Crimson in Congress

The Republican resurgence of 2010 decreased alumni ranks--defined for this exercise as graduates of or matriculants in a degree program at the University--overall on Capitol Hill. Two years ago, 38 Harvardians took their seats in the 111th Congress; Al Franken ’73 later boosted that number to 39, until the death of Edward Kennedy ’54, LL.D. ’08, in 2009. In the 112th Congress, the likely total at press time appears to be 34. Representative Jane Harman, J.D. ’69, Democrat of California, recently the only woman in the group, was joined by Terri Sewell, J.D. ’92, Democrat of Alabama.

In the Senate, the Harvard contingent added both a Democrat, Richard Blumenthal ’67 of Connecticut, and a Republican, former congressman Pat Toomey ’84 of Pennsylvania. Incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold, J.D. ’79, of Wisconsin lost his reelection bid, while Republicans Michael Crapo, J.D. ’77, of Idaho and David Vitter ’83 of Louisiana won theirs.

In the House, Republican Thomas Petri ’62, LL.B. ’65, of Wisconsin, previously the sole member of his party to have graduated from Harvard, is joined by Michael R. Pompeo, J.D. ’94, of Kansas. Randy Altschuler, M.B.A. ’98, of New York, came close to joining them, but ultimately conceded on December 8, losing by 263 votes out of more than 194,000 cast.

On the Democratic side of the aisle, Artur Davis ’90, J.D. ’93, of Alabama, withdrew to mount a failed gubernatorial bid, and Joseph A. Sestak Jr., M.P.A. ’80, K ’82, Ph.D. ’84, of Pennsylvania, ran for the Senate but lost to Pat Toomey. Meanwhile five alumni first elected in 2008--John Adler ’81, J.D. ’84, of New Jersey; Bill Foster, Ph.D. ’83, of Illinois; Alan M. Grayson ’78, M.P.P. -J.D. ’83, G ’87, of Florida; Dan Maffei, M.P.P. ’95, of New York; and Walter C. Minnick, M.B.A. ’66, J.D. ’69, of Idaho--lost their seats, as did House veteran Chet Edwards, M.B.A. ’81, of Texas.

The line-up at press time (asterisks mark newcomers):

Senate Republicans: Michael D. Crapo, J.D. ’77 (Id.); *Pat Toomey ’84 (Pa.); David Vitter ’83 (La.).

Senate Democrats: Jeff Bingaman ’65 (N.M.); *Richard Blumenthal ’67 (Conn.); Al Franken ’73 (Minn.); Herbert H. Kohl, M.B.A. ’58 (Wisc.); Carl Levin, LL.B. ’59 (Mich.); John F. (Jack) Reed, M.P.P. ’73, J.D. ’82 (R.I.); John D. Rockefeller IV ’58 (W.Va.); Charles E. Schumer ’71, J.D. ’74 (N.Y.); Mark R. Warner, J.D. ’80 (Va.).

House Republicans: Thomas E. Petri ’62, LL.B. ’65 (Wisc.); *Michael R. Pompeo, J.D. ’94 (Kans.)

House Democrats: John Barrow, J.D. ’79 (Ga.); Gerry Con­nolly, M.P.A. ’79 (Va.); James H. Cooper, J.D. ’80 (Tenn.); Barney Frank ’61, G ’62-’68, J.D. ’77 (Mass.); John Garamendi, M.B.A. ’70 (Calif.); Jane Harman, J.D. ’69 (Calif.); Brian Higgins, M.P.A. ’96 (N.Y.); Jim Himes ’88 (Conn.); 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.); *Terri Sewell, J.D. ’92 (Ala.); Bradley J. Sherman, J.D. ’79 (Calif.); Christopher Van Hollen Jr., M.P.P. ’85 (Md.); David Wu, M ’81 (Ore.).

This article was corrected on January 3, 2011, to add a Republican member of Congress, Michael R. Pompeo, who was omitted in the print version.

Updated November 7, 2012: We regret also the omission from the original article of Representative John Garamendi, M.B.A. ’70, Democrat of California, and Representative  Terri Sewell, J.D. ’92, Democrat of Alabama, who became the second woman in the Harvard contingent, prior to the departure of Jane Harman. The text above has been updated to reflect their presence.

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