Sessions to win battle of incumbents
GOP projected to take Texas' redrawn 32nd District
(CNN) -- CNN is projecting Republican Pete Sessions to defeat Democratic Rep. Martin Frost for the House seat representing the 32nd Congressional District, northwest of Dallas.
Frost, a 13-term representative, and Sessions, seeking his fifth term, became adversaries courtesy of the redistricting plan drawn up by the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature. The race was nasty, with the candidates accusing each other of violations as minute as stealing signs and using too small a font on a congressional mailer.
The new district includes many suburban Republicans, who were more inclined to vote for Sessions and fewer Democratic-leaning Hispanic and African-American voters than in Frost's eliminated district.
During their campaigns, Sessions' supporters argued that Frost's voting record was better suited to his old, primarily Democratic district. Meanwhile, a Frost ad chastised Sessions for voting against air marshals and baggage screening.
A mid-October poll by The Dallas Morning News showed Sessions led 50 percent to Frost's 44 percent, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 points. But while Sessions seemed to have the upper hand, Frost was widely respected as one of the toughest campaigners in the House.
The Associated Press reported that the race was the costliest House contest in the nation. The two combined to spend about $6.6 million, with Frost laying out $3.9 million.
Frost, 62, served two terms as chair of the House Democratic Caucus, and in the wake of the shootings at Columbine High School he co-chaired the Bipartisan Working Group on Youth Violence. A moderate Democrat, he tried to influence independent voters and some Republicans by featuring President Bush in some of his TV ads.
Sessions, 49, was born and raised in Waco. A graduate of Southwestern University, he worked at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company for 16 years, before choosing to run for Congress. He had also served as vice president of public policy at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Dallas-based conservative public policy research institute.