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Hochul wins 26th: Republicans lose long-time hold on district

Kathy Hochul delivers her victory speech
WBFO News photo by Joyce Kryszak
Kathy Hochul delivers her victory speech

By WBFO News

Buffalo, NY – Democrat Kathy Hochul was declared the winner in Tuesday's special election for the 26th Congressional District.

With 89-percent of the precincts reporting, Hochul lead Republican Jane Corwin with 48 to 42 percent.

Hochul gathered with supporters at the UAW Union Hall in Amherst Tuesday evening to watch election results. But it quickly turned into a victory party and a GOP defeat.

Hochul said her win, in a heavily republican and conservative district means voters were willing to "look beyond party labels."

"I just received two very gracious calls from Jane Corwin and Jack Davis and I want to congratulate both of them on a very hard fought campaign. I am so incredibly humbled tonight. I am so looking forward to working for ALL the residents of the 26th District, as I fight for them on the issues I know they care about in Washington," said Hochul in her acceptance speech.

Corwin had lost ground with voters in the fight over the Medicare issue. Hochul supporters chanted "Medicare, Medicare".

"And we can balance our budget the right way--- not on the backs of our seniors---- but by closing corporate loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas, and ending subsidies to Big Oil and yes, by making the multi-millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. And we can ensure we do not decimate Medicare," said Hochul.

Plenty of democratic reaction flowed into our newsroom Tuesday night in response to Hochul's win in a heavily republican district.

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement. Pelosi said Hochul's victory is a tribute to "democrats' commitment to preserve and strengthen Medicare, create jobs, and grow out economy".

Pelosi also said Hochul's win sends a clear message that will echo nationwide.

Pelosi said the GOP saying republicans will be held "accountable" for their vote to end medicare.

Western New York Congressman Brian Higgins also congratulated Hochul's win.

"Today Western New Yorkers voted to send Kathy Hochul to Congress. This is a victory for those who believe seniors, who worked hard all their lives, should be able to retire with dignity and security, and an opportunity to send a tremendous public servant, who embodies the best of Western New York, to our nation's capital to create jobs right here at home. Western New York is a unique community that deserves the dedicated and respected leadership Kathy can deliver. I congratulate Kathy and look forward to having her join me in Congress in the continued fight for Western New York," said Higgins.

Western New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, called Hochul's victory a great night in Western New York.

"I offer my wholehearted congratulations to Kathy on her victory in the 26th district and look forward to welcoming her to Washington and to our hard-working New York delegation. Kathy ran an extraordinary campaign and her steadfast support for Western New York's seniors who count on Medicare and Social Security was certainly noticed and endorsed by the voters of Western New York," said Slaughter.

"We're anxious to have Kathy in Washington and in case she needs it, I've got an extra bedroom," said Slaughter.