In the Bucks County area, Democratic lawyer Virginia Schrader lost her uphill race against Republican County Commissioner Michael G. Fitzpatrick for the seat of retiring Republican James C. Greenwood. Greenwood, who spent much of the past year chairing hearings that probed the activities of researchers at the National Institutes of Health whose consulting arrangements with pharmaceutical companies raised conflict-of-interest issues, announced this past summer that he would leave his seat to become president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which represents drug and biotech companies.
Kerry made some last-minute efforts in the Democratic-leaning northern regions of this state, but Bush won Virginia easily, as expected, with 54 percent of the vote.
The biggest prize of election night went to Republican state Del. Thelma Drake, who bested Democratic lawyer David B. Ashe in the race for an open House seat in Norfolk vacated by Republican Edward L. Schrock. Drake won easily, gaining about the same 55 percent to 45 percent margin that the president achieved statewide over Kerry.
In other House races, Northern Virginia Reps. Frank R. Wolf, a Republican, and James P. Moran Jr., a Democrat, won reelection. In a race that had a more direct connection than usual for "NASCAR dads," Democratic Rep. Rick Boucher defeated Republican Kevin Triplett, a former NASCAR executive.
West Virginia (5)
In 2000, Bush became only the fourth Republican presidential candidate since the Depression era to win West Virginia on a first effort. This election he swamped his Democratic rival, winning by 13 percentage points even though polls late in the campaign suggested his race with Kerry had tightened up.
Democrat Joe Manchin III was elected governor over Republican Monty Warner. Manchin's victory offered a modicum of vindication to the 20-year veteran of West Virginia politics; he lost the Democratic primary in a 1996 bid for the same office.
His election caps a state electoral career that included two terms in West Virginia's House of Delegates, three terms in the state Senate and his election to the post of secretary of state in 2000.
Manchin will succeed Gov. Robert E. Wise Jr. (D), who decided not to seek a second term after acknowledging an extramarital affair.
In the state's 2nd District, Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito easily beat Democratic news anchor Erik Wells.