Typically occupied by a Republican in the largely conservative district, the recently vacated House seat in New York's 26th Congressional District is now to be occupied by a Democrat.
On Tuesday, Democrat Kathy Hochul beat out Republican candidate Jane Corwin in a vote that was 47 percent to 43 percent, with 83 percent of the vote tallied at close to 11 p.m. eastern time, AP reported.
The special election was to replace disgraced Republican Chris Lee, who famously, while married, responded to a personal ad from a woman on craigslist, sending her a shirtless photo taken with his Blackberry.
The win, many say, comes as a result of voters' objection to the national GOP's plan to change Medicare, a budget proposal drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. that would phase out Medicare as a fee-for-service system and replace it with a private insurance program backed by government subsidies. People 55 and older would not be affected by the plan.
The three reasons a Democrat was elected to Congress in the district were Medicare, Medicare and Medicare, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y., said in an interview with the Washington Post.
Hochul, the Erie County clerk, turned the campaign into a referendum on the Medicare plan after House Republicans approved the proposal as a way to curb deficit spending in Washington. The proposal was one Republican Corwin supported.
We can balance our budget the right way and not on the backs of our seniors, Hochul said at her victory party. We had the issues on our side-did we not have right issues on our side?
Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York praised Hochul as a great candidate, saying in a statement that the outcome was proof that New Yorkers of all political persuasions do not want to destroy Medicare.
And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California issued a statement, saying, victory in a staunchly Republican district has shocked the political world and sent an unmistakable sign that the American people will not stand for the Republicans' reckless and extreme agenda to end Medicare, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.