[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/24/art.boehner1.gi.jpg caption="Boehner called the congressional seat in New York's 20th district 'a Democrat seat.'"]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – As the special election got underway in New York's traditionally-Republican 20th congressional district, House Minority Leader John Boehner seemed to downplay his party's chances of reclaiming what he called a "Democrat seat."
GOP state assemblyman Jim Tedisco once held a comfortable lead over Democratic candidate Scott Murphy, but the race has tightened in recent weeks, and both national parties have poured resources into the contest. In the race's closing days, Tedisco's campaign was sharply critical of Murphy's support President Obama's stimulus plan, but Boehner told reporters Tuesday the district's vote should not be seen as a referendum on Republican policies in Washington.
"It is going to be a very close election, but it's between those two candidates up in New York. I hope Jim Tedisco wins," he said - but, he added, "it is a Democrat seat. President Obama won this seat during the presidential election last fall."