In a special House election carefully watched by national political strategists, Democrat Kathy Hochul won what had been a Republican seat Tuesday in upstate New York, lifting Democrats’ hopes for the 2012 campaign.
As her campaign’s centerpiece, Hochul attacked changes in the Medicare program proposed by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan.
“I will fight any plan that tries to decimate Medicare — that is something people in this district feel passionately about and I do as well,” Hochul said in a debate last week with Republican opponent Jane Corwin, who supported the Ryan budget plan.
Hochul captured 47 percent of the vote, Corwin 43 percent. Also on the ballot was a Democrat-turned-Tea Party candidate, Jack Davis, who took 9 percent.
Celebrating victory, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rep. Steve Israel said, "Even in one of the most Republican districts, seniors and independent voters rejected the Republican plan to end Medicare."