UVA Law Alumni Elected to U.S. Senate
A number of University of Virginia School of Law alumni were elected to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, including Angus King '69, who won the seat vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe.
King, an independent who previously served as Maine's governor from 1995 to 2003, said in his victory speech that he intends to help break partisan gridlock in Washington and achieve results through compromise.
"Today, many people showed that being fiercely independent doesn't mean you have to be fierce," he said. "Tomorrow, and for the next six years, my simple goal is to keep proving that — to be a bridge between my new colleagues on either side of the aisle, to bring people and our country closer to that more perfect union envisioned by our founders."
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse '82, a Democratic incumbent from Rhode Island, won his first re-election bid, defeating Republican challenger B. Barrett Hinckley.
In Florida, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson '68 was also re-elected, fending off a challenge from Republican Rep. Connie Mack. Nelson, who was first elected in 2000, will enter his third term in the Senate.
In his victory speech, Nelson also struck a bipartisan tone.
"We have a lot to do now," he said. "We have to bring this country together. It's an extremely polarized, excessively partisan, ideologically rigid political environment and the people are tired of that. They're tired of the division. They want unity. And what I will try to continue to do, as I have throughout my entire elected life, is to reach across the aisle and bring people together to build consensus so that we can govern this country."
Former Virginia senator and governor George Allen '77, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate in the commonwealth, was defeated by Democrat Tim Kaine, also a former Virginia governor, in the race to fill the seat held by retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb.
Also serving in the U.S. Senate, but not up for re-election this year is Texas Republican John Cornyn LL.M. '95.
UVA Law alumni were also elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Sean Patrick Maloney '92 was elected to represent New York's 18th Congressional District, unseating incumbent Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth.
Meanwhile, Rep. J. Randy Forbes '77, a Republican who represents Virginia's 4th Congressional District, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee '75, a Democrat who represents Texas' 18th Congressional District, were both re-elected.