Update: Mission Accomplished- Bob Turner will be the nominee.
On September 13, there will be a special election in New York's 9th congressional district to fill the vacant seat of progressive champion, Anthony Weiner. After squandering the past three special elections, New York Republicans should redeem themselves by appointing a stellar candidate. Unfortunately, there are no primaries for special elections in New York, so we must rely on the local central committees to appoint a worthy nominee.
As always, the selection process is marred by controversy. This New York City-based district is split between parts of Brooklyn and Queens. Consequently, the local party officials of both jurisdictions must agree on the nominee. Not surprisingly, they are currently divided on their preference. While Democrats already rallied around radical leftist Assemblyman David Weprin, Republicans are split between 2010 GOP and Conservative nominee Bob Turner and Giuliani administration official Juan Reyes, with the Brooklyn GOP supporting Turner and the Queens GOP leader backing Reyes.
Local Republicans need to put an end to this and rally behind Bob Turner. Turner, an Army veteran, is one of us. Commenting on the Weiner scandal, Turner said, " One thing is telling: Scandals, no matter their nature, are not the problem. They are a symptom, representing something more dangerous: liberalism. Many liberals in Congress feed off of power. They feel entitled to dictate society's rules, yet selectively exempt themselves from the enforcement."
He was the quintessential Tea Party candidate who ran a stronger than expected campaign, despite being a political neophyte. Turner has the support of the only elected Republican in Queens, Councilman Eric Ulrich, and the Conservative Party is set to endorse him later today. He ran a solid conservative campaign last time and there is no reason to dig up a new name who never expressed interest in running until recently. Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long told me that he knows nothing about Reyes or the forces behind the sudden push to find an alternative to Turner.
Although CD-9 is a Democrat district, it has swung sharply to the right in presidential elections in recent years. Charlie Cook rates it D+5, the least Democrat NYC district, aside for the Republican seat in Staten Island. It is an uphill battle, but a battle worth fighting, especially in a low-turnout special election. Weprin is a machine-backed radical with plenty of baggage. New York Republicans should unite behind Bob Turner and redeem themselves from their dismal failures of the past.