Ann Kuster (NH-2) – Kuster comes from a long line of New Hampshire politicians, and made her name as a lawyer and staunch advocate for women’s rights. “I represented women with unplanned pregnancies from age 14 to 40, and they range from living in their car to living in the nicest neighborhoods in town,” she said of her legal work in adoption. “Unplanned pregnancy is an equal-opportunity affliction.” Kuster served as an Obama surrogate in 2008, and ran a close but unsuccessful campaign against Rep. Charles Bass in 2010. This year, she defeated Bass, becoming a member of New Hampshire’s all-female delegation.
Gloria McLeod (CA-35) – McLeod served in California’s State Legislature for six years before being elected to the State Senate in 2006. There, she held a number of high-ranking positions: she was chair of the Public Employment and Retirement (PERS) Committee, and a member of the Business, Professions and Economic Development, Legislative Ethics, and Veterans Affairs Committees. McLeod was appointed as co-chair of the Joint Legislative Budget Conference Committee just as she was elected to U.S. Congress. The newly redistricted California 35th is a highly diverse and primarily urban section of southern California that includes sections of Los Angeles.
Filemon Vela (TX-34) – Filemon, a Brownsville native, is a lawyer who has represented a number of Texas school districts in battles for more funding. He has also represented individuals in civil cases against large corporations. His public service runs in the family - Vela’s father, Filemon, Sr., served as a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas for almost 25 years. Texas’s 34th district was created as a result of the 2010 census, and is composed of the Gulf Coast shoreline between Brownsville and Corpus Cristi.