Final results for Greek-American Candidates

Gus Bilirakis in Florida received 62 percent of the vote to Mitchells 36 percent. Bilirakis the first time that was elected as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives replaced his father, Mike Bilirakis, who did not run for reelection after 23 years in the United States Congress. Before being elected to Congress, Gus Bilirakis had been a member of the Florida House of Representatives since 1998. He grew up in Tarpon Springs, Florida, as the second-generation son of Greek immigrants. His grandfather opened a bakery in that town. At an early age, Bilirakis began working at his family’s bakery. He attended Tampa Bay area public schools and continued to work in his grandfather’s bakery while growing up.

John Sarbanes of Maryland received 70% of the vote to Haris 30%. Sarbanes was born in Baltimore on May 22, 1961 and is the eldest son of former U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes. He received a B.A. cum laude from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1984 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1988. Sarbanes lives in Towson, Maryland with his three children and wife Dina, who he met at Harvard and wed in 1988. Dina Sarbanes is an Assistant County Attorney with the Baltimore County Attorney’s office. Sarbanes sought the Democratic nomination for Maryland’s third congressional district after then-incumbent representative Ben Cardin chose not to seek re-election in order to run for the United States Senate seat of John Sarbanes’ father, Paul Sarbanes.

In Nevada Democrat Shelley Berkley had a very easy win.  She received 68 percent of the vote while her opponent, conservative  Robert Wagner received only 28 percent. Berkley had been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1999.  Her grandmother was from Thessaloníki and part of the Greek Jewish community there. Berkley was born in New York City and then moved with her family to Nevada when she was a junior high school student. She attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and earned a degree in political science and served as the UNLV Student Body President. She then entered the University of San Diego, graduating with a degree in Law. She served in the Nevada Assembly from 1982 to 1984 and was involved in civic affairs locally. While in the state legislature, she advocated consumer safety laws, campaigned against drunken driving, and founded the Senior Law Project. Berkley was also appointed vice chair of the Nevada University System Board of Regents, serving at the position from 1990 to 1998. Elected to the House for the first time in 1998, she serves in the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs, and Ways and Means. As a representative, Berkley views her top priorities as to fight for affordable health care coverage for all Americans, veteran’s rights, and alternative energy.

Dina titus of Nevada won a very difficult battle against Republican Jon Porter. Titus received 47.4 percent of the vote while Porter received 42.3 percent. Titus has been the Minority Leader of the Nevada Senate since 1993. She is also a political science professor at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has taught American and Nevada government at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for 30 years. Before her recent congressional run, she was considered likely to seek a rematch with current Republican governor Jim Gibbons in 2010.

Democrat Zack Space of Ohio  also won the race with 59.8 percent while Republican Fred Daily received 40.2. Space of Dover, Ohio, is an American politician of the Democratic Party and presently serves in the U.S. House of Representatives for Ohio’s 18th congressional district. Space won the seat for the first time in the November 7, 2006 election, defeating state Senator Joy Padgett. Space’s seat was formerly held by Republican Bob Ney, who pled guilty to conspiracy and making false statements in relation to the Abramoff scandal. Republican Fred Dailey is currently running against Space in the 2008 election. Born in Dover, Ohio, in 1961, Space is the son of Socrates Space and Sandra Gallion. His grandparents immigrated to the United States from Greece in the early years of the 20th century. His grandfather and namesake, Zacharias Space, earned U.S. citizenship through service in World War I. Space attended Kenyon College in Knox County. While earning a degree in political science, he was awarded All-American honors in football and was named the 1982 Athlete of the Year at Kenyon. After his graduation from Kenyon, Space enrolled in the Ohio State University College of Law and earned his Juris Doctor in 1986. He is married to Mary Wade, the first woman judge in Tuscarawas County history. She was re-elected in 2005 with 64 percent of the vote.

Niki Tsongas was running without an opponent and of course keeps her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for Massachusetts’s 5th congressional district. Tsongas is the widow of Greek-American U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas. She has three Greek-American daughters and she calls herself “Greek by Osmosis”. She is the first woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts in 25 years and the first female Democrat elected to Congress from the state in 35 years. Niki was born to Marian Susan Wyman, an artist and copywriter, and Colonel Russell Elmer Sauvage, an engineer in the United States Air Force who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor. She was a 1964 graduate from Narimasu American High School in Japan while her father was stationed at Fuchu Air Force Base and then spent one year at Michigan State before attending Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. After graduating from Smith College in 1968, she moved to New York City where she took a job as a social worker for the Department of Welfare. Niki has a law degree from Boston University and started Lowell’s first all-female law practice. She defeated her four opponents in the Democratic primary with a plurality of the vote, 36%. During her campaign she received endorsements from the three major newspapers in the area: The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, and The Lowell Sun.


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