IAVA Tracks Key Races on Election Night
Posted by Kate O'Gorman on November 7
The stakes were high in this election for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. With the war in Iraq now over and the war in Afghanistan coming to a close, elected leaders must come to Congress with a plan to fight for veterans and their families. We asked you to join us in calling on all candidates - Republicans and Democrats, and House, Senate and Presidential alike - to step up to fight for veterans and their families on the challenges confronting veterans and their families.
But, the issues of this election weren’t the only thing that IAVA tracked this election cycle. Some members of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees faced tough election battles. Because we work with these committees regularly to address the issues important to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, we kept a close eye on those races last night.
We also tracked the record high 42 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who run for office in 2012. While all of them did not win yesterday, it was a big moment for our community to see so many of the New Greatest Generation run to continue their service in Congress.
IAVA is a nonpartisan group and does not endorse political candidates of any party. We released a voter guide earlier this year and we offer these election results as a service to our members and the country.
Not all the results are in and we’ll continue to update this post as they are reported.
Here are some of the races we watched:
Incumbent veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan seeking re-election:
AR-02: Tim Griffin (R) v. Herb Rule (D): After defeating Democratic challenger Herb Rule, Rep. Griffin will head back to Congress for a second term. Rep. Griffin serves in the Army Reserves as a JAG officer and deployed to Iraq in 2006.
CA-50: Duncan Hunter (R) v. David Secor (D): Rep. Duncan Hunter won another term as a Congressman from California. As an officer in the Marine Corps, Rep. Hunter deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.
CO – 06: Mike Coffman (R) v. Joe Miklosi (D): Rep. Mike Coffman won his bid for re-election in a closely watched House race. Rep. Coffman has served in both the Army and Marine Reserves and deployed to Iraq in 2005.
FL - 18: Allen West (R) v. Patrick Murphy (D): Rep. Allen West, an Army veteran who deployed to Iraq, faced Patrick Murphy in his bid for a second term in Congress. In the early morning, Rep. West is trailing Patrick Murphy narrowly.
IL -16: Adam Kinzinger (R) v. Wanda Rohl (D): Republican Rep. Kinzinger won a second term in Congress Tuesday by defeating Wanda Rohl. Rep. Kinzinger served in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the Air Force and continues to serve as a pilot in the Air National Guard.
NV - 03: Joe Heck (R) v. John Oceguera (D): Incumbent and Iraq veteran Rep. Joe Heck won his bid for re-election last night in Nevada in what was expected to be a close race. In 2008, Rep. Heck deployed to Iraq as a member of the Army Reserves.
NY - 19: Chris Gibson (R) v. Julian Schreibman (D): Rep. Gibson won his bid for re-election to represent New York in Congress. During his long Army career, Rep. Gibson deployed to Iraq four times, and also served in Kosovo and in Haiti. He is a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
OH - 15: Steve Stivers (R) v. Pat Lang (D): Rep. Stivers won his race to continue serving as a Representative from Ohio. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Ohio National Guard and served as a Battalion Commander when he deployed to Iraq.
Massachusetts Senate - Sen. Scott Brown (R) v. Elizabeth Warren (D): Sen. Scott Brown lost his tough battle for re-election as the Senator from Massachusetts to Elizabeth Warren at a margin of 46-54. He served as a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Senate House Armed Services Committee. Sen. Brown is also a National Guardsmen and has deployed to Afghanistan for training.
Some of the 42 new Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans that sought office in 2012:
Maine Senate: Charlie Summers (R) v. Angus King (I) v. Cynthia Dill (D): Charlie Summers won the Republican nomination for the Maine Senate race. Last night Summers lost that bid to Independent candidate Angus King in a three-man race. Summers has served in the Navy Reserve since 1996 and deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2008.
AR – 04: Tom Cotton (R) v. Gene Jeffress (D): Tom Cotton won his first term tonight to serve as the Congressman from Arkansas’s fourth district. He served in the Army, deploying to Iraq as an infantry platoon leader in 2006 and later to Afghanistan in 2008 as an operations officer.
AZ – 01: Jonathan Paton (R) v. Ann Kirkpatrick (D): Jonathan Paton lost to Ann Kirkpatrick in a race that was called late Wednesday. In 2006, Paton volunteered to deploy to Iraq as an intelligence officer as a member of the Army Reserves.
AZ - 02: Martha McSally (R) v. Ron Barber (D): Arizona's second Congressional district is also too close to call. Martha McSally, an Air Force pilot who flew missions in support of the war in Afghanistan, took on incumbent Rep. Ron Barber.
FL – 06: Ron DeSantis (R) v. Heather Beaven (D): Ron DeSantis won his first term in Congress in an election tonight against fellow veteran, Heather Beaven. DeSantis was a JAG officer in the Navy and deployed to Iraq. He continues to serve in the Navy Reserves.
GA – 09: Doug Collins (R) v. Jody Cooley (D): Doug Collins won his first term to represent the 9th district of Georgia. He has served for ten years in the Air Force Reserves as a Chaplain and deployed to Iraq.
HI – 02: Tulsi Gabbard (D) v. Kawika Crowley (R): Tulsi Gabbard joins Tammy Duckworth in becoming the first female veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan to serve in Congress. As a member of the Hawaii National Guard, she deployed to Iraq and later returned to Kuwait as a military police platoon leader in 2008.
IL – 08: Tammy Duckworth (D) v. Joe Walsh (R): Duckworth was a Captain in the National Guard when she deployed to Iraq in 2004. While serving in Iraq, her helicopter was shot down and she sustained severe injuries, losing both legs and the partial use of her right arm. She currently serves in the Illinois Army National Guard, and along with Gabbard could be the first female veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan to serve in Congress.
MI - 11: Kerry Bentivolio (R) v. Syed Taj (D): Kerry Bentivolio is a veteran of Vietnam, Desert Storm and Iraq as part of the Army and the Michigan National Guard. He beat Dr. Syed Taj in a closely watched race.
OH-02: Brad Wenstrup (R) v. William Smith (D): Brad Wenstrup, an Army Reservist, comes to Congress for his first term in 2013. In 2005, he deployed to Iraq in 2005 as a Combat Surgeon.
OK-01: James Bridenstine (R) v. John Olson (D): Bridenstine is a pilot in the Navy Reserves who flew missions in support of wars Iraq and Afghanistan. Last night he won his first term in Congress by defeating John Olson in Oklahoma’s first district.
PA-04: Scott Perry (R) v. Harry Perkinson (D): Scott Perry is Colonel in the Navy Reserves. In 2008, then Lt. Col. Perry led the 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion, 28th Infantry Division as it deployed to Iraq. He’ll come to Congress for his first term in 2013.
Members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Seeking Re-Election:
Montana Senate - Sen. Jon Tester (D) v. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R): In a race that was not called until mid-day Wednesday, SVAC Committee Member Jon Tester was re-elected in a tough battle against Rep. Denny Rehberg.
Ohio Senate - Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) v. OH State Treasurer Josh Mandel (R): SVAC Committee Member Sherrod Brown won his bid for re-election against i OIF Veteran, Josh Mandel in the closely watched Buckeye State. Mandel ultimately lost this race 45-50.
Current SVAC Members, Senator Wicker (R-MS) and Senator Sanders (I-VT), were re-elected in their respective Senate races.
WWII vet Senator Akaka (D-HI) and Vietnam vet Senator Webb (D-VA), were members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and both retired from the Senate this year. As listed above, Sen. Scott Brown lost his bid for re-election against Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts.
Races for the House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC)
CA-09: Ricky Gill (R) v. Jerry McNerney (D): We are still waiting to see who will win the closely watched race between HVAC Member Jerry McNerney and Ricky Gill.
CA-10: Jeff Denham (R) v. Jose Hernandez (D): We’re still waiting for the results from the 10th district of California. HVAC member Jeff Denham is facing off against Jose Hernandez in this race that is still too close to call.
GA-12: John Barrow (D) v Lee Anderson (R): Representative Barrow defeated Republican Lee Anderson and will return to Congress next year.
MI-01: Dan Benishek (R) v. Gary McDowell (D): The race between HVAC member Dan Benishek and challenger Gary McDowell was expected to be one of the most competitive races of the election cycle. So far, the race has lived up to his billing and remains too close to call.
NJ-03: John Runyan (R) v. Shelley Adler (D): HVAC member John Runyan will head back to Congress after defeating his opponent Shelley Adler.
NY-24: Ann Marie Buerkle (R) v. Dann Maffei (D): Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, a first-term Representative that serves as the Chair of the HVAC Subcommittee on Health, lost her bid for re-election against former Congressman Dann Maffei.
OH-06: Bill Johnson (R) v. Charlie Wilson (D): A newly re-drawn district pitted incumbent Representatives Bill Johnson and Charlie Wilson against one another. HVAC member Bill Johnson defeated Charlie Wilson and will return to Congress next year.
In addition,the following HVAC members also won their races:
- NV - 2: Mark Amodei (R)
- FL - 9: Gus Bilirakis (R)
- TX - 17: Bill Flores (R)
- KS - 01: Tim Huelskamp (R)
- CO - 5: Doug Lamborn (R)
- FL - 1: Jeff Miller (R)
- TN - 1: Phil Roe (R)
- IN - 3: Marlin Stutzman (R)
- CA - 39: Linda Sanchez (D)
- FL - 3: Corrine Brown (D)
- ME - 2: Mike Michaud (D)
- MN - 1: Tim Walz (D)
- IA - 1: Bruce Braley (D)
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