Dome to Dome: ND alums re-elected to Congress
Jenn Metz | Friday, November 7, 2008
Five Notre Dame graduates – two Democrats and three Republicans – were re-elected to the United States House of Representatives Tuesday.
Three of the nine House seats allotted to Indiana belong to Notre Dame graduates – Democrat Joe Donnelly won his second term representing the 2nd District, which is partly comprised of St. Joseph County and includes the University of Notre Dame, Democrat Peter Visclosky won his 12th term in the 1st District, and Republican Mark Souder won his eighth term in the 3rd District.
Donnelly soundly defeated his opponent, Republican Luke Puckett, with 67 percent of the vote. He graduated from Notre Dame as an undergraduate in 1977 and from Notre Dame Law School in 1981.
Donnelly is widely known for his moderate stance within the Democratic Party. He is a pro-life Democrat, and in an interview with The Observer after he secured re-election, said one of the Party’s biggest tests during the upcoming administration will be to reconcile positions of the liberal and moderate members of Congressional leadership.
He told The Observer: “There are a large number of additional pro-life Democrats” in Congress. “We’re going to pursue a very moderate policy moving the country forward.”
A number of students worked on the Donnelly re-election campaign, as reported in the Oct. 31 article titled “Indiana candidates prepare for election.”
Senior Cindy Brenner, one of the students who worked for Donnelly’s campaign, told The Observer in the article that she was drawn to the Congressman because of his moderate approach.
“He is a conservative Democrat, so he has the morals of a lot of the conservative areas [of Indiana],” she told The Observer.
Visclosky, a 1973 Notre Dame Law School graduate, reclaimed his seat in Indiana’s District 1 with 71 percent of the vote. He defeated his opponent, Republican Mark Leyva, who received 27 percent of the vote.
Souder, who earned his MBA from the University in 1974, won Indiana’s District 3, which contains the city of Fort Wayne, with 55 percent of the vote. His opponent, Democrat Michael Montagano, received 40 percent.
Two Republican Notre Dame alums were re-elected to House seats representing New York and California.
Peter King, representing New York’s 3rd District, was re-elected to his 10th term with 64 percent of the vote. He defeated Democrat Graham Long, who received 36 percent of the vote. King earned his law degree from Notre Dame in 1968.
Dan Lungren claimed his second term representing California’s 3rd District by defeating Democrat Bill Durston. Lungren received 50 percent of the vote to Durston’s 44 percent.
Lungren is a 1968 graduate of the University.
Representative Mike Ferguson, a Republican and Notre Dame graduate from New Jersey’s 7th District did not seek re-election in 2008.