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Elections could alter cyber legislative landscape

Several tight races could shift control not only of the Senate, but of committees dealing with cybersecurity legislation and funding.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee could lose four of its nine Democratic members between three tight races and Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinMichigan to pay 0M to victims of Flint water crisis Unintended consequences of killing the filibuster Inspector general independence must be a bipartisan priority in 2020 MORE’s (D-Mich.) retirement come 2015.

That includes Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuBottom line A decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face MORE (La.), who is also chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, which has sway over the cyber workforce training dollars.

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Landrieu, who has been vocal about securing cybersecurity education and jobs, is expected to win tonight’s election in Louisiana but not with the 50 percent necessary for an outright victory. That will send her to a runoff election in December, mostly likely against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, who will be favored to win. 

Two other panel members, Alaska Democrat Mark BegichMark Peter BegichAlaska group backing independent candidate appears linked to Democrats Sullivan wins Alaska Senate GOP primary Alaska political mess has legislators divided over meeting place MORE and Arkansas Democrat Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 Tom Cotton's only Democratic rival quits race in Arkansas Medicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 MORE, are also in trouble.

Overall, the panel has worked on bills to bolster cybersecurity resources at the Department of Homeland Security and delineate clear cybersecurity guidelines for federal information security. 

Separately, civil libertarians are worried they’ll lose an ally in Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallThe 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Democratic presidential race comes into sharp focus Democrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump MORE (D-Colo.), who is trailing Republican Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Democratic super PAC pulls remaining ads from Colorado Senate race Exclusive: Poll shows Affordable Care Act challenge a liability for McConnell at home MORE in polls. 

Udall was one of only three “no” votes against the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which is opposed by groups worried about privacy. 

The measure would create protections for the government and private sector to share cyber threat indicators, although the bill’s detractors are concerned about the lack of specificity about what information will be shared.