Our content team revolved their selections around elections, whether a politician who just launched their campaign, a newly hired lobbyist, or a journalist who was recently hired to cover the elections.
Profiles are considered trending if, in the past few weeks, they became the subject of media reports or experienced a major change, such as a new role, leadership shuffle, or restructuring. Enjoy!
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R-IN, 6th (Candidate)
On October 18, 2017, Greg Pence announced his candidacy for Indiana’s 6th District seat, which was previously held by his younger brother Vice President Mike Pence from 2003-2012. The 6th District is currently represented by Luke Messer (R-IN, 6th), who is running for Senate. Pence served four years in the Marine Corps, achieving the rank of first lieutenant. He then worked for Marathon Oil and Unocal Corporation before becoming vice president of Kiel Brothers Oil Company. Pence currently owns two antique malls in southern Indiana with his wife Denise, and he has served as a close advisor to his brother Mike Pence during his congressional, gubernatorial, and vice presidential campaigns. Pence’s announcement for candidacy makes him the third Republican to enter the race.
Illinois – Candidate for Governor
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner (R) has formally announced his reelection campaign. While Rauner’s campaign has been focused on gathering funds for some time now, he is considered a vulnerable incumbent Governor in the 2018 election. After years of budget fights and a recent break with Republican Party values to back a bill expanding taxpayer-funded abortions, many suspected Governor Rauner would be stepping out of the ring. However, on October 23, 2017, Rauner finally confirmed that he will be running for reelection. Governor Rauner was elected to the position in 2014, taking office the following January. Rauner’s official campaign launch is expected to trigger several other challengers throwing in their hats, which hints at a crowded primary election.
Laura Barrón-López joined the Washington Examiner on October 23, 2017 as a political reporter. Barrón-López is covering politics with a focus on the Democratic Party and Democrats in Congress leading into the 2018 and 2020 elections. Barron-Lopez began her reporting career interning for Roll Call in 2011, where she also covered Congress, for the Features section. While working at the periodical, Barrón-López wrote a piece on the challenges LGBT staffers face on Capitol Hill, which was picked up by HuffPost. Barrón-López most recently worked at HuffPost as a congressional reporter from 2015 to 2017.
Thomas B. “Tom” Leonardi
American International Group, Inc. [AIG]
On November 1, 2017, Thomas Leonardi joined American International Group, Inc. as the company’s new executive vice president of government affairs, public policy, and communications. He joined AIG from Evercore, an investment banking advisory firm, where worked for three years as a senior advisor specializing in the insurance industry. Prior to that, Leonardi led Connecticut’s Insurance Department as insurance commissioner from 2011 to 2014. During that time, he was a member of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance, serving with AIG Chief Executive Officer Brian Duperreault. In a company statement, Mr. Duperreault states that Leonardi’s “knowledge of the insurance industry and the regulatory environment gained during his time in the private and public sectors will be an asset to AIG as we position the company for future growth.”
Robert S. “Bob” Mueller, III
United States Department of Justice [DOJ]
Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, and his team of investigators have indicted two former members of Donald Trump’s campaign. In May 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the creation of the Office of the Special Counsel to be led by Mueller, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The probe resulted in 12 charges filed against Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman of Donald J. Trump for President, and Rick Gates, a campaign aide. Just an hour after the Manafort-Gates indictment went public, Foreign Policy Advisor George Papadopoulos took a plea deal and pled guilty to lying to federal officials about his interactions with Russian nationals during the campaign.
D. Linden Barber
Cardinal Health, Inc.
Cardinal Health, Inc., in the wake of the joint-produced investigative piece by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes on the causes of the opioid epidemic in America, released a statement on October 15, 2017, maintaining that the company is committed to helping solve this national challenge. D. Linden Barber, former associate chief counsel for the Diversion Litigation Section of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has acted as senior vice president and chief regulatory counsel at the company since July 2017. Barber worked at the DEA until 2011, when he left the agency to work for the law offices of Quarles & Brady as partner and director for DEA Compliance. The Washington Post alleges that, during his time at the firm, Barber used his knowledge of DEA litigation practices to directly support the passage of the “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act” in 2016. Cardinal, in the meantime, reinforces Barber’s value in combatting the surging opioid epidemic, noting that “professionals like Linden Barber, a war veteran and law enforcement professional” are essential to supporting Cardinal’s analytics technology and teams of pharmacy investigators.
Justice Sallie Mundy
Pennsylvania Supreme Court
On November 7, 2017, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Sallie Mundy will face Judge Dwayne D. Woodruff in a partisan election in order to serve for a full 10-year term on the court. Justice Mundy was elected to the Pennsylvania Superior Court in 2009, after 20 years of practicing law. After gaining a record and reputation on the Superior Court, Justice Mundy was appointed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in June 2016 to complete the term of former Justice Michael Eakin, who resigned. Woodruff currently serves as a judge on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.
Atlanta, GA – Candidate for Mayor
Current Atlanta City Council Member, Mary Norwood, is running for Mayor of Atlanta in the November 7, 2017 election. The winner of the election will replace Kasim Reed, who has served two terms as Mayor and cannot seek another term. Norwood has represented the City Council Post 2- At-Large seat since 2013. Norwood is the frontrunner in a crowded field of 12 candidates for Mayor and needs 50% of the vote to win the election and to avoid a runoff, scheduled for December 2017 if necessary. In a press release, Norwood said, “Atlanta is filled with neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm and wonderful citizens. I have been privileged to represent them and work on behalf of all our communities as an at-large member of Atlanta City Council. As your Mayor, I will ensure that our city has a transparent, accountable, and responsive government so that all constituencies are served—our businesses, our neighborhoods, and our visitors.”