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Inside Politics

GOP builds on House majority

Republicans consolidate control they won in 1994


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House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is greeted by supporters at a party in Houston, Texas.
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House: TX 01 Updated: 5:33 p.m. ET
Gohmert 61%
Sandlin 38%
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(CNN) -- Republicans retained control of the U.S. House of Representatives and added at least four seats to their number, joining GOP gains in the Senate to solidify the party's congressional control.

Two of the House's 435 seats remain undecided, both in Louisiana, where the final winner will be determined in a December runoff.

A House race in Georgia has not been called, although the Democrat is leading.

Not counting the two Louisiana seats, the Republicans would hold 230 seats and the Democrats 202, with one held by an independent.

Republicans were atop the slate in the two Louisiana districts, but neither gained a majority of the votes and will face Democrats in the runoff.

GOP candidates picked up seven Democratic seats -- five of them in Texas, where a controversial redistricting plan pushed by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay redrew the state's map to make it more Republican-friendly.

Texas' new map cost four Democratic representatives their seats. Of the five Democrats targeted in the redistricting plan, only Rep. Chet Edwards will return to Washington from a district that includes President Bush's ranch.

Rep. Max Sandlin lost his seat to Louis Gohmert, and Rep. Nick Lampson lost to Ted Poe. The Republicans picked up three other seats in districts that had no incumbents.

In addition, Democratic Reps. Charles Stenholm and Martin Frost, who were moved into Republican districts, lost to GOP incumbents.

In Indiana's 9th Congressional District, Republican challenger Mike Sodrel took the seat held by Democrat Baron Hill.

The GOP also snagged Kentucky's 4th District seat, with Geoff Davis winning out over Nick Clooney, father of actor George Clooney.

The Democrats took a Republican seat in Illinois, where Melissa Bean defeated longtime GOP Rep. Phil Crane, and another in Colorado, where rancher John Salazar won out over orchard owner Greg Walcher.

In the Georgia race, Democrat John Barrow has an 8,397 vote lead over incumbent Republican Max Burns, with 99 percent of the district's precincts reporting.

Republicans gained control of the House in 1994. Before then, they had not been the majority party in the House since Dwight D. Eisenhower's landslide in 1952.

Nearly all incumbents were projected to win re-election, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and former Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich of Ohio.

Texas a huge win for GOP

DeLay, primary architect of the new Texas redistricting map, also was projected to win re-election.

In Texas, Republican Rep. Pete Sessions beat Frost in the most expensive congressional race in the nation.

By mid-October, Sessions and Frost had spent a combined $6.6 million on the race for the state's 32nd Congressional District, and together still had $2.4 million in the bank.

In addition to the 32nd, the 19th District also pit two incumbents against each other.

CNN projects that Republicans will pick up seats in Texas Districts 1, 2, 10, 11 and 24.

Texas Districts 1 and 2 are particularly significant victories for the Republicans, if the projection holds true, because the races had been so close leading into the election.

The projected wins also mark a success for those legislators who redrew the Texas congressional map last year.

The House's lone independent, Rep. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, was projected to retain his seat.

All 435 House seats were up for grabs this election, including 36 open seats.

Nineteen of the open seats were held by Republicans and 14 by Democrats, and three new seats were created by redistricting in Texas.


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