Stabenow, Senate Ag chairwoman, wins reelection

The Senate passed a five-year farm bill in June, but the full House has yet to act on its own measure. The most recent five-year farm bill expired at the end of September, and Republicans and Democrats sparred through much of the summer over how to bring drought relief to farmers throughout the country. 

Stabenow has urged the House to act on a farm bill after it returns to Washington next week, and her victory Tuesday would seem to strengthen her hand in negotiations. Lobbyists have said that a modified farm bill could conceivably be tacked on to a year-end measure dealing with the "fiscal cliff."

The Michigan Democrat is also a member of the tax-writing Finance Committee. Several other Democrats on the panel – Sens. Bill Nelson (Fla.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Tom Carper (Del.) and Ben Cardin (Md.) – also were reelected on Tuesday.

The Hill's Ballot Box has more on Stabenow's defeat of former Rep. Pete Hoekstra.