NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Democrat Kathy Hochul won election to a House seat in a district in western New York that traditionally has been held by Republicans.

Hochul has attacked her Republican rival -- Jane Corwin -- over Medicare.

"We had the issues on our side -- did we not have the right issues on our side?" Hochul said Tuesday evening. Supporters chanted "Medicare! Medicare!" at her victory party.

"We can balance our budget the right way and not on the backs of our seniors," she said.

Republicans have backed sweeping changes to Medicare.

Under a proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Medicare would remain unchanged for those 55 or older. Anyone younger would be required to obtain coverage from a private insurer, with the government providing a subsidy to cover part of the cost of premiums.

The House seat in New York was considered safe for Republicans. They held the district for more than four decades, according to CNN.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Copyright 2011 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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