Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), the second-oldest member of the U.S. House of Representatives; a longtime member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; and one of the few members of Congress with a doctoral degree in science, has been defeated in his bid for reelection. The Associated Press is projecting that Democrat John Delaney has defeated Bartlett, who was first elected to the House in 1992.
Bartlett, 86, wanted to join the ministry as a young man, but ended up earning a Ph.D. in physiology at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1952. After working as a university professor, inventor, and businessman, he entered politics with an unsuccessful run for a U.S. Senate seat in Maryland in 1980 and an unsuccessful House run in 1982.
As a member of the House science committee, Bartlett was a conservative voice on fiscal issues and a member of the House’s Tea Party Caucus. But he was also an often enthusiastic backer of federal support for basic research, especially research into renewable energy technologies. He helped found the Congressional Peak Oil Caucus, which urged the creation of policies to prepare for a decline in global oil production. Bartlett also backed legislation that called for an end to invasive biomedical research involving primates.
Bartlett faced a tough reelection campaign this year after his district was redrawn to include more Democrats.