NEW YORK (WABC) -- The national fight for control of the U.S. House of Representatives was being partly decided Tuesday on a battleground that seemed unlikely a year ago: New York City's suburbs.
One of the nation's bluest states, New York became an unexpected opportunity for Republicans due to voter dissatisfaction and a more favorable political map.
In one of the most closely watched races, U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a five-term Democrat who was supposed to be leading his party's attempt to hold on to Congress, conceded the race Wednesday morning to Republican state Assemblyman Mike Lawler in a district in the Hudson River Valley, New York's 17th.
It is a huge loss for Democrats, as Maloney is the chairman of the DCCC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that is the fundraising arm for the House.
This is the first time since the early 1990s that the chairman of either party's House campaign committee lost a race for re-election.
Lawler, from Rockland County, ran a spirited campaign focusing on the high cost of gasoline and other pocketbook issues.
His campaign was boosted by a $6 million infusion from a GOP super PAC.