In Special Elections, Republicans Win House Seat Vacated by NY's Anthony Weiner, Plus Seat in NV

Thanks for nothing, Anthony Weiner. The House seat that the reliably progressive Rep. held until he was forced to resign for sending inappropriate pictures of himself to women on the Internet has now been taken over by a Republican.

The Timesreports on last night's special election in New York:

A little-known Republican businessman from Queens, channeling voter discontent with President Obama into an upset, won election to Congress on Tuesday from the heavily Democratic district in New York City last represented by Anthony D. Weiner.

The Republican, Bob Turner, a retired cable television executive, defeated Assemblyman David I. Weprin, the scion of a prominent Democratic family in Queens, in a nationally watched special election.

How much "voter discontent with President Obama" impacted the election is up for debate, however.

National Republican leaders immediately trumpeted the victory as a sign of trouble for Mr. Obama’s re-election effort. “An unpopular President Obama is now a liability for Democrats nationwide,” Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement.

But Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said the district’s large concentration of Orthodox Jews made it unusual and meant the race had few national ramifications.

“In this district, there is a large number of people who went to the polls tonight who didn’t support the president to begin with and don’t support Democrats — and it’s nothing more than that,” she said in a telephone interview.

Regardless, Turner is in, and there are at least a few reasons to be weary of him. For instance: Republican Running for Anthony Weiner's Seat: Tax Breaks for the Wealthy, But Not 9/11 Volunteers.

Meanwhile, Republican Mark Amodei defeated Democrat Kate Marshall in Nevada:

Republican Mark Amodei swept past Democrat Kate Marshall on Tuesday to become Nevada’s newest member of Congress. No surprise there. Republicans far outnumber Democrats in the sprawling, heavily rural district, and recent polling had shown the former state GOP chairman with a near-insurmountable lead.

What analysts will probably debate in the coming days is whether Amodei’s victory (coupled with a stunning Democratic defeat in Tuesday's special congressional election in New York) is an ominous sign for President Obama.

For some analysis of these special elections and what they may (or may not) mean for President Obama's 2012 chances, please read Steve Benen at Washington Monthly.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at September 14, 2011, 3:09am

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