Old-Timers Go Modern in Quest to Stay in Congress

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Last October, Skelton held his first town-hall telephone conference call, where he announced his opposition to the federal health care overhaul legislation. He also has begun an electronic newsletter and his speeches are uploaded to YouTube.

His leading Republican opponents, state Sen. Bill Stouffer and former state Rep. Vicky Hartzler, are using most of the same tactics. Skelton's opponent won't be known until the Aug. 3 primary elections.

Republican consultant Brad Todd says the GOP's chance for taking Skelton's seat depends on the size of the expected Repubican surge this November. If Republicans gain 20 U.S. House seats, Skelton's probably won't be one of them. If Republicans pick up about 50 seats — more than enough to retake the majority — Skelton's seat is likely fall, he said.

But Todd knows it won't be easy. "He's going to make us take it from him," he said.

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