Three Powerful Democratic Chairmen Toppled

Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:18pm

Updated: 7:56 a.m.

Three longtime House Democrats holding gavels of power were defeated Tuesday night, with Republicans ousting Members with 98 years of combined experience who served as top lieutenants to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar (Minn.), Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (Mo.) and Budget Chairman John Spratt (S.C.) all lost as Republicans regained control of the chamber in a wave that has ousted at least 60 Democrats.

Skelton lost to former state Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R) after 17 terms in the House in Missouri’s 4th district. The last time Skelton had a competitive election was in 1982, when redistricting placed him in a district with another incumbent.

Spratt lost to GOP challenger Mick Mulvaney in South Carolina’s 5th district. He served 14 terms.
Oberstar, who has served 18 terms in Congress, was defeated by Chip Cravaack (R), the Associated Press called early Wednesday morning.

Steve Peoples contributed to this report.