December 4th, 2008
02:03 PM ET
9 years ago

One month later, four House races still unresolved

Four congressional races have yet to be decided.

Four congressional races have yet to be decided.

(CNN) - One month after Election Day, four congressional races have yet to be decided.

Two of those contests could come to conclusion this weekend.

Saturday is election day in Louisiana's 2nd and 4th Congressional Districts, where contests were delayed due to Hurricane Gustav.

The race in the 4th district is to replace retiring 10-term Republican congressman Jim McCrery. Democrat Paul Carmouche is facing off against Republican John Fleming in a campaign that's attracting national attention and money.

In the 2nd Congressional district, nine-term Democratic Rep. William Jefferson is running for re-election against Republican Anh "Joseph" Cao. Jefferson's been battling scandals and a federal indictment for the past three years, but the district, in and around New Orleans, is mostly African-American and heavily Democratic.

In two remaining districts, the vote counts are in dispute. In Virginia's 5th Congressional district, Republican Virgil Goode is calling for a recount. The nine-term Congressman trails Democrat Tom Perriello by 745 votes out of nearly 310,000 cast.

And the battle to succeed eight-term GOP Rep. Deborah Pryce in Ohio's 15th Congressional District is headed to court. Republican Steve Stivers leads Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy by 149 votes out of nearly 260,000 cast. Ohio's state Supreme Court will rule on whether to count thousands of disputed provisional ballots.

But at least one fight whose results were up in the air nearly a month after voters headed to the polls has officially drawn to a close, with the GOP holding on to a closely-contested House seat.

Republicans held on to a seat in northern California when Democrat Charlie Brown conceded defeat Tuesday to Republican state senator Tom McClintock in the battle for California's 4th congressional district. Brown's concession came a day after the counties in the district turned in their final vote counts.

Those tallies gave McClintock a lead of more than 1,500 votes out of nearly 370,000 cast. Given his narrow loss, Brown could have asked for a recount, but opted to concede. The seat was held by retiring nine-term Republican congressman John Doolittle, who was under investigation in connection with the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

This is Brown's second straight narrow defeat for Congress. He ran against Doolittle in 2006, losing by only 7,000 votes.

The district is mostly rural and registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats. John McCain beat Barack Obama in the district by a double-digit margin.

With California-4 settled, the Democrats will have a 255 to 176 edge in the new Congress, pending the resolution of the four remaining races. Democrats had a 235 to 199 margin over the Republicans heading into the election, with one seat vacant.

Filed under: Congress • Democrats • House of Representatives • Republicans
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. President Obama/VA

    The election process is broken and needs to be fixed before 2010. Seriously!

    December 4, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. martin

    Watch Jefferson get reelected even though he is one of the most corrupt congressmen in the south and is under investigation by the FBI and also have footage of him receiving 100,000 dollars in 100s in a briefcase at a hotel. Its ok for Democrats to be corrupt and keep their job but if Republicans sneeze the wrong way, they get punished.

    December 4, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. PDX Gal

    Seriously, we can put a man on the moon, but we don't have the ability to accurately and quickly account for one of our most treasured civic duties?
    Here in Oregon we have a very accurate & quick system. Voting by mail is awesome. My ballot is in my home, where I can research every vote I make. And since everybody does it, my ballot isn't ever "special" or "provisional" and won't be put in some kind of questioned pile like those MN absentee ballots.

    And I won't ever have to stand in a line.

    December 4, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. Jos/TN

    sounds like Zimbawe

    December 4, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Dan

    If they're having a civil war, I propose we offer aid to whichever side is temporarily losing.

    December 4, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Independent

    William Jefferson, a Democrat ridden with scandals, does not make nearly as much news as Republicans in the House who are ridden with scandals. Why am I not surprised?

    December 4, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. justin

    Personally, all this "drama" could be avoided by simply outlawing the fillibuster..... I mean, if a bill comes up to vote then it comes up to vote. Just because someone is democrat or republican does not lock in thier vote on a particular issue. The people can hold their representatives accountable for how they vote, and put representatives in power based on how they promise to vote. The idea of a group (no matter republican or democrat) having a 20 hour hissy fit to keep something from coming to a vote is absolutely anti-american.

    December 4, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. obama-mama


    December 4, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. What's a Republican?

    In Oregon it's called the Democrat Voting System...

    December 4, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. Lauren

    What a joke

    December 4, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. yodacohen

    Honestly. Read the headline on this article on CNN's home page and then read the content. Headline refers to GOP civil war in Texas. The article contains absolutely nothing about Texas.

    How about a little credibility and back to basics journalism 101 here?

    December 4, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. 0Jim0

    Don't mess with Texas patience! The radical left-wing democrats might as well pack it in because Texans will never give up the second amendment.

    December 4, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Steve

    Civil War? I think CNN is way overblowing this. You have a couple of congressional seats on the line but I'm reasonably sure no lives have been lost yet. Why does the media come up with these sensational headlines for something like this? No wonder CNN's ratings stink.

    December 4, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |


    December 4, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Change,what change?

    Maybe its time to get my news from European News Outlets,and let the big three cable news companies go under,like the automakers.

    December 4, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. Sammy

    Yes, voting by mail is great and I've done so for years. However, I often wonder how many of my ballots were "lost in the mail". I also have concerns that ballots are mailed to people who should not be voting as demonstrated recently in the South where hundreds of deceased people voted. Somehow I'd feel better if there was a closed loop process where as a voter, I could verify my vote was counted and correctly counted for the candidates and issues I voted for. We do have the technology to do this now.

    December 4, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. Get over it

    This is ridiculous.

    Why can't we ever get to voting reform and com up with a way that is indisputable and easily recounted.

    No hanging chads, No computer foulups, No voting machine breakdowns.

    We have a simple MANUAL system and a No. 2 pencil with a spare if the point breaks. These ballots are our PAPER TRAIL, and our optical scanners almost never break down and the margin of error is almost non-existant. You can take the same ballots as a test and run them thru multiple times and you come up with identical numbers.

    In this day and age, this is simply ridiculous.

    December 4, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. Dorothy in NC

    With a political winner as serious as we saw with the Presidential election that Bush "won" it seems to me there should be a fail proof system in every state to make absolutely sure the results are accurate. I often wonder what our state of the Union would be if Gore had taken the reigns. Off hand over 4,000 young men and women would probably still be alive, our reputation around the world would not be as compromised as it is now, serious strides might have been made in global warming and I believe the economy wouldn't be in the mess it is now.
    Any one person can change the course that a country follows and what a shame it would be if the wrong person was declared the winner.

    December 4, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. dolfina

    Did I lose my "evelyn wood" speed reading technique? I didn't see ONE word about Texas in the article.

    December 4, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. Mickie

    It absolutely amazes me how voters will still vote for representatives who have either been shown to be crooked or even convicted. And, it happens all over, not just in one certain, city, county or state. Some representatives get re-elected over and over again, even when they never seem to accomplish anything. I have to chalk most of it up to voter apathy, because after working in politics for sometime in my early career, a great number of people don't want to hear what you have to say when you try to give them hard data, they are so defensive about their position. God Bless America and hopefully give us the government we should have and not the one we necessarily asked for.

    December 4, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. thriveblogger

    There needs to be at the least a minimum standard set for the states to ensure that every vote is counted and only valid votes are counted. The system is archaic and problematic at best.

    December 4, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. REG in AZ

    As an ex-long-term registered Republican I think about what happened to turn me around to become a confirmed Independent who actually voted Democratic in the last three presidential elections. I literally hadn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since JFK but also I never voted for Nixon, abstaining then, so probably I’d be considered as always having been an Independent leaning Republican. Last night I had a conversation with a really close and good friend who is a strong, unwavering Republican, who obviously was greatly disappointed that Barack Obama had won, and it made me again think about what changed my thinking. I still believe in the Republican principals that the least amount of government is the best government and that government should only do for the people that which they can’t do for themselves but I also recognize that inherent in that are the real and necessary responsibilities to protect the people from exploitation by the powerful few and to insure fair and equitable opportunity for all (not just for the few) and in my opinion you can add that government has the strong responsibility to be both honest and transparent. Those responsibilities, each and every one of them, as I see it, are where the Republican Party currently fails to adequately perform and to even honestly care. GWBush, DCheney, KRove, CRice, many others and obviously including SPalin and even JMcCain, who actually changed to conform, are all examples of those who display cavalier attitudes that totally confirm the problem. To me, two characteristics stand out that explain it: Their attitude – they arrogantly and belligerently think they are right in everything and can just do whatever they want, expecting that if they need to, they will just boldly offer subterfuge to manipulate public opinion; and Their focus – they irresponsibly concentrate on benefiting Special Interests and a select few, who provide them overt and covert support, contributions and promised after office compensation, while they give the average American only apathy, the costs and deceptive rhetoric, including appeals to individual biases aimed just to manipulate. Barack Obama has proven that a more centrist and moderate position, honestly focused on all of the people and presented with respect, can not only appeal to the people but it can also solicit the needed support. Hopefully the Republicans will learn from that and cease selling themselves and their focus to Special Interests and a select few so we can once again have a competitive choice for fairly representing all of the people. It isn’t about conservative v liberal, it is about responsibility and honesty; it isn’t about Republican v Democrat, it is about integrity and character; it isn’t about being manipulated by appeals to limited issues, it is about recognizing the need to be effective for all Americans.

    December 4, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Franky

    I actually just heard about the California one from the boys over here but I didn't think there were still more to be resolved. I don't know I like competition...good stuff.

    December 4, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. laura flint.MI

    My husband and I have been in a recession for more than 8 yrs. Flint,MI was the first city to see jobs go because of the auto indus. We say no bailout. Let them see what it's like not being able to pay their bills. The world isn't going to stop because they don't get our money. My husband and I have never been able to afford a new car even with working 3and 4 jobs at a time. They charge as much for a car as they do a house. A car that keeps breaking down and so-called mech"s. can't fix properly without charging as much as it cost for a house or a car. SCREW A BAILOUT that won't work anyway they only care about themselves.

    December 4, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. Maggie in NYS

    PDX Gal – from what I've heard about Oregon's vote-by-mail, it sounds really good. I'm just wondering how they ensure against fraud (e.g., ballots stolen out of mailboxes). Thanks.

    December 4, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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