(June 6 primary). Gov. Bob Riley (R) won re-election to a second term by a margin of 58% to 42%, easily fending off a challenge from Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley (D). There were no changes in the U.S. House delegation, which stayed at 5R-2D. Three seats were not even contested (5. B.Cramer (D), 6. S.Bachus (R), and 7. A.Davis (D)); in the 1st, 2nd and 4th the Republican incumbents obtained more than 2/3rds of the vote; the closest result was in the 3rd where M.Rogers (R) obtained 60%. Democrats retained solid control of both chambers in the Alabama Legislature. All seats were up; Democrats' majorities were slightly decreased from 63D-42R in the House and 25D-10R in the Senate to 62D-43R in the House and 23D-12R in the Senate.
(August 22 primary). Gov. Frank Murkowski (R) lost the Aug. 22 primary to former Wasilla mayor and former chairman of Alaska's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Sarah Palin (R). Palin went on to defeat former Gov. Tony Knowles (D), who was elected in 1994 and 1998, former State Rep. Andrew Halcro, who is president of Avis Alaska and ran as an independent, and several others by 49% to 41% and 10% with about 1% for others. Republicans retained control of both chambers in the Alaska Legislature although Democrats made some gains. All 40 House seats and 10 of the 20 Senate seats were up; Republicans' majorities were trimmed from 26R-14D in the House and 12R-8D in the Senate to 23R-17D in the House and 11R-9D in the Senate.
(September 12 primary). Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) won a second term, easily defeating attorney Len Munsil (R) and Barry Hess (L) by 63% to 35% to 2%. Sen. John Kyl (R) defeated developer and former state Democratic chair Jim Pederson (D) and Richard Mack (L) by 53% to 44% to 3%; Democrats thought they might have some chance of picking up this seat. In U.S. House races, Democrats did pick up two seats going from 6R-2D in the 109th Congress to 4R-4D in the 110th. In the 8th CD in Southern Arizona, open due to the retirement of Rep. Jim Kolbe (R), former State Rep. Randy Graf (R) lost to former State Sen. Gabrielle Giffords (D) by 54% to 42%; David Nolan (L), the principal founder of the national Libertarian Party picked up less than 2%. Graf was seen by many analysts as too conservative for the district. The 5th CD (NE Maricopa County including Tempe and Scottsdale) produced an upset; Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R) lost to former Tempe mayor and current State Sen. Harry Mitchell (D) by 50% to 46% with 3% to the Libertarian. In the Arizona State Legislature, all seats were up. Republicans kept control both chambers; their majorities went from House 39R-21D and Senate 18R-12D to House 32R-28D while the Senate numbers remained the same. Arizonans also faced 19 ballot measures. They voted to make English the official state language (Prop. 103), to approve several measures on illegal immigrants, to raise the minimum wage (Prop. 202), and to reject a measure to define marriage as between a man and a woman (Prop. 107). Democrats pick up two U.S. House seats.
(May 23 primary). Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) defeated former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R), Rod Bryan (I), and former State Rep. Jim Lendall (G) by 55% to 41%, 2% and 2% in the race to succeed Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), who assumed the office in 1996. All four Congressmen (3D-1R) were re-elected with over 60% of the vote. In the General Assembly, all 100 House seats and 17 Senate seats; Democrats maintained their large majorities in both chambers; the balance went from 72D-28R in the House and 27D-8R in the Senate to 75D-25R in the House and the same Senate numbers. Democrats pick up the governorship.
(June 6 primary). Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) defeated State Treasurer Phil Angelides (D) by 56% to 39% and 5% for four minor party candidates. However Democrats achieved some success in winning most other statewide offices (Lt.Gov., SofS, Controller, Treasurer, AG, but not Ins. Commissioner). Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) easily defeated former State Sen. Dick Mountjoy (R) by 60% to 35% and 5% for four minor party candidates. In U.S. House races Democrats gained one seat to bring the delegation to 33D-20R from 32D-21R; they came close in a second. Democrats made some noise about the 11th CD (parts of San Joaquin, Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties), but this was seen as a longshot; seven-term incumbent Rep. Richard Pombo (R) faced Jerry McNerney (D) for a second time. However, a significant investment by the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife and the League of Conservation Voters combined with a poorly run campaign by Pombo tipped the seat to the McNerney. In the 4th CD (eastern Sacramento Region), Rep. John Doolittle (R) fended off a challenge from Charlie Brown (D) by 49% to 46% and 5% for the Libertarian candidate. In the 50th CD (north coastal San Diego County), Rep. Randy Cunningham (R) resigned effective Dec. 1, 2005 due to a bribery scandal. Former Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) defeated Francine Busby (D) on June 6 in the closely watched race to fill the seat; Bilbray defeated Busby again on Nov. 7. Finally in the 22nd CD (Bakersfield area), Rep. Bill Thomas (R), first elected in 1978, announced his retirement; Assemblyman Kevin McCarthy (R) held this safe Republican seat. In the state legislature, where Democrats control both chambers, there was little change. All 80 House seats and 20 of 40 Senate seats were up; the balance went from House 47D-32R-1O and Senate 25D-15R to 47D-33R and Senate 24D-16R. Voters also decided 13 propositions. The Initiative and Referendum Institute reported that more than $150 million, a record amount, was spent for and against Proposition 87, a measure designed to reduce dependence on oil and encourage development of alternatives. Despite the support of such luminaries as Bill Clinton and Al Gore, voters defeated the meaure. Democrats pick up one U.S. House seat.
(August 8 primary). Gov. Bill Owens (R) was term-limited. Bill Ritter (D) defeated Rep. Bob Beauprez (R) by 56% to 41% and 3% for three other candidates. Democrats picked up one U.S. House seat, going from 4R-3D to 4D-3R. The open 7th CD seat (Denver area; portions of Jefferson, Adams and Arapahoe counties) held by Beauprez was initially seen as one of the more competitive seats in the country, but former State Sen. Ed Perlmutter (D) prevailed by a 55% to 42% margin over Rick O'Donnell (R), the former head of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, with Adams-Jefferson County Green Party chair Dave Chandler (G) and another candidate getting the remainder. The 4th CD seat (Eastern Colorado; 16 counties and parts of 2 others) proved more competitive; Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R) narrowly defeated State Rep. Angie Paccione (D) and Eric Eidsness (Ref.). The 5th CD (Colorado Springs), open due to Rep. Joel Hefley's (R) retirement, was seen as a safe Republican seat; State Sen. Doug Lamborn (R) defeated Jay Fawcett (D) by 59% to 41%. In the General Assembly, all House seats and 17 Senate seats were up. Democrats built upon narrow majorities in both chambers, going from House 35D-30R, Senate 18D-17R to House 39D-26R, Senate 20D-15R. Coloradans also voted on 7 amendments and 7 referenda. They approved a measure to raise the minumum wage (Amendment 42) and one to define marriage as between a man and a woman (Amendment 43). Democrats pick up the governorship and one U.S. House seat.
(August 8 primary). Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R), who assumed office in July 2004, defeated New Haven Mayor John DeStefano (D) by 63% to 35% and 2% to two minor party candidates. In one of the most watched primaries in the country, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D) lost on Aug. 8 to businessman Ned Lamont (D), but then ran as an Independent. Many prominent Democrats came in to campaign with Lamont, but Lieberman's experience carried the day as he defeated Lamont by 50% to 40%, with 10% for Alan Schlesinger (R) and 1% to two minor party candidates. Connecticut had three closely watched U.S. House races; the delegation went from 3R-2D to 4D-1R. The 2nd CD, which encompasses the Eastern 40% of the state, was one of the closest races in the country; after a mandatory recount Rep. Rob Simmons (R) lost to former state legislator and 2002 candidate Joe Courtney (D) by fewer than 100 votes. In the 4th, the Southwestern tip of the state along Long Island Sound (strong New York influence), Rep. Christopher Shays (R) won a re-match with Westport selectwoman Diane Farrell (D) by 51% to 48% with 1% to Phil Maymin (L). In the 5th, Northwestern Connecticut, Rep. Nancy Johnson (R) lost to State Sen. Chris Murphy (D) in her bid for a 13th term (Johnson was first elected in 1982). In the General Assembly all seats were up. Democrats picked up seven seats in the House, going from 99D-52R to 106D-45R; the Senate remained at 24D-12R. Democrats pick up two U.S. House seats.
(September 12 primary). Sen. Tom Carper (D) handily won re-election, defeating Jan Ting (R) by 70% to 29% with 1% for the Libertarian. In the General Assembly all 41 House seats and 11 of 21 Senate seats were up. The legislature remained split. The House went from 25R-15D-1O to 23R-18D while the Senate remained at13D-8R).
(September 5 primary). Florida had a busy cycle. In the race to succeed Gov. Jeb Bush (R), Attorney General Charlie Crist (R) defeated Rep. Jim Davis (R), Max Linn (Ref.) and three others by 52% to 45% and 2%. Sen. Bill Nelson (D), seeking re-election, soundly defeated Rep. Katherine Harris (R) by 60% to 38% with the remainder split among four others. Five U.S. House seats were in play, and Democrats had some success, going from 18R-7D to tbd. In the 22nd CD (a very thin district running from Jupiter and Juno Beach in Palm Beach County to Fort Lauderdale in Broward County) Rep. E. Clay Shaw (R), a congressman since 1981, lost his seat to State Sen. Ron Klein (D) in a race that cost at least $13.5 million (the two campaign committees reported receipts totaling $7.9 million as of Oct. 18 and the parties weighed in with another $5.6 million). There were four open U.S. House seats. In the 11th CD (Tampa), which was the Davis (D) seat, Kathy Castor (D) held the seat for the Democrats. In the 9th CD (Tarpon Springs), where Rep. Mike Bilirakis (R) is retiring, State Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R) faced a strong challenge from former Hillsborough County Commissioner Phyllis Busansky (D) but won convincingly. In the 13th CD (Sarasota), which was the Harris (R) seat, businessman Vern Buchanan (R) has claimed a narrow victory over former bank president Christine Jennings (D). On Nov. 20 the state's Election Canvassing Commission certified him as the winner by a 369-vote margin, but Jennings' attorneys immediately filed suit in Leon County Circuit Court. They are arguing that "the electronic voting machines in Sarasota County failed to record votes in this race for more than one out of every seven voters." Jennings' team claims that many votes in the race were lost due to a software glitch or system error with the iVotronic touch-screen voting machines (manufactured by ES&S) and that there may need to be a revote. Dan Takaji, in his Equal Vote Blog at Moritz College of Law, suggested the problem might actually be one of ballot design. On Dec. 20, Jennings' attorneys filed a Notice of Contest with the House Administration Committee. [press release] Finally, in the 16th CD (Port Charlotte, Lake Okeechobee, Port St Lucie) the Sept. 29, 2006 resignation of Rep. Mark Foley (R) opened the door for businessman Tim Mahoney (D); Republicans named State Rep. Joe Negron as the replacement candidate, and although his name did not appear on the ballot he came within a couple of percentage points of holding the seat. In the Florida Legislature all 120 House seats and 20 Senate seats were up. Republicans maintained solid majorities in both chambers; Democrats picked up 7 seats in the House, going from 85R-35D to 78R-42D while in the Senate balance stayed at 26R-14D. Democrats pick up two, possibly three U.S. House seats (pending outcome in the 13th CD).
(July 18 primary). Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) won a second term, defeating Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor (D) and Garrett Michael Hayes (L) by 58% to 38% and 4%. In U.S. House races, DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson (D) defeated Rep. Cynthia McCkinney (D) in the primary and went on to a resounding win in the general election. Georgia saw two of the closest House races in the country, contests which proved to be the Republicans' best hopes for pickups. In the 12th CD (Eastern GA from Savannah to Athens) Rep. John Barrow (D) faced off against former Rep. Max Burns (R), whom he defeated in 2004; Barrow eked out a narrow win of 864 votes -- 71,651 votes (50.3%) to 70,787 (49.7%). In the 8th CD (26 counties and parts of 5 others in Central GA) Rep. Jim Marshall (D) fended off a strong challenge from former Rep. Mac Collins (R) by 1,752 votes -- 80,660 votes (50.5%) to 78,908 (49.5%). In the General Assembly, all seats were up. Republicans maintained their majorities in both chambers--going from 104R-76D in the House to 106R-74D, while the 34R-22D margin remained unchanged in the Senate. Also noteworthy, this statement from the Secretary of State's website: "On September 19, 2006, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge issued a Permanent Injunction regarding photo identification requirements. All previous 17 forms of identification, including the statement of elector used in place of ID listed in O.C.G.A. § 21-2-417, will be acceptable for voting during the November 7, 2006 General Election and General Election Run-off."
(September 23 primary). Gov. Linda Lingle (R) convincingly won re-election, defeating former State Sen. Randy Iwase (D) by 63% to 35% with 2% to Jim Brewer (G) and 1% to Ozell Daniel (L). Sen. Daniel Akaka (D) fended off a primary challenge from Rep. Ed Case (D) and then defeated State Rep. Cythia Thielen (R) by 61% to 37% and 2% to the Libertarian. Case's unsuccessful challenge to Akaka opened up the 2nd CD seat which former Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono (D) won by a solid margin. In the state legislature all 51 House seats and 13 of the 25 Senate seats were up. Democrats kept solid majorities in both chambers going from 41D-10R in the House to 43D-8R and staying at 20D-5R in the Senate.
(May 23 primary). On March 16, 2006 President Bush nominated Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (R) for Interior Secretary; he was confirmed and Lt. Gov. Jim Risch (R) became governor on May 26. Risch did not seek election. The governor's race pitted Rep. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R) against Jerry Brady (D), president of the Idaho Falls Post Register, who also ran in 2002, along with Marvin Pro-Life Richardson (C) and Ted Dunlap (L); Otter prevailed by 53% to 44% with the third party candidates getting about 2% each. The 1st CD seat opened up by Otter proved surprisingly competitive; State Rep. Bill Sali (R) won a six-way primary with 26% of the vote and ultimately bested Larry Grant (D) by about 5 percentage points. All seats in the state legislature were up. Republicans maintained their solid majorities although Democrats picked up a few House seats, going from 57R-13D to 51R-19D, while the Senate stayed at 28R-7D. Idahoans also voted on five ballot measures, approving a marriage protection amendment, but rejecting an addition of 1% to the sales tax and a proposition on eminent domain and land use.
(March 21 primary). Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) won re-election, but ethics concerns held him to under 50% of the vote to 40% for State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka (R) and 10% for Rich Whitney (G); Mark McCoy (L) ran as a write in candidate. The U.S. House delegation remained at 10D-9R. There were a couple of open U.S. House seats due to retirements: the 6th CD (part of Cook and Dupage Counties) held by Rep. Henry Hyde (R) and the 17th CD (Rock Island) held by Rep. Lane Evans (D). In the 6th, State Sen. Peter Roskam (R) was seen as favored over Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D), and he won by about 2 percentage points. In the 17th, Lane's aide Phil Hare (D) was seen as favored over former TV anchor/reporter Andrea Zelinga (R), and he won with relative ease. One of the more closely watched races in the country was in the 8th CD (Northeast corner of the state) where first term Rep. Melissa Bean (D) defeated investment banker David McSweeney (R). In the General Assembly all 118 House seats and 39 of the 59 Senate seats were up. Democrats strengthened their control in both chambers going from 64D-53R-1O in the House and 31D-27R-1O in the Senate to 66D-52R in the House and 37D-22R in the Senate.
(May 2 primary). Sen. Dick Lugar (R), facing only Steve Osborn (L), cruised to a sixth term (he was first elected in 1976). Three U.S. House seats were in play and Democrats swept all three, going from 7R-2D to 5D-4R. In the 9th CD (Southeastern Indiana along the Ohio River) Rep. Mike Sodrel (R) lost a rematch to former Rep. Baron Hill (D), the man he defeated in 2004, by 50% to 46% with 4% for the Libertarian. In the 8th (Western Indiana from Evansville in the South to Warren County in the North), Vanderburgh County Sheriff Brad Ellsworth (D) defeated Rep. John Hostettler (R) by 61% to 39%. In the 2nd CD (includes South Bend), Rep. Chris Chocola (R) lost a rematch to businessman/attorney Joe Donnelly (D) by 54% to 46%. Sen. Bayh put a lot of effort into the three House races and the outcome provides a boost to his presidential ambitions. In the General Assembly all House seats and 25 of the 50 Senate seats were up. Republicans lost control of the House, going from 52R-48D to 51D-49R; the balance in the Senate remained at 33R-17D. Democrats pick up three U.S. House seats and one legislative chamber.
(June 6 primary). In the race to succeed Gov. Tom Vilsack (D), Secretary of State Chet Culver (D) kept the seat in the Democratic column, defeating Rep. Jim Nussle (R) by 54% to 45% with a bit over 1% to three minor party candidates. Two U.S. House races were closely watched. Nussle's gubernatorial bid opened the 1st CD, which includes the Quad Cities, Waterloo and Dubuque, and was seen as one of the most competitive seats in the country (in 2004 CD 1 went 53% to 46% for Kerry over Bush). Restaurant/hotel entrepreneur Mike Whalen (R) lost to attorney Bruce Braley (D) by 55% to 43% and 2% for two others. In the 3rd CD Rep. Leonard Boswell (D) fended off a very strong challenge from State Sen. Jeff Lamberti (R). The 2nd CD (Southeast Iowa including Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Burlington, Ottumwa) produced a real surprise as professor Dave Loebsack (D) defeated Rep. Jim Leach (R) by 51% to 49%. Leach, first elected in 1976, lost despite his position against the Iraq war. As a result Iowa's U.S. House delegation went from 4R-1D to 3D-2R. In the General Assembly all 100 House seats and 25 of 50 Senate seats were up. Before the election Republicans had a slim 51R-49D advantage in the House, while the Senate was tied 25R-25D; on Nov. 7 Democrats won majorities in both chambers, going to 54D-45R-1O in the House and 30D-20R in the Senate. Of note, in 2004 Republicans had a narrow edge in voter registration 30.89% to 30.50% with 38.61% no party; in 2006 Democrats were ahead by 31.45% to 30.51% with 38.03% no party. Democrats pick up two U.S. House seats and two legislative chambers.
(August 1 primary). Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) handily won a second term, defeating Dr. Jim Barnett (R) by 58% to 41% with 2% to two others. In U.S. House races there was a shocker in the 2nd CD (26 counties in the eastern part of the state), where Nancy Boyda (D) upset five-term Rep. Jim Ryun (R) by 51% to 47% with 2% going to another candidate. As a result the U.S. House delegation went from 3R-1D to 2R-2D. In the legislature all 125 House seats but no Senate seats were up. Republicans maintained solid majorities in both houses; Democrats pared the margin a bit in the House from 83R-42D to 77R-48D while the Senate remained at 30R-10D. Democrats pick up one U.S. House seat.
(May 16 primary). Kentucky politics was colored by a hiring scandal that plagued the Fletcher administration. Attention focused on the 4th CD (northern counties bordering on Indiana and Ohio), where freshman Rep. Geoff Davis (R) faced a strong challenge from former Rep. Ken Lucas (D), who served for three terms before opting not to seek re-election in 2004; Davis won with 52% of the vote to 44% for Lucas and 5% for Houillion (L). An upset occurred in the 3rd CD (Louisville) where five-term incumbent Rep. Ann Northup (R) lost her seat to John Yarmuth (D), bringing the U.S. House delegation from 5R-1D to 4R-2D. In the Legislature, all 100 House seats and 19 of 38 Senate seats were up. Democrats strengthened their majority in the House, going from 56D-44R to 61D-39R while Republicans kept the Senate at 21R-16D-1O. Democrats pick up one U.S. House seat.
(Nov. 7 primary and Dec. 2 run-off for congressional races). Hurricane Katrina has affected the state's politics and changed the electorate. Earlier in the year the New Orleans mayoral race drew attention; Mayor Ray Nagin was re-elected in May 2006. The 3rd CD (Southeast Louisiana) was seen as possibly competitive, but freshman Rep. Charlie Melancon (D) convincingly fended off a challenge from State Sen. Craig Romero (R) with 55 percent of the vote. In the solidly Democratic 2nd CD (New Orleans) twelve candidates ran against eight-term incumbent Rep. Bill Jefferson (D) in the Nov. 7 primary. Jefferson was under investigation for bribery, although he denied any wrongdoing. He obtained about 30% of the vote and defeated State Rep. Karen Carter (D) in the Dec. 9 run-off. No legislative seats were up.
(June 13 primary). Statewide, Gov. John Baldacci (D) fended off State Sen. Chandler Woodcock (R), Barbara Merrill (I), Pat LaMarche (G) and another candidate by 38% to 30% to 21% to 10% and 1%. As expected Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) easily won in her re-election bid, defeating Dixmont organic farmer Jean Hay Bright (D) by 74% to 21% with 5% for another candidate. In the Legislature all 151 House seats and 35 Senate seats were up. Democrats started with narrow majorities in both chambers: 74D-73R-4other in the House and 19D-16R in the Senate; Election Day saw their House margin swell to 89D-60R-2other while the Senate narrowed to 18D-17R.
(September 12 primary). Surprisingly for this blue state, both the Senate and the Governor's races were competitive. However, Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) ultimately lost his re-election bid to Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) by 53% to 46% with the remainder going to several other candidates. Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R) ran an effective campaign but fell to Rep. Benjamin Cardin (D) by 55% to 44% with 2% going to Kevin Zeese (G,L,P) in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D). In the 3rd CD John Sarbanes (D) won election to succeed Cardin. In the General Assembly, all seats were up. Democrats expanded their already huge majorities in both chambers, going from 98D-43R in the House and 32D-15R in the Senate to 106D-35R and 33D-14R. Democrats pick up the governorship.
(September 19 primary). Gov. Mitt Romney (R) did not seek a second term. Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey (R) sought to succeed him but was defeated by Deval Patrick (D), by 56% to 35% with 7% going to Christy Mihos (I) and 2% to Grace Ross (GRP). Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) defeated Ken Chase (R) for re-election by 69% to 31%. The U.S. House delegation remained at 10D-0R; indeed only 5 members even faced challengers and the weakest showing was Rep. Delahunt's 65% in the 10th CD. In the General Court all seats were up in 2006. Democrats marginally increased already huge majorities in both chambers going from 137D-21R-2O to 141D-19R in the House and 34D-6R to 35D-5R in the Senate. Democrats pick up the governorship.
(August 8 primary). Republicans saw pickup opportunities in both the governor's and U.S. Senate races, but Democrats held both. Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) defeated businessman Dick De Vos (R) by 56% to 42% with the remainder going to Libertarian, Green and U.S. Taxpayers candidates. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) defeated Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R) by 57% to 41% with the remainder going to Libertarian, Green and U.S. Taxpayers candidates. The U.S. House delegation remainde at 9R-6D, although there was one change. In the 7th CD, Congressman Joe Schwarz lost the Republican primary to Tim Walberg; Walberg won the general election. In the Legislature all seats were up. Republicans had controlled both chambers, holding majorities of 58R-49D-3O in the House and 22R-16D in the Senate. Democrats won control of the House, 58D-52R, while Republicans held the Senate, 21R-17D. Democrats pick up one legislative chamber.
(September 12 primary). In a tight contest Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) won re-election, defeating Attorney General Mike Hatch (DFL) by 47% to 46% with 6% for Peter Hutchinson (MNIP) and the remainder to several other candidates. The DFL candidates swept the three other constitutional offices. Sen. Mark Dayton's (DFL) retirement created an open Senate seat; Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar (DFL) defeated Rep. Mark Kennedy (R) by 58% to 38% with 3% for Robert Fitzgerald (MNIP) and the remainder to others. The DFL increased its strength in the U.S. House from 4DFL-4R to 5DFL-3R. There were two open House seats. In the 6th CD (six counties in East/Central Minnesota) held by Kennedy, State Sen. Michele Bachmann (R) held the seat, defeating Patty Wetterling (D), who had also run for the seat in 2004, and John Binkowski (MNIP). In the 5th CD (Minneapolis), where Rep. Marty Sabo (D) is retiring, Keith Ellison (DFL) garnered 56% to defeat Alan Fine (R), Tammy Lee (MNIP) and Jay Pond (G) and become the first Muslim elected to Congress. In the 1st CD (Southern Minn.; a strip right across the bottom of state) Tim Walz (DFL) upset Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R), who was first elected to Congress in 1994. The 2nd CD (South of St. Paul; Scott, Carver, Le Sueur, Rice, and Goodhue counties and parts of Dakota and Washington counties) also attracted some attention; Rep. John Kline (R) defeated former FBI agent Colleen Rowley (DFL). In the State Legislature all seats were up. Prior to the election control was divided; Republicans narrowly held the House 67R-66DFL-1O while the DFL controlled the Senate 38DFL-29R. The DFL swept to control in the House 85DFL-49R and strengthened their control in the Senate 44DFL-23R. Democrats pick up one U.S. House seat and one legislative chamber.
(June 6 primary). Sen. Trent Lott (R), first elected to the Senate in 1988, was re-elected to a fourth term, defeating State Rep. Erik Fleming (D) by 64% to 35%. All four congressmen were easily re-elected. Elections for governor and state legislature are in 2007. In the legislature, Democrats control both chambers (75D-46R-1O in the House and 27D-23R-2O in the Senate).
(August 8 primary). In one of the most closely fought Senate races in the country, State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D), who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2004, defeated Sen. Jim Talent (R) by 49.5% to 47.4% with 2.2% to Frank Gilmour (L) and about 1% to Lydia Lewis (P). In U.S. House races, the delegation remained at 5R-4D; all incumbents obtained more than 60% of the vote. In the General Assembly, all 163 House seats and 17 of 34 Senate seats were up. Republicans retained control of both chambers with slightly reduced margins, going from 97R-66D to 92R-71D in the House and from 23R-11D to 21R-13D in the Senate. Missourans also voted on several ballot measures, narrowly approving Constitutional Amendment 2 on stem cell research, narrowly defeating Constitutional Amendment 3 to impose a tobacco tax, and voting by a wide margin to approve Proposition B to increase the minimum wage. Democrats pick up U.S. Senate seat.
(June 6 primary). Sen. Conrad Burns (R), first elected in 1988, was hurt by the Jack Abramoff scandal and defeated by State Senate President Jon Tester (D) by 49% to 48% (a margin of fewer than 3,000 votes) with 3% (more than 10,000 votes) going to Stan Jones (L). In the Legislature all 100 House seats and 25 of the 50 Senate seats were up. In the House he balance went from 50D-50R to, following a recount, 50R-49D-1O in the House. The Other was Rick Jore (Const.), elected to represent the 12th District. The Senate went from 27D-23R to 26D-24R (including post-election switch of a Rep. to Dem.). I-151 to raise the minimum wage passed by a large margin. Democrats pick up U.S. Senate seat.
(May 9 primary). Gov. Dave Heineman (R), who ascended to the governor's office when then Gov. Mike Johanns became Secretary of Agriculture, won election in his own right, defeating New Digital Group CEO David Hahn (D) by 73% to 24% with 3% for two other candidates. Sen. Ben Nelson (D) defeated former Ameritrade COO Pete Ricketts (R) by 64% to 36% Rep. Tom Osborne (R) unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for governor, opening up the 3rd CD seat which covers the Western 3/4ths of the state. Adrian Smith (R) defeated Scott Kleeb (D) by 55% to 45% to keep the seat in the Republican column. In the unicameral Nebraska Legislature 24 of 49 seats were up. Nebraskans also voted on nine ballot measures.
(August 15 primary). Gov. Kenny Guinn (R) was term-limited in 2006. Rep. Jim Gibbons (R) defeated State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus (D) by 48% to 44% with 4% to None of These Candidates, 3% to Christopher Hansen (IAP) and 1% for Craig Bergland (G). Sen. John Ensign (R) defeated investment consultant Jack Carter (D) by 55% to 41% with two other candidates and None garnering the remainder. The U.S. House delegation remained at 2R-1D. Interestingly all three House candidates were women. In the closely split 3rd CD (Southern Nevada), two-term incumbent Rep. Jon Porter (R) defeated Tessa Hafen (D), who worked as an aide to Sen. Reid, by 48% to 47% (fewer than 4,000 votes) with 5% going to two other candidates. In the open 2nd CD (Northern Nevada) Secretary of State Dean Heller (R) defeated University Regent Jill Derby (D) by 50% to 45% and the remainder to two other candidates. (Rep. Shelly Berkley easily won re-election in the 1st CD). In the Legislature, all 42 House seats and 11 of 21 Senate seats were up Democrats had a 26D-16R majority in the House, while Republicans had a 12R-9D majority in the Senate. Democrats picked up a couple of seats going to 27D-15R in the House and 11R-10D in the Senate. Voters faced a number of ballot issues; by more than 2 to 1 they approved State Question 6 to increase the minimum wage; they defeated State Question 7 on marijuana. Of 585,986 Nevadans voting, 244,554 (41.73%) voted during the early voting period from Oct. 21-Nov. 3, 58,075 (9.91%) absentee, and 283,357 (48.36%) on Election Day.
(September 12 primary). In perhaps no state did the blue tide sweep as strongly as in New Hampshire. Gov. John Lynch (D) cruised to re-election, defeating former Valco Data Systems CEO Jim Coburn (R) by 74% to 26%. The state's two Republican congressman were initially seen as likely to retain their seats. However, in the 1st CD (the Southeast 1/3 of the state) Jeb Bradley (R) lost in a major upset to Carol Shea-Porter (D). Shea-Porter had earlier upset the DCCC-endorsed Jim Craig (D) in the primary. In the 2nd (West and North) Charlie Bass (R) lost to attorney Paul Hodes (D). In the General Court, where all seats were up, Republicans controlled both chambers by sizable margins. Democrats gained control of both chambers, going from 242R-150D-8O in the House and 16R-8D in the Senate to 239D-161R in the House and 14D-10R in the Senate. Democrats pick up two U.S. House seats and two legislative chambers.
(June 6 primary). In the closely contested U.S. Senate race between appointed Sen. Bob Menendez (D) and State Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. (R), Kean sought to make ethics a major issue, but Menendez prevailed by 8 percentage points 53% to 45% with the remainder going to five candidates. In the 13th CD (parts of Essex, Hudson, Middlesex and Union Counties), vacant since January due to Menendez's appointment to the Senate, Assemblyman Albio Sires (D) easily won the special election to finish the term (he was sworn in Nov. 13) and the general election to serve the full two-year term. The closest U.S. House race was in the 7th CD (parts of Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset and Union Counties), where Rep. Mike Ferguson (R) defeated Linda Stender (D) by 50% to 48% (fewer than 3,300 votes) with Thomas Abrams (other) and Darren Young (L) accounting for about 5,000 votes.
(June 6 primary). Gov. Bill Richardson (D) easily won re-election over former state party chair John Dendahl (R) by 69% to 31%, and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) likewise trounced urologist Allen McCulloch, M.D. (R) by 71% to 29%. One of the most closely watched U.S. House races in the country was the 1st CD (Albuquerque area; parts of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe and Valencia counties and all of Torrance county) where Rep. Heather Wilson (R) faced Attorney General Patricia Madrid (D). Wilson eked out a narrow win by 875 votes or less than one percentage point. In the Legislature, all 70 House seats were up. Democrats controlled both chambers; after Election Day the majorities remained unchanged at 42D-28R in the House and 24D-18R in the Senate.
(September 12 primary). Gov. George Pataki's (R) retirement produced an open race for the Governor's office. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) soundly defeated Kinderhook attorney John Faso (R/C) by 69% to 29% with 1% going to Malachy McCourt (G) and the remainder to three other candidates. The well-funded Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) overwhelmed former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer (R/C) to win a second term by 67% to 31% with 1% going to Howie Hawkins (G) and the remainder to three others. Prior to the elections the balance in the U.S. House stood at 20D, 9R. Two members announced their retirements after 24 years in Congress. In the solidly Democratic 11th CD (Brooklyn) voters elected Yvette Clarke (D) to succeed Rep. Major Owens (D). In the 24th CD (Upstate), Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R)'s seat proved to be one of six competitive races...
-In the 24th Oneida County District Attorney Michael Arcuri (D) defeated State Senator Ray Maier (R) by 54% to 45% with 1% going to the Libertarian.
-In the 20th CD (all or parts of 10 counties in Eastern NY) attorney Kirsten Gillibrand (D) ousted Rep. John Sweeney (R), class of 1998, by 53% to 47%.
-In the 19th CD (much of the Hudson Valley region) John Hall (D) upset Rep. Sue Kelly (R), class of 1994, by 3,000 plus votes.
-In the 25th CD (Syracuse area), a district which went narrowly for Kerry in 2004, Rep. Jim Walsh (R) narrowly defeated former Democratic aide Dan Maffei (D).
-In the 26th CD (Western New York including Buffalo suburbs; all or parts of Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties), Rep. Tom Reynolds (R) found himself suddenly on the defensive in late September as the Foley scandal broke; fortunately for Reynolds a record snowstorm changed the subject and he went on to defeat manufacturer and 2004 nominee Jack Davis (D) by a couple of percentage points.
-In the 29th (Western NY from Cattaraugus County to Chemung County) freshman Rep. Randy Kuhl (R) defeated retired Navy officer Eric Massa (D) by 52% to 48%.
The net effect was that Democrats strengthened their majority in the U.S. House delegation to 23D-6R. In the Legislature all 150 seats in the Assembly and all 61 seats in the Senate were up. Control remained split. Democrats' margin in the House went from 104D-44R-2O to 105D-45R while Republicans' majority in the Senate went from 35R-27D to 34R-28D. Looming in the background was the 2008 presidential campaign; four New Yorkers have been mentioned as possible candidates: Sen. Clinton, Gov. Pataki, former Mayor Giuliani and Mayor Bloomberg. Sen. Clinton appears to have helped her cause, while the depleted condition of the Republican Party will likely hamstring Gov. Pataki's ambitions. Democrats pick up the governorship and three U.S. House seats.
(May 2 primary). In the 11th CD (Western tip of the state) former NFL quarterback and real estate developer Heath Shuler (D) defeated Rep. Charles Taylor (R) in his bid for an eighth term (first elected in 1990) by a margin of 54% to 46%. In the 8th CD (all or portions of 10 counties in the south central part of the state) high school social studies teacher Larry Kissell (D) achieved a surprisingly strong showing against perennial Democratic target Rep. Robin Hayes (R) losing by just 329 votes (60,926 to 60,597). This was one of the last House races to be finalized; Kissell conceded at the end of November. In the General Assembly all 120 House seats and all 50 Senate seats were up. Democrats strengthened their majorities in both chambers, going from 63D-57R in the House and 29D-21R in the Senate to 68D-52R and 31D-19R. Of note, ballot access requirements in North Carolina are among the most restrictive in the country. The North Carolina Libertarian Party pointed out that "in over half of the NC House districts (53%) and almost half of the NC Senate districts (44%) the voters have been robbed of the ability to choose. In these districts the ballot will contain only one candidate." Democrats pick up one U.S. House seat.
(June 13 primary). Sen. Kent Conrad (D) defeated Dwight Grotberg (R), a farmer from Anderson, by 69% to 30% with 2% going to two other candidates. Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D) defeated soybean farmer Matt Mechtel (R) by 66% to 34% for an eighth term. In the State Legislature, Republicans retained control of both chambers, albeit with reduced majorities. The balance went from 67R-27D to 61R-33D in the House and from 32R-15D to 26R-21D in the Senate.
(May 2 primary). 2006 was a watershed year in Ohio politics. Gov. Bob Taft (R) was mired in record low poll ratings and term-limited. Rep. Ted Strickland (D) won the race to succeed him, defeating Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) by 60% to 37% with 2% for Bill Pierce (L) and 1% for Bob Fitrakis (G). Democrats targeted Sen. Mike DeWine (R) and, after a closely fought campaign, he lost to Rep. Sherrod Brown (D) by 56% to 44%.
There were three open U.S. House seats due to retirements: the 6th, 13th and 4th; none of these changed hands.
-In the 13th CD [Brown seat] (Akron area, Northeastern Ohio) former State Rep. Betty Sutton (D) defeated Lorain Mayor Craig Foltin (R) by 61% to 39%.
-In the 4th CD [Oxley seat] (central including Mansfield, Lima, Findlay) State Sen. Jim Jordan (R) defeated Richard Siferd (D) by 60% to 40%.
-In the 6th [Strickland seat] (Eastern border from Lucasville to suburban Youngstown) State Sen. Charlie Wilson (D) held the seat against a challenge from State Rep. and Speaker Pro Tem Chuck Blasdel (R); after Wilson botched getting on the primary ballot this was seen as a race to watch but he ultimately won without much trouble by a margin of 62% to 38%.
Democrats talked of picking up as many as five seats...
-They targeted the 1st CD (Cincinnati/Southwest corner), which went 51%-49% for Bush in 2004, but Cincinnati City Council member John Cranley (D) lost to Rep. Steve Chabot (R), a member of the class of 1994, by 53% to 47%.
-They also targeted the 15th CD (Columbus area-south and west), where Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy (D) faced Rep. Deborah Pryce (R), a member of the class of 1992 and now the fourth ranking Republican leader in the House. After the Election Night count Pryce led by 3,536 votes, however there were about 19,500 provisional and absentee ballots to be counted. By late November, when that was done, the margin had shrunk to a bit over 1,000 votes. A mandated recount, concluded on December 11, put the tally at 110,739 votes for Pryce and 109,677 votes for Kilroy.
-In the 18th CD (16 counties in eastern and southern Ohio) matters unfolded propitiously for the Democrats. Rep. Bob Ney (R) had been implicated in corruption investigations but maintained he had done nothing wrong. He won the May 2 primary. Democrats selected Dover City Attorney Zack Space (D) whom Republicans derided as a B-list candidate. However, on Aug. 7 Ney announced he would not seek re-election, prompting a Sept. 14 special primary election won by State Sen. Joy Padgett (R). Ney was in and out of the news (he agreed to plead guilty on Sept. 15, actually pleaded guilty on Oct. 13, and resigned effective Nov. 3), and reports of a bankruptcy didn't help Padgett either; Space went on to win by a comfortable margin of 62% to 38%.
-In the 2nd CD (Cincinnati/SW Ohio), without national backing, Dr. Victoria Wulsin (D) made a surprisingly strong challenge to Rep. Jean Schmidt (R). Schmidt had been elected over Paul Hackett by a narrower than expected margin in an Aug. 2005 special election and had then generated controversy in Nov. 2005 with remarks on the House floor directed to Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA). The Election Night count showed Schmidt ahead by 2,865 votes, and the outcome remained unclear for a couple of weeks while provisional and absentee ballots were counted. Wulsin conceded on November 28.
-Finally, in 12th CD (Columbus area-north and east) former congressman Bob Shamansky (D)'s self-financed challenge to Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) generated attention, but Tiberi prevailed by 58% to 42%.
In the Ohio General Assembly, Republicans came out with reduced majorities in both chambers, going from 60R-39D to 53R-46D in the House and from 22R-11D to 21R-12D in the Senate. Ohioans also decided four ballot measures, approving an increase in the minimum wage (Issue 2), rejecting a slot machine proposal (Issue 3), and approving a smoking ban in public places (Issue 5).
Democrats pick up the governorship, the U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat.
(July 25 primary). Gov. Brad Henry (D) was re-elected to a second term, defeating Rep. Ernest Istook (R) by 67% to 33%. Istook's run opened up the 5th CD (Oklahoma City), where, after winning the primary Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) won election with 60% of the vote. The balance in the U.S. House delegation remained at 4R-1D. In the Oklahoma Legislature, the House went from 57R-44D to 56R-45D and the Senate from 26D-22R to 24D-24R.
(May 16 primary). Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D) appeared vulnerable but defeated attorney Ron Saxton (R) by 51% to 43% with 4% for Mary Starrett (C), 1% for Joe Keating (PG), and 1% for Richard Morley (L). The balance in the U.S. House delegation remained at 4D-1R. The closest race was in the 5th CD (Benton, Clackamas, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah, Polk and Tillamook Counties) where Rep. Darlene Hooley (D) defeated business executive Mike Erickson (R) by 54% to 43% with 3% going to two others. In the Legislature Democrats gained control of the House, going from 33R-27D to 31D-29R; the Senate balance remained at 17D-11R-2O. Voters also decided on ten ballot measures, approving restrictions on the use of eminent domain, but rejecting limits on campaign contributions and an effort to reinstate term limits. Democrats pick up one legislative chamber.
(May 16 primary). 2006 was very successful cycle for Democrats in Pennsylvania. Gov. Ed Rendell (D) defeated Lynn Swann (R) by 60% to 40%. Sen. Rick Santorum (R) was seen as an underdog in his re-election effort against State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) and he did indeed lose the race by 59% to 41%. One of the most closely watched U.S. House races was the 6th CD (West and North of Philadelphia). Rep. Jim Gerlach (R) faced a rematch with attorney Lois Murphy (D), who came within two points of unseating him in 2004; when the votes were tallied Gerlach had again eked out a two point margin. A number of races seemed to gel for the Democrats as Election Day approached. In the 10th CD (northeast PA) Rep. Don Sherwood (R) was weakened by reports of an extramarital affair and abuse and lost to Chris Carney (D), a Lt. Commander in the Naval Reserves, by 53% to 47%. Democrats had hopes for Iraq war veteran Patrick Murphy (D) against first term Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R) in the 8th CD (Bucks County, parts of Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia); Murphy won by about 1,500 votes. Democrats made some noises in the 7th CD (SW of Philadelphia, including most of Delaware County, SW Montgomery County and E. Chester county) where Rep. Curt Weldon (R) was seeking a 10th term against Joe Sestak (D), a retired Vice Admiral. In mid-October word emerged that Weldon was being investigated by the FBI on the propriety of contracts obtained by his daughter; Sestak went on to win by 56% to 44%. Finally the 4th CD (SW Pennsylvania; parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence, Westmoreland and Mercer Counties) produced a surprise as Jason Altmire (D) defeated three-term Rep. Melissa Hart (R) by 52% to 48%. In the General Assembly, the balance in the House remained unclear for several weeks after the election due to a few close races, but on November 29 Democrats claimed a 102D-101R majority up from 109R-94D to while the Senate remained at 29R-21D. Democrats pick up U.S. Senate seat, four U.S. House seats, and one legislative chamber.
(September 12 primary). Gov. Don Carcieri (R) defeated Lt. Gov. Charlie Fogarty (D) by 51% to 49%. After getting past a primary challenge from Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey, Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R) lost to former attorney general Sheldon Whitehouse (D) by 53% to 47% in one of the most closely fought U.S. Senate races. All 75 House seats and 38 Senate seats were up but the partisan balance remained unchanged at 60D-15R in the House and 33D-5R in the Senate. Democrats pick up U.S. Senate seat.
(June 13 primary). Gov. Mark Sanford (R) won a second term, defeating State Sen. Tommy Moore (D-Clearwater) by 55% to 45%. In the 5th CD (all or parts of 14 counties in north-central South Carolina) Republicans were intially optimistic about State Rep. Ralph Norman (R)'s challenge to Rep. John Spratt (D), first elected in 1982, but Spratt won by a 57% to 43% margin. All 124 House seats and 46 Senate seats were up; Republicans maintained their majorities in both chambers, going from 74R-50D to 73R-51D while the Senate remained at 26R-20D. Voters overwhelmingly approved Constitutional Amendment 1, defining marriage as "the union between one man and one woman." An eminent domain measure, Constitutional Amendment 5, also passed overwhelmingly.
(June 6 primary). Gov. Mike Rounds (R) defeated retired orthopedic surgeon Jack Billion (D) by 62% to 36% with a total of 2% going to the Constitution and Libertarian candidates. Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D) easily won re-election over Bruce Whalen (R) and a Libertarian. Republicans kept control of both chambers of the State Legislature going from 51R-19D to 50R-20D in the House and 25R-10D to 20R-15D in the Senate. Among 11 ballot measures, South Dakotans approved by 52% to 48% Constitutional Amendment C to amend the State Constitution to allow and recognize marriage only between a man and a woman, while Referred Law 6 to approve HB1215 banning abortion, fell short with 44% of the vote.
(August 3 primary). Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) won re-election, defeating State Sen. Jim Bryson (R) by 69% to 30% with the remainder going to six others. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R)'s retirement opened the U.S. Senate seat. Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker (R) and Rep. Harold Ford (D) waged a closely fought campaign that attracted considerable national attention; Corker prevailed by 51% to 48% with the remainder going to six others. There were also a couple of open U.S. House seats but those races did not result in a change in party and were not close. David Davis (R), president of Shared Health Services, Inc., won election to the 1st CD (Eastern TN) seat opened up by Rep. Bill Jenkins' (R) retirement. State Sen. Steve Cohen (D) won the 9th CD (Memphis) seat held by Ford. In the General Assembly all 99 House seats and 17 of 33 Senate seats were up; the balance in the House remained at 53D-46R and the Senate went from 17R-15D-1O to 17R-16D. Amendment 1, to define marriage as a contract between one man and one woman, passed by an overwhelming margin.
(March 7 primary). Gov. Rick Perry (R) defeated former Rep. Chris Bell (D), Comptroller Carol Keeton Strayhorn (I), Kinky Friedman (I), and James Werner (L) by 39% to 30%, 18%, 13% and 1%. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) was heavily favored over Barbara Ann Radnofsky (D) and won by 62% to 36% with 2% to Scott Jameson (L). The balance in the House went from 21R (DeLay seat vacant)-11D to 19R-13D.
-In the 22nd CD (Greater Houston-Rosenberg in the West to La Marque in the East) a convoluted saga unfolded over the course of 2006, ultimately resulting in a Democratic pick up. Rep. Tom DeLay (R) won the March 7 primary but on April 3, facing money laundering charges, announced his resignation from Congress effective June 9. The Republican Party of Texas then declared him ineligible on the grounds that he had changed his residence to Virginia, and Republicans were set to name his replacement for the November ballot. Texas Democrats filed a lawsuit to prevent that, the Democratic state chair terming the maneuver "a manipulation of election law and most importantly, a sham attempt to circumvent the primary process and ignore voters in the 22nd Congressional District." The courts upheld the Democrats' position. Houston Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, M.D. (R) ran as a write-in candidate, seeking to hold the seat against former Rep. Nick Lampson (D). Sekula-Gibbs won the special election to fill the remainder of DeLay's term in the lame duck session, but Lampson won the seat for the 110th Congress by 52% to 42% with 6% going to Bob Smither (L).
-The 23rd CD (a huge district in SW Texas along the Mexican border) also saw some complications, in this case as a consequence of the controversial mid-cycle Texas redistricting adopted by the Texas Legislature in 2003 which resulted in Republicans picking up new U.S. House seats in 2004. On Aug. 4, 2006, a three-judge panel in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued an order redrawing the boundaries of congressional districts 15, 21, 23, 25, and 28 and voiding the results of the March 3 primary in those districts; new blanket primaries were held on Election Day, November 7. Incumbents won majorities in all of those districts except the 23rd CD. Rep. Henry Bonilla (R) garnered 49% to 20% for former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D) and the remainder going to six other candidates. Rodriguez then won the December 12 runoff in the redistricted 23rd.
-Republicans had some hopes of picking up the strongly Republican 17th CD (Central Texas incl. Waco), but Rep. Chet Edwards (D), who was first elected in 1990, defeated businessman and Iraq veteran Van Taylor (R) by 18 percentage points.
In the Texas Legislature all 150 House seats and 16 of 31 Senate seats were up. The balance in the House went from 86R-64D to 81R-69D and the Senate went from 19R-11D-1O to 20R-11D. Democrats pick up two U.S. House seats.
(June 27 primary). Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) cruised to re-election against businessman Pete Ashdown (D), winning by 63% to 31% with 4% to Scott Bradley (Const.) and 3% to three others. The U.S. House delegation remained at 2R-1D. The strongest challenge was in the 2nd CD where Rep. Jim Matheson (D) defeated State Rep. LaVar Christensen (R), an attorney and real estate developer, by 59% to 37% with 3% to three others. In the State Legislature all 75 House seats and 15 of 29 Senate seats were up. Republicans retained their large majorities in both chambers; the balance remained at 56R-19D in the House and 21R-8D in the Senate.
(September 12 primary). In the race to succeed retiring Sen. Jim Jeffords (I), Rep. Bernie Sanders (I) defeated Rich Tarrant (R) by 65% to 32% with the remainder going to four other candidates and write ins. Gov. Jim Douglas (R) won re-election, defeating former State Sen. Scudder Parker (D) by 56% to 41% with the remainder going to four candidates and write ins. In the race for the open at-large congressional seat Senate President Pro Tem Peter Welch (D) defeated former Adjutant General (head of the National Guard) Martha Rainville (R) by 53% to 45% with the remainder going to six other candidates and write ins. In the General Assembly all 150 House seats and all 30 Senate seats were up; Democrats strengthened their majorities in both chambers, going from 86D-60R-7O to 93D-49R-8O in the House and 21D-9R to 23D-7R in the Senate.
(June 13 primary). Sen. George Allen (R), widely seen as a possible 2008 presidential candidate following the 2004 campaign, saw any aspirations for higher office evaporate during the course of his re-election campaign as former Secretary of the Navy (and former Republican) Jim Webb (D) benefited from his mishaps to eke out a narrow win. The balance in the U.S. House remained at 8R-3D. Democrats made noise in the 2nd CD (Hampton (part), Norfolk (part), and Virginia Beach), where first-term Rep. Thelma Drake (R) faced Virginia Beach Commissioner of the Revenue Phil Kellam (D); Drake won by 51% to 49%. In the 10th CD (No. VA), Rep. Frank Wolf (R) fended off a well funded challenger by Judy Feder (D) by 57% to 41%. Legislative elections occur in odd years; Republicans control both chambers of the General Assembly. Virginians passed Ballot Question 1 an amendment to the State Constitution to define marriage as the "union between one man and one woman." Democrats pick up U.S. Senate seat.
(September 19 primary). Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) won re-election, defeating former Safeco (insurance company) Chairman, President, and CEO Mike McGavick (R) by 57% to 39% with about one percent each to Libertarian, Green and Independent candidates. The U.S. House delegation remained at 6D-3R. In the 8th CD (eastern edge of metro Seattle, most of Bellevue, Mercer Island, suburbs on Lake Washington) freshman Rep. Dave Reichert (R) fended off a stronger than expected challenge from former Microsoft executive Darcy Burner (D) by 51% to 49%. In the Legislature all 98 House seats and 24 of the 49 Senate seats were up. Democrats strengthened control of both chambers, going from 55D-43R to 63D-35R in the House and from 26D-23R to 32D-17R in the Senate. Washingtonians also voted on four ballot measures.
(May 9 primary). Sen. Robert Byrd (D), first elected to the Senate in 1958, won another term, defeating Greer Industries CEO John Raese (R) by 64% to 34% with 2% for Jesse Johnson (Mtn). The U.S. House delegation remained at 2D-1R. In the 1st CD (Northern WV) 12-term incumbent Rep. Alan Mollohan Jr. (D) is facing a federal investigation and there was some thought that might hurt him, but he defeated businessman and Delegate Chris Wakim (R) by 64% to 36%. In the Legislature all 100 House seats and 17 of the 34 Senate seats were up; Democrats strengthened sizable majorities in both chambers of the Legislature, going from 68D-32R to 72D-28R in the House and from 21D-13R to 23D-11R in the Senate.
(September 12 primary). Gov. Jim Doyle (D) faced a strong challenge from Rep. Mark Green (R) but prevailed by 53% to 45% with 2% to Nelson Eisman (G). Sen. Herb Kohl (D) gained 67% of the vote to 30% for attorney Robert Lorge (R), 2% for Rae Vogeler (G) and 1% for Ben Glatzel (I). In the open 8th CD (Northeast WI; Appleton and north includes Green Bay) Assembly Speaker John Gard (R) narrowly lost to Steve Kagen, M.D. (D) by 51% to 49% for a Democratic pick up. In the Legislature, all 99 House seats and 17 of the 33 Senate seats were up. Republicans had controlled both chambers of the Legislature but lost control of the Senate. The majorities went from 59R-39D-1O to 53R-46D in the House and from 19R-14D to 18D-15R in the Senate. Wisconsinites passed Question 1, making the definition of marriage "a union between a man and a woman" part of the Constitution. Democrats pick up one House seat and one legislative chamber.
(August 22 primary). Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D) defeated Wheatland attorney Ray Hunkins (R) by 70% to 30%. Sen. Craig Thomas (R) likewise defeated engineer Dale Groutage (D) by 70% to 30%, gaining a third term; and at-large Rep. Barbara Cubin (R), first elected to Congress in 1994, faced a strong challenge from small businessman Gary Trauner (D), winning by fewer than 1,000 votes; Rankin (L) gained 4% of the vote. In the State Legislature all 60 House seats and 15 of 30 Senate seats were up. Republicans kept solid majorities in both chambers of the State Legislature; their margin went from 46R-14D to 43R-17D in the House and stayed at 23R-7D in the Senate.
|Copyright © 2006 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action||