Former wind power executive Michael Skelly failed in his bid to win a seat in the US House of Representatives last month, losing to three-term incumbent John Culberson in a Houston-area district known as one of the most conservative in Texas. Skelly, a Democrat, secured 42.3% of the vote and Culberson 55.9%. "It was always an uphill battle," Skelly says. "But it was a phenomenal experience." Skelly believes his time as a wind developer served him well as a training ground for running a political campaign. "First of all you start off and everybody tells you it's impossible," Skelly says. "Then you've got to put together some money and you've got to put together a team. And then you've got to learn a lot and overcome obstacles. If you do all those things, then you've got a campaign going. But, of course, the outcome is a little bit more binary in the world of politics." Skelly, 46, began his wind industry career in 1999, when he joined International Wind, which became Zilkha Renewable Energy in 2000 and Horizon in 2005. Skelly cut ties with Horizon during the campaign and has no plans to return. He says he is keeping his options open -- and that may include the wind business.