Giuliani endorses Bob Turner in special election to replace Anthony Weiner

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has endorsed Republican Bob Turner in the special election to replace disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, Turner’s campaign announced Monday.

Turner is running against New York State Assemblyman David Weprin.

“Congress is in dire need of business leaders like Bob Turner, not another career politician,” Giuliani said. “This country needs to start creating jobs again and Bob Turner has the national and international business know-how to help move us in that direction.”

Turner also has the endorsement of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.

“Having Mayors Giuliani and Koch behind my candidacy is a tremendous momentum builder going into next month’s election,” said Turner of the endorsements. “Unlike my opponent, David Weprin, who supported the biggest property tax increase in city history, Mayor Giuliani understands, as I do, that middle class New Yorkers need jobs and tax relief. Career politicians like Mr. Weprin will never understand that.”

Giuliani opposes the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero, Turner said. He made this issue the focus of his first television ad.

“Bob Turner and his friends will do anything to distract voters from their radical plan to end Medicare and cut Social Security so they can protect tax breaks for millionaires and Big Oil,” shot back Weprin’s communications director Elizabeth Kerr. “At a time when we need leaders who will work to overcome the greatest challenges in a generation, Bob Turner is playing a reckless game of Tea Party politics and is trying to politicize 9/11 for his own personal gain.”

The endorsement from Giuliani is “helpful, but not [a] game changer,” a New York Republican political consultant told TheDC.

The special election in New York’s heavily Democratic 9th District is surprisingly close, according to a Siena poll last week, which found Turner trailing Weprin by just six points. Weprin leads Turner 48 percent to 42 percent.

That same poll found that 38 percent of New Yorkers would be more likely to support a candidate endorsed by Ed Koch. Just 15 percent said Koch’s endorsement would make them less likely to support his chosen candidate. Siena did not report similar numbers related to a Giuliani endorsement.

The election in New York’s Ninth Congressional District will be held on September 13.