It’s spring in Washington, but for several candidates it may as well be fall. With six months left in their campaigns, these 11 candidates are already virtually assured of becoming new members in the 116th Congress — and the roster of such virtual freshmen could get three times bigger, or more, before Election Day.
Members of this unusual political class have the luxury of running for open seats in places where — thanks to demographics and past election results — locking down one party’s ballot line is tantamount to winning in November.
Nearly 30 lawmakers hold stock in Facebook — including three who could soon be grilling its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, about a British company that usurped his firm’s data without user consent to possibly help steer elections.
Twenty-eight members listed stock in the social media giant, according to Roll Call’s Wealth of Congress project. Among them, Democratic Reps. Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts sit on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, while Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island sits on Senate Judiciary.
The 115th Congress scored as one of the richest ever, but one in 10 lawmakers still holds student loan debt, either personally or for a family member.
Fifty-three members listed a combined $1.8 million in student loans on their financial disclosures. Twenty-eight of them posted a positive net worth while 25 showed negative net worth in Roll Call’s comprehensive Wealth of Congress project.
While politics is no place to get rich, many people may assume that only the wealthy elite are able to get into the highest positions in power.
Though two-fifths of senators and representatives are millionaires, there are plenty with humbler backgrounds and more modest bank accounts. Almost a quarter of voting members have a negative net worth.
The wealthy are heading for the exits.
So far, 44 current lawmakers, or one in 12, have announced they are retiring at the end of the year or seeking new offices away from the Capitol. And collectively, they now account for nearly a third of the $2.43 billion in cumulative riches of the 115th Congress.
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