2 More Called Winners in House; 7 Races Undecided

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Seven House races were still undecided yesterday, more than a week after Democrats decisively won control of both chambers of Congress.

Five races were too close to call, including a Florida contest in which questions have been raised about electronic voting machines. Two more seats will be decided by runoffs in December.

Election officials in Wyoming and Georgia certified the incumbents as winners in two close races yesterday. Their challengers did not concede and had 48 hours to ask for a recount.

In Georgia, Rep. John Barrow (D) defeated Republican Max Burns by 864 votes out of more than 140,000 cast. In Wyoming, Rep. Barbara Cubin (R) beat Democrat Gary Trauner by about 1,000 votes out of nearly 200,000 cast.

Barrow's victory means Democrats successfully defended every seat they held in the House and Senate, as they rolled to majorities in both chambers of Congress during last week's voting.

Propelled by voter dissatisfaction with President Bush, the Iraq war and congressional scandals, Democrats picked up the six Senate seats they needed for a majority and have gained 29 House seats. They needed 15 to take control.

Another Democratic pickup became official yesterday, when Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.) conceded to Joe Courtney after a recount gave Courtney a 90-vote edge in the closest race in the country.

Democrats trail in the five undecided House races in which votes must still be counted. Republican incumbents Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico, Robin Hayes of North Carolina and Jean Schmidt and Deborah Pryce of Ohio clung to narrow leads.

In the Florida race to replace Rep. Katherine Harris (R), Vern Buchanan (R) led Christine Jennings (D) by about 375 votes.

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