Alumni win elections

WILMORE, KY—On Tuesday, Nov. 7, several Asbury College alumni made headlines across the country for winning their respective political races.

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Joe Pitts ’61 was re-elected to his sixth term in Congress for Pennsylvania. Pitts was first elected to Congress in 1997 after serving 24 years as a Pennsylvania State Representative. Prior to his political career, Pitts served in the U.S. Air Force including three tours in Vietnam and as a public school teacher. He is married to Virginia Pratt ’61 Pitts.

Ted Strickland ’63 held one of his first elected offices as senior class president at the College. Tuesday, he was elected governor of Ohio after serving several terms in Congress. One of nine children from Lucasville, Ohio, Strickland never thought he would attend college until a high school teacher took him to visit Asbury College. He went on to earn a B.A. in history from the College, M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary, and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. Strickland is the College’s second alumni governor. The first was Joe Frank Harris ’58, who was governor of Georgia in the 1970s.

Sue Bell Cobb ’78, was elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court—the first woman ever to hold that office. Cobb attended the College in the late 1970s and later graduated from the University of Alabama. Cobb has served on the bench for 24 years.

Tim Philpot ’73 was re-elected as Family Court Judge in Lexington, Ky. Prior to his tenure on the bench, Philpot was a courtroom attorney for 25 years and a Kentucky State Senator. Philpot attended the College from 1969-71 and later graduated from the University of Kentucky. He serves on the Asbury College Board of Trustees.

Phillip Shepherd ’77 was elected District Court Judge in Frankfort, Ky. Shepherd received his law degree from the University of Kentucky in 1980. He has been an attorney and served as Secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Natural Resources in the early 1990s.

Len Walker ’71 was elected to his 7th term in the Georgia House of Representatives. He is Chairman of the House Committee on Human Relations and Aging. Walker also is pastor of Norcross First United Methodist Church.

Julie Carmen Denton ’81 was re-elected to the Kentucky State Senate where she has served since 1995. Denton began her education at the College and later transferred to pursue a degree as a dental hygienist.

Jeremy Oden ’91 was re-elected to the Alabama House of Representatives. Oden was a business major at Asbury and class president of the Dawntreader Class.

Harold Rainwater ’69 continues as Kentucky’s longest serving mayor with his re-election in Wilmore, Ky. Rainwater is also the founder and director of the College’s equine center.

Leonard Fitch ’64 was re-elected to the Wilmore City Council. Fitch is involved with Fitch’s IGA, a cornerstone of the Wilmore business community.

Tim Vaughan '97 was re-elected as a local Magistrate in Wilmore. Vaughan was philosophy major and economics minor at Asbury and has been active in politics since graduation.

If you know of other Asburians who were recently elected to a political office, please contact the alumni office at

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