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Moderate Bass hangs on in N.H.

From Msnbc.com's Tom Curry
In New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District, progressive activists claimed victory Tuesday in the Democratic primary as their candidate Ann McLane Kuster won in a landslide over Katrina Swett, who had run for the seat in 2002. Progressives shunned Swett partly because she’d served as co-chair of Sen. Joe Lieberman’s presidential campaign in 2004.

In the Republican contest, the GOP establishment candidate, former six-term congressman Charlie Bass, defeated anti-abortion conservative Jennifer Horn.

Horn was endorsed by the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund, a pro-life political action committee, and by New Hampshire’s right-leaning newspaper, the Manchester Union Leader, which said “If any candidate can claim the Tea Party mantle this year, it is Jennifer Horn…. We would love to see her in Washington giving grief not only to the Obama administration, but also to her own party's leadership.”

Bass had funding from several of his former GOP House colleagues, including from the PACs of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., Rep. Joe Barton R- Texas and Sen. Richard Burr, R- N.C. Several corporate PACs including those of Aetna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer backed Bass.

He was also supported by the Republican Majority for Choice, a group that supports abortion rights. (The Republican Majority for Choice also backed losing GOP Establishment hopeful Rep Mike Castle in the Delaware Senate primary.)

Bass was ousted in the Democratic of wave of 2006, losing to Paul Hodes, who is giving up the House seat to run the Senate.

When Bass served in the House, he split from most Republicans by voting against oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, against the ban on same-sex marriages, and for allowing abortions to be performed in U.S. military medical facilities.

Bass portrayed himself in 2006 as non-partisan. “I’ve always prided myself on being able to work with Democrats, I get lots of Democratic votes,” he told msnbc.com in an interview in 2006. But this year he’s running on a pledge to repeal President Obama’s health care overhaul.

The district went for Obama in 2008 with 56 percent of the vote.