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Republican grabs Weiner seat

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A Republican businessman who has never held elective office trounced a career Democrat in the special election to succeed Rep. Anthony Weiner — a six-week slugfest that turned into a referendum less on the prior officeholder’s sexual peccadillos and more on President Obama.

Former TV executive Bob Turner beat Assemblyman David Weprin, 53-47 percent, with 64 percent of the votes counted. New York 1 called the election at just after midnight.

“This is an historic race,” Turner told his supporters. “We’ve been asked by the people of this district to send a message to Washington — and I hope they hear it loud and clear: Mr. President, we are on the wrong track.”

Turner added that the message also included that voters have “had it” with Obama’s “irresponsi­ble fiscal policies” and his “treatment of Israel.”

“I am the messenger,” he thundered. “Heed us.”

For his part, Weprin spoke just before Turner’s victory speech and merely told his supporters that he would not concede until all the ballots were counted.

Tuesday was expected to be a normally sleepy primary day with no major city, state or federal elections. But a hum-drum political season was immediately energized in June when Weiner, lovingly referred to as the “Midwood Mouth” because of his fiery rants on the floor of the House of Representatives, resigned in disgrace for sexting and sending lewd messages to women across the country.

Once the special election was announced, party boss from both counties comprising the Ninth District chose Weprin and Turner to fight it out.

Neither man came from the Brooklyn side of the district; though Weprin boasted that his parents were borough natives, Turner took the Brooklyn portion by a much wider margin than the overall vote, early returns show.

But the election was never really about Brooklyn. Nor was it about the district, which encompasses Midwood, Marine Park, Sheepshead Bay, Gerritsen Beach and Bergen Beach.

It quickly became a mid-term litmus test on President Obama and the depth of his support for Israel.

Former Mayor Ed Koch turned the election on its ear in late July when he announced that he was backing Turner, but not because he believed in what the former television executive stood for.

He encouraged others to vote for Turner to denounce Obama’s belief that Israel should withdraw to its pre-1967 borders, giving back some land to the Palestinians.

“If David Weprin is elected, you think that sends a message?” Koch asked, when he announced that he was supporting Turner. “You think Obama is going to say, ‘Oh my god, they repudiated me. They sent David Weprin.’ ”

Koch’s endorsement marked the beginning of the GOP’s push to connect Weprin to Obama at every turn. For the next month and a half, nearly all of Turner’s campaign literature had pictures of Obama.

“American families are worse off now than they were two years ago, thanks to the failed leadership of President Obama and politicians like David Weprin,” one flier read.

But Weprin said that he and Obama were far from bosom buddies, given that he does not fully back the president’s health care reform. He also claimed that he only met Obama once — when the Commander in Chief was a Senator from Illinois.

But Weprin didn’t turn the other cheek: he took a number of shots at Turner throughout the campaign, depicting Turner as an insensitive millionaire who had flip-flopped on several key issues he had spoken out against during his failed bid to unseat Weiner in 2010, like saving Medicare and expanded death benefits to families of Ground Zero workers who die from cancer or respiratory diseases.

Overall, the Weprin-Turner fight was similar to last year’s election in Bay Ridge, where Rep. Mike McMahon (D–Bay Ridge) fell to GOP newcomer Michael Grimm amid a Republican wave.

This time, the president was targeted — and the Obama-baiting had its desired affect.

Former Assemblyman and Democratic District Leader Frank Seddio said that Russian-American and Jewish voters came out swinging for Turner — thanks mostly to GOP putting the president in the spotlight.

“Koch wanted this to be a referendum and that’s what it ended up being and that was unfortunate,” he said. “[Koch] forced people to think about a set of circumstances that will have no affect on our community and ran the risk of giving us a representative who will not represent this community.”

Updated 5:26 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Ratso Rizzo from Red Hook says:
this is a shocker

hacks beware
Sept. 14, 2011, 3:32 am
Dave from Park Slope says:
Ratso is right -- this was a referendum on party bosses hand-selecting retread party hacks instead of letting the people decide and opening the door to more talented, and, yes, more independent people. So we end up sending another obstinate Republican to Washington to stand in the way of progress. Nice job.
Sept. 14, 2011, 6:15 am
Sam from Brooklyn says:
That is nonsense. "Party bosses" were only following state law. Open primaries don't exist in NY State for elections were the incumbent resigns.

Perhaps Weprin wasn't the right candidate, and perhaps NY State should think about changing the law, but to argue that this was part of some scheme, instead of the way the law required it to play out is just a self serving argument made by self promoters like Democratic District Leader Lincoln Restler.

In fact, the real blame lies with such self promoters like Restler, who wanted to have their cake and eat it too. Instead of seeing the real help that was needed in NY-9, he organized his New Kings "Democrats" to go out and volunteer for a WFP candidate against a Democrat in AD 54, when there was a Democrat (Weprin) in need of all the assistance he could get against a real live Republican. That is where the blame should be placed.
Sept. 14, 2011, 7:15 am
Homie from Crooklyn says:
The slaves on the Democratic plantation are revolting...
send in the overseers. Don't forget the whips and truncheons.
Sept. 14, 2011, 7:46 am
O2 from wburg says:
turner was elected on koch's border lie about israel's self- acknowledged adjustments to the '67 border which were previously discussed. nothing new except the lie.
Sept. 14, 2011, 7:59 am
CommonSense from Park Slope says:
Stop your whining and face facts: your boy lost! You were outsmarted, outplayed, out-politicked, and it's only going to get worse for Democrats as your supreme leader continues to run the country into the ground. Get ready to have your asses handed to you in 2012!
Sept. 14, 2011, 8:18 am
steve from downtown says:
Weprin's NYS Assembly speech right before the gay-marriage vote, proclaiming ' I as an Orthodox Jew support the passage of this bill ' , was the most stupid thing he could have done politically: alienate his core constituency right from the get-go. He has himself to blame for the defete. He seems like a nice guy though, and I wish him luck.
Sept. 14, 2011, 8:22 am
joe from gowanus says:
what a waste of money, this seat is gone in 2 years. The city should've consolidated this district and saved the city and state money.
Sept. 14, 2011, 8:23 am
2O from wburg says:
just as well joe if the [JOOS] are gonna vote israel, instead of local issues, in a local special election then let the district disappear. good riddence foolz
Sept. 14, 2011, 8:40 am
cfb from Brooklyn Heights says:
@Sam - who do you think came up with the State Law about not having a Primary? New York has always been notorious for restricted ballot access, because heaven forbid the voters might be confused by a long list of candidates.
Sept. 14, 2011, 9:02 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Don't tweat your meat or it will be defeat!

Hope and Change comes to the 9th District.
Sept. 14, 2011, 9:05 am
Susan from Sunset Park says:
More Republican Garbage!!!!!!!!!
Sept. 14, 2011, 11:49 am
Joey Bots says:
Susan from Sunset Park...what would u call the guy who occupied the seat in Congress before Turner? Or do you just vote for anyone who identifies themselves as a Dem?
Sept. 14, 2011, 12:59 pm
Mike from Bay Ridge says:
When will voters learn? All the parties have moved to the left, so if you vote for a Libertarian you get an old-fashioned Conservative, if you vote Conservative get a Republican, if you vote Republican you get an old-school Democrat, if you vote Democrat you get a Liberal, and if you vote Liberal you get a Socialist/Communist/Marxist.

You have to vote Republican just get keep America America instead of Europe.
Sept. 14, 2011, 1:16 pm
C. Brooks from Meadow Winds says:
One day, when I answer for my sins, I guarantee that voting for a Republican will not be one of them.
Sept. 14, 2011, 3:34 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
A 70 year old Republican who rode in on a wave of bigots who think Israel is the 51st State. ...Thanks Wiener.
Sept. 15, 2011, 7:02 am
C. Brooks from Meadow Winds says:
It is the 51st state, Jim.
Sept. 15, 2011, 8:27 am
Mike from Bay Rdige says:
Bigots? Jim, NY 9 voted for Obama in 2008.

So districts that were praised for being post-racial, open-minded, progressive, and color-blind in '08 are suddenly bigoted?

If Obama had given America Bill Clinton's third term instead of Jimmy Carter's second term, you wouldn't see so many districts and states go Republican.
Sept. 15, 2011, 1:59 pm
bengee from coney says:
14 million out of work,people can't pay there mortgages so we elect a guy because the President made what some people call anti Israel comments.Bill Maher was right Americans are "STUPID".
Sept. 15, 2011, 4:58 pm
Ugh from BK says:
There goes the neighborhood.
Sept. 15, 2011, 5:06 pm
Guido Fauci from Old Glory Lookout says:
Still nothing about Craig Eaton and the Brooklyn GOP. Doesn't anybody get it? That's where the story is in Turner's victory over Weprin, isn't it?
Sept. 15, 2011, 11:29 pm
Tony from Gravesend says:
Yeah Put all the blame on Obama!! Bush had nothing to do with this mess! Right when Obama because president over night thats when everything went south.... Bull S#@T!!!!
Sept. 16, 2011, 10:50 am
Guido Fauci from Yellow Hook says:
Tony from Gravesend, even though you're probably a Democrat, and you seem to be an Obama supporter, don't you understand that the only thing important coming out of Turner's win over Weprin is that people like Craig Eaton, Russell Gallo and Gene Berardelli get full recognition for their hand in the victory. Then they'll have something to show for all their empty BS about "Pounding Pavement".
Sept. 16, 2011, 5:13 pm
C. Brooks from Meadow Winds says:
Bush, a Republican, left Obama a country that was in fantastic shape, right?
Sept. 16, 2011, 8:34 pm
Publius from Bklyn says:
@Mike:

Ever been to Europe? Just got back from a few weeks over there and have to say, in many ways their standard of living and infrastructure is much better than the good ole US and A. And in some ways they are more free than we are. So you can keep fist pumping and chanting USA, USA, but more people here should open their eyes and learn from the best in each country--including the countries of Europe.
Sept. 16, 2011, 11:16 pm
Nick from Dyker Heights says:
Hey Guido and all you Eaton Egomaniacs:

The reason Craig Eaton is getting no credit from any of the respected, objective newspapers, editors, etc. is because they all realize he is an empty suit and joked about behind his back by those in political circles, including many "close" to him. Gerarld Kassar, chair of the Brooklyn Conservative Party, who has like many others in Brooklyn run political circles around Craig for years, has been recognized as a "winner" by the City Hall news- it said, "Jerry Kassar – All happy with the results in NY-9, hail Kassar! The Brooklyn Conservative Party chair essentially forced the hand of the Queens Republicans when it came time to choose Bob Turner over attorney Juan Reyes. In hindsight, as with so many things, this seems a savvy choice. Bonus points are in order, as Kassar is Sen. Marty Golden’s chief of staff. The Brooklyn-based Republican state senator is said to be a top target of New York Senate Democrats in the next election, but Turner’s star turn adds more elephants to the outer boroughs, complicating the Dems’ isolate-and-conquer strategy. For Kassar, that’s a step in the right direction…pun intended.
Sept. 17, 2011, 10:20 am
Nick from Dyker Heights says:
and also just in the Yeshiva World News, the largest Orthodox Newspaper in America, has also declared the Conservatives the winner, it said "Conservative Party
Few people remember, but Brooklyn’s Conservative party backed Turner first. That move all but forced the Republicans (who were still interviewing candidates at the time) to go along with their pick. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because they did the same exact thing last year when they boxed the Staten Island Republican party into supporting now-Congressman Mike Grimm. The party has solidified itself as the only true voice of conservatism (yeah, that’s a swipe at Republicans) and the counter-balance to the liberal Working Family Parties in New York State."

These are the facts and they are indisputable, you can look them up yourself in those newspapers. so much for the "spin" craig is trying to put out as being the "first" to support Turner, just like he was the "first" to endorse Giuliani for President (we know how that worked out) and the "first" to endorse Michael Allegretti fo Congress over Michael Grimm (we know how that worked out)and all this has craig and his ego going literally crazy..
Sept. 17, 2011, 10:21 am
Guido Fauci from Dyker Lowlands says:
To: Nick from Dyker Heights

I am not an Eaton Egomaniac. I'm not with Eaton one bit or one byte.

My comments were intended to be ironic, sarcastic and even quite droll. But, if they caused you to make your comments, then it’s all to the good.

Plug on, brave heart and undaunted soul!

GF
Sept. 17, 2011, 7:55 pm
nick from dyker says:
Sorry guido
Sept. 17, 2011, 9:23 pm

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