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Congress / CONGRESS

Top Five Recent Special-Election Upsets -- PICTURES

photo of Ethan Klapper
September 14, 2011

Tuesday's victory of Republican Bob Turner in New York's 9th Congressional District—a historically Democratic district—is just the lastest upset in a Congressional special election. Along with Turner's win, here are four other stunning upsets that have taken place in the past few years.

New York's 9th District, 2011 Bob Turner garnered 54 percent of the vote, pulling off a shocking upset over David Weprin on Tuesday. Turner becomes the first Republican to represent this district in nearly a century. He'll replace disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner, a down-the-line liberal, who resigned in June after he admitted sending lewd pictures to young women.— PHOTO: SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New York's 26th District, 2011 Democrat Kathy Hochul (pictured) defeated Jane Corwin and Independent Jack Davis on May 24, and represents a district that had traditionally voted for Republicans, including former Rep. Thomas Reynolds, a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Hochul replaced former Rep. Chris Lee, a Republican who resigned in January after sending a shirtless photo to a woman he met on Craigslist. Analysts attributed Hochul's victory largely to her opposition to a plan to reform Medicare that was championed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.— PHOTO: CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Hawaii's 1st District, 2010 Republican Charles Djou prevailed in the winner-take-all special election, defeating two leading Democrats, Colleen Hanabusa and Ed Case on May 22. Djou won in the solidly Democratic district—vacated by longtime Rep. Neil Abercrombie so he could run for governor—for precisely that reason: Hanabusa and Case split the vote, garnering about 30 percent each. Djou won with 39 percent. But Djou's time in the House was short-lived: Hanabusa defeated him in the November general election, and now represents the district.— PHOTO: ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES(Alex Wong/Getty Images)


Massachusetts Senate, 2010 In what was viewed as the ultimate rebuke to Democrats, Republican State Sen. Scott Brown defeated Attorney General Martha Coakley in the Jan. 19 special election for the Senate seat of liberal icon Ted Kennedy, who died on Aug. 25, 2009. President Obama’s health care plan played a key role in Coakley's defeat, and she didn’t help herself with gaffes on the campaign trail. Brown is up for a full term in 2012. Among the Democrats hoping to challenge him: consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren.— PHOTO: TIM SLOAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES(Tim Sloan/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

New York's 23rd District, 2009 Democrat Bill Owens narrowly beat two Republicans on Nov. 3 in this dramatic race. Days before the election, under pressure from national Republican leaders, Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava withdrew from the race. The third-party candidate, Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman, was the favorite of the tea party movement. Upon withdrawing, Scozzafava endorsed Owens. In the end, Owens prevailed, beating Hoffman by 2 points. Scozzafava still appeared on the ballot and garnered 5.7 percent of the vote. Owens replaced John McHugh, who was nominated and confirmed to be Army Secretary, and represents a district which was held by Republicans since 1873. He won reelection in 2010, a tough year for Democrats, thanks to Hoffman again running as a third-party candidate.— PHOTO: ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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