Notable Food Leaders in the House and Senate to Return for 114th Congress
November 5, 2014 (Washington, D.C.) — As election returns still trickle in, Center for Food Safety is proud to congratulate many of the Food Movement leaders in Congress on their successful re-election campaigns.
“One thing we knew going into the midterm elections was that the Food Movement is just hitting its stride,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. “There is much work to be done in Washington, D.C. next year and it is critical that our Congressional champions will be there to continue their work on behalf of the food movement on Capitol Hill, and serve as a backstop against attacks from big food and chemical corporations.”
Among the notable Food Movement wins last night are:
The four co-chairs of the House Organic Caucus – Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY-22), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI-03) and Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA-20) – will all be returning next Congress. The House Organic Caucus saw major wins in the Farm Bill passed this Congress and as the organic sector continues to grow the Food Movement will look to the caucus co-chairs for leadership. Representative DeFazio has also championed the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which has 63 co-sponsors in the House.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI-13) both handily won re-election yesterday. The two have championed pollinator protection legislation in the House and their bill, H.R. 2692 the Saving America’s Pollinators Act, has 73 co-sponsors.
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME-01), an organic farmer and a member of the House Appropriations Committee, is one of the Food Movement’s top leaders on Capitol Hill. She has fought tirelessly for small farmers and most recently has begun to sound the alarm about the connection between herbicide use on genetically engineered crops and the dramatic decline of the monarch butterfly.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) is another one of the Food Movement’s most ardent supporters in Congress. A longtime food safety advocate, most recently Congresswoman DeLauro has devoted attention to food and agriculture issues in free trade negotiations as well as tax loopholes that allow soda companies to advertise to children tax free.
Other notable Food Movement leaders who won re-election in the House include Reps. Anne Kuster (D-NH-02), Timothy Ryan (D-OH-13), Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11), Tulsi Gabbard, (D-HI-02), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09), Reid Ribble (R-WI-08), Don Young (R-AK-1) and Richard Nolan (D-MN-08).
The Food Movement celebrated a handful of victories in the U.S. Senate as well. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a strong advocate for family farmers and organic farming, successfully defeated opponent Scott Brown. Sen. Jeff Merkely (D-OR), who worked tirelessly with fellow Sens. John Tester and Barbara Mikulski to repeal the Monsanto Protection Act, also won last night. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who has consistently backed small family farmers and pollinator protection over her tenure in the Senate, also won re-election.
We also saw a number of rising stars in the Senate celebrate wins last night, including Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Brian Schatz (D-HI). As two notable advocates for environmental protection and food justice, the Food Movement expects to see a lot of leadership coming from Sens. Markey and Booker in the next Congress. Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) won his bid for the Senate seat in Michigan. Rep. Peters is a co-sponsor of H.R. 1150 the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, and food leaders hope that he will continue to strongly support that issue in the Senate.
The Food Movement did see the loss of Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-01) to Republican challenger Frank Guita.
Two races we’re following closely – Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY-25) and Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) – remain too close to call.