As the 2014 midterm elections stand today, the Republican party picked up seven seats outright with two seats, one  in Alaska and one in Louisiana, yet to be decided. Louisiana will have a runoff on December 6.  Of the seven new seats, six have ties to the poultry industry or have been supported by the industry.  Following are biographies of the six new Senators:

Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV):  Capito was born in West Virginia in 1953, has been an advocate for a range of policies, including  energy independence, quality health care, safe highways, national security, and veterans’ issues, while serving as the Congresswoman from West Virginia’s second congressional district. She represented her constituents on two important committees in the House of Representatives–the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which will lead the way on a new highway bill during the 113th Congress and the House Financial Services Committee, where she served as chair of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee. Prior to serving in Congress, Shelley served in the West Virginia House of Delegates. Capito won West Virginia with 63 percent of the vote, combatting the administration’s attack on the coal industry and Second Amendment rights.

Tom Cotton  (R-AR):  Cotton won his House seat in 2012 replacing Mike Ross, a Democrat who left Congress to run for governor.  Cotton was a member of the Financial Services and Foreign Affairs Committees and just seven months into his first term, announced to his constituents he would challenge incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Pryor.  Cotton describes himself as “temperamentally and morally conservative, saying his litmus test in Congress is to vote only for bills that are constitutional. Cotton supports “pro-growth policies” that give the private sector the confidence and certainty to start hiring again.  He also favors a much reduced role for the federal government.  On energy, he says he opposes a tax on carbon and is against the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of the Clean Air Act to impose a cap-and-trade system to regulate carbon emissions.  He backs development of alternative energy sources only if they can compete in the marketplace on their own merits.  Cotton attended Harvard Law School and joined the army after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan. At 37, Cotton is the youngest all the freshmen.

Cory Gardner  (R-CO):  Gardner was elected to Congress in 2010 representing the 4th district in the eastern part of the state.  Gardner wants to reduce the size and influence of the federal government, both in terms of spending and regulations.  He supports freezing federal hiring of all non-emergency personnel and ending funding for programs deems ineffective by the Government Accountability Office. While in Congress, he served on the Energy and Commerce Committee and held seats on three subcommittees. Gardner opposed the Affordable Care Act and ran on a platform of limited government, lower taxes, and a conservative approach of social issues.

James Lankford  (R-OK): Lankford, born in 1968 ,was first elected to the United States Congress on November 2, 2010. Before his election, he served as director of the Falls Creek Youth Camp from 1996 to 2009. Falls Creek is the largest youth camp in the United States, supported by 150 staff members with more than 51,000 students and adults attending each summer. He coordinated mission trips and community service trips in Belize, Malawi, England, Wales, and Germany, as well as many areas of Oklahoma. Lankford serves on the House Committees on Budget and Oversight & Government Reform, where he is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements. He was also elected Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee for the 113th Congress. In January 2014, Lankford announced he would run for Tom Coburn’s U.S. Senate seat, and successfully won with 68 percent of the vote. Lankford is a social and fiscal conservative, supporting the Cut-Cap-and-Balance Act in 2011, and is in favor of reduced taxes and a weaker Environmental Protection Agency.

David Perdue (R-GA): Perdue was the chief executive officer of shoemaker Reebok and retailer Dollar General and his expertise is as a corporate turnaround artist. His 2014 race was his first foray into politics, campaigning as an outsider, complaining about career politicians and decision-makers without business experience. Perdue favors repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a free-market system designed to reduce rates.  He opposes any immigration bill that creates a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and says the federal government has been overtly hostile towards domestic energy  producers. He favors an overhaul of the tax code, replacing it with a flat tax. Perdue has been a long-standing supporter of the Head Start program and he served as chairman of the National Commission on Literacy and Workforce Development for two years. Perdue is not a stranger to animal agriculture issues as he held executive positions with Sara Lee.

Thomas “Thom” Tillis (R-NC):  Tillis, a Jacksonville, Florida native, was in 1960 into “a working class family” and, according to his website, “worked his way through college with a combination of community college and extension courses, graduating at age 36. Despite his modest roots, Tillis amassed considerable personal wealth before turning to politics. He was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (now known as PwC), the multinational professional services firm based in London. He left the firm in 2002 when PwC’s consultancy business merged with IBM Global Business Services. He led a management consulting practice for IBM until 2009.  He has served as a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives since 2007.  Before his run for the North Carolina House, he served on the Cornelius, NC Town Board. Tillis touts himself as a Republican with board room experience, who desires transparency, smaller federal government, and is socially conservative. He campaigned on repeal of Obamacare, on tax cuts, and on second amendment rights.