Carson wins special election, will replace his grandmother in Congress

With the victory, Indiana's 7th Congressional District remains in Democratic hands.

Published March 12, 2008 3:18AM (EDT)

Democrat Andre Carson won a special election held Tuesday night, and will fill his late grandmother Julia Carson's seat in Congress until the end of the year. Julia Carson, who represented Indiana's 7th Congressional District, which includes the majority of Indianapolis, died of lung cancer in December.

The younger Carson, 33, became a member of the Indianapolis City Council in August. His Republican opponent was Jon Elrod, 30, who is a first-term state representative.

With 82 percent of precincts reporting, Carson led with 53 percent of the vote; Elrod had just under 44 percent and a Libertarian candidate, Sean Shepard, had just under 3 percent. With his victory, Carson becomes just the second Muslim in Congress. His religion was not a major campaign issue, according to the Associated Press.

District residents will have two more chances this year to vote on their congressional representation, a primary in May and the regular election in November, which will decide who holds the seat after Carson finishes out his grandmother's term.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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