Thursday, April 30, 2009


The outcome of the special election that I wrote about here, has been decided. Yesterday, Democrat Scott Murphy took the oath of office as the new congressman from the 20th district of New York. Murphy's Republican opponent, James Tedisco, conceded defeat last weekend. The outcome was in doubt for almost a month, because the margin of victory was very small.

That completes a musical chairs game in New York politics, that was set off when Hillary Clinton, then the state's junior senator, was appointed secretary of state. Murphy replaces Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed to succeed Clinton in the Senate.

Murphy's victory adds to his party's sense of momentum on Capitol Hill, occurring in the same week as Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter's decision to move to the Democratic side of the aisle.

The 20th district had been in Republican hands for several years, before Gillibrand won it, when the Democrats' regained a majority in the House in the 2006 election. So, it's exactly the type of district that the Democrats need to keep, if they're going to maintain their majority in 2010 and beyond.

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