NEW YORK (AP) — It sounded improbable on the surface that a New York City congressional district where Democrats have a 3-1 registration edge and have held office for nearly a century could even come close to electing a Republican to the U.S. House.
But voter frustration over the sour economy and President Barack Obama's policies made the improbable a reality, as a Republican political novice, Bob Turner, scored an upset victory in a special election Tuesday over David Weprin, a Democratic assemblyman from a prominent local political family. The surprising results in the Brooklyn and Queens-area district portend a perilous national environment for Obama as he prepares to seek re-election next year.
Turner said as much when he stepped before cameras to claim victory Tuesday night.
"This message will resound for a full year. It will resound into 2012," said Turner, a retired broadcasting executive. "I only hope our voices are heard, and we can start putting things right again."
Also Tuesday, Republican Mark Amodei won a landslide victory in a U.S. House special election in Nevada, an important presidential swing state.