Candidates with STEM Backgrounds Running in the Midterm Elections
Candidates with STEM Backgrounds Running in the Midterm Elections

Candidates with STEM Backgrounds Running in the Midterm Elections

We’ve compiled a list of political hopefuls on the ballots in state and federal races in November.

katya katarina zimmer
Katarina Zimmer

After a year teaching an algorithm to differentiate between the echolocation calls of different bat species, Katarina decided she was simply too greedy to focus on one field. Following an internship with The Scientist in 2017, she has been happily freelancing for a number of publications, covering everything from climate change to oncology.

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Dozens of candidates with science, technology, engineering, math, and medical backgrounds are on the ballots in local and national midterm elections. If there’s a scientist running for office who isn’t on this list, let us know.

Read more on the challenges scientists have faced making it through primary elections in federal races and how candidates for states offices are using their science backgrounds to appeal to voters.

For results of these elections see “Scientists Win First-Time Runs for Congress, Senate” 

Candidates running for federal offices:


STEM background



Hiral TipirneniPhysician, cancer researcherArizona, 8th congressional districtDebbie Lesko  (R)
TJ CoxEngineer, businessmanCalifornia, 21st congressional districtDavid Valadao (R)
Sean CastenRenewable energy entrepeneurIllinois, 6th congressional districtPeter Roskam (R)
Bill FosterPhysicistIllinois, 11th congressional districtNick Stella (R)
Nick StellaCardiologistIllinois, 11th congressional districtBill...

Candidates running for state offices:


STEM background



Jenn GrayPharmaceutical chemistryAlabama House of Representatives, 45th districtDickie Drake (R)
Liz SnyderProfessor of public healthAlaska House of Representatives, 27th districtLance Pruitt (R)
Randy FriesePhysicianArizona House of Representatives, 9th districtPamela Powers Hannley (D), Ana Henderson (R)
Chris HansenRenewable energy entrepreneur

Colorado House of Representatives, 6th district
Shevrin JonesChemistry teacherFlorida House of Representatives, 101st district
Linda JackVeterinarianFlorida House of Representatives, 101st districtAmber Mariano  (R)
Jasmine ClarkMicrobiology lecturerGeorgia House of Representatives, 108th districtClay Cox  (R)
Frank SzczepanskiBiotech entrepeneurIndiana House of Representatives, 4th districtEdmond Soliday  (R)
Don WesterhausenCardiologistIndiana House of Representatives, 5th districtDale DeVon  (R)
Edie HardcastlePlant biology professorIndiana State Senate, 49th districtJim Tomes  (R)
Katie McBrinePediatricianMassachusetts State Senate, Plymouth and Norfolk districtPatrick O’Connor (R), Stephen Gill (I)
Julia PulverNurseMichigan State Senate, 15th districtJim Runestad (R)
Kelly MorrisonPhysicianMinnesota House of Representatives, district 33BCindy Pugh  (R)
Alice MannPhysicianMinnesota House of Representatives, district 56BRoz Peterson  (R)
Maren Bell JonesVeterinarianMissouri House of Representatives, 44th districtCheri Toalson Reisch (R)
Sarah PetersEnvironmental engineerNevada State Assembly, 24th district
Jacqueline ChretienBioscientistNew Hampshire House of Representatives, Hillsborough 42Matt Wilhelm (D), Phillip Harris (R), Joseph Lachance (R)
Beth ListonPediatric surgeonOhio House of Representatives, 21st districtStu Harris  (R)
Jennifer Rager-KayPhysicianPennsylvania House of Representatives, 85th districtFred Keller  (R)
Gabbby SalinasTherapeutics researcherTennessee State Senate, 31st districtBrian Kelsey (R)
Michelle BeckleyStudied biomedical sciencesTexas House of Representatives, 65th districtRon Simmons  (R)
Lucy RogersBiology major, conservation researchVermont House of Representatives, Lamoille-3 districtZachary Mayo  (R)

Correction (October 24): A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Jasmine Clark is a professor at Emory University, where she is in fact a lecturer. The Scientist regrets the error. 

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