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Inside Politics

Boswell defeats Thompson in rematch

Iowa 3rd Congressional District

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell, above, defeated GOP challenger Stan Thompson in a rematch of their 2002 race.
House: IA 03 Updated: 5:33 p.m. ET
Boswell 55%
Thompson 45%
100% precincts reporting
Election Results Main Page

(CNN) -- Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell defeated Republican challenger Stan Thompson for a second time in Iowa's 3rd Congressional District.

CNN projected that Boswell would win the race with 55 percent of the vote to Thompson's 45 percent. It was a slight improvement over Boswell's win in 2002, in which he defeated Thompson with a 54 percent margin.

Thompson repeated many charges he leveled against Boswell in the earlier campaign, including accusing the Democrat of breaking a term-limit pledge he made when he first ran for office. Boswell called the promise a mistake and asserted his four terms have allowed him to develop seniority.

The 44-year-old Thompson also made an issue of Boswell's age -- 70 -- running an ad that depicts an aging, overweight man struggling to swing a baseball bat.

A few billboards in the Des Moines area were another source of controversy. The signs -- "Congressman Leonard Boswell supports amnesty for illegal aliens. Do you?" -- referred to Boswell's co-sponsoring of a bill that would help undocumented immigrants working on farms gain legal status. Although Thompson opposed the bill, he said he did not endorse the ads and called on the independent group responsible to take them down.

Thompson, a staunch supporter of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq, raised a new issue in this campaign, accusing Boswell of not funding the troops because he voted to authorize the use of force but against an $87 billion package to finance the war.

Boswell countered that there was plenty of money available to support the troops and there was no method for holding officials accountable for how the $87 billion would be spent.

In the week before Election Day, Thompson's strategy didn't appear to be any more effective this time around, as Thompson was again considered the underdog in a district that has approximately 30,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans.

Boswell has served in the House since 1996. He received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Graceland College and spent 20 years in the Army, including two tours in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. He later farmed near Davis City before entering state politics.

Thompson, the first in his family to attend college, graduated from Iowa State University and received his law degree from George Washington University. After clerking for a judge at the Iowa Court of Appeals, he joined one of Iowa's largest law firms. A long-time GOP activist, Thompson became more involved in politics after working on President Bush's 2000 campaign.

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