Hell Freezes Over in Western NY: Democrat wins Congressional Seat in Heavy GOP District

hell freezes over

The Associated Press has called the closely watched Congressional special election in New York’s CD-26 for the Democrat Kathy Hochul.  The seat, in a long term conservative district, once held by Jack Kemp was llost due to voter concerns over Republican candidate Jane Corwin’s embrace of the controversial budget plans from Rep. Paul Ryan which called for turning Medicare into a voucher system.

From the New York Times story on the race: “Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.

The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether the party should rethink its commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability as 2012 elections loom.

Two months ago, the Democrat, Kathy Hochul, was considered an all-but-certain loser. But Ms. Hochul seized on her Republican rival’s embrace of the proposal from Representative Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, to overhaul Medicare, and she never let up.

With 66 percent of the precincts reporting, Ms. Hochul led with 48 percent of the vote, to 43 percent for the Republican candidate, Jane L. Corwin.”

Before Republicans scoff at this election as a fluke, I will remind them of the upset in the Massachusetts’ Senate race where Republican Scott Brown tea-partied his way into a seat.  With 18 months to go before the next election, it will be fun to see how many Republicans and Tea Party members start to withdraw support for Ryan’s plan (including those in OC).

  3 comments for “Hell Freezes Over in Western NY: Democrat wins Congressional Seat in Heavy GOP District

  1. junior
    May 25, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Hochul did not run a standard liberal campaign. Her ads informed voters that she’d opposed driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, that she favored a return in pre-Bush tax rates only for people making more than $500,000, and that Corwin had not cut spending in the New York assembly.

  2. junior
    May 25, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Democrats are trying to make the special election in NY-26 a referendum on the Republican’s 2012 chances in light of House Budget Committee Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity plan. Don’t buy it – dems need to explain how this election is any different than the 2009 special election in NY-23.

    Just like NY-23, NY-26 was a three way race where the only reason the Democrat had a chance is because a third candidate split the conservative vote.

    Dems claimed NY-23 was a referendum on Republican’s move to the right after President Obama’s election. When Democrat Bill Owens eventually won, The New York Times called the loss “a blow to the right” that undermined “party’s most deeply held conservative principles.” Democrats took the election as evidence that they would hold on the House in 2010. How did that turn out for them?

  3. May 25, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Junior -I’d also argue that Scott Brown did not run a traditional conservative campaign either; he’s already in trouble with the Tea Party in Massachusetts and may not survive his next election.

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