When former members of Congress run for their old seats again, it’s always a bit of a challenge to address their sudden, past unexpected departure from office. Here’s the candidate biography on the web site for Dina Titus, a Democrat running for a to-be-determined-by-redistricting seat in Nevada:
Dina Titus has dedicated her entire professional life to education and public service. She taught American and Nevada government classes at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for 34 years, until her retirement in June 2011. She represented the people of Senate District 7 in the Nevada Legislature for 20 years, serving as the Democratic Minority Leader from 1993 to 2008.
Dina was elected to the US House of Representatives from Nevada’s Third Congressional District in November 2008. She served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Education and Labor Committee, and the Homeland Security Committee. She also served as Whip for the Western states and was a member of numerous issue caucuses during the 111th Congress.
. . . and then what happened?
Oh, that’s right. Republican Joe Heck beat her in a close, hard-fought race, in a district that scores D+2 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index.
Interestingly, Titus was not one of the defeated incumbents whom the DCCC was talking up as strong rematch possibilities this year.
Carol Shea-Porter has only a most basic web site up; in her message to supporters, she talks about how proud she is of her past service, and how wrong the current Congress is, with no acknowledgment of why she’s no longer there to oppose the current proposals:
I am running for the United States House of Representatives. During my two terms serving the good people of New Hampshire’s First District, I always worked for what I call the bottom 99% of Americans, and I never forgot that public office is a public trust.
. . . Our current Congress is passing legislation that will hurt average Americans, and they are bowing to special interests instead of focusing on job creation and good government.
Shea-Porter may have been convinced that she was working for the bottom 99 percent of Americans, but she only satisfied the leftward 42.3 percent of her constituents in 2010.
Anne Kirkpatrick’s bare-bones site talks about how much she worked across the aisle, and how she needs to be back there to do more of that. Elect a Democrat to work with the Republicans.
We need leaders who will put aside partisan grandstanding and work to serve their constituents’ needs. In Congress, I built a reputation as a leader who would work across the aisle to get things done for my district — we need more of that can-do Arizona attitude in Congress these days. Here in Greater Arizona, when we see something going wrong, we stand up and do something about it. When I see the direction this Congress is taking our country, I can’t stay idle and hope Washington will start listening to us. We need a voice in Congress to fight for District One, so I’m back in the saddle and running for the House of Representatives in 2012.
By the way, where is “Greater Arizona”? The “Less Great Arizona” would be outside the district, I suppose.
To his credit, Bill Foster is upfront about the fact that he hasn’t changed; his district has. Or at least the district’s lines have, and he thinks he’ll be in better shape with the new lines:
Businessman and scientist Bill Foster announced his campaign to return to Congress in the Illinois’ 11th Congressional District that contains Aurora, Joliet, Lisle, Montgomery and Naperville.
“I am running to return to Congress because there are important things left to accomplish, and important accomplishments that must be defended,” said Foster. “Our fragile economic recovery must be sustained, and the long-term fiscal problems that we face must be solved without breaking promises to our seniors or dismantling Medicare. Reforms to our financial and healthcare systems must continue so that they work well for both businesses and ordinary people.”
“I started off as a small businessman, so I know how to create jobs and how much it means to families. As a scientist, I’ve learned to take a practical, thoughtful approach to solving problems — examining the facts and bringing people together towards solutions. And I believe that’s the approach we need in Washington,” said Foster.
“The new 11th District is wide open and I think Bill Foster would be a great candidate,” said Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner. “He has the practicality of a small businessman, but also a scientist’s vision of the future . . . and he worked hard for Aurora as its congressman.”
He’s a businessman! He’s a scientist! Hey, wait, didn’t he used to have some other job recently?
Alan Grayson has a unique approach to handling the issue; his site includes plenty of his quotes and his appearances on shows like Ed Schultz’s, but no actual candidate biography.