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Posted at 8:06 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2012
It’s official: Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) is coming back to Congress.
She led GOP rival Jonathan Paton by about 7,000 votes at the time the Associated Press called the race late on Wednesday afternoon.
Redistricting improved the district for Democrats, but Kirkpatrick’s road back to Congress was not assured. She had a strong start to her campaign, but Republicans blitzed Arizona television with negative advertising against her.
In other races that were called Wednesday afternoon, Democrats and Republicans traded gains.
In the race for Michigan’s 1st, Rep. Dan Benishek (R) defeated former state Rep. Gary McDowell (D). Benishek was up 0.7 percent at the time the Associated Press called the race. This is a rematch from 2010, but the margin was much more narrow this time around.
In California, state Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D) defeated state Sen. Tony Strickland (R) in the race for the 26th district. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, her lead was a little more than 3 points.
As of Wednesday evening there were six House races that were outstanding after Tuesday’s elections. They are the contests in Arizona’s 2nd and 9th districts, California’s 7th and 52nd districts, Florida’s 18th district and North Carolina’s 7th district. The contest in California’s 36th district had not been called, but Rep. Mary Bono Mack trailed her Democratic opponent by a large margin.