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Dems Grow Majority in Congress

Democrats picked up another House seat on Tuesday when a victim of Texas redistricting ousted the incumbent in a Supreme Court-ordered runoff election. The upset victory brought the Dems’ total gain of House seats to 30.


New York Times:

Democratic former Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez upset Republican Rep. Henry Bonilla in a House runoff election Tuesday in southwestern Texas’ 23rd District, pushing the Democrats’ net gain to 30 House seats and concluding Campaign 2006 with one final stunning come-from-behind victory for the new House majority party.

Rodriguez, who served in the House from 1997 to 2005 in an adjacent district, scored a surprisingly strong 55 percent of the vote with 97 percent of precincts reporting (results). Bonilla, who was seeking an eighth term, had 45 percent of the vote. Bonilla fell well short of the nearly 49 percent he received in the Nov. 7 “blanket primary” that set the matchup for Tuesday’s runoff.

Turnout for the runoff — the result of a court-ordered redistricting that reconfigured the normal election process in the district — was low.

This was in part because the Nov. 7 elections across the nation had already given the Democrats a decisive majority in their successful campaign to end a dozen years of Republican dominance in the House.

In fact, one of Rodriguez’ biggest added advantages in the runoff campaign was that he could boast of being a member of the House majority if he were to be elected — something he could not definitively claim before the primary, which coincided with the national Election Day.

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