Brooks wins, Giffords with a narrow lead

Republican Mo Brooks won the race for Alabama's 5th district, which includes NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, defeating Democrat Steve Raby 58-42 percent. Brooks, during a debate with Raby last month, claimed that he would named "to at least two key Congressional Committees that would have a major say in steering funding toward NASA"; as previously noted, it's not clear what he meant, since only appropriators "steer funding" to NASA or other agencies. Brooks succeeds Parker Griffith, the one-term Democrat-turned-Republican who lost to Brooks in the Republican primary. In Arizona's 8th district, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) has a narrow lead over Republican challenger Jesse Kelly: less than 2,500 votes out of nearly 250,000 cast. Even if she wins, though, she will lose her chairmanship of the House Science and Technology Committee's space subcommittee as Republicans take control of the House. In the neighboring 7th district, meanwhile, incumbent Raúl Grijalva (D) also has a narrow lead over "rocket scientist" Ruth McClung (R), although with far fewer votes cast overall.

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