(CNN) – It took nearly a month, but Democrat Scott Murphy has won the battle for New York's 20th congressional district.
Republican James Tedisco conceded Friday and called Murphy by phone to offer congratulations.
"I look forward to rolling up my sleeves in Washington to bring jobs, opportunity and prosperity back to upstate New York," Murphy said in a statement.
The race was too close to call following the March 31 election. But as absentee and overseas ballots poured in the past few weeks, Murphy's lead grew.
The Missouri-born Murphy, 39, is a millionaire venture capitalist. Tedisco, 58, is a longtime New York state lawmaker and ranking Republican in the State Assembly.
The candidates were running to replace Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed to Hillary Clinton's former Senate seat by New York Gov. David Paterson. Clinton is now secretary of state in President Barack Obama's cabinet.
What normally would have been a local contest with little national interest partially evolved into an early referendum on Obama, his polices to jumpstart the economy, and the reputations of the Democratic and Republican parties, as both national parties and their congressional committees poured money and resources into the race.
The 20th is a moderate-to-conservative district that Republicans dominated for decades. Gillibrand first won election to the seat in 2006 and was re-elected last November.
The GOP enjoyed a wide edge in voter registration in the district, which includes portions of the Catskills, parts of the upper Hudson River valley, the Saratoga Springs area, Lake George and portions of the Adirondacks. George W. Bush won the district in the 2004 election but Obama narrowly took the district last November.
The Republicans have fared poorly in New York in the past two elections, losing six House seats in 2006 and 2008, leaving them with just three in the 29-seat delegation. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, on the job for just three months, made recapturing the seat a top priority and appeared twice with Tedisco.
But with the election so close, both parties hailed the results.
"Just a few short months ago, President Obama carried this district and Kirsten Gillibrand won by an overwhelming margin against a well-funded challenger," said Rep. Pete Sessions, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. "For the first time in a long time, a Republican congressional candidate went toe-to-toe with a Democrat in a hard-fought battle over independent voters."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Democratic win, in a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats, is a vote of confidence for the president and his policies.
"Scott's victory is a clear indication that Democrats, Independents and Republicans across the country want to continue moving America in a new direction and reject the 'just say no' policies of Washington, D.C., Republicans," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Friday afternoon.
But while the Democrats praised their victory in the special election, analysts cautioned that the race would likely have little bearing on future races.
"There should be a healthy pause before over-analyzing the results from New York 20," said Nathan Gonzalez, political editor of the Rothenberg Political Report. "Historically, these early special elections aren't good predictors. I'm not convinced that this special election will be a good predictor of what happens in 2010."
–CNN's Lauren Kornreich contributed to this story
It is truly evident that Americans have learned that Republicans are not in their best interests. If you listen to the Minnesota congress women she sounds like an idiot. Hooray for New Yorkers.
Will the Libertarian Party become the main opposition of the Democratic Party now that the Repugs are through?
Guess Michael Steele wasted the GOP's money,yet another nail in the coffin, a Decocrat wins in the most Republican part of NY.
YAY.... one less republican in the house....
One less Republican in Congress can only be taken as a good thing.
I thought Kirsten Gillibrand is a Democrat. She held the seat prior to becoming Senator. Apparently this district had voted Democrat before. My point is why are Democrats so sure the Republican party is finished, when you won a seat vacated by a Democrat by such a small margin?
I believe you are banking on the last 8 years to see you through to infinity, and you fail to see that you barely squeaked one through less than 100 days after President Obama was elected.
My question – Is the honeymoon almost over?
Good.We will end the republican Nazi domination.
Uhh....dude...it's been like 71 days since the stimulus bill passed. Are you expecting overnight results? You MUST be repubican. We'll address this issue in an intelligent matter one year from now and then you can either rightly or wrongly criticize the president. For now you just look......dumb.
I am very pleased this didn't turn out to be MN!
One more try at having a comment posted..................
Congratulations to NY-20! Good pick!
The GOPers will whine, moan, rant about "rigged elections"....... what do you call Bush "winning" in 2000 when Gore won the popular vote?
GOPers still .... do ... not........ get..... it.......... America rejects the politics of
hate........ lies............ fear...........and division.
It's all about low income people wanting entitlements-the Democrats keep "buying" the votes.
I hope the whole country votes the republicans out and vote democrats in!
A drip at a time works better than waterboarding,just ask a republican.
Mari: What hate, fear, lies and division is Tedisco guilty of?
Great! Keep it going! NO to the party of No!
Murphy was down twenty points in the polls with a month to go and pulled it out, despite this being a historically g.o.p. seat (Gillibrand won in 2006 after the seat was republican since the 70s).
Kuddos to Scott; Kuddos to America.
One less obstructionist means one step forward.
"Republican James Tedisco conceded Friday and called Murphy by phone to offer congratulations."
Thank you Mr Tedisco, for your graciousness.
Don't tell me how much I need to be exited. I am exited and I have nothing to worry about the future!!
I think the republicans are going to have to get used to the same results everywhere.
Good job, New York. Now it's time (past time, really) for Coleman to give it up in Minnesota and let the will of the people take hold. Franken is going to Washington, baby!
A Dem vacated seat filled by a Dem. Duh.. where's the victory? Should never have been this close.
Tedisco showed Coleman what it's like to put county before politics.
Norm ain't gonna quit. He's a weasel, Period. Just ask my wife. She worked for this BOZO when he was mayor of St. Paul. BTW- Did you know old Normie is a New Yorker? The people(election), the state (recount), and the judiciary (courts) have ALL told him "You LOST NORMIE"" but he refuses to accept it. He is an embarrassment to himself and to the people of MN.
Yes Mari, that's why so many people reject us libs. We need to STOP hating