US airline merger critic Oberstar loses House seat

Washington DC
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Outspoken US airline merger opponent Representative James Oberstar lost his re-election bid on 2 November as Republicans regained control of the US House of Representatives.

Oberstar, chairman of the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure committee, was defeated by slightly more than 4,000 votes by Republican challenger Chip Cravaack.

Oberstar, a Democrat representing a northeast Minnesota district, stood strongly opposed to airliner merger deals.

He also was a strong advocate for the US FAA's NextGen modernization plan for the air traffic control system.

With Republicans re-taking the majority in the House, control of Oberstar's committee will shift to the opposite party. Representative John Mica, a Florida Republican who easily won re-election, is currently the ranking member, and is poised to resume the chairman's seat on the committee.