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Politics in brief

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 9, 2002

Defections leave Senate in Ga. split

Georgia's Republican Gov.-elect Sonny Perdue gained a power base in the Legislature on Friday when two Democratic senators switched to the GOP.

Sens. Don Cheeks and Dan Lee announced their decisions during a victory tour for Perdue, the first Republican in 130 years to capture the Georgia governor's mansion. The GOP also captured the U.S. Senate race with Rep. Saxby Chambliss defeating incumbent Sen. Max Cleland.

With the 28-28 state Senate split, neither party can pass a measure by itself. The Georgia House remains in Democratic control.

Recount may give GOP House control in N.C.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Republicans may have regained control of the state House for only the second time in more than 100 years after a recount in one county showed the incumbent Democrat trailing in his race.

Majority Leader Phil Baddour had an 896-vote lead over Republican Louis Pate Jr. after Tuesday's ballots were first counted in their race, and the House seemed split 60-60 for the next session.

But elections officials in Wayne County discovered a glitch in the vote count, and a preliminary recount ending midday Friday gave Pate a 164-vote lead, county elections chairman Geoff Hulse said. Pate's victory would mean a 61-59 advantage for the Republicans in the House.

Hart says he won't run for president in 2004

BOULDER, Colo. -- Former Democratic Sen. Gary Hart, whose 1988 presidential campaign was derailed in a sex scandal, has ruled out another run for the White House in 2004.

"I don't want to run for office, but I want to make a contribution," he said during a lecture on national security to University of Colorado students Thursday.

Earlier this week, the 65-year-old former two-term senator who practices international law in Denver said he was considering a bid.

Hart unsuccessfully challenged Walter Mondale for the 1984 Democratic nomination. He campaigned again for the 1988 nomination but withdrew after reporters spotted him at a Washington townhouse with a model while his wife was away.

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