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Southern Baptist incumbents all regain seats in Congress

WASHINGTON (BP)–Twenty four Southern Baptists seeking reelection to Congress retained their seats in Nov. 7 balloting.

In the House of Representatives, 21 Republicans and four Democrats who are members of churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention won reelection.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi easily was reelected, defeating Democrat Troy Brown with about 67 percent of the vote.

It is uncertain, however, if Lott is still a member of a SBC-affiliated church. Lott had been a member of First Baptist Church, Pascagoula, Miss., but is no longer, a church staff member said. A spokesman for Lott said he believes the senator still attends a SBC church, but he is uncertain where his membership is. Lott was inaccessible because of the election, the spokesman said

A Southern Baptist may be one of the Senate’s new members. Missouri voters elected the late Gov. Mel Carnahan to the Senate in a challenge of Republican incumbent John Ashcroft. Carnahan’s widow, Jean, has said she would accept appointment by Democrat Roger Wilson, who replaced her husband as governor, to fill her husband’s seat. A court challenge of the election may be attempted.

Jean Carnahan is a member of First Baptist Church, Rolla, Mo., as was her husband. He, as well as their son, died in an airplane crash about three weeks before the election.

Two Southern Baptists retired from the House. Democrat Owen Pickett of the second district of Virginia retired after seven terms. Republican Tom Coburn left after representing the second district of Oklahoma for three terms.

Here is a list of Southern Baptists reelected to the House. Vote totals are from the Web site of CNN and represent 99 or 100 percent of precincts reporting, unless otherwise noted, as of 11 a.m. (EST) Nov. 8. The church cited for each incumbent is where he is a member.


Rep. Terry Everett, Republican, Second District, First Baptist Church (hereafter, Baptist Church will be referred to as BC), Enterprise, seeking fifth term, defeated Charles Woods, Democrat, 154,781-67,623, 69-30 percent.

Rep. Bob Riley, R., Third District, First BC, Ashland, seeking third term, was unopposed.

Rep. Spencer Bachus, R., Sixth District, Hunter Street BC, Hoover, seeking fifth term, was unopposed.


Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R., Sixth District, First Southern BC, Scottsdale, seeking fourth term, defeated Larry Nelson, D., 159,935-97,857, 61-37 percent.


Rep. Asa Hutchinson, R., Third District, First BC, Fort Smith, seeking third term, was unopposed.


Rep. Joe Scarborough, R., First District, First BC, Pensacola, seeking fourth term, was unopposed.


Rep. Nathan Deal, R. Ninth District, First BC, Gainesville, seeking fifth term, defeated James Harrington, D., 180,477-59,231, 75-25 percent.


Rep. Ron Lewis, R., Second District, White Mills BC, White Mills, seeking fifth term, defeated Brian Pedigo, D., 141,724-74,330, 65-35 percent.

Rep. Harold Rogers, R., Fifth District, First BC, Somerset, seeking 11th term, defeated Sydney Jane Bailey, D., 144,608-52,455, 73-27 percent.

Rep. Ernie Fletcher, R., Sixth District, Porter Memorial BC, Lexington, seeking second term, defeated Scotty Baesler, D., and Gatewood Galbreath, Independent, 140,071-92,244-32,047, 53-35-12 percent.


Rep. Steny Hoyer, D., Fifth District, Broadview BC, Temple Hills, seeking 11th term, defeated Thomas Hutchins, R., 159,553-84,542, 65-35 percent.


Rep. Roger Wicker, R., First District, First BC, Tupelo, seeking fourth term, defeated Joey Grist, D., 143,653-58,220, 71-29 percent.

Rep. Charles (Chip) Pickering, R., Third District, First BC, Laurel, seeking third term, defeated William Clay Thrash, D., 151,175-52,666, 74-26 percent.


Rep. Richard Gephardt, D., Third District, Third BC, St. Louis, House minority leader, seeking 13th term, defeated Bell Federer, R., 147,225-100,965, 58-40 percent.

Rep. Roy Blunt, R., Seventh District, Second BC, Springfield, seeking third term, defeated Charles Christup, D., 202,305-65,510, 74-24 percent.

North Carolina:

Rep. Charles Taylor, R., 11th District, First BC, Brevard, seeking sixth term, defeated Sam Neill, D., 143,743-110,571, 55-43 percent.


Rep. J.C. Watts, R., Fourth District, Bethel BC, Norman, Republican Conference chairman, seeking fourth term, defeated Larry Weatherford, D., 114,000-54,808, 65-32 percent.

Rep. Frank Lucas, R., Sixth District, First BC, Cheyenne, seeking fifth term, defeated Randy Beutler, D., 95,635-63,106, 60-40 percent.

South Carolina:

Rep. Lindsey Graham, R., Third District, Corinth BC, Seneca, seeking fourth term, defeated George Brightharp, D., 146,162-66,980, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, 68-31 percent.


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

Rep. Zach Wamp, R., Third District, Red Bank BC, Chattanooga, seeking fourth term, defeated William Callaway, D., 139,840-75,786, 64-35 percent.


Rep. Max Sandlin, D., First District, First BC, Marshall, seeking third term, defeated Noble Willingham, R., 118,007-90,886, 56-44 percent.

Rep. Jim Turner, D., Second District, First BC, Crockett, seeking third term, was unopposed.

Rep. Tom DeLay, R., 22nd District, First BC, Sugar Land, House majority whip, seeking ninth term, defeated Jo Ann Matranga, D., 154,279-92,488, 61-37 percent.
Laura Headley of the Ethics & Religious Commission contributed to this article.

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