Key House transportation figures win reelection

Leadership figures on Transportation Committee return to Congress, as do two members of Railroads subcommittee
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Notable federal results with transportation significance from Tuesday's election:

— The three leadership figures on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure all won reelection. In Oregon, Democrat Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, defeated challenger Alek Skarlatos to win the state’s 4th Congressional District with 58% of the vote, according to the Oregonian newspaper. Another Democrat, Vice Chair Salud Carbajal, is projected to have won California’s 24th Congressional District; as of late Tuesday, with 65% of precincts reporting, he had 62.4% of the vote against Republican challenger Andy Caldwell. And Ranking Member Sam Graves handily won reelection in Missouri’s 6th Congressional District with 67.1% of the vote compared to 30.8% for Democratic challenger Gena Ross.

— That committee’s Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials will have a new chair because Democrat Daniel Lipinski lost in the primary for Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. The other two leadership figures, Vice Chair Colin Allred (D-Texas District 32) and Ranking Member Rick Crawford (R-Ark. District 1), both won reelection. Crawford ran unopposed.

— Also of note: Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa. District 11) handily won reelection. Smucker has introduced a bill requiring Amtrak to turn ownership of its Philadelphia-Harrisburg Keystone Line over to the state of Pennsylvania [see “Digest: Legislation introduced to transfer Keystone Line …,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 16, 2020], and was one of four House members who wanted an investigation into Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s use of an Amtrak campaign train [see “Four Republican congressmen question Amtrak role in Biden campaign train,” News Wire, Oct. 21, 2020].

— None of the key Senate figures on the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, or its Transportation and Safety Committee, were up for reelection; significant change would likely come there only if Democrats gain control of the Senate, which is still possible but seen as unlikely. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) is the chair of the Commerce Committee, with Maria Cantell (D-Wash.) the ranking member; on the Transportation Subcommittee, Deb Fisher (R-Neb.) is the chair and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is the ranking member.

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