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Fast Start in Bid for GOP Nomination

Ranaan Gebrer

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BROOKLYN — His congressional seat may have been eliminated by redistricting, but in less than two weeks, Congressman Bob Turner (R-Brooklyn/Queens) has become a favorite in the New York metro area for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

Turner, who spent 40 years in the private sector as a cable TV executive, emerged from relative obscurity when he won former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s seat in the fall after Weiner resigned in the midst of a “sexting” scandal.

Even at the time, Turner’s 9th District was frequently mentioned as one that could be eliminated by redistricting. After it became official that the district would be divided up for the fall 2012 elections, Brooklyn Republican Party Chair Craig Eaton nominated Turner for Senate on March 12.

Turner will have to face two other Republican hopefuls, Manhattan litigation attorney Wendy Long and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, in the June 26 Republican primary for the right to run against Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand. However, he’s gotten off to a fast start.

Former Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari, who also represented a joint Brooklyn-Staten Island district in Congress in the 1970s and ’80s, called Turner “serious, no-nonsense” and a “hard worker.” The Rockland County Republican Committee called Turner the most qualified candidate to defeat “the country’s most left-wing senator, Kirsten Gillibrand.”

On March 13, just a day after Turner announced his candidacy, the Manhattan Republican County Committee endorsed him. “At the end of the day, the majority of the committee thought that Bob Turner would be our best candidate,” the Daily News quoted Dan Isaacs, the borough’s Republican Party Chair, as saying. Turner has also been endorsed by the Brooklyn and Queens Republican Parties.

Turner’s spokeswoman, Jessica Proud, told the Eagle, “Bob became known not only throughout New York City but throughout the entire country when he took on an entrenched Democratic politician [David Weprin, who also sought to succeed Weiner] and won. Senator Gillibrand has some very bad votes that have been harmful to New York state, such as Obamacare, and has voted against energy products that have contributed to high gas prices.

“She’s voted in lockstep with President Obama for massive spending. Bob’s background in business will be very appealing to New Yorkers who want to create jobs and grow the economy.”

Wendy Long was chosen as the nominee of the Conservative Party, which Turner had also sought. Michael Long (no relation), a Brooklynite and head of the state’s Conservative Party, said, “I have a very high opinion of Bob Turner, I consider him a good friend and I was his chief supporter for Congress.”

However, Long said, Turner announced his intention to seek the Conservative nomination very late in the game, and “Wendy Long had already been crisscrossing the state since January, winning our hearts and minds.”

March 20, 2012 - 6:17pm


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