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Campaign '98: Key Stories

General Coverage | House Races | Leaving Congress


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House Races

Gingrich Could Face Leadership Challenge
November 5, 1998
Shaken by the strength of the Democratic showing in Tuesday's midterm elections, Republicans turned on one another yesterday, with party leaders calling for a thorough assessment of what went wrong and conservatives and moderates criticizing the leadership for failing to offer a compelling agenda to the voters.

Gingrich Moves to Protect His Post
November 5, 1998
Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) rushed to bolster his standing with House Republicans bitterly divided over an election that left them with the narrowest majority in 33 years as several lawmakers considered waging their own campaigns for his job.

Impeachment Hearings May Be Scaled Back
November 5, 1998
House Republican leaders began moving yesterday to bring a quick end to the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton in the aftermath of midterm elections that provided an unexpected boost to Democrats around the nation.

Democrats Narrow GOP's Edge in House
November 4, 1998
Democrats became the first presidential party in more than six decades to pick up House seats in a midterm election, but they fell short of wresting control back from the Republican Party.

For Gingrich, an Easy Victory and Uneasy Future
November 4, 1998
If there was any hand-wringing here Tuesday night, amid the dozens of waving "Speaker Newt" signs at the noisy campaign celebration, it was not over whether this particular congressman would win his 11th term to the House.

House Leadership Challenge Weighed
October 30, 1998
House Republican conservatives, embittered over the budget deal approved by Congress last week, are considering the possibility of trying to oust their leaders at the party's post-election organizing meeting in mid-November, conservative lawmakers said.

Cousins Run to Extend Family Franchise
October 27, 1998
Deep pockets or no, the family that a generation ago cut a wide political swath through Arizona and Washington, D.C., is on the move again. Four decades after the brothers Stewart and Morris went to Congress and became pivotal players in the shaping of modern environmental policy, their sons are running to continue a family tradition of public service dating to the 1880s.

Parties Look to House Races for Gains
October 25, 1998
The clues to President Clinton's impeachment prospects lie not only in the offices of Kenneth W. Starr and Newt Gingrich, but in places like Pennsylvania's Lackawanna County, where two political newcomers are battling over a job opening in Congress.

Democrats Rally Blacks to Vote
October 25, 1998
Democrats around the country are making extraordinary efforts to get black voters to the polls Nov. 3, convinced that a high turnout would give the party the edge in more than two dozen competitive congressional races and a handful of Senate and gubernatorial races.

Poll Finds Continued GOP Gains
September 11, 1998
As Congress waits to gauge the fallout from independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr's report on President Clinton, new polls suggest the political winds continue to shift in the direction of Republican candidates.

Republicans Look for Major Gains in Fall
September 3, 1998
Energized by a presidential sex scandal they predict will depress Democratic turnout in November, Republican leaders are developing a far more ambitious plan for increasing their numbers in Congress.

House Moderates Walk a Tightrope to Shape Legislation, Win Elections
August 31, 1998
Behind the closed doors of the House Republican Conference one Wednesday last April, the loyalty of several moderates was being questioned. They were being chewed out for signing or preparing to add their names to a Democratic petition to force a floor debate on campaign finance reform legislation opposed by most Republicans.

For Fall Races, House GOP Has a Playbook of Sound Bites
July 31, 1998
Forget about bipartisan deal-making. House Republican leaders are distributing a strategic plan for the fall campaigns that advocates drawing sharp rhetorical distinctions against Democrats and open pursuit of Clinton administration scandals.

GOP Hold on House Hazier
June 8, 1998
Midway through the 1998 campaign the Republican Party's fragile, 11-seat hold on the House of Representatives may be in jeopardy, giving Democrats the opportunity to regain some of the ground they lost in the bloodbath of 1994, an examination of polling data, fund-raising and voting trends in competitive districts indicates.

Democrats Lead in Open-Seat Funds
May 15, 1998
Democratic candidates hold a surprising fund-raising advantage in the open-seat races that will be critical in the struggle for control of the House, Federal Election Commission figures show.

Big Tobacco Filters Into Campaign Coffers
May 8, 1998
Since Jennifer Dunn first ran for Congress in 1992, she has had a loyal friend in Philip Morris. The tobacco giant's political action committee supported the Washington state Republican's first campaign and has been there for her ever since.

Democrats See Favorable Numbers, Hard Wins in Southern House Bids
March 29, 1998
For the Democratic Party, looking to pick up House seats in the increasingly Republican South, two auspicious events converged here like the confluence of rivers at the bayou.

Fund-Raising Flourishes in the House
November 6, 1997
In the first six months of 1997, incumbent members of the House of Representatives raised $52.9 million, up $7.4 million from the comparable period two years ago, according to a new report by the Federal Election Commission.
See chart: The House's Top Fund-Raisers


Alabama Republicans Uneasy About Attacks
May 10, 1998
Lately, when Robert Brown has received campaign contribution appeals from Republican political committees, he has scrawled "no confidence" or "no leadership" across the forms and returned them without a check.


Dornan Trails Badly in Race To Recapture Seat, Poll Finds
July 19, 1998
A new poll shows that voluble former representative Robert K. Dornan (R-Calif.) is going to have a tough time recapturing the seat he lost in 1996 in a bitter, racially tinged fight against Democrat Loretta Sanchez.

Republican Kim Is First to Lose Re-Election Bid
June 3, 1998
Embattled Congressman Jay C. Kim, R-Calif., became the first incumbent casualty of the 1998 election year after losing his party's nomination Tuesday to state Assemblyman Gary Miller.

Conservative Firebrand Bob Dornan Blazes Comeback Trail to the House
June 3, 1998
Proving that his political career crashed but did not burn when he lost his re-election bid two years ago, former California Rep. Robert "B-1 Bob" Dornan is flying high again after winning the Republican nomination to reclaim his old congressional seat.

Days in the Life of Jay Kim in the U.S. House of Correction
May 22, 1998
Jay Kim has become Congress's disreputable uncle. He's always there, but no one wants to discuss him.

'B-1 Bob' Dornan Is on the Attack Again
May 16, 1998
Robert K. Dornan, for 18 years the enfant terrible of the House Republican caucus, says he had an "epiphany" when he looked at the sample ballot for California's June 2 blanket primary and saw his name practically alongside that of his nemesis, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D). It was time to go negative, Dornan decided.

Mary Bono Wins House Seat
April 8, 1998
Mary Bono won a decisive victory in her bid to occupy the California congressional seat of her late husband, singer Sonny Bono. California State Sen. Barbara Lee (D) also won a special election to succeed her former boss, retired Democratic congressman Ronald V. Dellums.

Rep. Kim Must Serve Sentence Here, Miss Campaigning in Calif. Primary
April 4, 1998
Rep. Jay Kim (R-Calif.) will have to serve his two-month sentence of home confinement for violating campaign fund laws in the Washington area, preventing him from campaigning for reelection in person in the June 2 Republican primary.

Gingrich Is Neutral on Kim's Campaign
March 16, 1998
House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) has decided to stay neutral in the June 2 GOP primary in which Rep. Jay Kim (R-Calif.) is being challenged by two opponents, according to congressional sources.

Capps's Calif. Win Boosts Democrats
March 12, 1998
Democrat Lois Capps, the widow of Rep. Walter Capps (D-Calif.), won a key special election here by exploiting Republican conflicts that analysts warned could haunt the GOP in the November elections.

Democrats Keep House Seat In Calif. Special Election
March 11, 1998
Democrat Lois Capps defeated Republican Tom Bordonaro in a closely watched congressional special election that was seen by both sides as a possible harbinger of the 1998 House elections in this most populous state.

Christian Coalition Plans Calif. Drive
March 8, 1998
The Christian Coalition plans to flood a California congressional district encompassing Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties with voter guides and get-out-the-vote phone calls in a last-minute drive to get conservative voters to the polls for a special House election between Republican Tom Bordonaro and Democrat Lois Capps.

Ex-Rep. Dornan Opens Campaign To Regain Seat
February 16, 1998
Kicking off what promises to be an expensive and rancorous campaign on both sides, Republican Robert K. Dornan on Saturday announced a nine-month fight to win back his former seat in Congress from Democrat Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

Dornan Challenge to Sanchez Rejected
February 5, 1998
A Republican-led task force formally dismissed a vote fraud challenge to the election of Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., yesterday, ending a 14-month investigation denounced by Democrats as a "witch hunt." Former representative Robert K. Dornan, R-Calif., who filed the complaint, left open the possibility he may run for senator.

Special Election May Turn Free-for-All Into 2-for-All
January 10, 1998
A special congressional election in a key California district has turned into a wide-open, three-cornered, long-distance race that simultaneously features some of the most prized and most abhorred qualities of American politics.

As Democrats Try to Hold California Seat, Republicans Debate Ideology
November 18, 1997
The campaign to replace Rep. Walter Holden Capps (D), who died of a heart attack on Oct. 28 after only 10 months in office, has already drawn attention from the congressional leadership of both parties.
California Congressman's Widow to Run for His Open House Seat

Alioto Bows Out of Rematch For California House Seat
November 3, 1997
Democrats' hopes of winning one of their most sought-after House seats were buoyed last week when Michela Alioto, the party's 1996 nominee, announced she would forgo a rematch with Rep. Frank Riggs (R-Calif.) and run instead to be California secretary of state.


Unchallenged Incumbents Walk in Reelection Races
October 27, 1998
Across the nation, nearly 100 members of Congress have won a free ticket back to Washington this year – more than in any election since 1958 and five times as many as in 1996. But nowhere has the Soviet-style, single-candidate phenomenon taken root as firmly as in Florida, where only one House seat is considered competitive, that of Rep. Corrine Brown (D). What's going on here? Does anyone care?

Scandal Cuts Both Ways in Fla. Race
October 21, 1998
Rep. Corrine Brown (D) was running for reelection in Florida's 3rd Congressional District, where two-thirds of the voters are Democrats and 42 percent of the voting-age population is black. Brown, who is African American, won her last race with 61 percent of the vote. Her opponent this year is Bill Randall, a black Republican who had little name recognition, no political base and few dollars. Then something happened to Brown: scandal. Since this spring, Florida newspapers have had an extended field day with her, exposing a string of allegations of unethical behavior.


In Hawaii, GOP Primary Contest Is Settled Before Votes Are Cast
August 27, 1998
Conservative Republicans won a heated intraparty election fight in Hawaii by default Wednesday when moderate Republican state Rep. Quentin Kuhio Kawananakoa unexpectedly dropped out of the race for the congressional seat now held by Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D- Hawaii.


Outside Influence: Illinois 17th District

Two Fronts in the Fight for Equality
May 26, 1998
The way Democratic Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. doggedly works Washington's bureaucracy, shows what a difference a generation has made in the Jackson family and, more broadly, in the struggle for equality among black and white Americans.

Illinois Primary Races Highlight Party Divisions
March 15, 1998
If, as President Clinton has said, the era of big government is over, Illinois state Rep. Jan Schakowsky hasn't gotten the word.


A Kansas Democrat Aims for the Center in Bid to Split GOP
July 21, 1998
The battle for the prospering 3rd Congressional District of Kansas is shaping up as one of the closer races in the country, as a popular Democratic challenger struggles to demonstrate that he's – well, just as Republican as the guy next door.


House Appropriations Chairman Livingston to Seek Another Term
February 20, 1998
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston (R-La.) said yesterday he no longer plans to retire from Congress this year and will seek an 11th term, suggesting he might try to succeed Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) if Gingrich steps down after the next two years.

Duke Prepares Bid for Livingston's Seat
February 18, 1998
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is gearing up to run for Congress, again.

Court Rejects Early Election In Louisiana
December 3, 1997
The Supreme Court ruled that a state may not choose its members of Congress before the official federal election day, which is the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.


Morella Challenge Announced
November 18, 1997
Vowing to succeed where other Montgomery County Democrats have failed time after time, former civil rights activist Ralph G. Neas announced his candidacy yesterday for the seat that Rep. Constance A. Morella (R-Md.) has held comfortably for more than a decade.


Ex-Mayor Ray Flynn's Comeback Fizzles
September 17, 1998
The comeback hopes of former Boston mayor and ex-Vatican ambassador Raymond L. Flynn expired with a whimper Tuesday. But Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates Paul Cellucci and Scott Harshbarger trounced their respective primary opponents with a bang and prepared to square off in a contest that will decide whether the GOP extends its grip on this predominantly Democratic state's highest office.

JFK's, O'Neill's Seat Attracts Wide Field
May 3, 1998
For the first time in 50 years, the storied congressional seat once held by John F. Kennedy and House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr. is up for grabs – and Boston politicians are grabbing from all directions.

New Jersey

N.J., D.C. Democrats Back House Bid Rivals
May 31, 1998
In many ways, the June 2 primary for the 12th Congressional District here is between the Democrats of New Jersey and those in Washington.

New Mexico

New Mexico's Wilson Forced to Taxi Before Maiden Floor Voyage
June 30, 1998
Before even casting her first vote as the newest member of Congress, Republican Heather Wilson got a taste of two guiding principles on Capitol Hill: Nothing ever happens on time and whenever a junior lawmaker appears before the television cameras with House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), he or she will quickly be overshadowed.

GOP Spends $1 Million to Hold N.M. Seat
June 25, 1998
The Republican Party poured an unprecedented $1 million into New Mexico's special election to defeat a multimillionaire Democrat and retain a House seat that Democrats hoped would propel them toward regaining control of Congress.

New Mexico Rematch Due in November
June 24, 1998
Democrats will have another chance to take a New Mexico House seat in the November general election, when special election candidate Phil Maloof challenges Rep.-elect Heather Wilson for a full two-year term.

Republican Wins Special Election
June 24, 1998
Republican Heather Wilson defeated Democrat Phil Maloof in a special election considered an important warm-up for November's battle for control of the House.

New Mexico Race Becomes Focus In Bigger Battle for House Control
June 22, 1998
Here at the juncture of the Rio Grande and historic Route 66 is where the battle for the House begins. In the minds of the political pros back in Washington it is too important to leave to the candidates, Heather Wilson, a Republican endorsed by Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.), and Phil Maloof, the multimillionaire Democrat from a popular local family.

New Mexico House Races Will Test Party Clout in November
June 8, 1998
The contests for New Mexico's 1st and 3rd Districts illustrate the critical role New Mexico will play in the high-stakes war between Republicans and Democrats as the parties battle for control of Congress in the November general election.

Land Bill May Help GOP Reach Hispanic Voters
May 20, 1998
It may have seemed odd for House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) to appear at a news conference on a Mexican holiday to denounce a "historic injustice" committed against Hispanic families in the American Southwest 150 years ago.

Rep. Steve Schiff of New Mexico Dies at 51
March 26, 1998
Rep. Steve Schiff, a five-term member of Congress who helped research the ethics case against House Speaker Newt Gingrich, died March 25 after a battle with cancer. He was 51.

North Carolina

N.C. Must Redraw Congress District
April 14, 1998
North Carolina cannot delay redrawing its congressional districts even though the revisions will likely put off the May 5 primary elections, the Supreme Court ruled.

Back to Drawing Board in North Carolina
April 8, 1998
North Carolina's attorney general is asking a three-judge federal panel to give lawmakers some extra time to devise a third plan to redraw the 12th District and possibly the rest of the state's congressional map to escape a finding of racial gerrymandering.


Pork-Fed Campaigns: Highway Funds Aid Ohioan's Reelection Bid
June 7, 1998
Politics doesn't get any more elemental than this: If Bob Ney keeps his job in the U.S. Congress, one reason will be the new toilets he brought home to Monroe County.

The Political Phoenix From Cleveland
February 26, 1997
After losing House races in '72, '74, '88 and '92, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) finally made it, toppling Republican incumbent Martin Hoke with a strong grass-roots campaign and the considerable help of organized labor.


Throwing a Curveball At Okla. Democrats
June 20, 1998
The fight for the soul of Oklahoma'a 3rd District is poised to become one of the more important – and vicious – races in the country as Democrats attempt to win back the House in November. For one, both parties are waging a war over the long-term future of the seat. This overwhelmingly Democratic and poor agricultural area was represented for 30 years by House Speaker Carl Albert, a Democrat, and by all accounts it should still be in Democratic hands.

Rep. Watkins Won't Retire After All
June 14, 1998
No one would accuse Rep. Wes Watkins of being inflexible. In the past eight years, the Oklahoma legislator has been a Democrat, an Independent and these days, a Republican. Now, heeding the desperate pleas of his most recent party, Watkins abruptly reversed his dramatic decision to retire, dampening Democratic hopes of picking up a sure House seat in November.


Cooley, Packwood May Run Again
March 8, 1998
Former representative Wes Cooley (R-Ore.), whose political career came to an abrupt halt two years ago after he was caught lying about his war record, seems to think he deserves another chance and announced that he will run again for his old seat in Congress.


A Well-Mannered Fox Hunt Is On In Suburban Philadelphia
September 1, 1998
It was not unusual to see Rep. Jon Fox, R-Pa., glad-handing his way about the lobby of the Normandy Farms Estates home for the elderly. Fox is a quintessential local politician appearing on a bigger stage – and as a second-term House Republican whose 84-vote victory in 1996 was the nation’s closest margin, he needs all the support he can muster.

Coming to Term Limits
May 12, 1998
Rep. William F. Goodling (R-Pa.) has easily won every election since his first in 1974, but now, after voting against a constitutional amendment limiting House members to three two-year terms, term-limit advocates have turned against him – putting Goodling in a fight for his political survival.


Runaway Governor's Race and Floods Make Voter Turnout Texas-Size Problem
October 28, 1998
As if trying to knock off incumbent lawmakers were not hard enough, Texas congressional candidates have been struggling to get noticed in a mid-term election year in which there is no U.S. Senate race and the outcome of the state's top race is already a foregone conclusion. Republican Gov. George W. Bush was leading his Democratic challenger, Land Commissioner Garry Mauro, by 45 points in a recent poll.


Rep. White's New Hazard
July 19, 1998
If New Mexico's two latest special elections are any guide, Rep. Rick A. White (R-Wash.) has one more reason to worry about his reelection prospects this fall. Bruce Craswell, a well-known former Republican activist in Washington's 1st District, has decided to run as the American Heritage Party's candidate.


In Kenosha, Most Voters Have an HMO Story
July 19, 1998
A growing number of people say they have had some sort of negative experience with an HMO or know someone who has. In a new nationwide Washington Post-ABC News poll, 63 percent of respondents said "protecting patients' rights" is an important election issue for them this year – at least 20 percentage points higher than reducing teenage smoking or reforming the campaign finance system.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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