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New faces of the Class of 2010: Rubio, Coons, Noem, Hoeven, Johnson, Corbett, Haley, Martinez, Fallin

This week's midterm elections pushed numerous new faces onto the national political scene.

So we've constructed a photo gallery here of these new folks as a sort of introduction to political people you're likely to be hearing more about in coming months and years. (Click each picture to enlarge.)

One is Marco Rubio, Florida's new Republican senator whose victory speech we have in video format above here. As the son of Cuban exiles, watch for....

...Rubio to become a prominent GOP spokesman, especially to the Latino communities.

Another newcomer to the U.S. Senate is Chris Coons (just below), who is not even related to a witch. He's the Delaware Democrat who will sit in the Senate seat once occupied for so long by the train-riding posterior of Joe Biden.

Delaware's new Democrat senator-elect Chris Coons

Kristi Noem is a 38-year-old South Dakota rancher and state legislator who aspired to the U.S. House of Representatives.

She had great success fundraising and beat the incumbent Democrat. So come January, she'll be heading off to Washington, which will seem like Florida compared to the Dakotas at that time.

South Dakota's new Republican Representative Kristi Noem

Democratic veteran Sen. Byron Dorgan decided to retire this year, a bad year to be a Democrat aspiring to move into such a seat.

The vacant North Dakota chair opened the way for popular Republican Gov. John Hoeven to add to the GOP ranks in Washington. Hoeven has a unique distinction:

Does the name Hugh Scott ring anybody's bell? The Pennsylvanian Scott had a three-term Senate career, ending in 1977.

He also had a moustache, one of nature's most distinguished characteristics. And, if memory serves, since Scott's departure no man with facial hair has been elected to go there -- until Hoeven on Tuesday. What a handsome fellow.

Republican Senator elect John Hoeven current governor of North Dakota

Speaking of bald, Ron Johnson isn't. But the businessman is the new senator from Wisconsin, replacing Democratic veteran Russ Feingold by popular demand.

Wisconsin Republican Senator elect Ron Johnson

NOW, speaking of bald, oh, no wait. He's not bald either. This is Tom Corbett, the new governor of Pennsylvania.

That's another key Midwestern state like Ohio that went Republican for both governor and senator, rejecting Democrat Rep. Joe Sestak for the old Senate seat of old Arlen Specter in favor of conservative ex-Rep. Pat Toomey. (And it's OK, that's Corbett's wife, Susan, about to plant one.)

Pennsylvania's new Governor Tom Corbett and wife Susan

Now, comes the better half of our photo gallery -- and the historic part too.

The last three newly-elected state officers here are the first female governors of their respective states. All happen to be Republicans:

First, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma.

New Oklahoma Republican Governor Mary Fallin

Then, Susana Martinez of New Mexico (below, right). And finally former state legislator Nikki Haley, who also happens to be only the second governor of Indian American heritage (after Louisiana's Bobby Jindal).

New Republican governors Nikki Haley of South Carolina, left, and Susana Martinez of New Mexico

Related Item:

Look what the GOP also pulled off at the state level

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Mark Wilson / Getty Images (Coons); Reuters (Noem); Dale Wetzel / Associated Press (Hoeven); Mark Hoffman / MCT (Johnson); Gene Puskar / Associated Press (Corbett and wife, Susan); Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press (Fallin); EPA via the campaigns of Haley, left, and Martinez, right.

 

 
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Why are there no photos of Allen West of FL or Tim Scott of SC, the 2 new faces that just happen to be African American?


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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