Sunday, November 12, 2006

Elections Are Not Over In Nine House Districts

Elections Are Not Over In Nine House Districts
6 GOP Incumbents Hold Slim Leads
By Philip Elliott
Associated Press

Nine House races remain without winners after Tuesday's election, with state officials not rushing to certify the results.

Seven races involve Republican incumbents in tight contests to keep their seats, but in only one is the Democratic challenger ahead. In Connecticut, Democrat Joe Courtney leads Rep. Rob Simmons by a scant 166 votes. Almost a quarter of a million votes were cast. Recounts were scheduled through the weekend in 64 towns.

Rep. Deborah Pryce, a member of the House Republican leadership, leads her central Ohio race by 3,536 votes, pending the count of more than 9,000 provisional ballots.

Elections officials in the Columbus, Ohio-area have decided to delay that count by one day, to Nov. 19, so it does not disrupt the Michigan-Ohio State football game in Columbus on Nov. 18.

Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), who called Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) a coward last November, is ahead of her challenger, Victoria Wulsin (D), by 2,862 votes. Counting provisional and absentee ballots could take nearly two weeks.

Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-Wyo.), who threatened to slap her wheelchair-bound Libertarian opponent after a debate late last month, is ahead of Democrat Gary Trauner by fewer than a thousand votes as canvassing continued. The Libertarian, Thomas Rankin, has garnered approximately 7,500 votes.

In Georgia, freshman Rep. John Barrow (D) leads former congressman Max Burns (R) by fewer than 900 votes in a rematch of their 2004 race, which was decided by nearly 8,000 votes. There will be an automatic recount unless the margin widens significantly before the results are certified next week.

The vast majority of voters in a suburban Seattle district cast ballots by mail, and they count as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday. Rep. David G. Reichert (R) led Darcy Burner by about 3,100 votes three days after poll-based voting ended.

Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) had a 449-vote lead over Larry Kissell (D), with about 1,500 provisional ballots remaining to be counted.

Rep. Heather A. Wilson (R-N.M.) led Patricia Madrid (D) by about 1,600 votes, with about 4,400 ballots still to be tallied.

A recount is set to begin Wednesday in the Florida district represented by Rep. Katherine Harris (R). Republican Vern Buchanan has a 373-vote lead over Christine Jennings (D) and has declared victory.

Two runoff elections are planned. Rep. William J. Jefferson (La.), the subject of an FBI bribery investigation, will face fellow Democrat Karen Carter on Dec. 9, and Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Tex.) will face former congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez (D) in a yet-to-be-scheduled runoff.

Democrats already have won 230 of the House's 435 seats. Republicans hold 196 seats.