Congress: One more for the Republicans

Republican House Gain Now at 61 Seats


The Republican triumph in the House of Representatives has grown a little wider, with the party now capturing 61 seats in this month’s midterm elections. The latest victory comes in Illinois’s Eighth Congressional District, where Representative Melissa Bean, a Democrat, conceded to Joe Walsh, a Republican.

Mr. Walsh defeated Ms. Bean by 291 votes out of more than 200,000 ballots cast.

Five House races, all with Democratic incumbents, now remain uncalled. In California, Representatives Jim Costa and Jerry McNerney appear likely to withstand challenges. But Representatives Dan Maffei and Timothy H. Bishop of New York and Solomon P. Ortiz of Texas are all narrowly trailing their Republican challengers.

The outcome of the Illinois contest underscores the depth of Democratic defeats across the country on Nov. 2. Ms. Bean captured the seat in 2004, knocking off a Republican veteran, Phil Crane, who represented the district in the northern suburbs of Chicago for more than three decades. Her seat was seen — even by many Republicans — as reliably Democratic.

Mr. Walsh is among one of the many incoming freshman members of Congress who was seen as a long shot. Republican leaders in Washington didn’t give him much of a chance, but he has credited his victory to volunteer support and the strength of the Tea Party movement.

Comment: Who says one's vote doesn't count! 291!

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