California's Mary Bono Mack, who took over her late husband's seat in Congress, was defeated on Tuesday by Democrat Raul Ruiz.
Mack represented the Coachella valley, an area east of Los Angeles that includes Palm Springs. The upscale desert community is seeing an influx of wealthy liberals, many of whom are gay, as well as a growing Latino population; the demographic swings may have done Mack in. Politico surmises she was also hurt by the fact that she spent time in Florida campaigning for her husband, GOP senator Connie Mack, who was also defeated last week.
Mack's loss is a big blow to Republicans, according to Politico.
Mack bested Steve Pougnet, the out gay mayor of Palm Springs, in 2010 when he ran for her Congressional seat. That same year, Mack voted to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." She also voted twice against a federal amendment to ban marriage equality. The Congresswoman is the stepmother of transgender activist Chaz Bono and the widow of entertainter and politician Sonny Bono, who was killed in a skiing accident in 1998. His widow was elected to fill his seat in a special election held after his death and reelected every two years until now.