Dem Wins NY Election in Upset
Medicare debate boosts Kathy Hochul to victory
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2011 10:33 PM CDT
Updated May 25, 2011 6:00 AM CDT
Democratic candidate for the 26th District Congressional seat, Kathy Hochul arrives at a campaign stop at a restaurant in Amherst, N.Y., yesterday.   (AP Photo/David Duprey)
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(Newser) – Democrat Kathy Hochul has scored an upset win in one of New York state's most conservative congressional districts. Republican Jane Corwin had been expected to easily win the special election in the state's 26th district but her support ebbed away after she expressed support for the GOP's plan to cut billions from Medicare, AP reports.

The Medicare issue drew national attention to the race and many voters said they voted for Hochul because they trusted her to protect the program, the New York Times notes. "It’s a Republican district with a solid Republican candidate,” said Rep. Peter King, a Republican from Long Island. "What went wrong? We definitely have to determine the extent to which the Medicare issue hurt us." The special election was called to replace Chris Lee, who stepped down after he was caught cruising for women on Craigslist.