Could the GOP turn NY-09 into a real fight?

posted at 2:15 pm on July 11, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

With Anthony Weiner beating a hasty retreat from Congress after his bizarre online antics — and more — got exposed a few weeks ago, Republicans think they may have a shot at winning NY-09 for the first time in 89 years.  Thanks to the accelerated pace of special elections in New York, the two parties had to hand-pick their nominees for the contest.  Republicans chose Bob Turner, who ran against Weiner in 2010:

Underdog Republican candidate Bob Turner said yesterday he’s ready to shock the nation by winning randy ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner Queens-Brooklyn congressional seat — claiming voters are fed up with President Obama’s failed economic policies and disgusted with the local Democratic Party’s corrupt “machine politics.”

“This special election on Sept. 13 will be viewed as a bellwether for Obama,” Turner told The Post. “Economic policy is set in the wrong direction. Unemployment is up. Deficit spending has not been addressed,” said Turner, 70, a retired media executive.

Turner ran against Weiner last year and captured a surprising 40% of the vote.

Weiner outspent him five-to-one. Turner, a retired media executive, put up half of the $400,000 he raised out of his own pocket.

Although 2010 was a bad year for Democrats, Weiner’s incumbency and his high media profile helped him beat Turner, even if it wasn’t exactly a cruise.  New York’s 9th CD has a Cook index of D+5, but Republicans have had little luck in this district since the days of Warren Harding.  However, the district began to trend back to the center in national elections over the last decade or so; in 2000, Al Gore beat George Bush 67/30 in NY-09, while in 2008, Barack Obama only bested John McCain by 11 points, 55/44, just four more points than the national average.

Democrats have hand-selected David Weprin to go against Turner, with whom he has something in common — Weprin hasn’t ever won a competitive election.  In fact, unlike Turner, Weprin has never even won a primary.  The New York Daily News is less than impressed with the Democratic selection, blasting machine politics in NY-09 for Weprin’s nomination:

Weprin’s father, Saul Weprin, was a product of the Queens machine who rose to be Assembly speaker. When he died in 1994, the party anointed David’s brother Mark in a special election.

In 2001, David ran for City Council. He faced opposition in a primary, but the machine made his only real rival a judge. David won in a walk.

In 2009, David entered the only competitive election of his career, running for city controller. He finished fourth out of four in the primary.

A campaign highlight: Asked by this page what the controller’s budget was, he said: “What office? The controller’s office? Ummm. Good question. The controller’s office budget. Ummm . . .”

Since David’s Council seat was then open and he was jobless, brother Mark came to the rescue by running for Council. Mark won, creating an Assembly vacancy, which the party boss filled, you guessed it, by making David the candidate in a special election.

The NYDN says it will take a “GOP miracle” to keep Weprin from getting to Congress with this track record, thanks to the tilt of the district. That’s probably still true.  However, strange things happen in special elections, and Turner showed some strength against an entrenched incumbent last year.  Given the embarrassment of Weiner and the weak candidate hand-picked by Democratic party bosses, there could be a surprise brewing in NY-09.


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Heck no, they will just scream Medicare over and over and over again.

Cindy Munford on July 11, 2011 at 2:17 PM

I suppose anything is possible, but since NYC has to give up a congressional seat, if the GOP does win guess which seat will end up going?

Mr. Joe on July 11, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I think the debate should be nothing but back and forth Twitter pics.

NotCoach on July 11, 2011 at 2:20 PM

It’s a possibility…along with that of Martians landing on my front lawn.

Uncle Sams Nephew on July 11, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Best Weiner limerick:

There once was a pervert named Weiner,
Who had the weirdest demeanor.
He was thrown from the Hill,
For behaving like Bill.
Now Congress is one Weiner leaner.

Author unknown.

slickwillie2001 on July 11, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Stiff competition?..LOL..:)

PS..That was funny Capt. Ed!..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Heck no, they will just scream Medicare over and over and over again.

Cindy Munford on July 11, 2011 at 2:17 PM

What’s so funny is the democrats are the ones that want to get rid of medicare and place everyone under the umbrella of government run health care. We all know how well those systems treat the elderly.

darwin on July 11, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Best Weiner limerick:

There once was a pervert named Weiner,
Who had the weirdest demeanor.
He was thrown from the Hill,
For behaving like Bill.
Now Congress is one Weiner leaner.

Author unknown.

Well played, sir. Well played.

Chappy on July 11, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Stiff competition?

Ed, Ed…… go eat your peas! lol

Cody1991 on July 11, 2011 at 2:29 PM

As if the GOP selected a “strong” candidate…

And never underestimate the power of the NYS GOP to f**k up a special election. If we couldn’t win in GOP-heavy NY-20, NY-23 and NY-26, what makes anyone think they can win in this liberal district?

rcpjr on July 11, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Nope. Not gonna happen.

MeatHeadinCA on July 11, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Stiff competition?

Nah. Flaccid fight.

Joe Mama on July 11, 2011 at 2:33 PM

His retreat is not the only thing Weiner is beating now that Huma is pregnant.

MJZZZ on July 11, 2011 at 2:33 PM

“Stiff competition?”

..these stories sure are fun, aren’t they Ed?

The War Planner on July 11, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Cody1991 on July 11, 2011 at 2:29 PM

LOL!..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 2:33 PM

MeatHeadinCA on July 11, 2011 at 2:30 PM

I agree..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2011 at 2:33 PM

The short answer is no. the NY R party can’t even win its “own” districts…so no.

We have to really come to grips with the fact that Rs are being pushed out of a lot of areas. WA state is having a hard time even coming up with a R candidate for Senate against Cantrell. I saw Patty Murray debate last time and she seems especially dim.

IL used to have a decent R party but it destroyed inself. So IL, CA, WA, and maybe NY are no go zones for Rs…and maybe MN…we have to face facts that we need some real work done in a lot of states to make them viable again. The Nov election was encouraging but just a start…remember, Dims will cheat, steal at any time

r keller on July 11, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Not getting excited about the possibility of winning a ny special election. They always manage to screw things up, even when the wind is at their backs.

Jon Fezzik on July 11, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Where’s Mrs Weiner?

Dingbat63 on July 11, 2011 at 2:40 PM

It’s not that liberal a district.

McCain got 44% of the vote in the district in 2008, which was above-average for the state.

Mister Mets on July 11, 2011 at 2:43 PM

r keller on July 11, 2011 at 2:36 PM

I sometimes wonder whether the key to revival for the GOP in some of those states you mentioned is standing back and watching those states implode. Maybe that’s unlikely in NY and WA for now, but CA and IL certainly seem ready to descend.

BuckeyeSam on July 11, 2011 at 2:46 PM

If anyone is interested…

http://bobturnerforcongress.com/Home.aspx

Twitter

Facebook

We could at the least get his numbers up for Facebook/Twitter. His numbers on Facebook are really outdoing those of the Democrat and if we do our part, Turner can at the least have a strong buffer. To give an example, Turner has more then Hochul and she had the liberals posting in high numbers for her.

amazingmets on July 11, 2011 at 2:50 PM

I sometimes wonder whether the key to revival for the GOP in some of those states you mentioned is standing back and watching those states implode. Maybe that’s unlikely in NY and WA for now, but CA and IL certainly seem ready to descend.

BuckeyeSam on July 11, 2011 at 2:46 PM

I don’t think even implosion will do it. Conservatives like me are leaving California. You might get a partial save by splitting the state. The inland areas of California are still pretty conservative. The coastal areas are gone. Even after things here have gone totally to hell, the libs will find any other reason than themselves to blame it on.

trigon on July 11, 2011 at 3:08 PM

I think there are some identity politics going on.

High Jewish concentration – was Halprin selected specifically for this reason – or will Obamas “Isreali relations” trump said selection???

Odie1941 on July 11, 2011 at 3:15 PM

The Republican Party needs to fight hard in EVERY special election! Even if the Republican doesn’t win, the race will lay a firmer foundation and learn valuable lessons for future races.

In addition to NY-9, there is a Special Election in California’s Congressional District 36 TOMORROW.

The Republican is Craig Huey. The Democrat is Janice Hahn.

In a season of turbulent politics, a little-noticed runoff election Tuesday for the House seat vacated by former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman has become unusually competitive.

Supporters for the Democratic candidate, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, are jittery, while Republicans see a potential upset in the making for businessman Craig Huey, who owns marketing and advertising companies and has largely bankrolled his campaign with at least $795,000 in personal funds.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hyPCfAdx2jntaLMFEFhUYgSaUCDw?docId=e372df522a394cbbbcd6f937805c602d

If you know anybody in this Southern California Congressional District give them a call TODAY to encourage them to vote for Craig Huey TOMORROW.

A Republican Victory in tomorrow’s Special Election would certainly send a strong message to those who are negotiating the debt limit/spending cut issues this week.

wren on July 11, 2011 at 3:18 PM

If you know anybody in this Southern California Congressional District give them a call TODAY to encourage them to vote for Craig Huey TOMORROW.

A Republican Victory in tomorrow’s Special Election would certainly send a strong message to those who are negotiating the debt limit/spending cut issues this week.

wren on July 11, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Second the motion; we’re down with that. ..details here via The Left Coast Rebel.

The War Planner on July 11, 2011 at 3:41 PM

“Point that thing someplace else.”
– Grace Slick

mojo on July 11, 2011 at 4:16 PM

So the new member of Congress might be a Republican?

MJBrutus on July 11, 2011 at 4:31 PM

After the resounding GOP wins in NY-23, NY-26 and Murtha’s district, I have no doubt the GOP will win NY-09 as well.

Oh wait….

angryed on July 11, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Second the motion; we’re down with that. ..details here via The Left Coast Rebel.

The War Planner on July 11, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Thank you you War Planner for posting the link which includes the key video that everybody needs to see to understand why it is so important for Republican Craig Huey to win the special election in California Congressional District 36 TOMORROW.

This video shows why we don’t want to send Democrat Janice Hahn to Congress:

Janice Hahn Gang Intervention Controversy Not Over

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA5q6JSbYXI

For more information on Republican candidate Craig Huey go to http://www.craighuey.com

wren on July 11, 2011 at 5:36 PM

We could at the least get his numbers up for Facebook/Twitter.
amazingmets on July 11, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Great suggestion amazingmets! I don’t do Facebook, but I can certainly follow him via Twitter.

Every little bit helps these candidates!

wren on July 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM