Democrats Sigh Relief as Weiner Resignation Triggers 3rd NY Special Election Because of Sex Scandal in One Year

By Eliza

Jun 16, 2011 2:16pm

ABC News’ Amy Walter (@amyewalter) reports:

Democrats are clearly happy to have the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal behind them. The benefits of the New York congressman’s resignation were epitomized in House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's press conference today, when she let reporters know that she was done talking about Weiner and instead launched into discussion about jobs.

Weiner's resignation means Democrats get to pivot back talking about the issues they'd rather discuss, including slamming Republicans on issues like the budget and Medicare reform.

The Brooklyn-based district is decidedly Democratic so it's likely it's unlikely that Republicans can pick it up.

And, even if they did, there's no guarantee the district would be around after redistricting. New York has to lose two seats.

The two seats New York will lose is one fewer than the three special elections in that state since March 2010 because an incumbent has quit due to sex scandal.

Eric Massa, D-N.Y., resigned in March 2010 amid an ethics investigation into accusations he sexually harassed staff members. Gov. David Paterson scheduled the special election to be held on the same day as the general election in November 2010.

Chris Lee , R-N.Y., resigned abruptly in February 2011 after a shirtless photo he texted to a woman on Craigslist surfaced on the internet. Democrat Kathy Hochul won the special election on May 24.

Now, Weiner’s vacant seat means a third special election, likely in the early fall.  According to state law, a special election must be held 70-80 days after the governor announces a congressional vacancy. But, he does not need to announce the vacancy immediately.  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has not yet indicated how he plans to proceed.

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