It’s official: 17 veterans from recent wars in Congress next year

WASHINGTON – A total of 17 Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans will serve in Congress next session, now that Rep. Allen West has conceded his congressional race in Florida.

West, an Iraq War veteran and vocal Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, was the last Iraq veteran in a contested congressional race. Multiple recounts in recent days showed him narrowly losing to Democrat Patrick Murphy, and overnight Monday he called the challenger to concede the race.

Sixteen Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans won election or re-election to Congress this month and will join incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in next year’s Congress.

For the first time, the list includes two female Iraq veterans. Illinois’ Tammy Duckworth and Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard are the only Democrats among the 17. Seven incumbent Republicans won re-election.

The number of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans has grown steadily every two years since former Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy (not related to the Florida candidate) became the first Iraq veteran elected in 2006.

For a full list of the Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans who ran for Congress, click here.

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