Hakeem Jeffries '97

The 2018 midterm elections saw high turnout from voters as the Democrats gained control of the US House of Representatives, Republicans strengthened their majority in the US Senate, and several states passed criminal justice reform measures, including Florida’s restoration of voting eligibility for people who have completed their sentences for felony convictions. And in the midst of all of this change, NYU Law alumni throughout the country won elections to seats in the US Congress as well as state and local positions.

Scott Peters ’84

Hakeem Jeffries ’97 was re-elected as the US representative for New York’s eighth congressional district in Brooklyn and Queens, and Scott Peters ’84 was re-elected as the US representative for California’s 52nd congressional district in San Diego. Both Jeffries and Peters were first elected to Congress in 2012. Diana DeGette ’82 was also re-elected as the US representative for the first district of Colorado, which includes Denver and nearby suburbs and which she has represented since 1997.

Diana DeGette ’82

In a Colorado statewide election, Phil Weiser ’94 won a close race to become the state’s attorney general. Weiser is a former dean of University of Colorado Law School, and also worked in the antitrust division of the Department of Justice under President Clinton and as a deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ under President Obama.

In Connecticut, Shawn Wooden ’87 was elected as treasurer, the chief financial officer of the state’s government. Wooden, an attorney for Day Pitney, has previously served as Hartford city council president.  

NYU Law alumni also won races for a number of state legislative seats:

  • Thomas Abinanti ’72 was re-elected to the New York State Assembly, representing District 92.
  • Brent Howard LLM ’09 was elected as state senator in Oklahoma District 38.
  • Todd Kaminsky ’03, was re-elected as a state senator in District 9 of the New York State Senate. He was first elected in a special election in April 2016 to replace Dean Skelos.
  • Brandon Lofton ’05 was elected as a state representative for District 104 of the North Carolina House.
  • Robin Schimminger ’72 was re-elected to the New York State Assembly, representing the 140th District.

Law School alumni also competed and won in elections for other roles:

  • Armond Budish ’77 was elected as Cuyahoga County executive in Ohio.
  • JD student on leave Lina Hidalgo was elected Harris County judge in Houston, Texas. This was Hidalgo’s first race for public office. She will be the first Latina county judge in Texas, and, at 27, the youngest person to serve as a Texas county judge since 1936.
  • Joe McNamara ’03 was elected as a judge on the Lucas County Common Pleas Court in Toledo, Ohio.

In the wake of these elections, NYU Law will also be holding the Law Alumni Association Fall Conference, “Democratic Distortions: A Postmortem on the Midterm Elections” on November 14. Convened by Bonnie and Richard Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law Samuel Issacharoff and Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law Richard Pildes, the event will examine central issues concerning the American democratic and electoral process today.

Posted November 9, 2018