Washington, Jan. 20 (ANI): In a major blow to President Obama's signature health reform agenda, a little-known Republican Scott Brown has won late Edward Kennedy's old seat in the US Senate in Massachusetts.
"One thing is clear, voters do not want the trillion-dollar health care bill that is being forced on the American people. This bill is not being debated openly and fairly. It will raise taxes, hurt Medicare, destroy jobs, and run our nation deeper into debt," The Times quoted Brown, a lawyer, military officer and former male model, as saying.
"In health care, we need to start fresh, work together, and do the job right," he added.
Brown won 52 percent of the vote, compared with 47 percent for Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley, who was supposed to be a shoo-in.
The Democrat's defeat was particularly ironic because health-care reform was Senator Kennedy's life-long passion until his death from brain cancer in August.
Swing voters deserted the Democrats in what party elders had considered the safest of safe seats. The Democrats had held the Massachusetts seat since 1952 with Edward Kennedy succeeding his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy when he became president.
Democrats pledged to try to ram through health-care reform despite the loss, but they risk a popular backlash if they do so.
Brown, appearing on stage at a Boston hotel to claim victory, predicted his victory would send shockwaves across America as politicians position themselves of mid-term elections in November.
Obama called Brown to congratulate him and say he looks forward to working with him on the economic challenges that face the nation.
Brown, whose daughter Ayla was a finalist on the "American Idol" TV talent show and plays college basketball, said he challenged Obama to a two-on-two basketball game. (ANI)