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Congressional Balance Shifts to GOP

As the votes in the midterm elections were tallied, Republicans won control of the U.S. Senate and strengthened their majority in the House of Representatives. Here is a rundown of a few key individual races by select congressional committees engaged in public transpor­tation legislation:
Transportation & Infrastructure
Incumbent Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), ranking member of the committee, lost his bid for re-election to Republican challenger Evan Jenkins. Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) lost to GOP challenger and state Sen. Lee Zeldin and Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) lost to Democratic challenger Gwen Graham.

Two T&I committee members previously announced their retirements. The seat vacated by Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) went to Republican state Sen. Glenn Grothman and the seat held by Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) was won by Pete Aguilar, Democratic mayor of Redlands.

Three committee members previously announced their retirements. 

The seat vacated by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) was won by Republican state Del. Barbara Comstock; Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) will be succeeded by Republican David Young, former chief of staff for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA); and the seat previously held by Ed Pastor (D-AZ) will go to ­former state Rep. Ruben ­Gallego, a Democrat.

Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Incumbents Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) lost to Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who vacated his seat in the House to run for the Senate, and Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) was trailing Republican Dan Sullivan, state attorney general, at press time.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), committee chair, previously announced his retirement. His seat was won by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), who chose not to seek re-election to her House seat (and who was a member of the T&I Committee).
Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) lost her re-election bid to Republican Thom Tillis, state House speaker.

Two senators serving on this committee previously announced their retirements. 

The seat held by Tim Johnson (D-SD), the current committee chair, was won by former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican, and the seat vacated by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) was won by Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), who chose not to seek re-election to his House seat to run for the Senate.

In related news, both co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Public Transportation Caucus were re-elected. They are Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) and Michael Grimm (R-NY).

For details, see APTA’s “Legislative Update and Alert” by clicking here.
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