In the first heady days of the new House Republican majority, almost every GOP lawmaker voted for the planks in the "Contract With America," even those who otherwise were fairly independent of the leadership. Those votes came back to haunt the Republicans in the fall campaign. Many Democratic challengers seized on their opponents' support for the Contract in order to paint them as clones of Speaker Newt Gingrich. The Democrats also got a boost from President Clinton, who did well throughout the region.
In the House, Republican freshman Bill Martini in New Jersey lost to Paterson Mayor William Pascrell Jr., while two other Republican freshmen, Jon Fox and Phil English of Pennsylvania, appeared to have won re-election. Fox may not be out of the woods yet, though. His 10 vote margin of victory will have to withstand a recount and absentee ballots.
National attention was directed at another freshman, Daniel Frisa on Long Island. Frisa's Democratic opponent was Carolyn Mc Carthy, whose husband was killed and son wounded in the 1993 Long Island Railroad massacre. When Frisa voted to repeal the ban on assault weapons, McCarthy decided to challenge him. Tonight, McCarthy unseated her opponent.
On the Senate side, the dirtiest race in the country, the mud fight between Reps. Robert Torricelli and Dick Zimmer for the seat being vacated by Bill Bradley, dominated the airwaves in New York City and Philadelphia, where both candidates bought hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of television time to attack the other. Torricelli, helped by Clinton's coattails, won the race.
Clinton continues to control the Northeast section of the country with his victory in every state in the region.