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Local GOP sees promise in Kennedy seat upset

Republican State Sen. Scott Brown exits a senatorial

Republican State Sen. Scott Brown exits a senatorial debate at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. (Jan. 11, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Long Island legislators agreed that the election in Massachusetts of Republican Scott Brown to a seat once occupied by the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party may be a bellwether of things to come, a development that could radically shift local and national politics.

>> PHOTOS: GOP scores key upset in Massachusetts

>> MORE: What does this mean for Obama's health care bill?

"This is a political earthquake," said Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), who said that voters in Massachusetts were as much casting ballots for Brown as they were against President Barack Obama.

"To have Ted Kennedy's seat go to a Republican who is totally opposed to the Obama health care plan and agenda is a repudiation of President Obama's liberal agenda," King said.

King called it a wake-up call for Democrats all the way up to the president to shift more to the center of the political spectrum.

"The country is speaking to us, and we will hear them in the agenda we pursue over the next year," said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). "Our focus must be on jobs, the economy and delivering for the middle class."

Rick Lazio, a Republican candidate for governor of New York, said the campaign team that eked out victory for Brown is working with his campaign.

"Tonight, we saw yet another sign that the Republican Party and our values are back in America with the election in Massachusetts," he said in a statement. "We are back because the people fundamentally agree with us about lower taxes and less spending, because they want smaller and less intrusive government, and because we represent the future. We represent the best in America."

With Tom Brune

>> PHOTOS: GOP scores key upset in Massachusetts

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