On Tuesday, September 13th, Republican Businessman Bob Turner won a stunning victory over Democrat David Weprin in the Special Election for the congressional seat formerly held by Anthony Weiner. It marked the first time a Republican has held the seat in almost 90 years, since 1923.
Things started to unravel for Weprin two weeks ago when he ducked a debate scheduled for August 29th in Middle Village that was sponsored by the Juniper Park Civic Association and the Times Newsweekly. Weprin was roasted in the national press for ducking the debate right after he was embarrassed in the NY Daily News for getting several answers wrong in meeting with the papers editorial board. Weprin flubbed the question on the size of the U.S. debt saying it was $4 trillion. He was off by about $10 trillion.
On August 29th Weprin was up 6% in the polls. However a week later it was a statistical dead heat and this past weekend, Turner pulled ahead by 6%.
"The Turner upset victory sends a clear message to President Obama and to Queens party boss Joe Crowley that we've had enough, things are about to change," said Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association.
Holden said that Weprin proved to be weak candidate by his actions in the final weeks of the race. "Party boss Congressman Joe Crowley, who lives in Virginia, has been selecting unqualified candidates for years to run in our area; the voters in the 9th CD finally said enough is enough."