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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 11/26/2010

California Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney wins re-election; one House race remains undecided

By Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake

1. California Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney has held onto his 11th District seat despite a tough challenge from Republican David Harmer, putting the GOP's net gains in the House at 63 seats with one contest still hanging in the balance.

The Associated Press called the race for McNerney on Wednesday night, with the vote tally showing the Democrat leading his GOP rival by nearly 2,500 votes out of more than 237,000 cast and with 1,900 remaining uncounted. McNerney had already declared victory earlier this month; Harmer has yet to concede the race.

McNerney's win means that none of California's 53 House seats changed party hands in a midterm year that saw the GOP make big gains throughout the country.

The only race remaining undecided is in New York's 1st District, where Rep. Tim Bishop (D) leads Republican Randy Altschuler by 235 votes.

2. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) will make her first visit to Iowa since Election Day on Saturday, when she visits the Hawkeye State as part of her latest book tour.

Palin will make a stop at Borders in West Des Moines to promote her book, "America by Heart." The event marks Palin's first trip to the state since her September speech at the Iowa Republican Party's annual Reagan Day Dinner, in which she energized a group of about 1,500 party activists and stirred speculation that she is seriously considering a 2012 White House bid.

Palin will return to Iowa on Dec. 2 for another book-signing event in Spirit Lake in the northwest part of the state.

Palin's camp has played down the political impact of her Iowa stops, saying that the book-signing events are "not political in any way." The former Alaska governor's ramped-up rhetoric as of late, however, seems to indicate that she is at least testing the waters of a potential presidential bid.

3. Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) said he might run for chairman of the Republican National Committee, but only if current Chairman Michael Steele doesn't seek another term.

"I am not here to do any battles with our chairman; he is a friend," Coleman told C-SPAN's Newsmakers, which is set to air Sunday. "I would say with humility if there was an opportunity to help the party, I would do that."

Coleman has often been discussed as a possible future chairman of the party. But he, unlike most other contenders, is giving deference to Steele.

The only declared candidate is former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis. Other potential candidates include former RNC officials Maria Cino and Gentry Collins, Connecticut GOP Chairman Chris Healy, California GOP Chairman Ron Nehring, Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, Republican Governors Association Executive Director Nick Ayers and former RNC chairman Mike Duncan.

4. An Alaska judge is set to decide whether to change the venue for hearing a lawsuit filed by GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller.

Miller is suing in state court to prevent the counting of write-in ballots in which voters misspelled the name of his opponent, GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Superior Court Judge Douglass Blankenship should decide in the coming days whether to move the proceedings from Fairbanks to Juneau, at the request of the state.

Meanwhile, Murkowski has asked the court for permission to intervene in the case, arguing that it has an effect on her since it could affect her status as the presumptive winner of the race.

Murkowski has been declared the winner of the race by the Associated Press, and she has declared victory. Miller is still pursuing his legal options, even though he would still trail by more than 2,000 votes even if all the challenge write-in ballots were thrown out.

5. Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's (D) Chicago mayoral bid hit a bump on Wednesday when several citizens filed challenges arguing that Emanuel does not meet the residency requirement necessary to run for mayor.

Five Chicago residents with ties to Chicago mayoral candidate William "Dock" Walls filed challenges against Emanuel, according to the Chicago Tribune. The challenges argue that Emanuel's name should not appear on the February ballot because he hasn't been resident in Chicago for the past year, as required by Illinois municipal law.

The court challenges are separate from one expected to be filed as early as Friday by Burt Odelson, a well-known Chicago election law attorney who has served as an adviser to several other candidates in the race and who is spearheading the campaign to challenge Emanuel's residency.

Emanuel's camp contends that he meets the residency requirement because he has owned a home on the city's North Side since 1998, votes absentee in the city, pays property taxes and has registered his car in Chicago. Odelson claims that the fact that Emanuel rented out his home while living in Washington proves that he was not resident in the city.

By Felicia Sonmez and Aaron Blake  | November 26, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: Afternoon Fix: Nearly 40 Republican National Committee members don't want Michael Steele to run for re-election; Sarah Palin takes aim at critics on Facebook

 
 
 
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