Idaho election officials yesterday declared Democrat Richard Stallings the winner, by 133 votes, of the House seat held for seven terms by Rep. George Hansen (R), who was convicted this year of violating House ethics rules, but Hansen immediately challenged the decision in court.
"I imagine you'll be hearing about this for a long, long time," Stallings spokesman Paul Pugmire said of the anticipated legal fight.
Hansen has had a string of financial and ethical problems, culminating this year in his conviction on four felony counts for violations of the Ethics in Government Act.
Fifteen days after the election, the results of three other House races remained officially up in the air.
In Indiana, freshman Rep. Frank McCloskey (D) appeared to have won by 72 votes out of more than 250,000 cast, based on a county by county certification, his aides said. However, on Monday, the secretary of state, a Republican, refused to certify the statewide results on grounds that a lawsuit in one of the counties, filed by McCloskey's opponent, state Rep. Richard D. McIntyre (R), could change the outcome.
"We expect this to drag on for a long, long time," said McCloskey aide Ron Critchlow.
"The House of Representatives could ultimately name the winner," he added.
If a state is unable to resolve a dispute involving a House seat, the chairman of the House Administration Committee can appoint a task force to hear testimony and recommend further action at the state level or refer to the matter to the full House, according to committee staffer Kathy O'Hara.
In the former Illinois congressional district of newly elected Sen. Paul Simon (D), flamboyant former representative Kenneth J. Gray (D) appeared to have won by 1,236 votes.
However, his opponent, Randy Patchett (R), has indicated that he will ask for a recount as soon as permissible, Nov. 26.
And in the Philadelphia suburbs, Rep. Bob Edgar (D) appeared to have a 412-vote margin over Delaware County Councilman Curt Weldon (R). But Weldon has asked for a recount, which is to begin Monday.