NEW YORK – Three-term GOP Rep. Anne Northup was projected to have won Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District against Democrat Jack Conway, legal counsel to Gov. Paul Patton.
The race was spiced with controversy on both sides. Northup had been accused of trying to win over black voters in inner city Louisville by using non-profit charity services; she denied the charges. Gov. Patton had been dogged by charges that he used his office to hand out favors to his former mistress, and Republicans apparently succeeded in tying Conway to Patton's alleged misdeeds.
With 24 percent of precincts reporting, GOP businessman Chris Chocola was projected to have won the open 2nd District seat in Indiana in a competitive race against Democratic Rep. Jill Long Thompson. The race marks a turnover of the seat to Republican hands since the seat was held by retiring Democratic Rep. Tim Roemer.
Southern Indiana's 8th District, which earned the nickname "Bloody Eighth" because some of the state's most contentious elections have taken place there in the past, appeared to be unusually quiet this year. Democrat Bryan Hartke, a little-known engineer from Newburgh, was projected to have lost to incumbent John Hostettler, a Republican.
In an unsurprising outcome in Florida, GOP former Secretary of State Katherine Harris, known for certifying the contested 2000 presidential election, won the 13th District seat against Democratic lawyer Jan Schneider.
In Connecticut's remapped 5th District, GOP Rep. Nancy Johnson and Democratic Rep. Jim Maloney were in a dead heat, 49 percent to 49 percent with 24 percent of precincts reporting. The 10-term Johnson's $3 million-plus represented the most money ever spent on re-electing a Connecticut representative. Three-term Maloney, who accused his opponent, the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee chairwoman, of catering to pharmaceutical companies, spent $1.4 million.
In southern Illinois' redrawn 19th District, with 2 percent of precincts reporting, another pair of incumbents were exactly even, with two-term Democratic Rep. David Phelps, a former gospel singer, getting 50 percent of the vote and Republican Rep. John Shimkus also showing up with 50 percent. The race had been too tight to predict all along.
The tight congressional race in Mississippi's 3rd District was projected to come out in favor of Republican Rep. Charles W. "Chip" Pickering Jr., who had 59 percent of the vote vs. Democratic Rep. Ronnie Shows' 39 percent, with 12 percent reporting. Some analysts suggested Pickering benefitted from voters angered by Senate Democrats' refusal to confirm his father to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
And in Pennsylvania's 17th District, 10-term Republican Rep. George Gekas, who has lately been referring to himself as "George W.," was in a race that was too close to call with five-term Rep. Tim Holden for the industrial area surrounding the state's capital of Harrisburg. With 12 percent of precincts reporting, Gekas had 51 percent of the vote to Holden’s 49 percent.