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Democrats Take Control of House, Key Senate Races Uncertain


The Democratic Party took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in Tuesday's elections. Key senate races in Virginia and Montana remained uncertain and it was unclear, early Wednesday, which party will control the Senate.

For Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the victory in the House of Representatives sends a message about integrity in government, in the wake of congressional scandals, and about the war in Iraq. Pelosi - a member of Congress from San Francisco is set to become the first woman speaker of the House of Representatives, for a two-year term that starts next year. She promises cooperation with Republicans.

"Let us work together to find a solution to the war in Iraq," she said. "The campaign is over. Democrats are ready to lead."

It will be the first time the Democrats have controlled the House of Representatives in 12 years. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says the president is still in charge of foreign policy and the military, but that Democrats will work to change administration policy.

Republican Senator John McCain says Americans are frustrated with the war in Iraq, but he predicts that most members of Congress will not support an immediate withdrawal.

"I believe that if you leave at a date certain or precipitously, that chaos would ensue. And, most every military expert I know feels the same way," he said. "So we have got to prevail here, but I understand the frustration Americans feel."

Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel, who led the Democratic campaign to regain control of the House, promised a new direction in government.

"That is our commitment. And, tonight we extend a hand of cooperation to the president, our colleagues across the aisle. We will work with you when we agree. We will challenge you when we do not," he said. "But our goal will always be the best interests of our country."

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman says his party needs to forge coalitions with congressional Democrats.

Several prominent Republicans lost their seats in the election, including Senate members Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Jim Talent of Missouri.

There was good news for Republicans in California. Although they lost their bid to unseat California's Democratic senator, Dianne Feinstein, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected to a second term as governor.

The former Hollywood star will reprise his political role for the next four years. He celebrated with supporters in Los Angeles.

"What a fantastic evening," he said. "You know, I love doing sequels. I love doing sequels."

American voters selected 36 state governors, 435 members of the House of Representatives, and 33 members of the Senate in Tuesday's election.

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