For two years, Democratic Whip David Bonior of Michigan has been Speaker Newt Gingrich's harshest critic in the House. Bonior has filed several complaints with the House ethics committee and has repeatedly attacked Gingrich's alleged ethical lapses, which currently are the subject of an investigation by the ethics panel. In short, there is no one in the House the Republicans would like to defeat more. But it wasn't to be as Bonior defeated their candidate, former Michigan State GOP Chairwoman Suzy Heintz.
Another Michigan race also attracted national attention. Freshman Republican Dick Chrysler was one of the lawmakers targeted by the AFL-CIO's $35-million advertising campaign. Democrat Debbie Stabenow was the beneficiary, defeating high profile incumbent.
In Illinois, Rep. Richard Durbin won the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Paul Simon, but Al Salvi, a conservative state representative who upset Lt. Gov. Bob Kustra in the GOP primary, made a race of it.
Perhaps the most endangered freshman Republican in the nation was Michael Patrick Flanagan. He ousted scandal-scarred Dan Rostenkowski in 1994 in the heavily Democratic district, but was defeated by state Rep. Rod Blagojevich.
President Clinton's victory in electorally pivotal helped the Democrats to defeat two Republican House members, sophomore Rep. Martin Hoke and freshman Rep. Frank Creamans.