Council Republicans on Turner and the end of local Democratic dominance

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Eric Ulrich at his swearing-in ceremony in 2009. (Azi Paybarah)
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In the twelve hours since Bob Turner declared victory against David Weprin, the national discussion of the NY-9 result has (understandably) centered on what it means for 2012, and for Barack Obama.

But on a much more local level, the Turner victory was a bit of a seminal moment for Queens Republicans, who feel like the win was an affirmation of their electoral viability.

"I think the local message is that the Democratic Party for too long has been complacent and assumed that they’re entitled to be elected," said Councilman Dan Halloran, whose district is in northeast Queens. "And I think the citizens, Democrats and Republicans, have had it with that. They want candidates who actually are from their districts, who know what’s really going on in their districts, who are not career politicians, and who can go into office with a fresh idea and actually clean up some of the corruption. That’s what the message is."

His fellow councilman, Eric Ulrich, seemed slightly more subdued about things, until he got to the podium.

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"Bob Turner didn't just beat David Weprin, he kicked his ass!" Ulrich said onstage.

Ulrich, whose district is in Ozone Park, Howard Beach, and the Rockaways—Bob Turner territory—and who seriously considered a run for the Weiner seat, said he had no regrets about passing on the race.

"No, not at all, no," he told me before his remarks. "Bob was a much better candidate, he’ll be a much better congressman. It wasn’t my time. He’s the right guy for the job."

Ulrich echoed Halloran's take on the Turner victory.

"It sends shockwaves throughout the political world," said Ulrich. "Nothing can be taken for granted."