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Speakers & Agenda

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) will be hosting its second annual NextGen Conference September 5-6, 2018, in Washington, D.C. This annual meeting is the premiere legislative conference for the next generation of electrical contractors to learn about the top issues affecting the industry and to meet the leaders who are working to provide real solutions.

This conference is about policy, not partisanship. Accordingly, leading members from both sides of the political aisle will be on hand to brief participants on the latest happenings on Capitol Hill and to engage in robust policy discussions to ensure that YOUR voice is heard during the policy making process.

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Meet our Keynotes:

Wasserman-DavidDavid Wasserman, House Editor, The Cook Political Project

David Wasserman is the U.S. House editor and senior election analyst for the non-partisan Cook Political Report. Founded in 1984, The Cook Political Report provides analyses of presidential, Senate, House, and gubernatorial races. The New York Times called the Cook Political Report “a newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative.”

Wasserman analyzes the current political environment in lively and entertaining presentations that he can tailor to his audiences’ specific interests or locales. His data-driven forecasting looks at both national and local trends (if requested, he can even do a district-by-district outlook), the relationship between consumer brand loyalty and voting, and what the future holds for American elections. 

Highly-Praised Expertise. Nate Silver of ESPN's FiveThirtyEight.com has written: “Wasserman’s knowledge of the nooks and crannies of political geography can make him seem like a local,” and the Los Angeles Times recently called Wasserman “whip smart” and a “scrupulously nonpartisan” analyst whose “numbers nerd-dom was foretold at a young age.”

In the fall of 2016, Wasserman drew wide praise for his accurate pre-election analysis, including his uncanny September piece entitled, “How Trump Could Win the White House While Losing the Popular Vote.” Leading Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson recently concluded, “Nobody of my generation knows American politics as well as Dave Wasserman." 

Political Intelligence. Wasserman served as an analyst for the NBC News Election Night Decision Desk in 2016, 2012, and 2008 and has appeared on NBC Nightly NewsABC World NewsC-SPAN Washington Journal, CNN, and NPR. He is a frequent contributor to FiveThirtyEight.com and his commentary has been cited in numerous outlets including POLITICO, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and RealClearPolitics.

An enthusiast for data and maps, Wasserman served as a contributing writer to the 2014 and 2016 editions of the Almanac of American Politics. A frequent speaker and guest lecturer, he has shared insights into the latest political trends with audiences at Harvard's Institute of Politics, the Dole Institute of Politics, and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. In 2014, Twitter awarded Wasserman “Best of #Twitter” honors for his real-time election coverage.

Prior to joining the Cook Political Report in 2007, Wasserman served for three years as House editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a widely respected political analysis newsletter and website founded by renowned University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato. In that role, Wasserman led the publication to correctly predict Democrats would score a gain of 29 House seats in November 2006.  

A native of New Jersey, Wasserman holds a BA in government with distinction from the University of Virginia and was awarded the 2006 Emmerich-Wright Outstanding Thesis prize for his study of congressional redistricting standards.


Representative Darin LaHood

NECA is pleased to announce that Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) will be speaking at this year’s NECA NextGen Meeting. 

220px-Darin_LaHood_official_photoRep. Darin LaHood currently represents Illinois 18th Congressional district and is the son of former Congressman Ray LaHood. He also serves on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

Congressman Darin LaHood, born and raised in Peoria, serves the constituents of the 18th District of Illinois. Sworn into the US House of Representatives on September 17, 2015, LaHood quickly transitioned into office after winning a special-election on September 10.

The 18th district spans 19 counties across central and west-central Illinois, including the cities of Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, Springfield, Jacksonville, Quincy, and Macomb. LaHood serves close to 710,000 constituents. 

Prior to his election to Congress, LaHood served four years in the Illinois State Senate, beginning in 2011. LaHood spent more than nine years as a State and Federal Prosecutor. From 2001-2006, he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada. LaHood has also served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County and Tazewell County. From 2006 up until his election to the House of Representatives, he practiced law with the Peoria firm of Miller, Hall & Triggs.

LaHood’s record throughout his public service has resonated a strong, conservative record, promoting economic development and fiscal responsibility. LaHood has been an outspoken advocate for creating a better business climate in Illinois to boost the state and national economy, to create jobs for Illinoisans. 

LaHood currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee after being selected by his colleagues in January 2018. The Ways and Means Committee is the House’s oldest committee and has jurisdiction over all taxation, trade and tariffs, and other revenue-raising measures. LaHood also serves on the U.S. Joint Economic Committee, a member of the US-Cuba working group and is co-chair of the US-China working group. 

LaHood, a third generation Peorian, graduated from Spalding High School. He earned a B.A. from Loras College and holds a J.D. from The John Marshall Law School. In 2013, he was selected as an Edgar Fellow, a program run by former Governor Jim Edgar, which highlights future Illinois leaders. LaHood was recognized in Peoria as a 40 Leaders Under Forty award winner. An avid runner, he has completed five marathons. During his time as a Federal Prosecutor, LaHood served as an adjunct professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas teaching criminal justice. 

Congressman LaHood and his wife Kristen currently reside in Dunlap and are the proud parents of three sons, McKay, Lucas, and Teddy.