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Dems sweep Delaware as Congress undecided

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U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester won a fourth term in Congress in Delaware’s highest ranking race in Tuesday’s midterm elections. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

Democrats easily won all of Delaware’s statewide races during Tuesday’s midterm elections, but attention has turned to whether the party can hold its advantages in Congress for the second half of President Joe Biden’s term.

U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, the sole congresswoman for the First State, defeated three-time Republican challenger Lee Murphy with more than 55% of the vote, earning her a fourth two-year term.

Both incumbent Attorney General Kathy Jennings and incumbent state Treasurer Colleen Davis defeated their Republican challengers, Julianne Murray and Greg Coverdale, respectively, earning about 54% of the vote in their races.

In the race for state auditor – a race marked by the recent conviction and resignation of last-elected Auditor Kathy McGuiness – Democrat Lydia York won with about 54% of the vote over Republican Janice Lorrah.

In the state General Assembly, Democrats also flipped two previously Republican seats in Sussex County, including one each in the State Senate and House of Representatives. Democrat Russ Huxtable won more than 51% of the vote in Senate District 6, defeating Republican Rep. Stephen Smyk for the seat vacated by former State Sen. Ernie Lopez.

Subsequently, House District 20 that was vacated by Smyk in his unsuccessful run for State Senate also turned Democratic with a win by former Cape Henlopen School Board President Stell Parker Selby, who earned more than 51% of the vote to defeat Republican Dallas Wingate.

Republicans were able to flip House District 4, largely due to redistricting that moved it from the Wilmington area to Sussex County where the GOP is more competitive. Republican Jeff Hilovsky won the seat with about 57% of the vote, defeating Democrat Keegan Worley and ensuring that the Democratic House majority remains 26-15.

That larger Democratic Senate majority could come into play as the state legislature considers the agenda for the final two years of Gov. John Carney’s term. It could have grown even further as incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Ramone retained his seat in House District 21 by only 35 votes in an unexpectedly close race with Democrat Frank Burns.

Meanwhile, the race for control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives was still undecided at daybreak, but Democrats fared much better in early returns than many pundits had predicted.

Democrat John Fetterman won Pennsylvania’s Senate seat, defeating Republican Mehmet Oz in one of the most high-profile races of the night, flipping the seat vacated by Republican Pat Toomey.

Democratic Sens. Maggie Hassan (N.H.) and Michael Bennett (Colo.) retained their seats that were thought to be at risk of flipping. Across the aisle, Republicans J.D. Vance and Ted Budd picked up vacant seats in Ohio and North Carolina.

Attention has turned to Georgia, Nevada, Arizona and Wisconsin, where races could decide control of the Senate – and it could be a race that lasts several more months as Georgia’s race between incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker appears headed for a December runoff election.

In the U.S. House, Republicans hold an edge of 197-174 in decided races as the parties seek to reach the magic number of 218 to gain control. Most pundits still believe that Republicans will win back the House, creating at least a divided Congress, but Democrats have successfully defended several seats thought to be at risk of flipping, meaning the GOP would hold a slim majority.

Democrats also fared well in gubernatorial races nationwide, with incumbents retaining their seats in New York, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico and Maine, while picking up wins in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Massachusetts, flipping party control in the latter two.

Republicans retained the governor’s mansion in Florida, Texas, Ohio, Georgia and New Hampshire, among many other reliably red states, and added vacant wins in Nebraska and Arkansas.

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