Anthony Weiner might have exposed more than himself in resigning from Congress: A Republican political novice shockingly won his old job late Tuesday, showing the 2012 election might be rougher terrain for President Barack Obama than one might have originally thought.
Republican Bob Turner, a retired broadcasting executive, defeated Democratic assemblyman David Weprin Tuesday in a special election to decide who will represent the Brooklyn and Queens-area district in Congress. The position had been vacant since Weiner, a 7-term Democratic congressman, resigned June 16, after a sex scandal made him a national punchline.
The win is particularly shocking, as New York’s 9th Congressional District — which has a large Jewish population and a 3-1 registration edge for Democrats — had been represented by a Democrat in Congress for nearly the past hundred years.
Turner captured 53 percent of the vote, compared to Weprin’s 47 percent, with about 80 percent of the precincts counted. The district had gone Democrat in every election since 1923.
Republicans claim frustrated voters sent the commander-in-chief a message in electing Turner, a 70-year-old Catholic.
“Tonight’s election proves yet again that President Obama is failing our country,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Tuesday. “Not only are the President’s policies not working, but his non-stop campaigning is no longer winning over voters.”
The new congressman agreed.
“This message will resound for a full year. It will resound into 2012,” said Turner. “I only hope our voices are heard, and we can start putting things right again.”