ADDS DETAILS THROUGHOUT
By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – Democratic challenger Jennifer Wexton upset Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock Tuesday night for a seat in the House of Representatives — the first in a growing wave of victories critical to Democratic hopes in the chamber.
The seat in Virginia's 10th congressional district was the first Democratic pickup of the night in the federal legislature as the party seeks to seize on an energized American electorate in this year's midterm elections.
It was closely followed by a rapid-fire projection in favor of Democrat Donna Shalala, who is set to replace outgoing Florida Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Democrats took at least 14 more races as polling stations closed in much of the western U.S.
Among those victories is Sharice Davids, who is set to replace four-term Representative Kevin Yoder. Her victory marks yet another historic milestone in the federal legislature, as Davids will be the first Native American woman and the first lesbian Native American elected to Congress.
Democrats need to pick up 23 seats in the chamber without losing any they currently hold in order to take control of the House. They have the best chance of securing a majority in that chamber but face steep odds in being able to do the same in the Senate, where most of the seats up for election are held by Democratic incumbents.
But at least one House seat held by a Democrat has gone to the Republicans.
In the Senate, Republicans are projected to pick up at least two seats from Democrats, putting the total number of seats they will control in the 100-member chamber at just under half, or 49 seats.
The midterms are critical for U.S. President Donald Trump as he seeks to secure his legislative agenda for the final two years of his first term in office.