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2012 Election Results: DFER's Hot List Fares Well

By Joe Williams, DFER's Executive Director

Nothing could be more rewarding than seeing President Obama be reelected last night with the ardent support of the education reform community. We are so excited to see what his second term has in store.

But President Obama wasn’t alone on the ballot. Across the country, an unprecedented number of candidates ran for office with the goal of fixing our public education system. DFER was proud to support many of these leaders who were willing to fight for our students and our schools.

But that’s just a fraction of the story. With the generous support of ed reformers like you, last night brought victories for first-time candidates, targeted incumbents, and ascendant policymakers.

As you will see below, we expect this year’s Hot List candidates to go 22-for-30 in the general election.

In her first-ever campaign, Indiana’s Caitlin Hannon earned a seat on the Indianapolis School Board, where she will deliver some much-needed urgency. Millie Hamner, an irreplaceable leader in her caucus on education, was re-elected to the Colorado House. And Chris Murphy will join a small group of education reformers in the U.S. Senate, having already proven his mettle representing Connecticut’s 5th congressional district.

For the successful candidates on our Hot List, the hard work of governing will begin soon. But let’s take a moment to acknowledge their skilled and heartfelt campaigning.

Thank you for generously supporting education reform leaders both nearby and across the country.

You can download a PDF of the Hot List results by clicking here.


2012 Hot List Scorecard

Candidate (*Incumbent) Office Result Margin
Heather Beaven U.S. House (FL-6) Lost 42-58
André Carson* U.S. House (IN-7) Won 63-37
Dianne Feinstein* U.S. Senate (CA) Won 59-41
Rubén Hinojosa* U.S. House (TX-15) Won 61-37
Hakeem Jeffries U.S. House (NY-8) Won 89-9
Al Lawson U.S. House (FL-2) Lost 47-53
George Miller* U.S. House (CA-7) Won 67-33
Chris Murphy U.S. Senate (CT) Won 54-44
Bill Nelson* U.S. Senate (FL) Won 55-42
Jared Polis* U.S. House (CO-2) Won 55-40
Brad Schneider U.S. House (IL-10) Won 50-50
Bobby Scott* U.S. House (VA-3) Won 81-19
Joe Coto CA Senate (SD-15) Lost 42-58
Millie Hamner* CO House (HD-61) Won 47-34
Mary Hodge* CO Senate (SD-25) Won 54-41
Crestina Martinez CO Senate (SD-35) Trailing 47-49
Linda Newell* CO Senate (SD-26) Won 53-47
Darren Soto FL Senate (SD-14) Won 70-30
Christian Mitchell IL House (HD-26) Won Uncont.
Silvana Tabares IL House (HD-21) Won Uncont.
Patricia Van Pelt Watkins IL Senate (SD-5) Won Uncont.
Tim DeLaney IN Senate (SD-30) Trailing 48-49
Mary Ann Sullivan IN Senate (SD-36) Lost 47-53
Barry Finegold* MA Senate (2nd Essex/Middlesex) Won 58-42
Sylvester Cann WA House (LD-46) Lost 33-67
Cyrus Habib WA House (LD-48) Won 60-40
Eric Pettigrew* WA House (LD-37) Won 88-12
School Board      
Caitlin Hannon Indianapolis Public Schools Board (District 1) Won 67-19
Bill Ponder San Diego Board of Education (District E) Lost 31-69
Sarah Usdin Orleans Parish School Board (3rd District) Won 57-33