Since Anthony Weiner resigned earlier this year, New York’s 9th Congressional seat has been vacant. Governor Cuomo called for a special election on Sept. 13 to coincide with the same day of the Primary Election here in New York, and I thought we here at Persephone could take a look at the candidates in the lead up to the election.
The 9th District is located in New York City, encompassing part of Brooklyn and Queens. Its constituents are mostly middle class and white with a growing Latino population. As with many of the Congressional districts in that area, Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans. The two main candidates in the special election race are David Weprin (D) and Bob Turner (R). Weprin is currently the sitting Member of Assembly, and Turner, who ran and lost to Weiener last election, works in the television industry.
Weprin is a pretty lefty Democrat on both economic and social policy. He supports issues like gay marriage, gun control, and voting consistently for budget funding for social programming during his time in the Assembly. Turner is focused mostly on typical Republican economic issues: job creation, reducing the debt, eliminating waste, etc. He does mention on his campaign website that he is against the privitization of social programs like Medicare and Social Security. (A Republican running in such a Democrat-heavy district of course would need a more moderate stance than the prominent Tea Party chorus throughout much of the country.)
A recent Sienna poll of likely voters shows Weprin ahead by a margin of 6 with neither candidate holding a commanding lead. While having the special election coincide with the primaries helps matters a little bit, turnout is going to be really critical in deciding this one. While the races in NY-09 are usually not hot contests, this will certainly be one to keep an eye on over the next few weeks.