Democratic leaders from Queens and Brooklyn named their nominee for the 9th Congressional District seat today, picking Assemblyman David Weprin to run against the Republican nominee in the September 13th special election to replace former Representative Anthony Weiner. While the nomination is not yet official, a party official confirmed that Weprin will be the nominee.
Weprin, who had been rumored to be a front-runner, is a former City Councilmember who has served on the Assembly since 2010, and lost a bid for Comptroller in 2009. He comes from a very politically-connected family – his brother Mark Weprin is a on the City Council and was considered a possible nominee for the congressional seat, and his father is former state Assembly speaker Saul Weprin.
The Republicans have not formally announced a nominee yet, and have until July 11th to do so. With the announcement Tuesday night that Eric Ulrich would not be throwing his hat in the ring, the nomination is now widely expected to go to conservative businessman Bob Turner. Turner ran against former Rep. Weiner in 2010 and received 42 percent of the vote despite the predominantly Democratic demographics of the district.
Veteran New York political consultant George Artz says that with Ulrich out of the race, the field is wide open for Turner to win the nomination. Artz does not think, though, that Turner can carry the election.
“The likelihood is that David Weprin will be the new Congressman on September 13th. “
He said the odds are against Turner upsetting the Democrats.
“Even though Turner got 40 percent in an anti-incumbent year two years ago, it is unlikely that he will get that high again. There will be a small number of people coming into the polls and they will have to be pushed out by the Democratic organization, and the Democratic organization in Queens is formidable.”
The winner of the election will hold the office until the end of 2012, at which point the district may be slated for elimination during redistricting.
Correction: While Bob Turner received 42 percent of the vote in King's County, his overall district election votes from both Brooklyn and Queens tallied at 37 percent.