WASHINGTON - Rep. Marge Roukema took a big step this week toward becoming the next head of the House Banking Committee by winning the Republican primary in New Jersey's 5th Congressional District.

The 10-term moderate lawmaker barely won, defeating conservative state Assemblyman E. Scott Garrett by 52% to 48%. The margin of victory was 1,643 votes, even closer than her 1,700-vote squeaker over Mr. Garrett in the 1998 primary.

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