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Blue Dog Chet Edwards swept out of office; Barney Frank survives

Blue Dog Chet Edwards swept out of office; Barney Frank survives

As the networks line up behind projections that the Republican Party will take control of the House of Representatives, some familiar Democratic leaders are starting to show up on the list of tonight’s losers. Like Chet Edwards:

Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards, ousted Tuesday night after 20 years in Congress, says he felt honored every day to serve Central Texas.

Republican Bill Flores won with 61 percent of the vote, with more than half the precincts reporting.

Flores, an oil and gas executive who had never run for public office, defeated the longtime congressman by capitalizing on anti-government sentiment sweeping the nation over the slow-moving economic recovery.

Edwards, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on military construction and veterans affairs, told a crowd of about 300 in Waco that he’ll support Flores in the transition.

It says something about the Democrats’ change in fortunes that NBC felt it necessary to announce its projection that Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank was re-elected.

Barney Frank, the irascible powerbroker who has survived scandal, repeated redistricting, and the ups and downs of the Democratic Party, today easily beat back his strongest challenge in years.

Frank defeated Sean Bielat, a little-known Marine Corps reservist who had waged a surprisingly energetic campaign that attracted national attention by attempting to blame the longtime congressman for mishandling the nation’s economic woes while serving as chairman of the House financial services committee.

–John Stodder

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