Eleven House Races Too Close to Call; Many Headed for Recount
Republicans have locked in at least 234 seats and Democrats have secured at least 190 winners in the House of Representatives. But with some ballots yet to be counted, 11 races remained too close to call, and at least seven appeared to be headed for recounts.
Democrats appeared to have slight leads in at least eight races that were too close to call Wednesday morning, but a Republican campaign operative said almost all will be double-checked.
One of the closest races was for California's 7th congressional district, where Rep. Dan Lungren, the chairman of the House Committee on Administration, trailed Democrat Ami Bera by 184 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Three other races in California showed Democrats with slight edges. Julia Brownley led Tony Strickland in California-26; Republican incumbent Mary Bono trailed Democratic emergency room doctor Raul Ruiz by more than 4,000 votes and 100 percent of precincts reporting in the 36th district, although the race still had not been called. In the 52nd district, another Republican incumbent, Rep. Brian Bilbray, trailed Democrat Scott Peters by less than 700 votes, and a recount was also likely there.
Former Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who lost her seat in 2010, held a small lead over former state legislator Jonathan Patton in Arizona's 1st congressional district, but the race was too close to call with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
Also in the Grand Canyon State, former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, was locked in a close race with former Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker for Arizona's 9th congressional district. Sinema led by about 2,000 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting, although Republicans predicted a possible recount there.
In Arizona's 2nd district, Democratic Rep. Ron Barber, who won a special election to replace Gabrielle Giffords after she resigned, was losing by about 1,300 votes to Republican Martha McSally.
"We'll continue to watch the results over the next few days, and whatever happens, we will trust the people of Southern Arizona - as I always have and always will," Barber wrote in a statement Wednesday morning.
Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., one of the most outspoken Republicans in the House of Representatives, trailed by 2,456 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting, but he was not conceding the race as he held out hope for provisional and absentee ballots.
"This race is far from decided and there is no rush to declare an outcome," West wrote in a statement Wednesday morning. "Ensuring a fair and accurate counting of all ballots is of the utmost importance."
More conservative "blue dog" Democrats watched their numbers shrink from 24 down to 15.
Rep. Mike McIntyre, a blue dog from North Carolina's 7th congressional district, was also locked in a close race against Republican state Sen. David Rouzer, separated by just 378 votes.
Six other blue dog Democrats retired, sought higher office, or were defeated during primaries earlier this year. Reps. Ben Chandler, D-Ky., Larry Kissell, D-N.C., and Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, all lost Tuesday.
Rep. Dan Beneshik, a freshman Republican from Michigan's 1st congressional district, led Democratic challenger Gary McDowell by about 2,300 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting, although the race was still too close to call. One Republican campaign operative predicted it was headed for a recount.
With just 48 percent of precincts reporting in Washington's 1st congressional district, Republican John Koster had not conceded, although Democrat Suzan DelBene had an eight-point, 14,000-vote lead and the Seattle Times declared her the winner.