Republican Jim Talent has captured the U-S Senate seat from Missouri, giving Republicans control of the Senate in a surprising victory. Talent squeaked out a narrow win over Democratic incumbent Jean Carnahan, dominating the vote in rural Missouri, and picking up enough votes in urban and suburban areas to carry him to victory. Talent captured about 50-point-one percent of the vote… while Carnahan won about 48-point-four percent. Carnahan conceded the race at about one o’clock Wednesday morning. She told supporters their “cause hasn’t been lessened by defeat or diminished by the heartache we feel tonight.” She called on others to “lift the torch”–a reference to her campaign slogan two years ago, when she was selected to take over for her late husband, Mel Carnahan. Talent used his acceptance speech to call for cooperation in the Senate between the two parties. He says he’ll go to Washington to work with Democrats and Republicans on domestic and foreign policy issues. Because Carnahan had been appointed to her seat after replacing her late husband two years ago, the winner of this election can be appointed to the Senate right away. Democratic Governor Bob Holden is the official charged with appointing Talent. Republicans romped to victory across Missouri in state legislative races, giving them solid control of the Missouri House for the first time in 48 years. Entering Tuesday’s election, Democrats controlled 87 House seats, and the Republicans controlled 75. Today, Republicans control 90 seats. Republican House members will get together this afternoon to choose their leadership for the upcoming session. Representative Catherine Hanaway is in line to become the Speaker of the House. The Republicans won control of the Senate, too…by a 20-14 margin. Former House Speaker Jim Kreider of Nixa, who had given up his House post to run for the Senate, was soundly defeated by Republican Dan Clemens. Clemens had relied heavily on ads featuring President Bush’s endorsement.
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