Republican Bob Turner, was declared the winner Tuesday night over Democrat David Weprin in a special election to fill the Congressional seat left vacant by Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned following a scandal over sexually charged messages he sent to women he had met online. With almost all of the election districts reporting, Mr. Turner had 54% of the vote to Mr. Weprin’s 46% in the 9th congressional district that includes parts of Queens and Brooklyn.
Turner, a retired cable television executive, has become the first Republican to win New York’s ninth congressional district since 1920, capitalising on voter discontent with the grim state of the economy and the lagging popularity of the Obama administration.
Even before the votes were counted, Republicans said the closeness of the contest showed Democrats are abandoning Mr. Obama heading into the 2012 election season.
Democratic party leaders insisted the loss wasn’t a harbinger of things to come. “It’s a very difficult district for Democrats,” said Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, noting its Democratic margins there tend to be the second lowest of all the districts in New York City.
Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, endorsed Turner and explained that a victory by the Republican would be the best way for Democrats to send a message to the President.
Republicans also easily held a seat in Nevada’s GOP-heavy 2nd district, which has never elected a Democrat. State Sen. Mark Amodei (R) beat state Treasurer Kate Marshall (D) in a special election for the House seat left open by Sen. Dean Heller (R), who was appointed to replace Sen. John Ensign (R). Ensign resigned earlier this year over a scandal involving an aide.
Space Launch System, NASA, Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden