It’s Weprin vs. Turner for Weiner’s Seat

It’s Weprin vs. Turner for Weiner’s Seat

July 11, 2011 at 6:00 am

David Weprin's strength as a campaigner made him an obvious party choice. Flickr/lancmanoffice.

The party picks for former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner’s seat are finally in.

Minutes after Weiner announced his resignation on June 16, Democrats and Republicans were already scrambling to find a replacement for the disgraced politician, who had admitted to texting and tweeting sexually explicit photos and messages to multiple young women.

The Democrats have selected State Assemblyman David Weprin to run against Republican choice Bob Turner in a special election — scheduled for  September 13 — for the heavily Democratic Congressional District 9.

The state’s Independence party also threw their support behind the Queeens pol.

“We’ve worked with him before and we think he’ll be a wonderful candidate,” party Chairman Frank MacKay said Sunday, am New York reported.

Why Weprin? He’s got some (political) family ties…David Weprin is a freshman assemblyman, but comes from a family deeply entrenched in the Queens Democratic machine, reported the Daily News. Before coming in last place in the 2009 election for city comptroller, Weprin served eight years as a City Councilman in a seat now occupied by his brother Mark Weprin. The brothers’ father was the late Assembly Speaker Saul Weprin — a big name in Queens politics.

David Weprin isn’t known for possessing his father’s charisma, but he is known as a strong and experienced campaigner, reported Politicker New York. And it doesn’t hurt that his father was one of the most popular Jewish politicians in recent Queens history —  Congressional District 9 is one of the most heavily Jewish voting districts in the country, according to several reports.

What, if anything, is at stake? Weprin’s political relationships and campaign knowledge make him an obvious pick for the Democrats. But Weprin isn’t particularly interested in being a congressman, as he told the Daily News last month. And that is perhaps one of the top reasons he was selected by the party. Confused?

Weiner’s seat may be redistricted out of existence in the next election season. If that happens, which many political insiders suspect is very likely, the winner of the September 13 special election will only be in office until December 2012.

If Weprin wins the special election and the seat disappears in 2012, his career will receive a needed boost — perhaps he’s eyeing another citywide election? — but he won’t have to stay in a position which doesn’t particularly interest him, speculated Politicker New York.

Republicans turn to Turner: As expected, on Friday Queens and Brooklyn party leaders selected retired television executive Bob Turner to run against Weprin. Turner lost to Weiner in the 2010 general election, but he did receive 40 percent of the vote — no easy feat for a Republican candidate in a highly Democratic district.

It seems almost certain that Weprin will win the special election, but the New York Post reported that the Queens assemblyman will need to stay on his toes against an opponent who has come out of the gates swinging.