Democrat Niki Tsongas, the widow of Sen. Paul Tsongas, has won a special election for a vacant Massachusetts House seat once held by her husband, reports the Boston Globe. Making the election a referendum on President Bush and the war in Iraq, she headed off a strong challenge from a Republican farmer who presented himself as a Washington outsider.
Tsongas, who received 51% of the vote, supports a strict timetable for the withdrawal of American forces. Exit interviews at the polls suggested that her anti-war stance shaved off support from challenger Jim Ogonowski, who criticized the war effort but supports keeping troops there until Iraq is secure. The win makes Tsongas the first woman in Massachusetts' congressional delegation in 25 years.