Pa Cs Cross The Street

Representative Sam M. Gibbons (D-Fla.) was one of the lucky survivors of last November's Republican hurricane. The veteran legislator held off a spirited challenge from Republican Mark Sharpe to win a 17th term, thanks in large measure to cash from Corporate America. Companies and trade associations, expecting Gibbons to return as chairman of the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee, ponied up 56% of the $1.2 million raised by his campaign. But now that they're in the minority, Gibbons and many other Democratic incumbents may be ill-prepared to withstand another GOP storm in 1996. "The last election has struck fear into the hearts of a lot of people," admits one Democratic aide.

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