House races

House races

Rep. Ortiz says legal team is looking into voting 'discrepancies' (updated)

Republican Blake Farenthold has been declared the winner in his bid to oust Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas), but the Democratic incumbent hasn't given up, saying in a statement that his legal team is currently looking into "a number of discrepancies" that may have impacted the vote.

In a statement late Wednesday, Ortiz notes "a polling site that opened almost one hour late on Election Day and an early voting site that lost electrical power, therefore, depriving many from casting their vote."

The congressman, who is down by just 799 votes, according to the vote tally from The Associated Press, said he may ask for a recount.

"If after all the votes are counted and the race is still this close, a recount will be needed," Ortiz said. "It's simply too early for anybody to be calling this race."   

The race is one of several close congressional contests where the incumbent has yet to concede. A recount would likely delay the outcome for another several weeks. 

-Updated at 5:33 p.m.


Emily's List claims relative victory for its candidates

The liberal group Emily's List claimed victory for its pack of candidates on Wednesday, especially amid broader losses for Democrats in the election.

The group, which supports Democratic women who back abortion-rights, said it had managed to at least stand its own ground by protecting Democratic women it had supported in the Senate, and maintaining the representation of Democratic women in the next Congress.

"The bottom line is our women stood up to this wave just as well (or better) than any other group of Democratic candidates," the group said Wednesday in a memo. "They stood up to it better than their male counterparts."

The group scored big in particular with Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D-Calif.) reelection victory, and Democrat Colleen Hanabusa's win in Hawaii's 1st congressional district.

Other candidates — for instance, liberal darling Ann McLane Kuster (D) in New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district — didn't fare as well.

But despite the mixed record, Emily's List boasted a better overall performance among candidates they had backed.

"Our night was no worse than any Democrat’s in DC," the group said. "Cold comfort, yes, but with the amount written this cycle about the Year of the GOP Woman, the First-Ever Female Backslide, Mama Grizzlies, and the Defecting Gender Gap, this was not something we could have taken for granted."


Rep. Connolly expands lead in Va.; GOP opponent won't concede

After three of Virginia's Democratic House incumbents were swept away in Tuesday's massive Republican wave, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) is still hanging on by a thread Wednesday.

Connolly ended Tuesday with just a 487-vote lead over Republican challenger Keith Fimian. But after votes from another two precincts were counted Wednesday, Connolly expanded that razor-thin margin to 921 votes. 

Democrats appear hopeful Wednesday that Connolly's seat will remain in the Democratic column, noting that a lead of almost 1,000 votes is tough to overcome in a recount. 

Still, in a statement Wednesday, the Fimian campaign expressed confidence that the Republican would end up on top when all is said and done, and alluded to the possibility of a recount, which Fimian's campaign would have to request.  

Fimian campaign spokesman Tim Edson said in a statement, "it is important to take the time to get the result right by seeing the counting and canvassing process through." 

According to state elections officials, Fimian can request a recount if the margin is less than one percentage point. The Republican would have to do so by Nov. 22.  

If his lead holds, Connolly would be the lone Democrat of four GOP targets in the state Tuesday to survive. Reps. Rick Boucher, Tom Perriello and Glenn Nye were all washed out by Tuesday's wave. 


Rep. Grijalva claims victory, race not officially called

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) declared victory Wednesday morning even though the race hasn't been officially called and his Republican challenger, Ruth McClung, hasn't conceded.

With all but one precinct reporting, Grijalva was leading with 48.6 percent of the vote to McClung's 45.7 percent. Nearly 3,600 votes separated the two, according to the Arizona Republic.

Grijalva, one of the most liberal members of the House and co-chairman of the Progressive Caucus, faced an unexpectedly tough challenge from McClung, a rocket scientist turned first-time candidate.

His criticism of the state's controversial immigration enforcement law hurt him.


Dems pick up Hawaii seat

Democrat Colleen Hanabusa defeated Rep. Charles Djou (R-Hawaii). Djou took the seat in a special election after Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D) resigned to run for governor.

The seat leans Democratic but Hanabusa and former Rep. Ed Case (D) split the Dem vote in the special, which helped Djou win. Case decided not to run for the seat again, freeing the field for Hanabusa.


Freshman Dem Walter Minnick loses in Idaho

Freshman Rep. Walter Minnick (D-Idaho) lost his reelection bid. Minnick represented one of the most Republican-leaning districts in the country but had the conservative voting record to match: he voted against cap-and-trade legislation, the stimulus and the healthcare bill. 

Minnick's race was considered a toss-up early on but as Election Day got closer, several observers thought the Blue Dog Coaliton member would prevail.

Republican Raul Labrador takes the seat. He upset the party favorite in the Republican primary earlier this year.


Republicans take Rep. Mollohan's seat

Republican David McKinley claimed the seat Tuesday of Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), who was ousted in a Democratic primary earlier this year by state legislator Mike Oliverio. 

The race attracted high-profile surrogates on both sides with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) stumping for McKinley and former President Bill Clinton campaigning for Oliverio, but the Democrat was unable to hold off McKinley, who won with just over 50 percent of the vote.