November 6, 2012

At Least Four Cornell Alumni Win Congressional Races

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Correction appended

Cornellians around the U.S. made a run for Congress in the 2012 elections. At least four of them emerged victorious Tuesday evening.

Joe Rooney ’80

LOSS: Four-year incumbent Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Penn.) toppled Joe Rooney ’80 (R-Penn) in Tuesday’s election for Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District seat. He had 68.8 percent of the vote as of 1 a.m. on Wednesday.

Rooney attended Cornell on a Navy ROTC scholarship and received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

A self-proclaimed fiscal conservative, he has called for a balanced budget amendment, the simplification of the national tax code and the elimination of the national deficit according to the Wall Street Journal.

He has also criticized President Obama and the Democratic Party for what he said is their opposition to the military.

“The current Democrat administration proposes cuts in our Army and Marine Corps as a way to transfer money for their far left pet projects,” Rooney said on his website. “There is waste in the Department of Defense and it must be weeded out, but manpower cuts to our fighting forces are unwise.”

Rooney served for 23 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring from the Marine Corps Reserve in 2003 as a lieutenant colonel.

Rob Andrews J.D. ’82

WIN: Rob Andrews J.D. ’82 (D-N.J.) the incumbent for New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District, defeated his opponent, Greg Horton (R-N.J.). As of 1 a.m. on Wednesday, Andrews had 67.9 percent of the vote.

Andrews has served on Congress since 1990. In 2008, 206,453 ballots were cast in his favor — more votes than any other Congressional candidate from New Jersey has received in history.

As a student at Cornell Law School, Andrews was selected to be on the Board of Editors for the Cornell Law Review.

Nan Hayworth M.D. ’85

LOSS: Nan Hayworth M.D. ’85 lost re-election in New York’s 19th Congressional District, to Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), who served as an aide under President Bill Clinton and former New York governors David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer. Maloney defeated Hayworth by a margin of 51.7 to 48.3, as of 1 a.m. on Wednesday.

According to the Hudson Valley Magazine, pundits in Washington identified Hayworth as one of the Republicans in the House of Representatives most vulnerable to defeat this year, although polling showed she began this fall with a lead over Maloney.

Her platform called for cutting government spending, decreasing energy costs, and repairing the nation’s infrastructure to generate growth.

Hayworth graduated top of her class from Cornell University Medical College, where she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honors Society.

Gibson M.A. ’96 Ph.D. ’98

WIN: Rep. Chris Gibson Ph.D ’98 (R-N.Y), who received two masters’ degrees from Cornell, defeated Dem. Julian Schriebman (D-N.Y.) in the race for his second term as the representative for New York’s 19th Congressional District. In 2010, Gibson was elected to represent the 20th district, which includes Washington County and the city of Saratoga Springs.

Gibson, a retired Army colonel and recipient of many military decorations, won with about 54 percent of the vote as of 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Gibson ran successfully for Congress in 2010, beating incumbent Scott Murphy (D-N.Y.) with 55 percent of the Vote.

Though the district is traditionally conservative, Gibson, who received his Ph.D from Cornell in government, and Schreibman went head to head in a closely contested race.

Jim Bridenstine MBA ’09

WIN: After defeating a six-term incumbent in the Republican primary, Lt. Cmdr. Jim Bridenstine became the Congressional representative for the 1st District of Oklahoma, holding 63 percent of the vote two hours after the polls closed on Tuesday.

After serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, Bridestine completed his M.B.A. at Cornell before returning to Tulsa to serve as the executive direction for the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium. Bridenstine also works at various consulting firms.

Strongly backed by the Tea Party, Bridenstine defeated his opponent Sgt. John Olson (D-Okla.), a small-business owner from Tulsa.

According to the Oklahoma State Election Board, Republicans nearly had a 38 percent registration advantage in the district going into the election.

Kurt Schrader ’73

WIN: Rep. Kurt Schrader ’73 (D-Ore.), a self-proclaimed budget hawk, was reelected as representative of Orgeon’s northwestern fifth ward, defeating his opponent, Fred Thompson (R-Ore.). He led with 54.2 percent as of 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Schrader graduated from Cornell in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts in government.

Since his election in 2008, Schrader has worked on legilation regarding agriculture and natural resources — two key issues for Oregon, which boasts a sizable voting bloc.

Schrader, whose district is considered fairly conservative has a reputation as a political moderate and has voted with the Democratic party only 63 percent of the time, according to an analysis conducted by The Washington Post.

A previous version of this story’s headline was incorrect. At least four — not five — Cornell alumni won congressional races.

Original Author: Sun Staff