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Throughout The Car Industry

Three Dealer Candidates Take House Seats from Incumbents

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On: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 3:09PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Three Dealer Candidates Take House Seats from Incumbents

Three of four current and former dealer candidates took seats from House incumbents yesterday.  Mike Kelly, Republican from Pennsylvania, got involved in the election after he learned that his Cadillac franchise was one of the dealerships that were scheduled for termination by General Motors. The election received a national wave of republican votes, and resulted in a total of 6 dealers (all Republicans) with seats in the House, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association, that’s twice as many as before yesterday’s election. 

The names of the 3 new member of congress are; Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, Scott Rigell of Virginia, and James Renacci of Ohio, according to the Washington post; all 3 won by at least 10 percentage points and 52% of the vote. The Republicans now have majority of the House, led by John Boehner of Ohio.

What are the advantages of auto dealers who hold seats in congress? One example is last year’s landslide vote to rush $2 billion into the popular "cash for clunkers" car purchase program. The program that was in high demand by car buyers who were eager to continue to qualify for thousands of dollars in trade-in incentives.

House members approved the program by 316 to 109, literally within hours of learning from Transportation Secretary, Ray Lahood that funds were just about to dry up.

President Barack Obama said he was encouraged by the House action to keep alive a program that had "succeeded well beyond our expectations."

The program was called the Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS, was successful in its attempt to help the economy and the environment by boosting new, fuel efficient car sales. Car owners received federal subsidies of up to $4,500 for trading in their old gas thirsty “clunkers” for new, more fuel efficient vehicles.

The success of the cash-for-clunkers program was, for many auto dealerships, the difference between being able to stay in business-- or not last year when the automotive sales reached record low numbers.

Having the ability to participate in the vote for a program that carries that much clout in the automotive industry is a huge advantage for the 6 dealers who now have Republican majority House seats.

As of this morning, with 12 race results not in yet, Republicans held a 240 to 183 margin according to the Washington Post.

The Democrats will continue to retain control of the Senate.


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