It’s the biggest political upset of the century! Despite not being a designated candidate, former Congressman Anthony Weiner won the special election for the 9th Congressional District… at least among write-in candidates.
The New York City Board of Elections released the break-down of votes from the September 13 special election for New York’s 9th Congressional District, and voters turned to write-in candidates at more than double the rate of the previous congressional election, reflecting voters’ disaffection with the offerings of the established political parties.
Top on the list of write-ins? Anthony Weiner, who walked away with 31 votes… out of 72,197 total votes cast in Brooklyn and Queens.
The special election is now over, and Republican Bob Turner bested Democrat David Weprin in what was originally expected to be an easy win for the party of donkeys. The writing was on the wall by the time 84 percent of districts had been counted: Turner had a relatively wide victory margin of 54 percent of the vote to Weprin’s 46 percent.
Now we get the political navel-gazing, the slice-and-dice of every campaign gaffe, the meticulous scrutiny of national and local sympathies that could’ve led to such an upset. After all, political reporters – the fiercest of reportorial wizards in the game of sussing out meaning, whether it’s real or imagined – must justify their salaries and fill their pages. But does any of it actually speak to local voters’ motivation?
The audience at last night’s Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association received a surprise visit from Bob Turner, the GOP candidate for the 9th Congressional District, who stopped by just hours before polls were to open to deliver his “last political speech” before today’s special election.
In an opening statement, Turner emphasized his endorsements from Democrats like former mayor Ed Koch and State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, both of whom rallied behind the Republican more as a sign of opposition to Obama’s Israel policy than as support for Turner’s positions.
Responding to concerns from multiple attendees about constituent services, Turner said he’d have an office in both Brooklyn and Queens, but refused to say if it would be in the Sheepshead Bay area, instead saying somewhere in Flatbush might be more likely.
“I fully understand this is not about winning an election. It’s about representing and serving the people of a community,” Turner said. “To do that, I will staff and I will have people interested in doing the job. The things I don’t know, I’ll learn.”
Turner’s appearance was not a surprise to everyone in the crowd. MBNA President Alan Ditchek said Turner confirmed with the group’s leadership earlier that day. Both Weprin and Turner were invited in the days before the meeting, but Weprin was unable to attend, Ditchek said.
I guess they’re doing their best to keep the postal service busy. There’s one government program I suppose Turner doesn’t want to hack away at. But perhaps the candidates can save some money and reach more people by advertising online.
The special election for the 9th Congressional District is on September 13.
Manhattan Beach Community Group is hosting a town hall-style candidates forum between the candidates in the special election to replace Anthony Weiner in Congress at 8 p.m. tonight. But not everybody has been paying attention to each minute detail of this race, so I’m going to introduce this election from the beginning.
Hopefully by now you know the tragic story about how Weiner vacated his Congressional seat, which is based in Queens but also contains all or parts of Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Midwood, Gerritsen Beach and Mill Basin.
Weiner’s exit triggered a special election to fill New York’s 9th Congressional district. Voting begins and ends on September 13 and, unlike a normal election, there are no primaries; whoever gets the majority of the votes on September 13 will be congressman for the remaining half of Weiner’s term. The Republican and Democratic county machines chose their nominees through a closed-door insider process and Republican Bob Turner and Democrat David Weprin emerged as their respective nominees.
Just a reminder that tomorrow is one of the few opportunities local residents will have to meet, greet and ask questions of the two leading candidates for the 9th Congressional District, recently vacated by Anthony Weiner.
It will be an orderly town hall-style evening, in which residents can pose questions of concern to the community to GOP candidate Bob Turner and Democratic candidate David Weprin. Although the event is organized by the Manhattan Beach Community Group, the civic tells us that it’s open to all residents of Southern Brooklyn. Several other groups, including the Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach Civic Association and the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association, are expected to attend, as are residents from all around.
The event will be Wednesday night, August 31, at 8 p.m. in P.S. 195 (131 Irwin Street).
The special election is September 13, and it looks like an increasingly close race, with Bob Turner currently leading in the Brooklyn portion of the district, and David Weprin just barely winning the entire district as a whole.
The results of the first poll to take a look at the race for the 9th Congressional District – recently vacated by Anthony Weiner – are out, and it looks like our neck of the woods is going to see a much closer race than Democratic operatives would like.
The results of the poll – conducted by Sienna College – show that in the overall district, Democrat David Weprin is winning by a mere six points. But, perhaps more notably to Sheepshead Bay residents, it appears the Brooklyn segment of the district is swinging right-ward, with Republican Bob Turner leading by six percent.
Here’s a bit of a demographic breakdown by Sienna pollster Steven Greenberg:
Men are currently evenly divided, and women give Weprin an 11-point advantage. While voters under 55-years-of-age give Weprin a big lead, voters 55 and older – a crucial voting bloc, particularly in a special election – are virtually evenly divided. Catholic voters give a big edge to Turner, while Jewish voters give an equally big edge to Weprin. At the moment, Turner voters appear to be more committed to their candidate, with 60 percent saying they are absolutely certain to support him. Only 47 percent of Weprin voters say there is no chance they will change their mind.
Interestingly, the results of this poll illustrate just how much more conservative the Brooklyn portion of the Ninth district has become than its Queens counterpart. Why do you think that is?
The Manhattan Beach Community Group has scored a political coup (of sorts) in setting up a candidates night later this month. Republican candidate Bob Turner will face off against Democratic candidate David Weprin at a candidate’s Town Hall Candidate Night on August 31, allowing residents from across Southern Brooklyn to put their questions straight to the contenders.
In our own little slice of New York City we have the opportunity as Americans to make our voices and votes heard in Washington, around the country and maybe even internationally. You are cordially invited to attend a Town Hall Candidate Night on August 31, 8PM at PS 195 to meet the Republican and Democratic nominees of the Special Election (Sept. 13). Meet the next Congressman of the 9th.
This is a special election in many ways. You have the opportunity to send a message that will be loud and will be heard. To help you with your vote selection the MBCG is pleased to have arranged for Mr. Turner and Mr. Weprin to meet the good people of South Brooklyn. Our neighboring community groups have been invited and many will attend.
Our job (MBCG) that evening is to make sure that everyone in attendance has an opportunity to be heard.
P.S. 195 is located at 131 Irwin Street in Manhattan Beach. This is one of the few opportunities residents will have to raise issues directly with the candidates for the 9th Congressional District before the September 13 special election.