Two Georgetown alumni — a 26-year-old White House adviser under former President Barack Obama and an Army veteran-turned-Lutheran pastor — are duking it out for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 4th district of Pennsylvania.

Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson (SFS ’14) and George Scott (SFS ’84) are both campaigning for their party’s nomination to face the Republican incumbent, Rep. Scott Perry, in the 2018 midterm elections. Corbin-Johnson formerly worked as an assistant and adviser to the director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Obama administration, while Scott is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a Lutheran pastor.

The district is 85 percent white with a median household income of $59,226, above the national average of $55,322, according to 2016 data from the American Community Survey. Just over a third of adults over 25 years old in the district have a college degree, below the national average of 39 percent.

The district voted decisively for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Trump carried 59 percent of support to Clinton’s 37 percent. Perry, the incumbent Republican representative, was re-elected in 2016 by a two-to-one margin.

Ahead of their May 15 primary election, The Hoya interviewed Corbin-Johnson and Scott about their campaign platforms, their reasons for running and how their Georgetown education helped drive their interest in public service.

Follow the links for full profiles of Corbin-Johnson and Scott.

3 Years After Graduating, Hoya Sets Sights on Congress

By Deepika Jonnalagadda


If elected, Johnson, 26, would be the youngest woman to represent Pennsylvania in Congress and the first African-American woman to represent the 4th District.

Johnson’s first exposure to politics began in her grandparents’ household. After growing up during the era of segregation and receiving limited education, her grandparents stressed the importance of participating in national politics. From the moment that she turned 18, Johnson felt an obligation to take an active role in politics.

“Going from a foster house to the White House was something I never expected,” Johnson said. “You don’t really see that in your life when you’re sharing one bed with three different girls, and now, you’re the right hand to the guy in charge of $4.1 trillion.”

Army Veteran Turns to a New Form of Service

By Sarah Mendelsohn


Scott spent much of his life serving in the armed forces. After completing one year at the U.S. Air Force Academy, he transferred to Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, where he continued his military involvement through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program. Scott served in the U.S. Army until his retirement in 2004 and continued to work in national security with the CIA until 2009, when he became a Lutheran pastor.

Scott said he would like to see more bipartisanship in Congress. He referred to the Republican tax reform bill, passed Dec. 20 on a party-line vote, as an example of failed bipartisanship and a departure from normal legislative process.

“When we depart from that regular order, into — like take the tax bill, no committee hearings, no real inclusion of the Democratic Party; it was strictly the Republican Party that formulated that legislation,” Scott said. “Those are not regular order, and when you don’t follow the process, you end up with policy that is fundamentally flawed.”

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