Dems Pad Majority; Murtha Survives, But Shays Out

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2008 10:16 PM CST
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends a news conference with Democratic leaders and economic experts, following an economic forum, Monday, Oct. 13, 2008, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – House Democrats, who held a 36-seat lead going in, beefed up their advantage tonight and appeared likely to keep padding it as results continued to pour in. Christopher Shays, the lone Republican in the New England delegation, was the highest-profile victim of an emerging landslide, but John Murtha of Pennsylvania appeared to have dodged the bullet he fired at his own foot by calling his district "racist." At least seven seats flipped in the East, while just one moved into the GOP column.

Tom Feeney of Florida, dragged down by his association with Jack Abramoff, lost to a former state legislator. Florida Democrat Tim Mahoney, embroiled in a sex scandal, lost his seat to Tim Rooney, scion of the family that owns the Pittsburgh Steelers. In a closely watched contest in North Carolina, Democrat Larry Kissell took out incumbent Robin Hayes.