WASHINGTON — Democrats in Pennsylvania began pulling away in at least four close key House races, led by Democrat Conor Lamb defeating Republican Keith Rothfus in the only duel between two incumbent House members.
Lamb’s victory was called early by various news outlets. Others projected to win in Pennsylvania were Democrat Susan Wild in Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District over Republican Marty Nothstein, and Democrat Chrissy Houlahan in Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District over Republican Greg McCauley, according to news media projections.
Those are open seats previously held by Republicans.
Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to capture the House of Representatives. They also gained at least one seat in Virginia and two in Florida, according to early results from those states.
One of those in Florida was Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who defeated Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) in a highly watched contest.
NBC News projected that Democrat Donna Shalala will win the open Florida seat vacated by retiring Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. That would be another Democratic gain.
In the first Democratic pickup of the night, Democrat Jennifer Wexton was projected to defeat two-term Rep. Barbara Comstock in the seat covering the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.
However, close races in open and toss-up districts remained the rule for the first hours after the polls closed.