Roe, Griffith moving forward after Democrats gain control of the House


Mid-term elections secured two seats for Republicans in our region in the U.S. House of Representatives, but Democrat in races across the country gained control over the House.

After two years of full control by the Republican Party, Democrats won enough seats in the House Tuesday to give them a clear majority.

In Northeast Tennessee, Republican incumbent 1st District Congressman Phil Row was re-elected for his sixth term. He secured nearly 80% of the votes against Democratic challenger Dr. Marty Olsen.

In Southwest Virginia, incumbent 9th District Congressman Morgan Griffith was also re-elected, defeating Democratic challenger Anthony Flaccavento.

WJHL found out how two local incumbent lawmakers will move forward now as members of the minority party in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I’ve been in the minority before, the difference this time is we have a president in my party,” Roe said.

“I’m looking forward to the fight,” Griffith said. “Working with my friends across the aisle when we can but also making sure they are doing things the right way.”

It’s a fight ETSU Political Science Professor David Briley predicts will delay any significant changes.

“I mean the house can pass a bill but then the Senate has to pass a similar bill and unless there is some give and take, I mean you’re going to see the House well ‘we’re going to pass this kind of bill with a very slim majority’  but when it goes to the senate it’s not going to go anywhere,” Briley said.

Congressman Roe said fixing the healthcare system will be a serious challenge.

“The Democrats will not support any changes to the Affordable Care Act so that will make it much more difficult,” Roe said. 

Congressman Griffith said it’s going to be about compromise.

“There are some Democrats who are hard to work with and I’m sure they say the same about some Republicans but by in large there’s a lot of people who get along in D.C.,” Griffith said. 

This will be the 116th Congress, which will convene in January.

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