Republicans Win Senate and Pickup Seats in the House

As the 2014 General Election results began trickling in last night, all signs pointed to Republicans taking control of the United States Senate. In order for Republicans to take control of the Senate, it was critical that they retain seats in Kansas, Georgia, and Kentucky, and the Republican Party was able to do just that. In addition, Republicans picked up seven seats by winning the races in the key battle ground States of Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia. In Louisiana, neither of the candidates reached the required 50 percent threshold, and a runoff will be held on December 6th to determine the winner. In Alaska, the race has not been called yet, but the Republican challenger Dan Sullivan has a four point advantage with 100 percent of the precincts reporting and it appears that Republicans will pick up their eighth seat in the Senate.

This means completely new leadership in the Senate, with Senator Thune (R-SD) and Senator Inhofe (R OK) likely taking control of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee respectively.

Both Committees have jurisdiction over transportation issues. In the U.S. House of Representatives, the big transportation news came with the loss of Transportation Committee Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-WV) being defeated. This paves the way for Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) to take control as the leading Democrat of the Transportation Committee. On the T&I Committee, Republican member of the Committee Congressman Steve Southerland (R-FL) was defeated and the Democrats lost in addition to Rahall, Congressman Tim Bishop (D-NY).

Stay tuned for more election updates as the 114th Congressional session is upon us, with Republicans controlling the House and Senate.