Election 2014: GOP Wins a Majority in the Senate

December 8, 2014

Update: On December 6, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) defeated Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) giving Senate Republicans a 54-46 majority.

Following the November 4 midterm elections, Senate Republicans have gained at least seven seats for a total of 52. This gives control of the Senate to the Republicans for the first time since 2006. Republicans held the House of Representatives, which has been Republican-controlled since 2010.

While there are two races that have not been officially called, it seems as though Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) will win re-election in Virginia while Alaska Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) will lose to challenger Dan Sullivan. To further complicate the Senate map, Louisiana will hold a runoff election between incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on December 6. Once these outstanding election results are finalized, there is a high probability that the Republicans will hold a majority with 54 seats.

Changes to the power structure in the Senate also mean changes to committee leadership, including those that affect nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. Longtime Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is expected to become Chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, where he is currently Ranking Member. Additionally, Senator Lamar Alexander is expected to become Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee, where he also currently serves as Ranking Member. Previous Chair, Senator Tom Harkin, is retiring at the end of this year. Finally, while the outcome of the LA Senate race remains uncertain, leadership of the Senate Energy Committee will go to current Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski.

SNMMI will update this article once the remaining elections are finalized.