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Shuster wins another term

November 08, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster won by a nearly 2-to-1 margin over Democratic challenger Tony Barr among Franklin County voters Tuesday, according to incomplete and unofficial results from the Franklin County Election Board.

Shuster, the incumbent Republican, tallied 65 percent of the vote to 35 percent for Barr, a special education teacher from Claysburg, Pa., who won the Democratic nomination as a write-in candidate.

With 74 of 74 precincts reporting in Franklin County, Shuster received 27,548 votes, while Barr received 15,191.

The congressman said he is eager to return to Washington, D.C., to represent the district, albeit as a member of the minority rather than the majority part in the House.

"Even in the minority party, I believe I can be effective representing the people of the Ninth District," Shuster said Tuesday night. "I'm not going to enjoy the fact that I'm in the minority," he added.

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"This is a democracy and the people are telling us they want a change of course," Shuster said of the nationwide results of House elections. "We have some serious challenges facing the nation," said Shuster, but he believes he can work with the Democratic majority.

Shuster, of Hollidaysburg, Pa., who won a special election in 2001 after the retirement of his father, Bud Shuster, was running for his third full two-year term in Congress.

There were few areas of agreement between Shuster, 45, and the 37-year-old Barr. Shuster touted the region's healthy economy, which he credited in part to tax cuts, while Barr said the federal government needed to do more in the areas of health care, energy and education policy to assure future economic growth.

Both men were also on opposite sides of the fence on the war in Iraq.

Shuster saying the Iraqi government needed continued U.S. support to form a stable democracy. Barr said it is time for the United States to leave and for the Iraqis to take over their own defense.

The Ninth District includes all or parts of 15 counties, in most of which Republicans hold a substantial edge in registered voters over Democrats.

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