National Lutheran News

19 Lutherans in 109th congress

When the 109th Con-gress of the United States is sworn in January 3, it will include 19 Lutherans — 10 Democrats and 9 Republicans. That’s according to the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs, Washington, D.C., the federal public policy advocacy office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Three Lutherans will be members of the U.S. Senate: Conrad Burns (R-Montana); Byron L. Dorgan (D-North Da-kota); and Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota).

Sixteen Lutherans will be in the U.S. House of Represen-tatives: Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio 13th); Lois Capps (D-California 23rd); John R. Carter (R-Texas 31st); Norman D. Dicks (D-Washington 6th); Darlene Hoo-ley (D-Oregon 5th); Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin 3rd); Tom Latham (R-Iowa 5th); Zoe Lofgren (D-California 16th); Jim Nussle (R-Iowa 2nd); Michael Oxley (R-Ohio 4th); Collin C. Peterson (D-Minnesota 7th); Thomas E. Petri (R-Wisconsin 6th); Dave Reichert (R-Washington 8th); Martin Olav Sabo (D-Minnesota 5th); John M. Shimkus (R-Illinois 19th); Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania 9th).

All are members of the ELCA, except Reichert and Shimkus, who are members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Sy-nod, and Kind who is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

The newest and longest-serving Lutherans in Congress are both from the state of Washington. Dicks was first elected to the U.S. House in 1976; he begins his 15th two-year term in 2005. Reichert begins his first term; the King County Sheriff was elected to fill a vacancy left when Rep. Jennifer Dunn announced her intention to not seek re-election.

Five Lutherans in the 108th Congress will not continue in the 109th. They are Douglas K. Bereuter (R-Nebraska 1st); Ernest “Fritz” Hollings (D-South Carolina); William J. Janklow (R-South Dakota at large); Doug Ose (R-California 3rd); and Charles W. Stenholm (D-Texas 17th).