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Holden wins in Pennsylvania, CNN projects

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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Democratic Rep. Tim Holden defeated Republican Rep. George Gekas in one of the nation's four House races that featured two incumbents, CNN projected.

The 17th District had a serious GOP tilt and a large number (60 percent) of former Gekas constituents, and President Bush won 57 percent here in 2000.

But 45-year-old Holden had to fight hard to hold on to his swing district and was considered a more skilled campaigner than Gekas, 72, who never had to run hard before this year. Republicans openly conceded this was the incumbent-vs.- incumbent race they were most worried about.

In another competitive race, state Sen. Jim Gerlach defeated Democrat Dan Wofford in the 6th District, CNN projected. Located in the Philadelphia suburbs, the district was once a GOP stronghold but has trended Democratic during the 1990s, influenced heavily by issues like gun control and abortion rights.

The district was drawn Gerlach but Democrats were hoping that Wofford, the son of former Sen. Harris Wofford, would make it a close race. Democratic polls in early October showed the race as a dead-heat, but a recent GOP survey showed Gerlach up by double digits.

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