(CNN) - Democrats on Sunday cheered a weekend special election in Louisiana, where a Democratic congressional candidate won a seat that has been held by Republicans for decades.
State Rep. Don Cazayoux beat Republican Woody Jenkins in the state's 6th Congressional District by a 49-to-46 percent margin Saturday. Both parties viewed the race as a potential bellwether of November's congressional races, with the national GOP pouring more than $1 million into the contest in an attempt to tie Cazayoux to national Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and presidential candidate Barack Obama.
"Don Cazayoux's victory this evening proves once again that Americans across our country want real solutions and reject Republicans' negative attacks," Pelosi said in a written statement hailing the win.
National Democrats spent more than $1 million as well, airing television ads that questioned whether Jenkins - a newspaper publisher, former state legislator and well-known conservative activist - had paid all his taxes on time.
The contest was to replace U.S. Rep. Richard Baker, an 11-term Republican who resigned in February to become a lobbyist. The district, which includes capital city Baton Rouge and its surrounding parishes, has been held by the GOP since 1974.