Trend Toward Older First Term Members Of Congress–Mitt Romney And Donna Shalala As Examples Of Trend

A trend that has developed lately is that some new members of Congress are older than usually at their swearing in, as compared to previous times.

We have two such examples in the 116th Congress.

Newly minted Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, will be two months short of age 72 in January. He lost the race for a Senate seat in Massachusetts to Senator Ted Kennedy in the Midterm Elections of 1994, 24 years ago, but now will be in the Senate a quarter century later.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, after being President of Hunter College from 1980-1988 and Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, from 1988-1993, was then President of the University of Miami in Florida from 2001-2015, and President of the Clinton Foundation from 2015-2017. She is now the new Congresswoman in the Miami, Florida district that was occupied by Ileana Ros Lehtinen from 1989 through 2018. It earlier had been the seat of the revered Claude Pepper from 1962-1999.

That seat in South Florida is an especially sacred seat in a sense, and Shalala will be one month short of age 78 when she joins the House of Representatives.

3 comments on “Trend Toward Older First Term Members Of Congress–Mitt Romney And Donna Shalala As Examples Of Trend

  1. D November 16, 2018 4:39 pm

    I am looking at some of this differently. But I am also looking at this personally.

    I was born August 16, 1971. I recently gave thought to the topic of 2018 gubernatorial winners who were born after me.

    Such a topic followed, in my mind, after Mitt Romney selected for his 2012 vice-presidential running mate, U.S. House speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan, who was born January 29, 1970, is an example of being close to me, yes, but still one who is older than me.

    Now, the time has arrived where I get to be more and more conscious of high-profile office winners—especially ones elected statewide—who were born after me.

    So, why not look at the nation’s governors?

    I count the following 2018 first-term gubernatorial winners among my juniors: Michigan Democratic pickup winner Gretchen Whitmer (August 23, 1971); South Dakota Republican Kristi Noem (November 30, 1971); Oklahoma Republican Kevin Stitt (b. 1972 or 1973, according to “Wikipedia”); and Colorado Democrat Jared Polis (May 12, 1975).

    The results from Florida are still pending. But, you can count either Republican Ron DeSantis (September 14, 1978) or Democrat Andrew Gillum (July 26, 1979) as applicable. The race from Georgia is also not official. But, just in case, I will mention Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams (December 9, 1973) is also younger than me.

    Given the outcomes of the midterm elections of 2018, there is one re-elected incumbent governor who was born after me: New Hampshire Republican Chris Sununu (November 5, 1974).

    This is fun!

  2. Ronald November 16, 2018 5:23 pm

    HAHA,D, yes it is!

    And when is older yet, suddenly one realizes the President is younger than oneself, as is the case of Clinton,Bush, and Trump, all born about a year and a half after me, and Obama born when I was 16 and a half, lol! HAHAHA! 🙂

  3. Rational Lefty November 17, 2018 7:32 pm

    Usually, 70-something is retirement age.

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