Alumni vie for seats in Congress

Seven GW alumni are up for re-election Nov. 2, and one alumnus is seeking his first term in the U.S. Senate.

Many of the politicians are in tight, attention-grabbing races that are expected to dramatically change the makeup of Congress come Election Day.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who graduated from the GW Law School in 1964, is neck-and-neck with Republican candidate Sharron Angle. A CNN, Time and Opinion Research Corporation poll released Oct. 27 shows 49 percent of likely voters are supporting Angle, while 45 percent are backing Reid.

Democrat Jack Conway is running against Republican candidate Rand Paul, son of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, for a seat in the Senate. Conway has served as the Attorney General of Kentucky since 2008 and is a 1995 graduate of GW Law School.

In 2002, Conway was a candidate for Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district, but narrowly lost to Republican candidate Anne Northup. He is currently behind in the polls, and members of the College Democrats held a phone bank for the candidate to try and drum up some last minute support for the alumnus.

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., is seeking another term to represent his state’s 7th district in the House. While at GW, Cantor majored in political science.

He currently serves as the House whip, and if Republicans regain control of the House, Cantor could become the majority leader. He is being challenged for the House seat by Democratic nominee Rick Waugh, who is trailing Cantor in recent polls.

Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Penn., is up for re-election this year against Republican candidate Keith Rothfus. Altmire is running to represent the 4th district of Pennsylvania, an office he has held since 2006.

“We’re in a great position going into Election Day and the Congressman looks forward to continuing to fight for western Pennsylvania families and workers,” Rachael Heisler, Altmire’s campaign manager, said in an e-mail.

An independent poll released Oct. 20 shows that Altmire is ahead by 12 percentage points. Altmire received a master’s degree in health administration from GW in 1998.

Rep. Jimmy Duncan, R-Tenn., graduated from GW Law School in 1973 and is seeking another term. He is up against Democratic candidate Dave Hancock as he seeks to continue representing Tennessee’s 2nd district in the House.

In New York, Republican nominee John Gomez is challenging Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., for the state’s 2nd district seat in the House. Israel received a degree in political science in 1983 from GW and was first elected to the House in 2000.

While most alumni in Congress hold law or political science degrees, Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., graduated from GW’s School of Engineering and Applied Science with a degree in 1963.

Stearns is running for re-election against Independent candidate Steve Schonberg for Florida’s 6th district. Stearns has held this position since 1989.

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