United States House of Representatives elections, 2006

United States House of Representatives elections, 2006
United States House of Representatives elections, 2006
United States
2004 ←
November 7, 2006
→ 2008

All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 4 (of the 5) non-voting members
218 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Speaker Nancy Pelosi.jpg John Boehner official portrait.jpg
Leader Nancy Pelosi John Boehner
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat California-8th Ohio-8th
Last election 202 seats, 46.4% 232 seats, 53.3%
Seats won 233 202
Seat change increase 31 decrease 30
Popular vote 42,082,311 35,674,808
Percentage 52.0% 44.1%
Swing increase 5.4% decrease 5.1%

2006 House elections.svg

  Republican hold
  Democratic hold
  Democratic pickup

Speaker before election

Dennis Hastert

Elected Speaker

Nancy Pelosi

This article summarizes all the elections in the U.S. House of Representatives in the November 2006 election cycle. For complete list of the races in all districts without any commentary, see United States House of Representatives elections, 2006 - complete list.

The 2006 United States House of Representatives elections were held on November 7, 2006 to elect members to the United States House of Representatives. All of the 435 seats in the House were up for election. Those elected served in the 110th United States Congress from January 3, 2007 until January 3, 2009. The incumbent majority party, the Republican Party had controlled the house since the 1994 election and were defeated by the Democrats who won a majority in the House ending 12 years in opposition.

On election day, Democrats gained 31 seats in the House, enough to take control, and Republicans became the minority party after 12 years of control. In addition, two seats went to December runoffs, and one seat was still unresolved at the opening of the new Congress. In one Louisiana runoff, a Democratic incumbent defeated a Democratic challenger. In a Texas runoff, a Democratic challenger defeated a Republican incumbent. The Republican candidate in the Florida 13th was eventually certified as the winner, and was seated by the House pending judicial and congressional investigation into voting machine irregularities.

Democratic sweep

President Bush meets with Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer (then House Minority Leader and Minority Whip, respectively) at the Oval Office in the White House. The President congratulated Pelosi and Hoyer on their newfound majority and vowed to work with them until his presidency is over. Regarding Pelosi's elevation to the Speaker of the House, Bush commented "This is a historic moment".

The final result was a thirty-one-seat pickup for the Democrats, including the pickup of the Vermont At-Large seat, previously held by Independent Bernie Sanders who caucused with the Democrats. Democrats defeated twenty-two Republican incumbents and won eight open Republican-held seats.

Republicans won no seats previously held by Democrats in either the House or the Senate for the first time since the party's founding, and it was the largest seat gain for the Democrats since the 1974 elections.

Among the new Democrats were the first Muslim in Congress (Keith Ellison) and the first two Buddhists (Mazie Hirono and Hank Johnson).

As a result of the Democratic victory, Nancy Pelosi became the first woman, first Italian-American, and the first Californian elected Speaker of the House.

Situation prior to the electionPredictionsPreliminary resultsSee alsoExternal links

House of Representatives prior to the election

As of November 7, 2006, the U.S. House of the 109th Congress was composed of 229 Republicans, 201 Democrats and 1 Independent (who caucuses with the Democrats). There were also four vacancies. Republicans held a 28 seat advantage, and Democrats needed to pick up 15 seats to take control of the House, which had had a Republican majority since January 1995.


A number of organizations and individuals made predictions about the election, some for the House as a whole and some for both that and individual races. For the predictions just before the election occurred, see United States House elections, 2006 - predictions.

Summary of party changes
  3–5 Democratic seat pickup
  1–2 Democratic seat pickup
e • d Summary of the November 7, 2006, United States House of Representatives election results
Party Seats Popular vote
2004 2006 +/−  % Vote  % +/−
Democratic Party 202 233 +31 53.6% 42,082,311 52.0% +5.4%
Republican Party 232 202 −30 46.4% 35,674,808 44.1% −5.1%
  Independent 1 0 −1 0.0% 436,279 0.5% −0.1%
  Libertarian Party 650,614 0.8% −0.1%
  Green Party 293,606 0.4% +0.1%
  Working Families Party 164,638 0.2% +0.1%
  Independence Party 135,027 0.2% 0.0%
  Constitution Party 128,655 0.2% +0.1%
  Reform Party 53,862 0.0% −0.1%
  Other parties 210,884 0.3% −1.5%
Totals 435 435 100.0% 80,975,537 100.0%
Voter turnout: 36.8%
Sources: Ballot Access News, 2006 Vote for U.S. House

Open seats

Winning Margins in all House Races

In the election, there were 32 open seats: 28 incumbents not seeking re-election and four vacancies. Of the 28 incumbents, 18 were Republicans, 9 Democrats, and 1 an independent.

The four vacancies were New Jersey's 13th congressional district, to be filled at the same time as the general election with the winner taking office in November immediately after the votes were certified; Texas's 22nd congressional district, with a separate special election on the same day; and Ohio's 18th congressional district and Florida's 16th congressional district, which did not have special elections to fill the vacancies before January 2007. New Jersey's 13th congressional district had been held by Democrat Bob Menendez, Texas's 22nd congressional district had been held by Republican Tom DeLay, Ohio's 18th congressional district had been held by Republican Robert Ney, and Florida's 16th congressional district had been held by Republican Mark Foley.

In addition to the open seats, two incumbents, (Democrat Cynthia McKinney in Georgia's 4th congressional district and Republican Joe Schwarz in Michigan's 7th congressional district), were defeated in their party's respective primaries, adding two seats to the number of races where the incumbent was not up for re-election in November.

Seats that changed party

Thirty Republican seats were picked up by Democrats, and one seat held by an independent was picked up by a Democrat. No Democratic seats were picked up by Republicans. This marked the first time since 1948 that a party did not lose any of its seats.


  • Arizona's 5th congressional district — Early in the cycle, incumbent J.D. Hayworth (R) appeared on his way to an easy reelection. However, his seat may have become more competitive after the Congressional Page scandal broke. Democrats fielded a locally well-known candidate in State Senator Harry Mitchell, a former Mayor of Tempe. Mitchell has been a political force in his home town, one of the largest communities in the district, and Democrats became enthusiastic about his candidacy. The 5th leans Republican, but not overwhelmingly. The district includes, in addition to Tempe, Scottsdale, the prime real estate of the Phoenix area. On election night, Mitchell defeated Hayworth, 50% to 46%.
Campaign signs including for Graf (R), Giffords (D) and Quick (I)
  • Arizona's 8th congressional district — Incumbent Jim Kolbe (R) announced on November 23, 2005 that he would not seek re-election in 2006.[1] His district, located in Southeastern Arizona and based in the suburbs of Tucson, is Republican-leaning, but competitive: President Bush won the district with 53% of the vote in 2004 (although only 50% in 2000). The Democratic primary in September was won by former State Senator Gabrielle Giffords, who resigned from the Arizona Legislature on December 1, 2005 in preparation for the campaign. Randy Graf, a former state Representative who lost to Kolbe in the 2004 primary, won the September 2006 Republican primary. He defeated current state Representative Steve Huffman, whom both Kolbe and the National Republican Congressional Committee supported. The NRCC reportedly became concerned that Graf (a supporter of the Minuteman Project, and a sponsor of an unsuccessful bill that would let patrons carry guns into bars and restaurants), was too conservative to win the district. The NRCC committed $122,000 for a television ad in support of Huffman, which ran the week before the primary. The Democratic party shared that assessment — prior to the primary, it spent nearly $200,000, "a large part of that for advertisements critical of Mr. Huffman in an effort to help Mr. Graf's candidacy."[2] In late September, the national GOP canceled about $1 million in advertising support.[3] Libertarian David Nolan and independent Jay Quick also ran for the seat. Giffords went on to win by a 54% to 42% margin. (For details, see Arizona 8th congressional district election, 2006.)


  • California's 11th congressional district — Longtime incumbent Richard Pombo (R) won reelection in 2004 by a reasonably comfortable 61% to 39% margin. However, Pombo became associated with the ethical and legal scandals revolving around Jack Abramoff and became the subject of an investigation, which eroded his popular support. In addition, Rolling Stone listed him as one of the ten worst congressmen. The Democratic candidate who garnered the 39% in 2004, Jerry McNerney, joined that race as a write-in candidate two weeks before the primary election. In 2006, McNerney was challenged in the primary by Steve Filson. Filson was backed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee but was upset by McNerney in the primary. Pombo was challenged for the Republican nomination by former Representative Pete McCloskey. Pombo won 63% of the primary vote to 32% for McCloskey.[4] McCloskey eventually endorsed McNerney.[5] The eleventh district is largely composed of Oakland suburbs and leans Republican. McNerney defeated Pombo 53% to 47% on election night.


  • Colorado's 7th congressional district — Incumbent Bob Beauprez (R) was reelected to a second term in 2004 with 55% of the vote, after winning his first term by only 121 votes. His retirement to make an unsuccessful run for Governor of Colorado made this seat highly competitive. The 7th District is located in the northern and eastern Denver suburbs. State education chairman Rick O'Donnell was unopposed for the Republican nomination, while State Senator Ed Perlmutter won a three-way Democratic primary. On election night, Perlmutter won Beauprez's old seat as expected, 55% to 42%. (For details, see Colorado 7th congressional district election, 2006.)


  • Connecticut's 2nd congressional district — Incumbent Rob Simmons (R), a Vietnam War veteran and former CIA agent, won reelection by 54% to 46% in 2004, in a Democratic-leaning district encompassing eastern Connecticut, including Norwich and New London. The 2002 nominee, former state Representative Joe Courtney, decided to make another run. Even though in the past Simmons had been able to win elections in the Democratic-leaning district by painting himself as a moderate, the seat is perennially competitive. The results were so close on election night that the race was not settled until a week later. A recount was completed on November 14, 2006, with the final results giving Joe Courtney an 83-vote victory over Rob Simmons.[2] It was the closest house race of 2006.
  • Connecticut's 5th congressional district — Although incumbent Nancy Johnson (R) won with at least 60% of the vote in 2004 and faced a difficult challenge (running against a fellow incumbent in a redrawn district) in 2002, winning with just 54%, she was still a Republican in a swing district. While the 5th is Connecticut's most conservative region, John Kerry won the district by about 1100 votes in 2004 and Al Gore won it when Johnson represented it as the 6th District in 2000. The district is located in Northwestern Connecticut and includes a large portion of Waterbury, Danbury, the wealthy western suburbs of Hartford, and small rural towns. Johnson faced a credible challenge from state Senator Chris Murphy. She was popular in the district, but with Bush's rating in New England at rock bottom, a Democratic victory was possible. Early in the cycle, this race was considered the least competitive of the three Republican-held seats in Connecticut, but Murphy defeated Johnson on election night, winning 56% to 44%.


  • Florida's 16th congressional district — This Republican-leaning South Florida district, which includes West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie on the state's east coast and Port Charlotte on the west coast, was represented by Mark Foley, head of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus. However, Foley resigned September 29, 2006 due to revelations of inappropriate contacts of a sexual nature with underage male congressional pages. The scandal immediately ballooned to include the Republican leadership's involvement in a possible cover-up, and it soon brought down Republicans nationwide. Florida law bars state parties from replacing candidates on the ballot. Within the district, the scandal created strong backlash against any Republican replacement due to Foley's name remaining on the ballot, and, by extension, made the race, which had earlier been written off by most as a "safe" Republican seat, highly competitive. Businessman Tim Mahoney, a surprisingly well-funded challenger in a seemingly uncompetitive race, quickly became favored to win. The Republican replacement, businessman Joe Negron, ran an effective "Punch Foley for Negron" campaign, but lost in a closer than expected race, with 48% to Mahoney's 49%.[6]
  • Florida's 22nd congressional district — Republican E. Clay Shaw had been in Congress since 1981, and had represented the 22nd District since 1993. The district voted for John Kerry over George Bush in 2004, but re-elected Shaw with 63% against a last minute replacement Democrat. In 2000, Shaw won a close race by 599 votes in a district that Al Gore won by 4%, but in 2002, he was redistricted into a slightly less Democratic district and scored an easy victory. The district includes wealthy areas of Palm Beach County and Broward County including Boca Raton and parts of Fort Lauderdale The revelation that Shaw was being treated for a second time for lung cancer may have affected his re-election chances. This year, Shaw faced a challenge from well-funded state senator Ron Klein. Klein won on election day 51% to 47%.


  • Indiana's 2nd congressional districtChris Chocola (R) was first elected in 2002 by a 50% to 46% margin. Democrat Joe Donnelly, who lost to Chocola 54% to 45% in 2004, ran again in 2006. Democrats blamed Donnelly's 2004 loss on a lack of funding from the national party that allowed Chocola to outspend Donnelly by a two-to-one margin. President Bush visited the South Bend-centered district seven times between 2000 and 2006, suggesting that Chocola was vulnerable. Chocola's popularity was also affected by the unpopularity of GOP Governor Mitch Daniels; among other things, Daniels decided to lease a toll road that runs through the district to a foreign corporation. Daniels also pushed to move the entire state to daylight saving time, which was opposed by local residents. In the campaign, Chocola attacked Donnelly for being delinquent in paying property taxes. On election night, Donnelly defeated Chocola 54% to 46%.
  • Indiana's 8th congressional districtJohn Hostettler (R), who had only a 34% approval rating, was challenged by Vanderburgh County Sheriff Brad Ellsworth in this swing district that includes Evansville and Terre Haute. Hostettler had a history of winning tough reelections, but Ellsworth was considered to be his strongest opponent. The district has been nicknamed "The Bloody Eighth" due to its frequent ousting of incumbent congressmen, which has occurred in 1958, 1966, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1994, and 2006. Despite the competitive nature of the district, Hostettler was traditionally slow to raise money and lagged far behind his opponent in fundraising totals throughout the election. Rumors circulated in September that Hostettler had essentially given up on his campaign when he failed to hold any events on Labor Day weekend, the traditional kickoff of the campaign season. In the end, Ellsworth defeated Hostettler by a 61%-39% margin, the most lopsided loss for a House incumbent since 1994.
  • Indiana's 9th congressional district — In 2004, incumbent Mike Sodrel (R) defeated then-incumbent Baron Hill by only 1,425 votes, the smallest winning percentage in any congressional race that year.[7] Hill ran in 2006 to reclaim his seat in this Southeast Indiana district that includes Bloomington and New Albany. He defeated anti-war challenger Gretchen Clearwater in the May 2 primary. Factors cited in the race included Sodrel being a self-described staunch Republican Party loyalist in an evenly divided district, Hill lacking the advantages of incumbency in 2006, and (according to Democrats) Hill's superior constituent service compared to Sodrel's. Hill defeated Sodrel 50% to 46%.


  • Iowa's 1st congressional district — Incumbent Jim Nussle (R) left his seat in congress to run for governor. This district is Democratic-leaning, and of the open seats was one of the most likely to change hands. It contains most of northeastern Iowa including large cities such as Dubuque, the Quad Cities and Waterloo. Nussle had been reelected in 2000 and 2004 with 55% of the vote but Al Gore and John Kerry won the district in those same years. In 2006, businessman Mike Whalen won the Republican nomination while attorney Bruce Braley was the Democratic nominee. Braley defeated Whalen 55 percent to 43 percent. (For details, see Iowa 1st congressional district election, 2006.)
  • Iowa's 2nd congressional district — Incumbent Jim Leach (R) received 59% of the vote in 2004. Before the election, this was the most Democratic seat held by a Republican, as measured by presidential candidates' performances in the district. However, Leach had consistently won here since 1976, helped by his reputation for strong integrity. Also helping him was his status as one of the most liberal Republicans in the House. As a result, Leach traditionally won large numbers of crossover votes from Democrats and was expected to do so again. The Democrats nominated David Loebsack, a political science professor at small Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Despite Leach's appeal and seniority, Loebsack prevailed on election night by a 51% to 49% margin. Leach's defeat made him the most senior House member to lose re-election in 2006 and the most senior member to lose re-election since 36-year incumbent Phil Crane lost in 2004 in an upset to Melissa Bean.


  • Kansas's 2nd congressional district — Incumbent Jim Ryun (R), a leading conservative, won re-election by 56% to 41% in 2004 and had held his seat for five terms. This year, Ryun faced a rematch with Democrat Nancy Boyda, who also ran against him in 2004. The district is home to Topeka, Manhattan (location of Kansas State University), Leavenworth, Pittsburg, and half of the liberal college town of Lawrence, home of the University of Kansas. Despite being held by Ryun, the seat had a history of electing Democrats and before 1994, Democrats held the seat for 20 out of 24 years. However, gerrymandering had made the seat tilt more Republican, and Ryun was thought to be secure. However, Ryun faced controversy over a Washington, D.C. real estate purchase, and in the wake of scandals that rocked Washington, D.C., this had a major effect on local voters, far more than had been expected. Boyda was also helped by the reelection of popular Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius. Boyda defeated the incumbent Ryun 51% to 47%, in one of the most shocking results of the night.


  • Kentucky's 3rd congressional district — Incumbent Anne Northup (R) had been a target for the Democrats since her election in 1996; in 2004 and 2000, John Kerry and Al Gore both won her Louisville-centered congressional district by two percent, and Bill Clinton won the district by double-digit margins during the 1990s. While Northup had generally run close races, she won 60% of the vote in the 2004 election. Redistricting after the 2000 census added a few more suburban Republicans to the district, according to Congressional Quarterly. The Democratic candidate was John Yarmuth, the founder of local free publication LEO. In spite of Northup's electoral success, excellent constituent services, and popularity among blue-collar voters in southern Louisville, Democrats saw this race as winnable, calling attention to Northup's 91% lockstep voting record with an unpopular President Bush. Northup led in most polls until October, when Yarmuth began to gain. By election night, the race had become highly competitive. House Majority Leader John Boehner referred to Northup as the Republicans' "canary in the coal mine", meaning that her fortunes would portend the outcome of House elections nationwide. This proved to be a correct assessment, as on election night, Yarmuth defeated Northup 51% to 48% and Republicans lost control of the House.


  • Minnesota's 1st congressional district — Incumbent Gil Gutknecht (R) was reelected in his Southern Minnesota district with 60% of the vote in 2004. A member of the 1994 Republican Revolution, Gutknecht had promised not to run for a seventh term when first elected. Though not expected to be significant, the broken promise proved to be a factor in his defeat. Geography teacher Tim Walz was the Democratic nominee and ran a much stronger campaign than expected, helped by the massive decline in President George W. Bush's popularity in Minnesota. Walz defeated Gutknecht 53%-47%.[3]

New Hampshire

  • New Hampshire's 1st congressional district — Republican incumbent Jeb Bradley was seeking a third term. Rochester Democratic chair Carol Shea-Porter won the nomination in a major upset against better funded and party-favored state House Democratic Leader Jim Craig. Although this was the one house district in New England Bush carried in 2004, and Bradley had won it handily in the past, the President was highly unpopular throughout New England, which gave Democrats an opening. Still, most thought that Bradley was the strong favorite to win. Shea-Porter defeated Bradley 52% to 48% in the most shocking upset of the night, along with the victories of David Loebsack and Nancy Boyda.
  • New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district — Incumbent Charles Bass (R) won reelection in 2004 with 58% percent of the vote, even as his district was won by John Kerry 52% to 47%. Bass, a political moderate, easily defeated primary challenges from Berlin Mayor Bob Danderson and Mary Maxwell. The Democratic nominee, Paul Hodes, an attorney, was also the 2004 Democratic nominee. In late September, a top Bass staffer resigned after news stories that a U.S. Government computer in Bass's DC office had been used to post anonymous concern troll messages to NH blogs. In these messages, "IndyNH" claimed to be a supporter of Paul Hodes who was discouraged by Bass's unbeatable lead. Hodes defeated Bass on election day, 53% to 46%.

New York

  • New York's 19th congressional district — Incumbent Sue Kelly (R) had rarely faced stiff competition since her initial election in 1994, but the Democratic primary attracted six contenders in 2006, two of whom dropped out before the primary. Former Ulster County Legislator John Hall, who was once a member of the popular rock band, Orleans, won the Democratic nomination with 49% of the vote in a multi-candidate primary. An October 26 Majority-Watch poll had him leading 49% to 47% [4]. Several factors played into Kelly's defeat, including the extremely weak GOP showing in the senatorial and gubernatorial races, her reluctance to answer questions about the Mark Foley Page Scandal (notoriously, she literally ran away from television cameras at one point), and Hall's quirky campaign style, which included an appearance on the satirical Comedy Central program The Colbert Report. Hall defeated Kelly 51% to 49%. Following Hall's election, Stephen Colbert took credit for the victory and attributed it entirely to Hall's appearance on the show. Hall appeared several days later to satirically thank the host for his seat in Congress.
  • New York's 20th congressional district — Incumbent John E. Sweeney (R) had never faced a particularly competitive election until 2006. His competitive district fueled a strong challenge from attorney Kirsten Gillibrand. In April 2006, Sweeney was allegedly sighted intoxicated at a fraternity party.[5] On October 31, a week before the election, a police report surfaced that documented a 911 call from his wife asking for help because her husband was "knocking her around the room". Despite denials from both Sweeney and his wife, the report proved to be a turning point and Gillibrand was victorious on election night, 53% to 47%. (For details, see New York 20th congressional district election, 2006.)
  • New York's 24th congressional district — Incumbent Sherwood Boehlert (R) announced his retirement after 24 years, making this a seat of considerable focus for the Democrats in the run up to the mid terms. Boehlert is considered a moderate Republican, and the district is considered to be competitive. George Bush won by 53% in the 2004 election, but by only 3,000 votes in the 2000 presidential election. The Republican nominee was state Senator Ray Meier, while the Democratic nominee was Oneida County District Attorney Mike Arcuri. Both were locally popular and proven vote-getters and the race was a toss-up. Arcuri defeated Meier 54% to 45%.

North Carolina


  • Ohio's 18th congressional districtBob Ney (R), the incumbent since 1995, part of the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal, withdrew from the race in early August 2006,[8] before pleading guilty a month later to criminal charges. Zack Space, the law director of the city of Dover, was the surprise winner of the Democratic nomination. Ney's formal withdrawal on August 14 resulted in a special election to choose his replacement; Ohio state Senator Joy Padgett won with about 65% of the vote. Her candidacy was subsequently damaged by news reports about her business and personal bankruptcies. Space defeated Padgett, 62% to 38%.


  • Pennsylvania's 4th congressional districtJason Altmire (D) upset incumbent Republican Melissa Hart in a surprise victory for the Democrats in this suburban Pittsburgh district. Altmire's background was in health care policy and legislative relations; he was overseer of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Office of Charitable Giving before leaving to run for office in June 2005. Hart had seemed untouchable only a few months before the election, and was still generally expected to win on Election Day. Hart blamed her defeat on Altmire's campaign ads that tied her with the locally unpopular president.[9] Altmire defeated Hart, 52% to 48%.
  • Pennsylvania's 7th congressional districtCurt Weldon (R) won reelection with 59% of the vote in 2004, but represents a Democratic-leaning district that incorporates much of Delaware County in suburban Philadelphia. He faced retired Navy Vice Admiral Joe Sestak (D). On October 13, it was reported that Weldon and his daughter are being investigated by the FBI, and two days later the FBI raided his daughter's residence.[10][11] Between Sestak's fundraising abilities,[12] and the investigation of Weldon and his daughter, Sestak defeated Weldon, 56% to 44%.
  • Pennsylvania's 8th congressional districtMike Fitzpatrick (R) won election for the first time in 2004 by a wide 56-42 margin over Virginia "Ginny" Schrader, but his district, based in suburban Bucks County, is politically moderate, having voted for Democratic presidents and Republican congressmen since 1992. His Democratic opponent in 2006 was retired Captain Patrick Murphy, an Iraq War veteran of the Army's 82nd Airborne. The Iraq War was the major issue of the campaign. In 2005, Murphy proposed a plan for phased withdrawal; Fitzpatrick stood by President Bush's stay-the-course policy through most of the campaign, before calling for a new plan. Ultimately, Murphy defeated Fitzpatrick by 1,518 votes.
  • Pennsylvania's 10th congressional districtDon Sherwood (R) had strong backing as a result of redistricting in this heavy GOP district. The Democrats didn't even field a candidate to run against him in 2002 and 2004. But in 2005 details were made public regarding a five-year affair between Sherwood and Cynthia Ore, who sued Sherwood for $5.5 million alleging physical abuse. On November 8, 2005, the two settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. Sherwood was expected to win the Republican primary easily over teacher Kathy Scott, as she had very little money or campaign staff, but she polled a surprising 44% of the vote against him. His Democratic opponent was professor and U.S. Naval Reserve officer Chris Carney. Carney led in the polls for most of the fall. Carney defeated Sherwood 53% to 47%. For details, see Pennsylvania 10th congressional district election, 2006.


  • Texas's 22nd congressional district — Incumbent former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R) won the primary, then retired, leaving his seat vacant, and dropped out of the re-election race. These events followed a number of corruption charges that made DeLay the focus of a September 28, 2005 indictment by a grand jury in Travis County (which includes Austin) over his campaign finances related to Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC) and another political action committee, ARMPAC. In 2004, DeLay won 55% of the vote against a relatively unknown Democrat, environmental lawyer Richard Morrison, even though George W. Bush carried the suburban Houston district with 64% of the vote. Democrats sued to keep Delay as the Republican nominee when he withdrew, citing a lack of proof of residence outside the district, since Texas law does not allow a party to replace its nominee unless the candidate cannot run due to extraordinary circumstances or if he or she moves away. The Democrats won the suit, and Delay was forced to remain on the ballot or leave his party without a nominee. Republicans quickly rallied around Shelley Sekula-Gibbs to run a write-in campaign to defeat Nick Lampson the Democratic nominee. Lampson defeated Sekula-Gibbs 52%-42%.
  • Texas's 23rd congressional district — In 2004, incumbent Henry Bonilla (R) received nearly 70% of the vote. However, his district, which includes several heavily Republican suburbs of San Antonio, as well as Big Bend National Park and much of Texas' border with Mexico, had to be changed after a mid-2006 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the redistricting efforts of the Texas Legislature violated Voting Rights Act protection of minorities — largely Hispanic Laredo was in the 23rd District until the redistricting. On August 4, a federal court redrew the district and removed the portion of Webb County that was in the district, eliminating the possibility of a rematch with Cuellar, and added a heavily Democratic portion of San Antonio, the home base of liberal former congressman Ciro Rodriguez. Rodriguez ran against Bonilla in the all-candidate primary on November 7. [7]. The winner of the now somewhat irrelevant Democratic primary, Vietnam War Combat Veteran Rick Bolanos, also ran in the November 7 election. The realigned district is less Republican than the previous version, but Bonilla was still favored against the crowded field of six Democrats, including Rodriguez and Bolanos, and one Independent candidate. A majority was required in this special election to avoid a runoff between the top two contenders. Bonilla won the November 7 election with 49% of the vote, but failed to get the needed 50% of the vote to avoid the runoff. In that runoff, he faced Rodriguez, who got 20% of the special election vote. Bonilla was seen as being the favorite. He ignored Rodriguez until the final days, then ran TV ads portraying him as politically aligned with some Islamic terror supporters, which backfired. In the special election however, Rodriguez was able to portray himself as part of an incoming majority, which would help retain federal funding for programs in the district. Rodriguez defeated Bonilla in the runoff 54% to 46%.



  • Wisconsin's 8th congressional district — Incumbent Mark Green (R) — Green ran for governor, and his seat, in northeastern Wisconsin, was Republican-leaning, although it has elected a Democratic congressman as recently as 1996 and is centered around the cities of Green Bay and Appleton. State Assembly Speaker John Gard won the September 12 Republican primary as expected, in which he faced state Assemblywoman Terri McCormick. The Democratic nominee, Steve Kagen M.D., defeated business consultant Jamie Wall and former De Pere Mayor and Brown County Executive Nancy Nusbaum after a very competitive primary. Kagen defeated Gard 51% to 49%. (For details, see Wisconsin 8th congressional district election, 2006.)

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