Louisiana GOP Picks Vitter, West Virginia GOP Selects Raese

Whether Democrats will retain control of the Senate and House of Representatives, or Republicans take one or both houses and cramp President Obama’s political agenda, is the key question as the November elections near and voters in various states choose candidates for office.

There were primaries in two states over the weekend, with no big surprises among the victors in the Senate races.

Incumbent Sen. David Vitter, R-LA, won his party’s nod to run for re-election Saturday and will face U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon in November. Melancon, a bluedog Democrat, easily won his party’s nod.

Vitter and Melancon have already begun attacking each other in television ads.

In a special primary in West Virginia, that state’s popular Democratic governor, Joe Manchin, won his party’s nomination to run for U.S. Senate, and will face Republican businessman John Raese in November.

Sen. Carte Goodwin, D-WV, was appointed by Manchin in July to temporarily take the seat of deceased Senator Robert Byrd. Manchin and Raese will battle for the more than two years remaining in that Senate term.

Vitter and Manchin appear to be the early favorites in the two races.

There are currently 57 Democrats, 41 Republicans and 2 Independents in the U.S. Senate – 37 Senate seats are up for election this year.

Voters are also choosing candidates to run for every one of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. There are currently 255 Democrats, 178 Republicans and 2 vacancies.

Read more from Joesph Picard at International Business Times

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