The House’s top Republican defense appropriator has officially won his reelection bid following a competitive race, as the GOP remains on a tight path to secure control of the lower chamber in the next Congress.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee (HAC-D), received 51.6 percent of the vote and defeated former federal prosecutor Democrat Will Rollins to secure his seat for California’s newly-drawn 41st district.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) speaks at the OM&S Warehouse ribbon-cutting ceremony at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division on Nov. 8. 2019. Photo by Sgt. Becky Cleveland, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division

Calvert, who has served in Congress since 1993, has been a vocal proponent of increased defense spending on HAC-D and is poised to lead the panel if Republicans secure the 218 seats needed to control the House.

As of Defense Daily’s deadline several House races remain uncalled, while Republicans have won 216 seats and are two away from the majority.

Several of the largest defense contractors’ political action committees (PAC) were among the top donors to Calvert’s campaign in the 2022 election cycle, according to Center for Responsive Politics’, including General Atomics, BAE Systems, Boeing [BA], General Dynamics [GD], Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII], L3Harris Technologies [LHX], Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Northrop Grumman [NOC].

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), who handily won her reelection bid for Minnesota’s 4th district, currently serves as the HAC-D chair and would move over to the ranking member role if the GOP controls the House.

Several of Democrats’ most competitive races featured members of the House Armed Service Committee, with panel members such as Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) securing key seats, while lead Navy proponent Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) lost her reelection bid to Republican candidate and fellow Navy veteran Jen Kiggans (Defense Daily, Nov. 9).