Candidates from a military-intelligence background are seeking the Democratic Party nomination in 40 percent of the congressional districts targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the 2018 elections. They make up the largest single occupational group running in the Democratic primaries. If the Democratic military-intelligence candidates won all 44 of the districts in which they are running—which is theoretically possible, if very unlikely—they would constitute, as a bloc, ten percent of the membership of the House of Representatives.
From the State Department to Capitol Hill
The final category of military-intelligence candidates consists of veterans of the US State Department during the Obama years, most of them former aides to Hillary Clinton. These are among the best financed and most publicized of the likely Democratic nominees. In the event of a Democratic “wave” in November, most would find themselves with seats in Congress.
Tom Malinowski, a former congressional aide and Clinton administration official, headed the Washington office of Human Rights Watch for 13 years before joining the Obama administration under Secretary of State John Kerry as assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor. He is seeking the Democratic nomination in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District against incumbent Republican Leonard Lance.
Lauren Baer was a legal adviser to both Secretaries Clinton and Kerry, as well as US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power. She is now seeking the Democratic nomination in the 18th District of Florida, where her principal opponent is Pam Keith, a former judge advocate general in the US Navy and now legal counsel to Florida Power & Light. Both women push additional buttons for identity politics, as Baer is openly gay and Keith is African-American.
Nancy Soderberg is a longtime US foreign policy figure going back to the Clinton administration, first at the National Security Council, then as deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs, then as an alternate US representative at the UN Security Council with the rank of ambassador. She has spent much of her time since then heading private overseas operations like the International Crisis Group, while playing a prominent role in the Florida Democratic Party. She is effectively unchallenged for the Democratic nomination in Florida’s 6th Congressional District (Daytona Beach),