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Republicans Win Control of House - 2002-11-06

Republicans have maintained control of the U.S. House of Representatives, extending their eight-year rule over the lower house of Congress.

Results early Wednesday give Republican candidates 218 seats in the 435-seat chamber, enough to claim a majority.

Democratic challengers have, so far, secured 197 seats. One independent has also won a seat. During Tuesday's election, both parties won toss-up votes in various closely contested elections, including races in Georgia, Maryland, and Tennessee.

Democrats needed to win seven seats more than they had to take control of the House.

Republican candidates overcame the traditional mid-term election trend of the president's party losing seats in Congress. Analysts say they used the popularity of President Bush to help secure votes.

In one of the highest profile races, Kentucky's incumbent Republican Representative Anne Northrup beat Democratic challenger Jack Conway. The tight race was key to Republican efforts to maintain control of the House.

In the Sarasota district of Florida, Katherine Harris, the former Florida secretary of state and Republican heroine for her role in the 2000 election, easily won a seat in the House.

Some of the hardest fought races are in the states of Indiana, Connecticut, and Illinois and Kentucky.