Most incumbents representing Indiana in Washington were expected to breeze through Tuesday's election, but two congressional races held the potential for upsets.
The 8th and 9th Congressional Districts drew the attention of national parties, with Republicans aiming to hold on to their slim majority and Democrats hoping to be spoilers.
Much of the focus was on the 9th District, where Democratic Rep. Baron Hill, Republican challenger Mike Sodrel and their respective parties spent millions. Sodrel, a millionaire who owns a trucking company, got a campaign boost from a fund-raising visit by Vice President Dick Cheney. Libertarian Al Cox also was on the ballot.
Indiana's 8th Congressional District, nicknamed the "Bloody 8th" for its history of tight contests, also was watched by the national parties.
Democrat Jon Jennings, a former Boston Celtics scout and aide to President Clinton, hoped to unseat five-term Republican Rep. John Hostettler, who won re-election in 2002 by about 10,000 votes. Jennings had a big fund-raising advantage going into Tuesday's election, bringing in $1.1 million to Hostettler's $415,859.
Libertarian Mark Garvin also was on the ballot.
For the rest of the state, however, political analysts predicted a sleepy election season would end with the status quo intact.
Popular Democrat Julia Carson was expected to win a fifth term in the 7th District despite health problems that hospitalized her last weekend and forced her to miss a number of votes this year. She faced Republican Andy Horning, a former Libertarian Party candidate who has run unsuccessfully for Indianapolis mayor, Indiana governor and U.S. House. Libertarian Barry Campbell also was running.
Central Indiana's 5th District was considered one of the safest Republican strongholds in the country. Incumbent Dan Burton, who faced Democrat Katherine Fox Carr and Libertarian Rick Hodgin, has held the seat since 1982.
In the 4th District, Republican Steve Buyer sought his seventh term against Purdue University biologist David Sanders, a Democrat, and Libertarian Kevin Fleming. Republican Mark Souder has served the 3rd District for nine years and was challenged by Democrat Maria Parra, an insurance agent. Mike Pence was seeking his 3rd term in the 6th District against Democrat Melina "Mel" Fox and Libertarian Chad "Wick" Roots.
The race for U.S. Senate, political pollsters said, was a sure win for Democrat incumbent Evan Bayh, a former governor with a lot of name recognition and plenty of fund-raising clout. He faced Republican Marvin Scott, a sociology professor at Butler University.
Indiana's nine congressional incumbents came into the race with both money and history on their side. The incumbents raised more than $7.5 million, compared with just over $3 million for challengers, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
The state rearranged its congressional maps in 2001 to reflect population shifts after the 2000 census. The new districts produced heated races in 2002 but have since left congressional primaries in Indiana mostly not competitive.
The last congressional incumbent to lose was Jill Long Thompson, who was defeated in the 2nd District in 1994.