December 8th, 2008
02:10 PM ET
10 years ago

Split decision in congressional races


Watch Cao speak about his win on CNN Monday.

(CNN) - Call it a split decision.

Both the Democrats and Republicans captured a congressional seat from the other party this weekend, with two races remaining in the battle for the House of Representatives.

In Ohio's 15th Congressional district in the central part of the state, the Democrats captured a seat that was held by Republicans for 42 years. For the last 16 of those years, it's been held by 8 term Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce, who's retiring.

Mary Jo Kilroy, a county commissioner, came from behind to defeat Republican Steve Stivers by over 2,000 votes when the final results were released Sunday. Kilroy came back from an election day deficit of nearly 600 votes, after provisional ballots were counted from Franklin County, where the state capitol of Columbus is located.The counting of the provisional ballots proceeded after a ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court on Friday.

Stivers, who's a state senator, conceded to Kilroy shortly after the results were released. He also wished her well in Washington.

Kilroy came close to defeating Pryce for the seat in 2006.

"After an extremely close 2006 race, there was no doubt this seat was vulnerable. This could have been an easy Democratic takeover but Stivers ran a strong campaign," said Nathan Gonzales, Political Editor of The Rothenberg Political Report, a non-partisan newsletter.

While the Democrats grabbed away the seat in Ohio, they lost one in Louisiana, where 9 term Rep. William Jefferson was defeated in his re-election bid by Republican Anh "Joseph" Cao, an attorney and local organizer. Cao becomes the first Vietnamese-American to win election to Congress. He also breaks a streak of more than a century of Democratic control in New Orleans.

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Filed under: Congress
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Giovanni

    We gave Virgil Goode a full blown recall in the 5th district, and he just doesn't want to accept it!

    December 8, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. No Hillary = No Obama

    Sour grapes, pal. While Rove is at it why doesn't he just name most of the country as we never considered Bush legitimate after the rigged 2000 election.

    December 8, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. beckster


    December 8, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Ken

    Congrats to Ohio's 15th for ending the Dumbf-kistani enclave in that district.

    December 8, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. Jackie in Dallas

    It isn't hard to be "stunningly successful" when faced with the legacy of the last 8 years of Congress. Watch out, Dems, if you don't get behind Obama and use this goodwill effectively, and with the minimum of pork, there will be an abrupt reversal in the next election. We voters are not going to stay with the status quo if you don't get off your duffs and address the issues head on, and make some workable compromises that do not leave out your brother and sister Republican lawmakers!

    December 8, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    I was laughing so hard when Betty Ngyuen was interviewing Cao. He was so excited about low voter turnout. You have got to love it when the tens of people show up to vote for you. Sheesh.

    December 8, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Wonderful

    CHANGE comes in many flavors!

    We will see how this republican votes–Viet Nam is a Mahayana Country–Things should go well

    December 8, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. BB

    Jackie – you folks in Dallas are getting your rejected Republican. Enjoy the bushies. I hope Rove and Limbaugh follow him.

    December 8, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. zack, nj

    Cao might as well switch parties if he wants to have a chance at keeping his job. Doubtful he will be able to hold onto that seat in 2010.

    December 8, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Billy J , TX-

    The democrats should have kicked Jefferson out when he got busted. I was shocked that they didn't. They would still have a seat if they had. Oh well, I am still trying to convince myself that politics is about to change, and we are going to have honest office holders, and no 'rovian' concocted tyrades.

    December 8, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. John in Ohio

    It's about time they get Kilroy in there.

    December 8, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Kevin in Ohio

    Good riddance to Jefferson, who is without a doubt a crook of the first magnitude. Unfortunately, Kilroy in Ohio is every bit as big a crook.

    December 8, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. nancy

    YAY for American Asians!

    December 8, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. jack in la

    Kudos and Good Luck to Cao. But, he only won because a vast majority of New Orleans residents are still displaced and unable to return.

    December 8, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. RS

    I have family friends and neighbors whos sons fought in Vietnam. Can you imagine how much of a "sell out" seeing this guy elected (not to mention in the country at all) is after they risked their lives to fight his relatives? They probably feel the same as when WWII vets see cars made by mitsubishi since they made the engines in the japanese war planes. What's next? Russian bread?

    December 8, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. Terry, Lakeland Florida

    Too bad with the Dems in charge Jefferson will end up with a book deal and a seat on obama's goverment. He should be in jail but the dems have been protecting him in the hopes to keep more isn't that politics as usual Mr. Obama?

    December 8, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. JL

    GOOD for America; Congress is starting to look more like America. This country is moving forward so well.

    December 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Mari

    Even though I am a Democrat....... I congratulate Anh "Joseph" Cao for his win! Mr. Cao, please be careful not to be controlled by the far-right-extremists!

    December 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. JL

    This is great news on both accounts! It means two more incumbents have left office! I don't know if I dare start hoping that with all the new members of congress we could actually have some fresh leadership and better cooperation and probem solving, but it sure would be great.

    December 8, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Dr. Stoner

    I believe that the great people of the African-American Heritage are now part of the great American experience. By choosing a person other than of their race I can now say and feel that America, is on the right path to embracing ALL PEOPLES, GOD BLESS AMERICA.


    December 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. Precious Coker, NY

    Congrats Cao, I am sure you are a democrat at heart!!!

    December 8, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Brenna

    We do get that Run-off election historically have always had lower turn-out and Louisiana Congressman in question was about to get convicted of corruption and most voters are like Alaskans since that sort of thing matters to them.

    I know the GOP is trying to hype this up, but fact that they won against a soon-to-be convicted felon who didn't do much of anything in terms of Katrina relief for his district, well it's shocking they even had to go to a run-off to win it.

    December 8, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. Just another CNN poster

    As a Democrat, let me congratulate Anh "Joseph" Cao.

    It's time tp clean up and clean out the bad, cheating, misleading, do nothing and criminal elements in both parties, and if that means losing a seat, so be it.

    The better man one that election.


    December 8, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Organizer

    He is an organizer, and a lawyer, just like Obama, so maybe he is qualified to be a commander-in-chief in a dangerous world (?)

    December 8, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Jaye

    Yeah for Ohio! They chose wisely.

    December 8, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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