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Democrat Mazie Hirono made history, becoming the first Asian woman to serve in the Senate. Hirono trounced former Gov. Linda Lingle (R), sewing up nearly 63 percent of Hawaii’s support. Hirono is replacing retiring Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka.
On the House side, former Honolulu City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard (D) cruised to victory in the 2nd district seat vacated by Hirono, locking down more than 80 percent of the vote against GOP contender Kawika Crowley.
Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) just barely held on to his seat, eking out a win against Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley in a contest decided by about 12,000 votes. Heller was appointed to the Senate in May 2011, sliding into the slot left open by scandal-plagued Republican John Ensign.
Democrat Dina Titus, who was ousted from Nevada’s 3rd district seat by Republican Rep. Joe Heck in 2010, will return next spring after locking down nearly 64 percent of the vote in Berkley’s 1st district. Titus helped keep Nevada’s delegation evenly split between the two parties in her win against GOP challenger Chris Edwards. Meanwhile, Democrat Steven Horsford (4th district) broke new ground, becoming the first African-American sent to Congress from the Silver State. The former Nevada Senate Majority Leader scored just over 50 percent of the vote in his race against GOP challenger and 2010 Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian.
In the Evergreen State, Democrat Suzan DelBene, a former Microsoft executive with no legislative experience, secured about 54 percent of the vote in the 1st district. The former state Department of Revenue director has touted higher taxes for upper-income earners as a top priority and also wants to help undo the Defense of Marriage Act.
Democrat Derek Kilmer (6th district) bested Republican challenger Bill Driscoll in the race to replace retiring Rep. Norm Dicks (D), locking down 58 percent of the vote on the Olympic Peninsula. A former state Senator, Kilmer has vowed to broaden the scope of the Pell Grant program. After being beaten in 2010, Democrat Denny Heck got it right this time around, notching nearly 60 percent of the vote in Washington’s newly drawn 10th district. The former state House Majority Leader is all about “smart grid” technology, expanding trade opportunities and stimulating economic growth.