Posted by: jamesvw | May 25, 2011

Special Elections in New York and California

Results for Congressional Special Elections in New York and California

Two elections have been held over the past week – the first, in California, led to a surprise member of the two-candidate runoff that will be held in a month – and the second that led to a surprise victory for Democrats.

In New York’s 26th district, the most Republican of the state and centered in the north west corner of the state, few had expected Republicans to have a problem holding this seat. Though the previous seat-holder, Chris Lee, had resigned in a sex scandal, conventional wisdom said that Democrats had no chance at winning the election to replace him.

Last night, this was turned on its head when Democrat Kathy Hochul, a local legislator, defeated Republican Jane Corwin, an assemblywoman by slightly less than 5,000 votes. The race had been complicated by the third party candidacy of Jack Davis, a two time Democratic nominee in the district who was running as a Tea Party candidate and drew votes from residents of both parties.

The race also became nationalized as  it hinged on Corwin’s support for the Republican budget which, passed by the Republican House, would change Medicare into a voucher program removing many current recipients from the program and vastly cutting the program’s costs.

Election results in New York’s 26th District, with some rural precincts still outstanding are:

Kathy Hochul – 47% – 48,530
Jane Corwin – 43% – 43,836
Jack Davis – 9% – 9,495
Ian Murphy – 1% – 1,130

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In California’s 36th district, where Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman resigned to run the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at Princeton University, the special election was held last week in California’s first trial run of its “jungle primary system”. In this style of primaries, all candidates from every party run together and the top two vote recipients move onto a runoff, this one scheduled for July 12. This could lead to two emerging from the same party – which was expected in this heavily Democratic district, but self-funding Republican Craig Huey surprised nearly everyone by taking second place. The top vote-getter was Janice Hahn, a Los Angeles City Councilwoman. Left out in the cold was California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, who placed third.

Election results in California’s 36th district were:

Janice Hahn (D) – 24.6% – 15,647
Craig Huey (R) – 22.2% – 14,116
Debra Bowen (D) – 21.1% – 13,407
Marcy Winograd (D) – 9.3% – 5,905
Mike Gin (R) – 7.86% – 4,997
Mike Webb (R) – 6.13% – 3,895

The runoff, again, will be held on July 12

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