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Winds of Change: The Republican takeover of the House in Tuesday's Congressional midterm election brings with it the departure of some long-serving Democrats who played key roles in defense oversight. In fact, pending the results of one contest in Texas that was still too close to call as of midday Wednesday, it's possible that the top four ranking Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee will not return to the halls of Congress come January. Already known is that Missouri voters ousted Rep. Ike Skelton (D), current HASC chairman, after 33 years in office. Skelton's district includes Whiteman Air Force Base, home of the Air Force's B-2 bomber fleet. Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.), second ranking Democrat on the HASC, also lost his seat after 28 years. The fate of Rep. Solomon Ortiz (Tex.), current HASC readiness panel chair and No. 3 Democrat on the committee, remains unresolved, as Texas state officials have not yet determined the winner of his race against Republican challenger Blake Farenthold. Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), current HASC seapower subcommittee chair, and the No. 4 Democrat, lost his re-election bid, ending his 21 years in office. Continue