Shays, last GOP congressman in New England, loses

Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays is defeated by Democratic challenger Jim Himes.

Published November 5, 2008 3:16AM (EST)

Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn., has lost his reelection battle; he was defeated by Democratic challenger Jim Himes.

In the scheme of things, a single House seat out of a total of 435 isn't that big of a deal. But Shays' loss is symbolic of something much larger. He was New England's last Republican member of the House of Representatives; with his loss, the GOP's map has just shrunk a bit more, pushing it further and further into its last remaining stronghold in the South.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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