Nine GU Alumni Run for Congress
Published: Friday, October 12, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 12, 2012 02:10
Though the Hilltop provides a front-row seat every two years to the spectacle of congressional elections, this year, nine Georgetown alumni will be a part of the action themselves.
The congressional candidates — seven Democrats and two Republicans — continue a long tradition of a strong Georgetown alumni presence in Capitol Hill campaigning. At present, six Senators and 13 members of the House are Georgetown alumni.
Several former Georgetown students running for Congress this election said that Georgetown helped them in their careers.
“Georgetown gave me the opportunity to be involved with various political events and organizations in D.C.,” Republican Sean Bielat (COL ’97), who is currently seeking to represent Massachusetts’ fourth district, said. “It offered me an exposure to policy and politics as an undergrad.”
This proximity can also spark interest from students who did not have a previous concern for politics, according to Vice President for Federal Relations Scott Fleming (SFS ’72).
“Lots of people who come to Georgetown without that [interest in politics] sort of get bitten by the political bug because they’re here,” he said.
Filemon Vela (COL ’85), who is running in Texas’ 34th district, cited Georgetown’s emphasis on service as a reason for his campaign.
“Back … in the early ’80s, I thought about running for Congress. Then, I started practicing law, helping my clients and never thought about it again until one day at the end of last year, when a group of friends convinced me it was time to step out from behind the scenes and become a full-time public servant,” he said. “I’ve been serving my community ever since I got out of school one way or another and look forward to continuing this service [in Congress].”
Fleming also cited the Law Center as contributing to the large number of alumni in Congress, noting its location near the Capitol Building as well as the option it provides students to attend night classes and work on the Hill during the day.
Democrat John Delaney (LAW ’88), who is running to represent Maryland’s sixth district, began his career and made important social bonds during his law school years.
“It was at Georgetown Law where I developed a sense of what I wanted to do with my career and started to put together a plan for becoming an entrepreneur,” he said. “I started my first company with friends I’d made at Georgetown.”
In addition to Bielat, Delaney and Vela, the other new candidates for Congress this election are Lois Frankel (LAW ’73), a Democrat running for Florida’s 22nd district, Hakeem Jeffries (MPP ’94), a Democrat running for New York’s eighth district, Ann McLane Kuster (LAW ’84), a Democrat running for New Hampshire’s second district, Katherine Savers McGovern (LAW ’69), a Democrat running for Texas’ 32nd district and Vernon Parker (LAW ’88), a Republican running for Arizona’s ninth district. Democrat Mazie Hirono (LAW ’78), current representative for Hawaii’s second congressional district, is running for U.S. senator from Hawaii.