Democrats gain seat in House as Kathy Hochul is sworn in

Washington Bureau

Democrat Kathy Hochul on Wednesday was sworn in as the newest member of Congress, pledging to work with the GOP to solve the nation’s problems.

Hochul, a former county clerk in western New York, won a closely watched special House election in the state’s 26th District on May 24. The campaign centered on the Republican budget plan that includes an overhaul of the Medicare program; Democrats hailed Hochul’s victory to claim the traditionally-Republican seat as a sign of shifting political winds.

Hochul was surrounded by the entire New York delegation in the well of the House as Speaker John Boehner administered the oath Wednesday afternoon.

“We can and must find common-sense solutions to the problems facing each of our districts and our country. As we have learned, our constituents expect and deserve no less,” she said in brief remarks afterward.


Hochul fills the seat held for just over two years by Republican Chris Lee, who resigned after the release of a risque photo he had sent a woman online.

With Hochul seated, Republicans now hold a 240-193 majority in the House. Two seats are vacant -- Nevada’s 2nd District, which was held by Republican Dean Heller until May 9, and California’s 36th District, held by Democrat Jane Harman until Feb. 28.