

It’s safe to say that Derek Kilmer ’96 did not lose track of his hometown when he went away to college. The Port Angeles, Wash.-native wrote his senior thesis about the “social and economic impacts of the Pacific Northwest timber crisis,” specifically analyzing the Clinton Forest Plan, which was adopted in 1994. After college, Kilmer studied social policy at Oxford as a Marshall scholar and eventually returned home to work for the economic development office in Tacoma-Pierce County. Since 2004, he has been climbing the ladder of local politics, first serving as a state representative, then as a state senator. On Tuesday, he reached another rung, winning election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I ran for Congress because a lot of middle-class families and small businesses are struggling,” Kilmer told the Seattle Times, “and they need someone who’s going to fight for them.”

Election day went well for a majority of Princeton’s 10 alumni candidates: Six are headed to Congress. Four are incumbents and two are newcomers — Kilmer and Ted Cruz ’92, who was PAW’s Tiger of the Week in August after he earned the Republican nomination for the Texas Senate race, scoring an upset victory in a runoff contest. For information about all 10 candidates, click here.