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Penn Law alumni win federal and state offices in 2018 elections

November 07, 2018

Election Day results are in from 2018 races around the United States, and Penn Law alumni were successfully elected to public office at both the state and federal level. In Pennsylvania, three graduates of the Law School won seats in the U.S. House of Representatives: Matthew Cartwright L’84, Conor Lamb C’06 L’09, and Mary Gay Scanlon L’84. Outside the state, Jena Griswold L’11 won her bid for Secretary of State in Colorado and Eric Johnson L’03 was re-elected to the Texas House of Representatives.

Cartwright and Lamb were incumbents who had already served in the House, but sought reelection in newly-drawn districts after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court required the state’s Congressional map to be redrawn in early 2018 to eliminate partisan gerrymandering. Cartwright, a Democrat, previously served in Pennsylvania’s 17th District but won reelection in the newly drawn 8th, which includes Bucks County and parts of Montgomery County. Lamb, also a Democrat, first took office in Congress after winning a special election for the 18th District seat in March 2018. In yesterday’s general election, he successfully ran to represent the new 17th, which encompasses suburban areas west of Pittsburgh.

Scanlon, a Democrat, former civil rights attorney, and president of her local school board, will be a first-term Congresswoman. She was elected in Pennsylvania’s 5th District, which covers all of Delaware County, along with parts of Montgomery County and South Philadelphia.

Griswold, a former voting rights attorney under President Barack Obama, defeated the Republican incumbent for Secretary of State in Colorado. As Secretary, Griswold will be responsible for administering the state’s elections and maintaining records and filings on campaign finance, lobbyist registration, and business registration.

Johnson was re-elected to a fifth term in the Texas House of Representatives, where he represents District 100, which includes parts of Dallas and Mesquite. Johnson is also Of Counsel with the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLC, where he focuses his practice on public law matters. 

As many Penn Law alumni have built careers in public service, they have returned to the Law School to share their insights with students. Most recently, Lamb and Griswold spoke at Penn Law during the 2017-18 academic year as part of a series on “The Power of Lawyers in Public Life,” sponsored by the Leo Model Foundation Government Service and Public Affairs Initiative, in partnership with the Center on Professionalism.