Clinton wins New York battle

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The Independent US

Hillary Clinton won her battle for a US Senate seat in New York, beating Republican candidate Rick Lazio to become the only First Lady to win elected officer

Hillary Clinton won her battle for a US Senate seat in New York, beating Republican candidate Rick Lazio to become the only First Lady to win elected officer

The campaign was the longest and costliest race in state history and saw issues of character, place of birth, marital fidelity, and campaign finance collide with discussion of education, Social Security and the state's economy.

"Thank you for opening up your minds and your hearts, for seeing the possibility of what we could do together for our children and for our future, here in this state and in this nation," said a jubilant Mrs Clinton, with the president and daughter Chelsea by her side.

During the campaign, Mr Lazio, a Long Island congressman, had portrayed Mrs Clinton as anti-Israeli because a Muslim group raised $50,000 for her campaign. She returned the money, and in the end, she won 54 percent of the Jewish vote.

It also apparently did not matter that she never lived in New York until she and the president bought a home in the Westchester suburb of Chappaqua about a year ago. Exit polls showed that while a third of voters remain concerned that Mrs Clinton is from out of state, almost the same number said they didn't care.

She was also dogged at first by questions about why she had stayed married to her husband in spite of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. She defended the decision, saying, "I've made my choices."

"She overcame the skeptics, and worked and worked and won," said Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York.

According to exit polling data, eight in 10 Clinton voters said their vote was cast more for her than against Lazio, while Lazio voters were nearly evenly divided between those voting for their candidate and those voting against Mrs Clinton.

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