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With spring in the air,
Yale alumni run for office

With tax season wrapping up, the political season is kicking into gear. (Cause and effect? We'll leave that judgment to you.)

As usual, there are plenty of Yalies running for office. Here are a handful who've come to our attention recently.

The award for best-known political name who's least-known as a Yalie goes to Ted Kennedy Jr. ’91MES. After staying away from electoral politics for decades, the health-care and disability-rights advocate finally plans to run for state senate in a Connecticut district just east of New Haven.

State government is a lab for experimentation,” Kennedy said at his announcement. “I believe it is a place where I am going to be able to have an impact.”

The Democrat (of course) hopes to succeed longtime Senator Ed Meyer ’57, ’61LL, who is retiring.

Another political newcomer aiming for state office is Gus Christensen ’94, a Wall Street investment banker turned campaigner against income inequality. He's running for New York State Assembly on a tax-the-rich platform. (In the old days, we believe, such a person was known as a “traitor to his class.”)

“Reactionary forces are strong,” Bloomberg News quotes Christensen as telling his Upper East Side neighbors. “But the progressive side is stronger. And both time and right are on our side.”

Farther west, a political veteran is back in the ring after a self-imposed hiatus that followed a stinging defeat.

Andrew Romanoff ’89 was leader of the Colorado state House when he challenged fellow Yalie Michael Bennet ’93JD in a Democratic primary for US Senate in 2010. Romanoff lost and is “not eager to relive his humbling defeat,” Politico says.

He's taking on Republican congressman Mike Coffman, whom Politico calls “one of the most endangered incumbents in the nation.” And he's going all-out, the Colorado Statesman reports: “the buzz about the Democrat’s campaign this year is already reaching the frenetic level not usually found until much closer to the election.”

And then there's Dan Clodfelter ’77JD, sworn in last week as mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina—the city's fourth in a year.

Picked by the city council to succeed Patrick Cannon, who resigned after being arrested on bribery charges, Clodfelter previously served 15 years in the state senate. His mayoral term ends in December 2015.

Clodfelter tells the Charlotte Observer that “I don’t have any interest in this as a long-term career,” but if “it’s working out pretty cool,” he might want to run for another term.


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

Filed under Ted Kennedy Jr., Andrew Romanoff, Gus Christensen, Dan Clodfelter, Michael Bennet
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