Despite dozens of interruptions and multiple smirks and laughs, Joe Biden made a careful point to frequently refer to his vice-presidential debate opponent Paul Ryan as his 'friend.' The former Democratic U.S. Senator called Congressman Ryan his friend 14 times Thursday evening - frequently in the midst of or directly preceding a direct attack on the GOP VP nominee. Biden also referred to Governor Romney and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu as his friend one time each - the latter a friend of "39 years."
The victory by Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark in Tuesday's 5th Congressional District special election marked the 32nd time a U.S. House seat was won by a woman in the Bay State. Since the first woman was elected to the chamber in 1916 (Montana's Jeannette Rankin), Massachusetts has held 627 seats across the subsequent 49 Congresses. Women have been elected to 5.1 percent of these seats, which is the 21st highest rate in the nation. In addition to Clark, four other female U.S. Representatives have served from Massachusetts: Republican Edith Nourse Rogers (18 terms, 1925-1960), Republican Margaret Heckler (eight terms, 1967-1983), Democrat Louise Day Hicks (one term, 1971-1973), and Democrat Niki Tsongas (four terms, 2007-present).
A total of eight candidates will be on the ballot in New Jersey's gubernatorial election Tuesday. That is the lowest number since 1989, when voters got to choose from six candidates in the ballot access-friendly Garden State. There were 19 gubernatorial hopefuls in 1993, 10 in 1997, nine in 2001, 10 in 2005, and a dozen in 2009. Since 1901, an average of eight candidates have appeared on New Jersey's gubernatorial ballot. As a result, candidates have won with a plurality of the vote eight times during this 110+-year period: in 1907, 1913, 1919, 1934, 1981, 1993, 1997, and 2009. In addition to major party nominees Chris Christie and Barbara Buono, the other six candidates running for governor in 2013 are Kenneth Kaplan (Libertarian), Steven Welzer (Green), William Araujo (Peace and Freedom), Jeff Boss (NSA Did 911), Diane Sare (Glass-Steagall Now), and Hank Schroeder (independent).
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