Shuster fends off Barr's challenge, is re-elected to U.S. House

November 05, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- For the second time in two years U.S. Representative Bill Shuster appeared to have beaten back a challenge from Democrat nominee Tony Barr in his bid for re-election to the ninth District seat in the House of Representatives.

According to complete but unofficial results, Shuster received 171,636 votes, or 64 percent, to 97,237 for Barr.

Shuster's margin of victory appears to be at least equal to that of his 2006 race against Barr, but he will be returning to a House that he said will have about 20 fewer Republican seats. In the Senate, he said, the Democrats could have 57 seats, nearly the 60 needed for a filibuster-proof majority.

"The Democrats will have a huge margin as well as the White House, so it's going to be a huge struggle" for Republicans to attempt to restrain spending in some areas, while cutting the defense budget.

"I have great concerns about what his issues are," Shuster said of president-elect Barack Obama. He called Obama's policies "socialistic" and said income tax increases will not be limited to those making more than $250,000 a year.


"It will trickle down," Shuster said, perhaps to as low as households with incomes of $100,000.

"I can't pinpoint one thing," Shuster said of the losses the GOP has sustained in the House and Senate and, now, the White House. "I think there are an array of things. I think the American people are fatigued with the war," said Shuster, who consistently supported Bush policies in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The economy was the other major factor in the national results on Tuesday, he said.

"As Republicans, we've got a lot to do to rebuild our party and get out our message," he said.

Barr, 39, of Claysburg, Pa., is a special education teacher at Everett High School and was is his second bid to unseat Shuster, 47, who was seeking his fifth term. In 2006 the Democrats had no name on the ballot for the primary and Barr won the nomination by write-in votes.

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