After the November elections, Lutherans on Capitol Hill increased from 23 to 27 members. Three ELCA members, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D.; Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa; and Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., retired in 2014, while the other Lutheran incumbents won their respective elections.
Lutherans rejoining the U.S. Senate in January include ELCA members Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod member Ron Johnson, R-Wis. Newly elected senators include ELCA members Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Ben Sasse, R-Neb., along with Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod member Cory Gardner, R-Colo.
The 10 ELCA members serving in the U.S. House of Representatives are Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.; Lois Capps, D-Calif.; Scott Peters, D-Calif.; Chellie Pingree, D-Maine; Tim Walz, D-Minn.; Collin Peterson, D-Minn.; Bill Shuster, R-Pa.; Diane Black, R-Tenn.; John Carter, R-Texas; and Denny Heck, D-Wash.
Re-elected LCMS representatives include John Shimkus, R-Ill.; Larry Bucshon, R-Ind.; Erik Paulsen, R-Minn.; Dave Reichert, R-Wash.; and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo. WELS member Ron Kind, D-Wis., also will rejoin the House.
Other self-described Lutherans elected to the House were Ryan Zinke, R-Mont.; Brad Ashford, D-Neb.; Donald Norcross, D-N.J.; and Glenn Grothman, R-Wis.
As Congress reconvenes, the ELCA Advocacy Office helps connect Lutherans nationwide with their elected officials and works to create and influence public policies that embody biblical values of peacemaking, providing hospitality to strangers, caring for creation, and helping those who live in poverty and struggle with hunger or disease.