House Democratic Majority Is Growing

Posted November 4, 2008 at 10:11pm

House Democrats have added at least six seats to their majority so far tonight, with Democratic gains continuing across the country.

In Illinois, state Sen. Debbie Halvorson (D) has won the open seat vacated by retiring Rep. Jerry Weller (R). With 58 percent of precincts reporting, Halverson had 58 percent of the vote and the race had been called by the Associated Press.

Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) has lost to teacher Larry Kissell (D), and Democrats Michael McMahon and Dan Maffei have picked up GOP-held open seats in New York.

Earlier this evening, Florida Reps. Ric Keller (R) and Tom Feeney (R) were defeated, and Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) also lost. Republicans were able to pick up the seat of scandal-plagued Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.).

But more Democratic gains are on the horizon.

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) is trailing former Senate aide Betsy Markey (D), 52 percent to 42 percent, with 59 percent of precincts reporting.

And in Michigan, former Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters (D) was on track to defeat eight-term Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R) in the 9th district. With 60 percent of precincts reporting, Peters led Knollenberg 51 percent to 43 percent.

Democrats also held on to two Pennsylvania seats that Republicans contested heavily.

Rep. Christopher Carney (D) has declared victory in Pennsylvania’s 10th district, which was expected to be a potential pickup opportunity for Republicans this cycle. With 76 percent of precincts reporting, Carney led businessman Chris Hackett (R), 58 percent to 42 percent.

Longtime Rep. John Murtha (D) won his race in southwestern Pennsylvania with 59 percent of the vote with 85 percent of precincts reporting, according to the AP.

Republicans, however, appear to be holding on to some pivotal seats in New Jersey, New York and Missouri.

In New Jersey, with 63 percent of precincts reporting, state Sen. Leonard Lance (R) leads state Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D) in the race to replace Rep. Mike Ferguson (R), 51 percent to 42 percent, with 77 percent of precincts reporting.

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) leads Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes (D), 61 percent to 35 percent, with 51 percent of precincts reporting.

Republicans also appear to be keeping New York’s 26th district in GOP hands, with businessman Chris Lee (R) defeating attorney Alice Kryzan (D), 56 percent to 40 percent, with 78 percent of precincts reporting.

Meanwhile, polls in California, Oregon and Washington closed at 11 pm.