By Hastings Wyman –
Democrats made a net gain of only five seats for certain in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday, two of them in the South. In Florida, despite redistricting that helped Democrats, Donald Trump’s strength helped the GOP limit their loss to one seat, so the net result was a 16R-11D US House lineup in the next Congress, compared with a 17R-10D lineup at present. Democrats also picked up an open seat in Virginia, in the 4th District where US Rep. Randy Forbes (R) is stepping down. Here are the results in key contrasts across the region.
Florida 5: Al Lawson (D) 64%, Glo Smith (R) 36%, a Democratic pickup due to redistricting.
Florida 7: Stephanie Murphy (D) 51%, 12-term US Rep. John Mica (R) 49%, an upset and a Democratic pickup.
Florida 10: Val Demings (D) 65%, Thuy Lowe (R) 35%, another Democratic pickup, due to redistricting.
Florida 11: US Rep. Daniel Webster (R) 65%, Dave Koller (D), a GOP pickup due to redistricting (Webster moved here from the 10th District).
Florida 13: Charlie Crist (D) 52%, US Rep. David Jolly (R) 48%, another redistricting-aided pickup for the Democrats.
Florida 18: Brian Mast (R) 54%, Randy Perkins (D) 43%, a Republican pickup of the seat previously held by Senate candidate Patrick Murphy (D).
Florida 26: US Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) 53%, Joe Garcia (D) 41%.
Florida 27: US Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) 55%, Scott Fuhrman (D) 45%.
Louisiana 3: Scott Angelle (R) 29%, Clay Higgins (R) 26%, so the seat of US Rep. Charles Boustany (R), who ran for the US Senate (and lost), will stay in Republican hands regardless of who wins the Dec. 10 runoff.
Louisiana 4: Marshall Jones (D) with 28% will face Mike Johnson (R) with 25% in the runoff for the seat of US Rep. John Fleming (R), who stepped down to run (unsuccessfully) for the US Senate.
South Carolina 5: US Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R) 59%, Fran Person (D) 39%. Person is a former aide to Vice President Joe Biden.
Texas 23: US Rep. Will Hurd (R) 48%, ex-US Rep. Pete Gallego (D) 46%.
Virginia 4: Donald McEachin (D) 57%, Michael Wade (R) 43%, a Democratic pickup for the open seat currently held by retiring US Rep. Forbes (R).
Virginia 5: Tom Garrett (R) 58%, Jane Dittmar (D) 42%, in the contest for the open seat currently held by retiring US Rep. Robert Hurt (R).
Virginia 10: US Rep. Barbara Comstock (R), with 53%, defeated challenger LuAnn Bennett (D), with 47%, after a hard-fought, well-financed campaign on both sides.