GOP to Match Truman-Era High With 246 House Seats

WASHINGTON (AP) -

Republicans will hold at least 246 House seats come January, giving the GOP a commanding majority that matches the party’s post-World War II high during Democratic President Harry S. Truman’s administration.

The GOP retained control of two seats in runoffs in Louisiana, expanding the advantage for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who can afford defections from his increasingly conservative caucus and still get legislation passed. Combined with the Republican takeover of the Senate, Congress will be all-GOP for the final two years of President Barack Obama’s second term.

The latest count gives the GOP a 246-188 majority. One race, in Arizona, is still outstanding.

In Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District, which extends from the state’s northeast into parishes bordering Mississippi, physician Ralph Abraham defeated Jamie Mayo, the Democratic mayor of Monroe. The incumbent, Vance McAllister, had failed to advance to the runoff.

In the 6th Congressional District, in the Baton Rouge area, former state coastal restoration chief Garret Graves turned back Democrat Edwin Edwards, a four-term governor and ex-congressman who had to overcome his 2000 corruption conviction and subsequent prison term.

In a Democratic-held district in the Tucson, Arizona-area, an automatic recount will determine whether Rep. Ron Barber keeps his seat or Republican challenger Martha McSally prevails. McSally led by fewer than 200 votes.