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Fewer veterans to serve in Congress in 2013

Nov. 7, 2012 - 09:55AM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 7, 2012 - 09:55AM  |  
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The Senate will have six fewer veterans and the House may see little or no change in veterans' representation as a result of Tuesday's election, a disappointing result for those hoping to see more veterans in Congress.

The Senate has twenty-six veterans today, but that number will fall to 20. Thirteen senators were up for election on Tuesday, four incumbents and nine challengers. None of the challengers won, and one incumbent — Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass. — was defeated.

Full results of all House races are not yet known, but three incumbent veterans lost on Tuesday and 12 veteran challengers won, according to Seth Lynn, director of the Center for Second Services at the George Washington University School of Political Management.

Nine of the veterans who will be part of the freshman class in Congress in January are Republicans, including seven who deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. The other three are Democrats, including two women who are Iraq veterans.

Lynn had been predicting an increase in the current total of 92 veterans currently serving in the House, but acknowledges that he may have been overly optimistic.

"There probably won't be as large an increase, if any, in veterans in the next Congress," he said. "However, we will almost certainly have a comparable number of veterans in the House as we do now. We won't see a significant decrease, and this is important because we have been losing about 10 veterans in each election over the last few cycles."

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