Ten members of Congress who are unopposed

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, meets with reporters as Congress prepares to shut down until after the elections in November, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


Guaranteed Winners: 10 members of Congress who are unopposed

Even in a bad year, the vast majority of incumbent members of Congress win re-election. But not all of them have it so easy that they don’t even have an opponent. Here are the 10 guaranteed winners this year.

Storified by Digital First Media · Fri, Sep 21 2012 11:02:53

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)

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It’s good to be king, or, at least, speaker of the House. Speaker John Boehner raised $18 million this cycle and won his last race with 65 percent of the vote, so it’s not surprising Democrats couldn’t even find token opposition.

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.)

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Maybe the hats scared them off. Rep. Frederica Wilson, who represents a majority African-American district in southern Florida, is known for her colorful hats. She won her district with 86 percent of the vote in 2010 against a candidate who filed as “No Party Affiliation.” Her predecessor, Rep. Kendrick Meek, also frequently ran unopposed.

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.)

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Best known outside South Carolina for his outburst during President Obama’s 2009 address to Congress, Rep. Joe Wilson was something of a “fundraising star” last cycle. With only $31,000 cash on hand now, his star has dimmed, but he still won his last election with 53 percent of the vote, so no Democrat stepped up this year.

Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.)

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There’s no particular reason Rep. Austin Scott is unopposed. A first-term representative, he raised $910,000 for his campaign, a decent amount but not earth-shattering, and he won his seat with 53 percent of the vote, which is good but not great. Plus, he’s in a newly redrawn district. But no Democrat came forward, so he’s a lock on a second term.

Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.)

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Rep. Richard Neal is no stranger to running unopposed. In his very first race in 1988, he faced only token opposition from a Communist Party candidate. Since then, he’s frequently run unopposed, winning 98 percent of the vote. He defeated a Republican opponent last year with 57 percent of the vote, so no member of the GOP stepped forward this year.

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas)

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Rep. Sam Johnson is a conservative guy from a conservative district. He beat a Democratic opponent in 2010 with 66 percent of the vote, which was still a bit shy of the 74 percent trouncing he gave another opponent in 2002. Plus he’s got $681,000 in cash on hand. It’s not surprising Democrats chose to sit this one out.

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio)

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Rep. Marcia Fudge won her first campaign in 2008 a majority African-American district in Ohio with 85 percent of the vote. She defeated the same Republican opponent in 2010 with 83 percent of the vote. Neither he nor anyone else stepped forward this year, so she should be able to improve her margin to roughly 100 percent.

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Texas)

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Rep. Paul Broun almost had a primary challenger. A former Republican representative considered running against him earlier this year but decided against it. Broun defeated Democratic opponents by 61 and 67 percent in 2008 and 2010. Though his district was recently redrawn, it’s still Republican enough that no Democrat wanted to take a shot.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.)

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Rep. Jim McGovern has been ranked one of the most liberal members of Congress, and his district seems to like it. He’s run unopposed four times previously and defeated Republican opponents with 57 and 71 percent of the vote in two other elections. No Republicans in his district stepped forward this year. 

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.)

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Rep. Tim Huelskamp is only in his first term in Congress, but since he won with 74 percent of the vote in 2010, no Democrat had the stomach to challenge him this year. 

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