In what has been described as a "stunning defeat" for the Republican Party, Democrat Kathy Hochul captured a congressional seat held for four decades by Republicans. The special election in upstate New York was widely seen as a referendum on the Republican budget plan to privatize Medicare.
Hochul defeated Republican Jane L. Corwin, a Clarence assemblywoman, 47 percent to 43 percent, with 97 percent of election districts reporting, while the Tea Party's Jack Davis mustered only 9 percent in his fourth try for the seat. Ian L. Murphy of the Green Party recorded 1 percent, while overall turnout was about 25 percent.
The results marked a stunning defeat for the GOP in a contest that garnered intense national attention as the first competitive race following the Republican takeover of the House in last November's elections. And as a jubilant Hochul took the stage at her headquarters at the UAW Hall in Amherst at about 10:30 p.m., she reminded supporters about the core of her campaign — controversial proposals by the GOP to revamp Medicare. "We had the issues on our side," Hochul said. "We can balance the budget the right way and not on the backs of our seniors.
Hochul ran on a marriage equality platform in a conservative, McCain-voting district represented by Republicans for decades.
The NY-26 special election was to replace disgraced Republican Rep. Chris Lee, the anti-gay conservative New York congressman who abruptly resigned after being exposed for trolling Craigslist with shirtless pics.
Here's to Democrats flipping more districts in November. Watch Hochul's victory speech AFTER THE JUMP ...