The Greek voice in the United States Congress has been strengthened even further, while at the same time becoming more gender balanced with the addition of one more woman, who is a Republican, thus making the “team” more politically diverse too.
Tuesday’s polls saw the re-election of the five members of the diaspora who already sat in the House of Representatives, while their total number was increased to six after the successful candidacy of one more Greek American.
More specifically, Democrat John Sarbanes from Maryland with 70% of the vote, Charlie Crist from Florida with 53%, Dina Titus from Nevada with 61% and Chris Pappas from New Hampshire with 52% enjoyed relatively easy wins that saw them reclaim their seats in Congress.
Along with the four Democrats, two Greek-American representatives of the Republican Party were also elected. Florida’s Gus Bilirakis, a steady presence in Congress for many years, was easily re-elected with 63% of the voter, while the “Greek team” was strengthened with the addition of one more Republican, Nicole Malliotakis, who was elected for the first time in her home state of New York, with 58%.
In total, this means that there are six Greek-American representatives in the US Congress who will be able to express the community’s concerns not only on domestic issues, but also with respect to the problems, and in some cases threats, that the motherlands of Greece and Cyprus, are facing.
The positive trend in the House of Representatives is, unfortunately, not matched by a similar one in the Senate, where there is no member with Greek roots. There was a time when we had two senators in the upper chamber – both of whom served for many years: Democrat Paul Sarbanes and Republican Olympia Snowe. One only hopes this will change soon.
Still, for the past few years, that vacuum in the US Senate body has been filled very amply and ably by Robert Menendez, who has shown a keen and consistent interest in issues related to Greece and Cyprus.