Republicans retained their control of the House of Representatives Tuesday in a race that held few surprises.
Heavily-favored incumbents pulled off a nation-wide sweep, emerging mostly victorious even in the handful of races that were truly competitive. It was a welcome trend for Republicans, who entered Tuesday's House race with a 227-205 majority and fought hard to extend their decade long reign.
In Kentucky's 4th District, Republicans snatched an open Democratic seat with businessman Geoff Davis's (search) defeat of Democrat Nick Clooney (search), father of actor George Clooney (search). In the 3rd District, Republican Anne Northup (search) won re-election to a fifth term, defeating Democratic challenger Tony Miller (search)
Democrats made a successful run at knocking off the longest-serving Republican in the chamber, Illinois Rep. Philip Crane (search), a staunch conservative who had represented suburban Chicago's Eighth District for more than three decades. Crane lost a contentious race Tuesday to Democratic challenger Melissa Bean (search).
Redistricting in Texas helped Republicans knock off Democrats. GOP challengers Louis Gomhert (search) and Ted Poe (search) ousted Democrats Max Sandlin (search) and Nick Lampson (search) in Texas 1st and 2nd Districts. In Texas' 32nd District, where redistricting pitted two incumbents against each other, Republican Pete Sessions beat Democrat Martin Frost (search). GOP incumbent Randy Neugebauer (search) held his seat in the 19th District.
In Connecticut, Republican Reps. Christopher Shays (search) and Rob Simmons (search) held onto their seats, despite tough challenges by Democrats who attempted to paint the two moderates as Bush clones who voted in lockstep with the GOP.
Incumbents were coasting to re-election from Minnesota to Florida as well, including former presidential hopeful Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich (search). Incumbent Republicans Barbara Cubin (search) of Wyoming and Michael Castle (search) of Delaware held onto their seats; Democrat Rep. Earl Pomeroy (search) of North Dakota was re-elected to a seventh term.
In Colorado's 7th District, Republican Rep. Bob Beauprez (search) defeated Democratic challenger Dave Thomas (search). GOP incumbent Denny Rehberg (search) fought off Democrat Tracy Valazquez (search) in Montana's 1st District, and in Alaska, Republican Don Young (search) was re-elected.
To learn more about other key races, click on the headlines below.
U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi's defeats Democratic challenger Paul Babbitt, as incumbents win statewide.
At-large Republican Don Young, fourth in seniority among House Republicans, won a 17th term Tuesday.
Colorado: Salazar Outlasts Walcher
Democrat John Salazar outlasted Republican Greg Walcher to pick up an open House seat in a western Colorado district the size of Florida early Wednesday, and will join his brother in Washington in an unusual one-two punch for a veteran Colorado ranching family.
With 92 percent of precincts reporting, Salazar had 139,787, or 51 percent, and Walcher had 126,868 votes, or 46 percent. Salazar, a one-term lawmaker and a potato farmer, will replace GOP Rep. Scott McInnis, who is retiring after six terms.
Republican incumbents hold onto seats in two tightly contested districts.
Rematched with Republican challenger Calder Clay, Democratic Rep. Jim Marshall holds onto his seat in the 3rd District. But first term Republican Max Burns loses to Democrat John Barrow.
Republican Rep. Philip M. Crane, who served Illinois 8th District for three decades in Congress, lost Tuesday to Democrat challenger Melissa Bean.
Republican Geoff Davis beat Democrat Nick Clooney, father of famous actor George, for an open seat in the 4th District; in the 3rd District, Republican Anne Northup won re-election to a fifth term, defeating Democrat Tony Miller.
In the Pelican State, newly minted Republic Rodney Alexander sailed to re-election despite last minute party switch, while two of three open seats--including the one vacated by retiring Republican Rep. Billy Tauzin--will be decided in run offs.
Republican incumbent Heather Wilson celebrated her re-election, but Democrat opponent Richard Romero has refused to concede. In the southern 2nd District, Republican Rep. Steve Pearce defeated challenger Gary King, son of former New Mexico Gov. Bruce King.
Democrat Stephanie Herseth beat Republican Larry Diedrich Tuesday in their race to serve as South Dakota's lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Analysts see big future for South Dakota's new Congresswoman.
In a race that pitted two incumbents against each other, Republican Pete Sessions beat Democrat Martin Frost.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay survives ethics scandal and sweeps challenger.
Seven-term Democrat Rep. Chet Edwards, whose district includes President Bush's ranch, was the only one of five targeted Democrats Tuesday to survive Republican redistricting.
Republican political prodigy Cathy McMorris beat Democrat hotel magnate Donald Barbieri for a seat famously lost by former House Speaker Tom Foley a decade ago. In the 8th District, King County Sheriff Dave Reichert leads radio talk show host Dave Ross 52 percent to 47, but Ross will not concede.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.