2006 Midterm Elections: Senior, alumni win elections

While some GW alumni lost prominent races in Tuesday’s midterm elections, a student, professor and alumnus will be serving in several public offices next year.

Senior L. Asher Corson beat incumbent Anne Savage for a seat on the Foggy Bottom/West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission with 63 percent of the vote. Corson, whose family owns a unit in the Griffin building at 955 26th St., said Foggy Bottom Association President Joy Howell, whom he called his neighbor and good friend, persuaded him to run.

“I really did this to protect my own property,” Corson said Wednesday.

The ANC advises D.C. government on residents’ neighborhood concerns. This year, ANC actions have opposed GW plans to build an apartment-style dorm on F Street and the new 20-year Campus Plan, which dictates University development over the next two decades.

Corson said he wants to dispel beliefs some may have that he is against GW. Howell, his supporter, is known for openly expressing opposition to the University.

“I don’t intend to be anti-GW in any way,” Corson said. “I love GW. I’m not out to get GW or anything like that; I mean, if I didn’t like it I would have left.”

Savage said that although she is no longer serving on the ANC, she still plans to be active in the community. She said she was not sure if she would run again.

Another victor from Tuesday was 1983 business school graduate Tim Mahoney, who defeated Republican Joe Negron for Florida’s 16th congressional district. Negron received the votes of U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, who resigned from Congress after the October sex scandal involving male pages.

Mahoney won with 50 percent of the vote compared to Negron’s 48 percent, according to uncertified results from Florida’s Elections Division. Mahoney ran on a platform of American values and promised his constituents better homeowner insurance, healthcare and education.

“I am honored to have been chosen to represent the people of Florida’s 16th district,” Mahoney said in a press release. “A year ago, this race was considered an uphill battle. Today, we were given a clear mandate for change.”

Law professor Mary Cheh, who defeated fellow faculty member Erik Gaull in the Democratic primary for Ward 3 councilmember, was another winner in the midterm election. Cheh beat Republican Theresa Conroy with 71 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics. She has said she will continue to teach at GW while representing her ward in the City Council, an assertion that was a point of contention during the election.

Tammy Duckworth, a 1992 Elliott School alumnus and double-leg amputee who served in Iraq, lost a hotly contested Illinois congressional race by two percentage points. Republican Peter Roskam defeated Duckworth 51 percent to 49 percent, according to CNN. He will go on to serve his state’s sixth district in next year’s 110th Congress.

Alumnus and Democratic congressional candidate Paul Aronsohn lost to Republican incumbent Rep. Scott Garrett for New Jersey’s fifth district. Aronsohn, who attended GW for his undergraduate and graduate degrees in the 1980s, only garnered 44 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from New Jersey’s Division of Elections.

2006 graduate Mark Harris lost to Democratic opponent Matt Smith for a state representative seat in Harrisburg, Pa. Harris, a Republican, defeated two-term incumbent Tim Stevenson in the primary election in September. Major area newspapers projected Harris to win, but he lost 41 percent to 58 percent, according to unofficial results from the Allegheny County Elections Board.

-David Ceasar contributed to this report.

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