Alumni Win Key Elections in 2022

Reedies Head to Washington, regional government, and city councils.

By Amanda Waldroupe ’07 | November 18, 2022

Four Reed alumni ran for office and won in the 2022 election cycle.  

One of the most remarkable victories was won by Marie Gluesenkamp Perez ’12, who flipped a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives into the Democratic column. The seat, which includes Vancouver and southwestern Washington, was previously held by a six-term Republican ousted in May’s midterm, in part for her vote to impeach the former president for his role in the January 6 riot and insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Considered an underdog, Gluesenkamp Perez emphasized her blue-collar, working-class background: a fifth-generation Washingtonian, a history of family working in the timber industry, and an owner of a car shop with her husband. She campaigned on the cost of housing, telling voters that she and her husband built their home in rural Skamania County because they could not afford to buy a home. 

In one ad, she drove down a gravel road to her home, which gets its water from a well, internet service from a radio tower, and is heated by a woodstove. 

“I’m not your typical candidate for Congress,” she said, revving up a chain saw to cut down a tree on her property. 

That message felled her Republican opponent, who denied the results of the 2020 election and has ties to far-right extremists.   

Voters, Gluesenkamp Perez told MSNBC, “want a Congress with a little grease under their fingernails who knows how to fix things.”  

The race was called on Nov. 12, giving Gluesenkamp Perez just enough time to fly to Washington, D.C. for orientation. 

One colleague awaiting her is Suzan DelBene ’83. DelBene won reelection to a sixth term representing Washington’s 1st House District, dramatically redrawn during redistricting to include parts of King, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties northeast of Seattle. DelBene currently serves as the vice chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. Since 2021, she has chaired the New Democrat Coalition, a centrist caucus. She and her husband, Kurt DelBene, have served on Reed’s Board of Trustees. With a $1 million gift, the DelBenes helped launch Reed’s Computer Science program in 2016.  

Reedies will also serve in local offices throughout the Portland region. Yi Kang Hu ’95 was elected to a four-year term on the Tigard City Council after serving seven years on the Tigard Planning Commission, most recently as the commission’s president. 

He is a food and drug lawyer specializing in FDA regulatory law and also holds a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Since arriving at Reed in the early 90s, he has called Oregon home. 

Yi ran a campaign focused on improving street and pedestrian accessibility, affordable housing, and livability, and was endorsed by numerous local leaders. 

Christine Lewis ’07 handily won reelection to Metro Councilthe governing body of the Portland metropolitan regionduring the May primary, winning 69.3% of the vote. Lewis represents southern Portland and the southern suburbs and will serve alongside Gerritt Rosenthal ’65, elected two years ago. 

Her two-month-old son, McCall (named after Oregon Governor Tom McCall) cooed in the background as Lewis emphatically identified building affordable housing and ending homelessness as a main priority for her second term.   

“Reed uniquely sets someone up to be in public service and in elected life. You have to become a quick study,” she said. “You also understand how you can still have an opinion, make an argument and weigh in on a subject, even without being an expert.”

Tags: Alumni, Awards & Achievements