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Carnahan only Southern Baptist in Congress to lose election

WASHINGTON (BP)–All but one Southern Baptist incumbent in Congress won election Nov. 5, but that loss undoubtedly provided encouragement for pro-life and pro-family conservatives, including many Southern Baptists.

Sen. Jean Carnahan, a Southern Baptist, fell to conservative Republican Jim Talent in a race that helped give the GOP a majority in the Senate. Talent defeated Carnahan by a margin of 50-49 percent.

The defeat closed the nearly two-year term Carnahan served after she was appointed to the seat following the 2000 election. She was selected after her husband, Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan, was elected posthumously. He and their son died in a plane crash about three weeks before the election.

Unlike most Southern Baptists, Carnahan supported abortion rights. For more than two decades, messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention have approved resolutions opposing abortion and supporting a variety of pro-life positions.

Talent, an evangelical Christian, became known as strongly pro-life during his eight years as a member of the House of Representatives. Because it was a special election, he will not have to wait until January but will take office when the election is certified.

The 2002 election marked the close of a two-year period filled with change for Southern Baptists in Congress.

Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, both Republicans and Southern Baptists, announced their retirements. When he completes his term, Thurmond will have served in the Senate for eight terms or 48 years. Helms has been in the Senate for 30 years.

Another Southern Baptist will replace Thurmond. Rep. Lindsey Graham, a Republican who served four two-year terms in the House, defeated Democrat Alex Sanders in a 54-44 percent vote. Graham is a member of Corinth Baptist Church in Seneca, S.C.

Among Southern Baptists in the House, Rep. J.C. Watts, R.-Okla., chose to retire after four terms but did not rule out an attempt to return to Congress in the future. Rep. Joe Scarborough, R.-Fla., resigned in 2001 during his fourth term. Rep. Asa Hutchinson, R.-Ark., accepted President Bush’s appointment as administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2001. John Boozman, also a Southern Baptist, won a special election later that year to replace Hutchinson and gained election to his first full term Nov. 5.

Rep. Bob Riley, R.-Ala., left Congress after three terms to seek the state’s governorship but fell short to incumbent Gov. Don Siegelman by barely 3,000 votes. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Siegelman led, 674,052 to Riley’s 670,913.

Following is a list of the election results for Southern Baptist incumbents in Congress. Vote totals are from the website of CNN and represent 99 or 100 percent of precincts reporting by 9 a.m. Eastern time Nov. 6. The church cited for each incumbent is where he is a member. (Although there were three or more candidates in some races, only the vote totals for the top two finishers are provided.)



Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican, Crescent Hill Baptist Church, Louisville, seeking fourth term, defeated Lois Combs Weinberg, Democrat, 721,379-399,143, 64-36 percent.


Sen. Thad Cochran, R., Northminster BC, Jackson, seeking fifth term, defeated Shawn O’Hara, Reform, 521,482-94,096, 85-15 percent.


Jim Talent, R., defeated Sen. Jean Carnahan, D., First BC, Rolla, seeking first full term, 931,423-907,892, 50-49 percent.



Rep. Terry Everett, Republican, Second District, First BC, Enterprise, seeking sixth term, defeated Charles Woods, D., 129,208-55,483, 69-29 percent.

Rep. Spencer Bachus, R., Sixth District, Hunter Street BC, Hoover, seeking sixth term, defeated J. Holden McAllister, Libertarian, 178,544-19,636, 90-10 percent.


Rep. John Boozman, R., Third District, First BC, Rogers, seeking first full term, was unopposed.


Rep. Nathan Deal, R., Ninth District, First BC, Gainesville, seeking sixth term, was unopposed.


Rep. Ron Lewis, R., Second District, White Mills BC, White Mills, seeking sixth term, defeated David Williams, D., 122,244-51,607, 70-29 percent.

Rep. Harold Rogers, R., Fifth District, First BC, Somerset, seeking 12th term, defeated Sidney Bailey, D., 134,948-37,682, 78-22 percent.

Rep. Ernie Fletcher, R., Sixth District, Porter Memorial BC, Lexington, seeking third term, defeated Gatewood Galbraith, Independent, 115,522-41,853, 72-26 percent.


Rep. Steny Hoyer, D., Fifth District, Broadview BC, Temple Hills, seeking 12th term, defeated Joseph Crawford, R., 133,819-58,247, 70-30 percent.


Rep. Roger Wicker, R., First District, First BC, Tupelo, seeking fifth term, defeated Rex Weathers, D., 92,245-30,975, 71-24 percent

Rep. Charles (Chip) Pickering, R., Third District, First BC, Laurel, seeking fourth term, defeated Rep. Ronnie Shows, D., 137,718-74,878, 64-35 percent. (The race between incumbents was produced by redistricting.)


Rep. Richard Gephardt, D., Third District, Third BC, St. Louis, House minority leader, seeking 14th term, defeated Catherine Enz, R., 121,833-80,375, 59-39 percent.

Rep. Sam Graves, R., Sixth District, First BC, Tarkio, seeking second term, defeated Cathy Rinehart, D., 131,155-73,175, 63-35 percent.

Rep. Roy Blunt, R., Seventh District, Second BC, Springfield, seeking fourth term, defeated Ron Lapham, D., 149,489-45,952, 75-23 percent.

North Carolina:

Rep. Charles Taylor, R., 11th District, First BC, Brevard, seeking seventh term, defeated Sam Neill, D., 111,364-85,751, 56-43 percent.


Rep. Brad Carson, D., Second District, First BC, Claremore, seeking second term, defeated Kent Pharoah, R., 146,310-51,678, 74-26 percent.

Rep. Frank Lucas, R., Sixth District, First BC, Cheyenne, seeking sixth term, defeated Robert Murphy, L., 148,206-47,884, 76-24 percent.

South Carolina:

Rep. Henry Brown, R., First District, Cooper River BC, North Charleston, seeking second term, defeated James Dunn, United Citizens, 125,277-9,675, 90-7 percent.


Rep. William Jenkins, R., First District, First BC, Rogersville, seeking fourth term, was unopposed.

Rep. Zach Wamp, R., Third District, Red Bank BC, Chattanooga, seeking fifth term, defeated John Wolfe, D., 110,594-57,802, 65-34 percent.


Rep. Max Sandlin, D., First District, First BC, Marshall, seeking fourth term, defeated John Lawrence, R., 85,943-66,863, 56-44 percent.

Rep. Jim Turner, D., Second District, First BC, Crockett, seeking fourth term, defeated Van Brookshire, R., 85,108-53,179, 61-38 percent.

Rep. Tom DeLay, R., 22nd District, First BC, Sugar Land, House majority whip, seeking 10th term, defeated Tim Riley, D., 100,024-55,570, 63-35 percent.


Randy Forbes, R., Fourth District, Great Bridge BC, Chesapeake, seeking second term, was unopposed.