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Republicans pick up 2 more seats in House

Democrats concede in what had been unsettled races in New York and Texas but hold on to a California seat. Two other contests remain undecided.

November 24, 2010|By Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau

Reporting from Washington — House Republican gains from the midterm elections reached 63 Tuesday, as two Democratic incumbents conceded defeat in outstanding races.

Rep. Dan Maffei conceded to Ann Marie Buerkle in New York's 25th Congressional District, acknowledging Tuesday afternoon that although he had narrowed the gap as absentee ballots were counted, he was unlikely to prevail.

With the defeat of Maffei, first elected in 2008, 22 of the chamber's 26 first-term Democrats have lost their seats.

On Monday night, 14-term incumbent Solomon Ortiz conceded to Blake Farenthold in the 27th District of Texas. Like Maffei, the final margin was less than 1,000 votes.

But Democrats held on in another race. The Associated Press called California's 20th District for incumbent Jim Costa, giving him a fourth term representing the Central Valley.

Maffei's defeat represents a stunning turn for the New York congressional delegation. In 2008, Democratic victories in the state left Republicans with just two of 29 seats.

But six Democratic seats have now flipped to the GOP -- the most gains in a single state in the nation. The Republican wins come despite strong victories at the top of the ticket by Democrats -- Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo and Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Bob Honold, New York political director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, noted that in 2008 and 2004, Democratic presidential candidates carried the 25th District.

Out of 435 congressional races, just two remain undecided three weeks after polls closed. Democrats lead in both – California's 11th District, held by Jerry McNerney, and New York's 1st District, where Rep. Tim Bishop has erased an earlier deficit and now leads by approximately 200 votes.

Still, the Republicans' wins so far have given them more seats in the House -- 242 -- than the party has held since 1948.

mmemoli@tribune.com

twitter.com/mikememoli

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