- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 10, 2002

The incoming freshman class of the House of Representatives includes state officeholders, a former top Clinton aide, a farmer, a college professor, businessmen and lawyers, two doctors and a few who once worked for the congressmen they now replace.
Despite varied backgrounds, the new members generally are in line with their party's views new Republicans are conservative and new Democrats tend to be liberal, congressional analysts say.
"I don't see either side as departing" from the ideological core of their party, said Kenneth Weinstein, director of the Hudson Institute's D.C. office.
Republicans increased their lead in the House by at least five seats, bringing their total to 228 so far, the National Republican Congressional Committee reports. Democrats have 204 seats, a drop from 208 seats. There is also a lone independent, Rep. Bernard Sanders of Vermont.
One House race in Louisiana and one in Colorado remain undecided. In New York's 1st Congressional District, about 5,800 absentee ballots will be counted tomorrow, but Democratic candidate Timothy Bishop is ahead and Democrats say he is sure to win, unseating incumbent Republican Rep. Felix J. Grucci Jr. This seat is counted as one of the Democrats' 204 seats.
The new group includes a few high-profile members. Rep.-elect Katherine Harris, a Republican elected to represent Florida's 13th District, became nationally known as the Florida secretary of state who oversaw the contentious ballot recount in the 2000 presidential election.
Rep.-elect Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Democrat, is well known as a top adviser in the Clinton administration. John Fortier, a research associate at the American Enterprise Institute, said Mr. Emanuel comes to Congress with a "broader perspective" having served in the White House and is likely to be an "up and comer."
Southern Democrats elected two blacks who are more conservative than most members of the black caucus, some analysts noted.
Rep.-elect Denise Majette, Georgia Democrat, defeated one of the most outspoken, partisan House members, Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney, in the Democratic primary, then cruised to victory Tuesday in Georgia's 4th District. And in Alabama, Rep.-elect Artur Davis defeated Rep. Earl F. Hilliard in a Democratic primary and went on to win the general election Tuesday in Alabama's 7th District.
Both Ms. Majette and Mr. Davis are "pro-business and a little more open" to working with different people than their predecessors were, Mr. Fortier said. American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Norman Ornstein said the two Democrats represent a real change, "replacing radical members" and coming in as more fiscally conservative.
Another Democrat to watch, analysts agreed, is Rep.-elect Christopher Van Hollen, who gave Democrats a key win by unseating incumbent Republican Rep. Constance A. Morella in Maryland's 8th District.
"Democrats expect Chris Van Hollen will make his mark," Mr. Ornstein said.
Although Mrs. Morella was a liberal who broke with the Republican Party on some issues, Mr. Van Hollen tends toward a "hard-core progressive" Democratic view, Mr. Weinstein said.
On the flip side, Republican Rep.-elect Michael Turner won in Ohio's 3rd Congressional District, denying Democrats a chance to keep the seat. It had been held by Rep. Tony P. Hall, a pro-life Democrat who left Congress in September.
Current Republican Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio said Mr. Turner is pro-life as well, but is "much more fiscally conservative" than Mr. Hall was and obviously much more likely to support House Republican leaders.
Rep.-elect William Janklow, the four-term Republican governor of South Dakota, is also in the new group, as are Republicans Phil Gingrey of Georgia and Michael Burgess of Texas both of whom are doctors.
Among other new Republicans to look out for are Reps.-elect Virginia Brown-Waite of Florida and John Kline of Minnesota, both of whom defeated well-entrenched incumbents.
Family Research Council President Ken Connor said Colorado's Marilyn Musgrave and New Jersey's Scott Garrett both Republicans are among the strongest pro-life candidates who won election Tuesday.
The new group of House members also includes Democratic Rep.-elect Kendrick Meek, a 35-year-old Florida state senator who is replacing his mother retiring Rep. Carrie P. Meek in representing Florida's 17th Congressional District.
Newly elected Florida Republican Rep.-elect Mario Diaz-Balart joins his brother in Congress. Republican Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart has represented Florida's 21st District since 1992.
Current Rep. Jack Kingston, Georgia Republican, called Mario Diaz-Balart a "very savvy guy" and said his election was "bad news for the Castro regime" and those "who want to open up more trade with Cuba," because he will join his brother and others in fighting efforts to improve U.S. economic ties with the Communist-run island.
At least two members of the group once worked for the members they are replacing Rep.-elect Jo Bonner, a Republican from Alabama's 1st District left his post as chief of staff to retiring Rep. Sonny Callahan to run for his boss' seat. And Democratic Rep.-elect Tim Ryan newly elected to represent Ohio's 17th District once worked as a legislative aide to James A. Traficant Jr., the colorful congressman who represented the district until this year when he was expelled from the House in the wake of his conviction on several charges including racketeering and filing false income-tax returns. Traficant ran for his old seat from prison as an independent, but lost to Mr. Ryan.
Mr. Kingston said the new House Republicans have more experience in government than his 1994 freshman class did. He also said this year's group is riding in on a "pro-Bush" surge, rather than the "anti-Clinton" tidal wave that brought the 1994 class to Capitol Hill and made them more combative.
"They're not really coming to Washington to show the Democrats we're mad with them," he said.
Mr. Weinstein agreed. "This is not a combative bunch of people coming in," he said.

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