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Politics

A nation in transition

By TIMES WIRES
Published November 8, 2006


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Alabama

GOVERNOR: GOP Gov. Bob Riley comfortably won a second term over Democrat Lucy Baxley, the lieutenant governor.

Alaska

HOUSE: Don Young, seeking his 18th term as the state's congressman, barely acknowledged his opponent, Democrat Diane Benson.

GOVERNOR: Republican Sarah Palin, a former mayor of Wasilla, vied with Democrat Tony Knowles.

Arizona

SENATE: Republican incumbent Jon Kyl won a third term by defeating former state Democratic Party chairman Jim Pederson.

PROPOSITIONS: Statewide ballot questions included one to outlaw gay marriage, two involving smoking bans and four on immigration, ranging from expanding the list of government benefits denied to illegal immigrants to establishing English as the state's official language.

GOVERNOR: Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano re-elected, defeating Republican Len Munsil, a lawyer.

Arkansas

GOVERNOR: Democratic Attorney General Mike Beebe defeated Republican Asa Hutchinson, a former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration and top federal Homeland Security official. The two sides raised more than $9.6-million, making this the most expensive governor's race in state history.

California

SENATE: Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein coasted to another term, her third.

PROPOSITIONS: Robert Redford criticized a property-rights initiative while Julia Roberts promoted a tax on oil companies to fund alternative fuel research.

GOVERNOR: GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was re-elected over Democrat Phil Angelides, the state treasurer.

Colorado

GOVERNOR: Democrat Bill Ritter, former Denver district attorney, beat GOP Rep. Bob Beauprez.

PROPOSITIONS: One ballot measure would outlaw same-sex marriages; another would award legal benefits to gay partnerships.

Connecticut

SENATE: Joe Lieberman lost his primary because many Democrats thought he was a tool of the White House, then came back to win re-election as an independent over antiwar Democrat Ned Lamont.

HOUSE: Three House Republicans struggled to hold their seats - most prominently Chris Shays, under fire for his support of the war.

GOVERNOR: Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell barely broke a sweat in winning a full term.

Delaware

SENATE: Democratic U.S. Sen. Thomas Carper, who has never lost a race in his political career, cruised to easy re-election.

HOUSE: Republican Rep. Michael Castle and Democratic U.S. Sen. Thomas Carper will return to Washington after re-election victories.

Georgia

GOVERNOR: Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue defeated Democrat Mark Taylor, the lieutenant governor.

Hawaii

SENATE: Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka, 82, defeated Republican state Rep. Cynthia Thielen to win his fourth term.

GOVERNOR: Linda Lingle, the first Republican governor since statehood, rode a nearly 20-to-1 funding advantage to re-election over Democrat Randy Iwase, a former state senator.

Idaho

HOUSE: State lawmaker Bill Sali's race with Democratic tech exec Larry Grant for Idaho's open 1st District congressional seat was listed as a dead heat.

GOVERNOR: Republican Rep. C.L. "Butch" Otter ran even with Democrat Jerry Brady, a newspaper owner.

Illinois

SENATE: Democratic newcomer Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost both of her legs in combat, lost her bid to win the House seat being vacated by Rep. Henry Hyde, a 32-year House veteran.

GOVERNOR: Overcoming the stain of scandal, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich muscled past Republican challenger Judy Baar Topinka to win a second term.

Indiana

SENATE: Sen. Richard Lugar had no Democratic opponent, and won.

HOUSE: Conservative Rep. John Hostettler - who once linked abortion to breast cancer - lost his re-election bid to Democrat Brad Ellsworth, a popular sheriff.

Iowa

GOVERNOR: Democratic Secretary of State Chet Culver won the governorship over Rep. Jim Nussle, after a late poll found both candidates viewed favorably by half or more of voters.

Kansas

HOUSE: Republican Rep. Jim Ryun - the track great who once held the world record in the mile - had his hands full with Democrat Nancy Boyda.

GOVERNOR: Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat in a GOP-leaning state, easily won a second term.

Kentucky

HOUSE: U.S. Rep. Ron Lewis - a Baptist preacher who was a poster boy for the Republican takeover of Congress 12 years ago - survived his toughest challenge yet, defeating retired Army Col. Mike Weaver. In hard-fought races involving two other GOP incumbents, John Yarmuth, a liberal former newspaper columnist, downed Bush loyalist Anne Northup, and freshman GOP Rep. Geoff Davis denied former Rep. Ken Lucas' bid to regain his old seat.

Louisiana

HOUSE: Eight Democrats, three Republicans and a Libertarian lined up against eight-term incumbent Democratic Rep. William Jefferson, focus of a federal bribery investigation (authorities reportedly found $90,000 in his freezer). If no one won a majority, the runoff would be Dec. 9.

Maine

SENATE: She's a Republican in a traditionally blue state, but Sen. Olympia Snowe easily won a third term over a Democrat and an independent who never gained traction against the well-financed, moderate incumbent.

GOVERNOR: Democratic Gov. John Baldacci defeated Republican state Sen. Chandler Woodcock.

Maryland

HOUSE: Lt. Gov. Michael Steele - Maryland's first black elected statewide official - won't be its first black senator. The Republican lost to Democratic Rep. Ben Cardin in the race for an open seat.

GOVERNOR: Democrat Martin O'Malley, the Baltimore mayor, unseated GOP Gov. Robert Ehrlich.

Massachusetts

SENATE: Ted Kennedy easily won an eighth term that will extend his Senate career to an even 50 years in 2012.

GOVERNOR: Democrat Deval Patrick became the first black elected governor of Massachusetts, defeating GOP Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey.

Michigan

SENATE: Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow easily defeated Detroit-area Sheriff Michael Bouchard.

PROPOSITIONS: The big ballot question: A woman denied admission to the University of Michigan in 1995 led an effort to ban race and gender preferences in university admissions and government hiring.

GOVERNOR: Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm withstood a challenge from GOP millionaire Dick DeVos.

Minnesota

SENATE: Democratic prosecutor Amy Klobuchar defeated Rep. Mark Kennedy for the state's open Senate seat.

HOUSE: Democrat Keith Ellison became the first Muslim ever elected to Congress.

GOVERNOR: Attorney General Mike Hatch, a Democrat, was on the defensive against incumbent Republican Tim Pawlenty.

Mississippi

CONGRESS: Republican Sen. Trent Lott won his fourth term with only a token challenge, and the rest of the state's congressmen coasted through the campaign.

Missouri

SENATE: Democrat state auditor Claire McCaskill faced GOP incumbent Jim Talent.

PROPOSITIONS: Missourians considered a ballot measure to protect stem cell research.

Montana

SENATE: Republican Sen. Conrad Burns, prone to cringe-worthy gaffes (he cursed out weary firefighters at a Billings airport) and dogged by ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, struggled with Democrat Jon Tester, a state senator and farmer.

Nebraska

SENATE: Republican Pete Ricketts burned some $12-million of his Ameritrade fortune in a failed battle against Sen. Ben Nelson - one of President Bush's favorite Democrats.

HOUSE: Yale-educated ranch hand Scott Kleeb gave Democrats a shot - for the first time since 1959 - at taking the seat vacated by Rep. Tom Osborne.

GOVERNOR: GOP Gov. Dave Heineman beats Democrat David Hahn.

Nevada

SENATE: Republican incumbent John Ensign defeated newcomer Jack Carter, a Democrat and the son of former President Jimmy Carter.

GOVERNOR: It's the race that made Chrissy Mazzeo famous: Conservative Republican Jim Gibbons was cruising along in his campaign for governor against liberal Democrat Dina Titus until Mazzeo, a 32-year-old Vegas cocktail waiter, accused Gibbons of assaulting her in a parking garage.

New Hampshire

HOUSE: In a rematch with Democrat Paul Hodes, six-term incumbent Rep. Charles Bass tried to distance himself from the Bush administration's Iraq and energy policies. Both parties dumped money into last-minute attack ads.

New Jersey

SENATE: An attack-ad battle ended with Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez victorious over Republican Tom Kean Jr.

New Mexico

SENATE: Sen. Jeff Bingaman secured another term in a race nearly as quiet as the bookish Bingaman himself.

HOUSE: A notably nasty campaign found GOP Rep. Heather Wilson desperately trying to secure a fifth term against Patricia Madrid, the state's attorney general.

GOVERNOR: Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson beat Republican challenger John Dendahl.

New York

SENATE: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton routed her conservative Republican challenger for a second, six-year term.

GOVERNOR: Democratic Attorney General Eliot Spitzer defeats Republican John Faso.

North Carolina

HOUSE: Former college and NFL quarterback Heath Shuler banked on his football fame to help him knock off veteran GOP Rep. Charles Taylor, a banker and timber baron.

ALSO: In Durham, District Attorney Mike Nifong won re-election, despite criticism over his handling of the Duke lacrosse rape case.

North Dakota

SENATE: Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad trounced the farmer Republicans put up against him.

HOUSE: Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy, who also has Washington clout and a big campaign war chest, beat a Republican farmer.

Ohio

SENATE: Republican Sen. Mike DeWine was defeated by Democrat Sherrod Brown.

GOVERNOR: Democrat Ted Strickland took the governor's office despite a nasty campaign of character-bashing by Republican Ken Blackwell.

Oklahoma

GOVERNOR: Democratic Gov. Brad Henry wins against Republican Rep. Ernest Istook.

HOUSE: Three-term GOP Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin, running for Istook's seat, became the first Oklahoma woman elected to Congress since 1920.

Oregon

GOVERNOR: Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski held off Republican Ron Saxton.

Pennsylvania

SENATE: State Treasurer Bob Casey, a Democrat opposed to abortion and gun control, shook the landscape by beating Rick Santorum, the No. 3 Senate Republican.

GOVERNOR: Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell beat Republican Lynn Swann, the Steelers Hall of Fame receiver.

Rhode Island

SENATE: Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse defeated incumbent Lincoln Chafee by linking him to the White House.

GOVERNOR: Republican Gov. Don Carcieri, battling Democrat Lt. Gov. Charlie Fogarty, boasted that his administration exposed corruption.

South Carolina

GOVERNOR: Republican Gov. Mark Sanford, who peeved many party regulars with his libertarian leanings, still beat out Democratic state Sen. Tommy Moore.

South Dakota

HOUSE: Democrat Stephanie Herseth kept her House seat.

PROPOSITIONS: The compelling story was a ballot measure: Would South Dakota impose the country's strictest abortion ban?

GOVERNOR: GOP Gov. Mike Rounds defeated Democrat Jack Billion, a retired surgeon.

Tennessee

SENATE: Republican Bob Corker, the former mayor of Chattanooga, defeated Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. in a close race marked by controversial ads.

GOVERNOR: Governors in Tennessee are nearly invincible, and Democrat Phil Bredesen was no exception. He turned aside a little-known GOP challenger.

Texas

SENATE: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's close ties to President Bush didn't hurt her in his home state; she sailed past an underfunded Democrat.

HOUSE: The seat once held by Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay might trip into the Democratic column with former Rep. Nick Lampson. To pick the Republican candidate, Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, voters had to write her in.

GOVERNOR: Republican Gov. Rick Perry won re-election, with voters weeding through a crowded ballot that included the likes of independent Kinky Friedman, a comedian/singer/writer.

Utah

SENATE: Utah's songwriting senator, 72-year-old Republican Orrin Hatch, became the longest-serving senator in state history by winning a sixth term. He waltzed over lightly funded Democrat Pete Ashdown, an Internet entrepreneur making his first run at public office.

Vermont

SENATE: Vermont traded independents - self-described socialist Rep. Bernie Sanders defeating Republican opponent Richard Tarrant to take the seat held by retiring Sen. James Jefford.

GOVERNOR: GOP Gov. Jim Douglas defeated Democrat Scudder Parker, a former state senator and state Democratic Party chairman.

Virginia

SENATE: Republican Sen. George Allen went from presidential hopeful to hope-to-keep-my-job after hurling an obscure racial slur at a volunteer of Indian descent working for Democrat Jim Webb.

Washington

SENATE: It was easier this time for Democrat Maria Cantwell, who didn't know until nearly Thanksgiving in 2000 that she had won the nation's closest Senate race by less than 2,300 votes. She defeated Republican opponent Mike McGavick, a former Senate aide and wealthy CEO, had plunged himself into hot water by confessing to a 1993 DUI arrest.

HOUSE: Democrat Darcy Burner, a former Microsoft program manager, hoped to oust first-term Rep. Dave Reichert, the made-for-TV incumbent best known as the sheriff who nabbed the Green River killer.

West Virginia

SENATE: Robert C. Byrd, the Senate's longest-serving member, won a record ninth term less than two weeks before his 89th birthday. Industrialist John Raese, the GOP nominee, spent millions of his own money.

Wisconsin

SENATE: The millionaire owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl, cruised to a fourth term over Republican and Green Party opponents.

PROPOSITIONS: On the ballot: A constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Leaders of a broad coalition of unions, church leaders, students and others thought Wisconsin had a chance to be the first state to reject such a measure.

GOVERNOR: Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle pitched support for stem cell research early and often in his successful bid for a second term against Republican Rep. Mark Green, a self-described "bleeding heart conservative."

Wyoming

SENATE: Wyoming was assured of at least one Republican office-holder, with the victory of Sen. Craig Thomas over Democrat Dale Groutage.

HOUSE: Rep. Barbara Cubin was in danger of losing the seat she has held for 12 years to Gary Trauner, a well-funded Democrat.

GOVERNOR: Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal defeated Republican Ray Hunkins.

[Last modified November 8, 2006, 03:07:54]


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