The circumstances aren't special anymore, but Bob Turner still sees a 'fair shot' running statewide against Gillibrand
The coalition that gathered at the Roma View Restaurant in Howard Beach six months to celebrate the upset victory of congressman-elect Bob Turner included former Mayor Ed Koch, who supported Turner over the Democrats to "send a message" to President Obama about Israel, and New York State Conservative Party chair Mike Long, who said it was about spending and jobs.
"I am telling you," said Turner, more subdued than the rest, when he finally took the stage that night. "I am the messenger. Heed us. This message will resound for a full year. It will resound into 2012."
Now, with his congressional district slated for elimination in the redistricting process, Turner, a 70-year-old retired cable executive, is seeking the Republican nomination to run for U.S. Senate against Kirsten Gillibrand. But neither Koch nor Long is with him this time.
Yesterday was last-ditch day for the parties unhappy with a federal court's proposed congressional lines for New York, and, barring some serious surprises from the three-judge panel overseeing the process, the city's delegation is unlikely to see much turnover as a result.
Assemblyman Rory Lancman won't challenge fellow Democratic Representative Gary Ackerman, nixing what could have been a bloody intra-party feud in the wake of redistricting lines that were drawn, for the first time, by a judge rather than the majority parties in Albany.
"My enthusiasm for running against Republican Bob Turner on a platform of leveling the economic playing field for working people doesn't extend to running against fellow Democrat Gary Ackerman,” Lancman said in a statement.
It's not easy being an anti-establishment Democratic candidate for office in New York, since one of the most popular people in New York is the Democratic governor who, in terms of state government, is the establishment.
("I am the government," Cuomo said today.)
Conservatives endorsed two candidates who won their special elections. Both will be honored by the small-but-influential third party at a Nov. 3 dinner in Dyker Heights.
After his speech to the Association for a Better New York this morning, Congressman Joe Crowley took a question from former city councilman Ken Fisher, who wanted to know what the Democrats' message would be in 2012, and how they could compete with the enthusiasm and anger of the Tea Party.
Fisher briefly mentioned the recent loss in New York's Ninth Congressional District.
"I appreciate you bringing up the election in Queens and Brooklyn," Crowley deadpanned, to a howl of laughter from the crowd of business executives.
Here's City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who stumped for the Democrats' losing candidate in the special election in the Ninth Congressional District, explaining why she does not believe David Weprin's defeat had anything to do with his Assembly vote in favor of same-sex marriage.
Some post-election analysis, particularly from social conservatives, attributed Weprin's heavy defeat to a revolt on this issue among Orthodox Jewish voters in the district.
"I do not believe in any way, shape or form that was a significant issue," she said.
Quinn pointed to Andrew Cuomo as an example of someone closely associated with the issue who "has [a] sky-high approval rating."(1)
Assemblyman Rory Lancman of Queens wants to run against Bob Turner and isn't waiting for any pre-ordained nod from the Democratic Party who hand-picked the losing candidate in last week's special election.
How else to read Lancman's press release attacking Turner for a vote he took on his first day in office, the day when the rest of the mostly-Democratic delegation was making a show of rallying around their newest colleague?
Around the time Bob Turner's campaign released an internal poll showing they were within striking distance of the heavily favored Democratic candidate in New York's Ninth Congressional District, there was another set of numbers that were closely guarded.
"I think I had about 2,000 in the bank," said Turner's campaign manager, E. O'Brien Murray, known to friends and colleagues as O'B.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat from Brooklyn, told me he'd be willing to campaign across the country against President Obama. Talking to me outside last night's G.O.P. dinner at the Sheraton, Hikind also said Obama reminds him of Jimmy Carter.
"I don't mean in term of looks, but just in terms of being very weak," Hikind said.
Jimmy Vielkind: The Congressional districts are conceived on a much higher plane that the state legislative ones, and the redrawing of those line has a much less partisan bent. What I mean is, seniority, personality, and juice matter more than party. Chuck Schumer said yesterday he thinks one Republican and one Democrat will have to BE sacrificed. The was the very reason that Weprin—good soldier that he is—was selected to run for this seat; he'd been pegged for slaughter.
The New York Times maps out where exactly Bob Turner's votes came from in his victory in Tuesday's special congressional election, showing that "working class whites and Orthodox Jews rejected the candidacy of the Democrat, David I. Weprin."
On that note, a reader points out to me that Turner won the election this year with far fewer votes than he got when he ran last year, in a non-special-election loss to Anthony Weiner.
At the annual New York State G.O.P. dinner last night, which fortuitously fell the day after Republicans' biggest election win here in recent memory, local partisans took turns congratulating themselves on Bob Turner's victory, and on what they said was the party's bright future in New York.
Bob Turner, conducting a series of interviews following his victory in the Anthony Weiner congressional district, says it's important not be believe one's own hype and to "keep it real." A write-up of his interview with Fred Dicker in the New York Post is accompanied by a photograph of Turner holding a copy of the Post featuring ... a photograph of Turner.
Among the advantages a Democratic candidate ought to have in heavily Democratic New York, theoretically, is a constellation of effective campaign surrogates to call on. Actually though, argues Maggie Haberman, that constellation didn't exist for David Weprin in his race against Bob Turner. Plus lots more NY-9 analysis and bike-sharing.