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Russ Feingold is a former United States Senator for the state of Wisconsin. He was born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin along with three siblings. His father was a lawyer and his mother was an abstractor at the title company which Leon Feingold owned. In his teens, his heroes were John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr. whom he heard speak in Chicago in 1966. In high school, he was on the championship-winning debate team. Although he was not the top student in school, he was still a very good student, whom others have described as being well-organized and disciplined. After attending Harvard Law School, he returned to Wisconsin where he worked as an attorney in two private law firms in Madison until 1985. His political career began when he became a Wisconsin state senator in 1982. He was re-elected twice. Then in 1992, he was first elected to the U.S. Senate, winning 53 to 47 percent against the incumbent Republican Bob Kasten. Feingold is probably best known for co-sponsoring the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act also known as the McCain-Feingold Act. He also stands out as the only Senator to oppose the USA Patriot Act in 2001. He makes his home in Middleton, Wisconsin.
Dayne Walling was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. In addition to winning a Rhodes Scholarship, he is also a recipient of a Truman scholarship. He has worked on the staff of Mayor Anthony Williams in Washington, D.C. and for the Urban Coalition and Ready for K in Minnesota. In 2006, he moved back to Flint. One year later, he ran for mayor. He lost by only 581 votes to the incumbent in the closest Flint mayoral race in 30 years. Despite his loss, he continues to focus on the challenges the city faces. He started a citizens group called Flint’s Future Now. He is also the founder of 21st Century Performance, a management consulting firm. He plans on running for office again.
Ben Cannon grew up primarily around Portland, Oregon, but attended college in St. Louis, Missouri. At Washington University, he started as a delivery boy for the student newspaper and became its editor-in-chief his senior year. He also moved the paper on-line and created a new journalism program for freshmen. After studying in Oxford for three years, he returned to his home state where he enjoys his favorite activities like hiking, camping, and running. He currently teaches American history and civics to sixth to eighth graders at Arbor School of Art and Sciences in Tualatin, just outside of Portland. Inspired by talks with his wife, a public school teacher, and others about educational issues, he decided to run for office. In 2006, he was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives. He is currently the youngest member in the legislature. His focus is on educational, health care, energy, and environmental issues.