Candidates running for the 9th Congressional District have been crisscrossing the district, touting endorsements and making last-minute attempts to woo voters poised to cast their ballots in the Sept. 13 special election.
Democratic Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) and Republican Bob Turner, a retired television executive from the Rockaways, are vying to represent the seat once held by former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner.
The United Federation of Teachers and the New York Times endorsed Weprin last week, while Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) crossed party lines to throw his support behind Turner this week. The Daily News also recently gave Turner its stamp of approval, an unusual move for a paper that routinely endorses Democrats.
The Queens Chronicle endorsed Weprin in this week’s editorial, and former Republican Gov. George Pataki gave his thumbs up to Turner this week.
“In these times of fiscal uncertainty and growing income inequality, New Yorkers need a strong Democratic voice in Washington to help put this country back on the right track,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said at a press conference in front of PS 64 in Ozone Park last Thursday. “David Weprin will fight for the national policies New Yorkers need to solve the problems of our economy, and to keep the promises of Social Security and Medicare.”
At the same conference, the UFT announced it was endorsing Democrat Phil Goldfeder for the 23rd Assembly District and Democrat Michael Simanowitz for the 27th Assembly District.
Goldfeder is running against Republican Jane Deacy for the seat previously held by now Queens County Clerk Audrey Pheffer. Simanowitz is being challenged by Republican Marco DeSena for the district that had been represented by Nettie Mayersohn, who retired at the age of 86 in April.
Hikind’s endorsement echoed sentiments voiced by former Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat who backed Turner because he said he wanted to “send a message” to President Obama that he was upset with the administration’s policies in Israel.
“I am supporting Mr. Turner because this is a rare opportunity for all those living in the 9th Congressional District, myself included, to send a message to President Obama about his failed, disastrous economic policies and his reckless policies toward Israel,” Hikind said in a statement on Wednesday.
The New York Times said in its editorial endorsing Weprin that the Democrat would “represent the district with far more expertise, sensitivity and fiscal rationality.”
“As a City Council member and state legislator, Mr. Weprin has promoted education and civil rights and fought to protect senior citizens,” the Times editorial continued. “In Washington, he promises to work to protect Social Security and Medicare. He says he would push for higher taxes for the wealthy rather than cut programs that serve the working and middle classes.”
The Daily News said in its Sept. 1 editorial that “after a private-sector career as a television industry executive, Turner has a real-world sense of the country’s fiscal distress and of the pressing need to jump-start employment opportunities.”
The Queens Chronicle endorsed Weprin because it said Weprin was an experienced lawmaker and veteran of the financial markets, though the paper stressed Turner was an admirable person, albeit one whose policies were out of sync with the district.
Pataki, meanwhile, said Turner has “the real-world business experience we need.”