Democratic challenger Kendra Horn has defeated incumbent Rep. Steve Russell in an unexpected victory, albeit without a “blue wave” materializing after a Senate loss to Republicans.
Russell, who was first elected in 2014, lost by a narrow margin of ~3,300 votes, making Representative-Elect Horn the third woman elected to Congress from Oklahoma. Horn took an early lead on election night, and while Russell managed to close the gap, he was unable to surpass her once all the votes were tallied. Horn has previously worked in the nonprofit sector and aerospace industry and says she will prioritize funding for education, common sense tax reform and gun safety in the House of Representatives.
Virginia state Senator Jennifer Wexton unseated two-term Republican incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock in a contested race for Virginia’s 10th Congressional district. Wexton maintained a commanding lead over Comstock in polls from the start of her campaign, and the race was one of the first House seats to flip to Democrat from Republican. While the district has been represented by a Republican for 60 of the last 66 years, the northern suburbs of Virginia have become increasingly diverse and liberal and was even won by Hilary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election.
Former CIA officer and Democratic newcomer Abigail Spanberger has won Virginia’s 7th district, unexpectedly defeating Rep. Dave Brat, a conservative star in the House. Polls varied throughout the race but became a statistical dead-heat by election day. Spanberger won 50% to Brat’s 49%, despite Brat’s last-minute endorsement from President Trump. Her campaign has faced numerous difficulties, from her confidential security clearance forms being leaked to being infiltrated by conservative group Project Veritas. Despite her strong candidacy, Brat’s loss marks a startling shift in a district that Brat won by 15 points just two years ago.
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell ousted Rep. Carlos Curbelo in a closely-watched race for Florida’s 26th Congressional District. She attracted support from high-profile Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Kamala Harris. Mucarsel-Powell was one of the few female candidates in Florida to win a Congressional seat. Curbelo managed to keep the race close, by distancing himself from President Trump, but ultimately failed to gain the lead. Mucarsel-Powell, who was born in Ecuador, is a former associate dean at Florida International University who had also worked at nonprofits.
Finally, Democrat Mikie Sherrill flipped New Jersey’s 11th district, a House seat long held by Republicans. The former prosecutor and navy pilot defeated the Trump-supporting state Assemblyman Jay Webber to replace a retiring GOP Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen. Sherrill’s moderate economic policies appealed to the affluent voters in her district. Her campaign drew national attention (Biden headlined a rally for her in September) and she shattered the state record for congressional fundraising, with more than $7 million through Sept. 30.