Democrat Kathy Hochul, wife of Buffalo, N.Y., U.S. Attorney William Hochul, pulled off an upset Tuesday to win a special election for a House seat previously held by Republican Chris Lee.
Hochul received 47 percent of the vote, 3 percent more than Republican Jane Corwin, according to The Associated Press. Tea Party candidate Jack Davis garnered 9 percent of the vote, the AP said.
The special election in the 26th District was seen as a testing ground for Democratic messages heading into the 2012 election and Hochul hammered Republicans over their proposals to change the Medicare program.
Lee resigned Feb. 9 after it was disclosed that he had an e-mail exchange with a woman he found through a Craigslist personal ad. Lee, who is married, sent the woman a shirtless photo of himself. He also lied to her about his job and age.
Hochul currently serves as the Erie County clerk, the the highest ranking female elected official in the county. She previously was first deputy county clerk. Hochul also was a legal counsel and legislative assistant to Sen. Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) and Rep. John LaFalce (D-N.Y.)
And Hochul’s political affiliation wasn’t lost on the George W. Bush Justice Department
William Hochul, a 24-year DOJ veteran and Barack Obama appointee, failed to secure a promotion to a counterterrorism job in D.C. at the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys in 2006 because of his wife’s political affiliation, a 2008 Justice Department Inspector General report concluded. Under the direction of then-DOJ White House liaison Monica Goodling, a less experienced Republican was promoted over Hochul, who handled the successful prosecution of the “Lackawanna Six” for providing material support to al-Qaeda. The Inspector General report didn’t identify Hochul by name, but called the matter “the most troubling example” of politicized hiring that the office examined.