John Harvard's Journal
Crimson in Congress
In the aftermath of last Novembers elections for the 110th Congress, one Harvard alumnus stood very much alone. Representative Thomas Petri 62, LL.B. 65, Republican of Wisconsin, is the sole remaining member of his party in the House to have graduated from, or matriculated in a degree program at, the University.
|Photograph by Tony Freund|
Overall, Harvards Capitol Hill alumni (as defined above, for this exercise) will drop from the contingent of 41 who sat in the 109th Congress to a group of 35 in January. That total includes 29 Democrats, equal to the tally in the last session, but only six Republicans (down five). The Universitys two new faces are both Democratic House members: John Sarbanes, J.D. 88, of Maryland, and Joseph Sestak, M.P.A. 80, K 82, Ph.D. 84, of Pennsylvania. (Sarbanes is a son of Marylands senior U.S. senator, Paul Sarbanes, J.D. 60, who is retiring after five terms.) The Democrats total will rise by one if Representative William Jefferson, J.D. 72, of Louisiana, the subject of an FBI bribery probe, wins a run-off election December 9. [Jefferson won the run-off, raising Harvard’s overall total to 36, including 30 Democrats.]
|Courtesy of Sharon L. Nathanson|
|Courtesy of Zach Steacy|
The thinning of Harvards congressional Republicans was not due entirely to the voters. Senator William Frist, M.D. 78, of Tennessee, stepped down after serving two terms. Representative Christopher Cox, M.B.A. 75, J.D. 77, of California, was named chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2005 by a Business School classmate, President Bush. And Katherine Harris, M.P.A. 97, of Florida, ran unsuccessfully for the Senate. But voters in Connecticut did reject Representatives Nancy Johnson 57, after 12 terms, and Robert Simmons, G 73, M.P.A. 79, who lost by 91 votes after three terms.
|Office of Congresswoman Nancy L. Johnson|
|Office of Congressman John Barrow|
On the Democratic side, Representative John Barrow, J.D. 79, of Georgia faced a hard race, but held onto his seat by 864 votes. The Democratic caucus will welcome Vermonts new Senate Independent, Bernard Sanders, IOP 89, who succeeded retiring Independent James Jeffords, LL.B. 62. Sanders is one of several legislators who have taught at Harvard or participated in Harvard programs. Another is Representative Michael McCaul, SEF 02, of Texas, who will help Thomas Petri hold up the Republican side.
The line-up at press time (asterisks mark newcomers):
Senate Republicans: Michael D. Crapo, J.D. 77 (Id.); Elizabeth Dole, M.A. 60, J.D. 65 (N.C.); Ted Stevens, LL.B. 50 (Alaska); John E. Sununu, M.B.A. 91 (N.H.); David Vitter 83 (La.).
Senate Democrats: Jeff Bingaman 65 (N.M.); Russ Feingold, J.D. 79 (Wisc.); Edward M. Kennedy 54 (Mass.); Herbert H. Kohl, M.B.A. 58 (Wisc.); Carl Levin, LL.B. 59 (Mich.); Barack Obama, J.D. 91 (Ill.); John F. (Jack) Reed, M.P.P. 73, J.D. 82 (R.I.); John D. Rockefeller IV 58 (W.V.); Charles E. Schumer 71, J.D. 74 (N.Y.).
House Republican: Thomas E. Petri 62, LL.B. 65 (Wisc.).
House Democrats: Thomas H. Allen, J.D. 74 (Maine); John Barrow, J.D. 79 (Ga.); James H. Cooper, J.D. 80 (Tenn.); Artur Davis 90, J.D. 93 (Ala.); Chet Edwards, M.B.A. 81 (Tex.); Barney Frank 61, G 62-68, J.D. 77 (Mass.); Jane Harman, J.D. 69 (Calif.); Brian Higgins, M.P.A. 96 (N.Y.); Ron Kind 85 (Wisc.); James R. Langevin, M.P.A. 94 (R.I.); Sander M. Levin, LL.B. 57 (Mich.); Stephen F. Lynch, M.P.A. 99 (Mass.); James D. Matheson 82 (Utah); *John P. Sarbanes, J.D. 88 (Md.); Adam B. Schiff, J.D. 85 (Calif.); Robert C. Scott 69 (Va.); *Joseph A. Sestak Jr., M.P.A. 80, K 82, Ph.D. 84 (Pa.); Bradley J. Sherman, J.D. 79 (Calif.); Christopher Van Hollen Jr., M.P.P. 85 (Md.); David Wu, M 81 (Ore.).