He becomes the fourth Republican -- and with the highest profile by far -- to jump in the race against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Turner (R-Rockaway Point) made the leap just three days before the Republican state convention in Rochester.
Turner became a darling of New York Republicans last fall when he scored a stunning upset to replace disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens) in a heavily Democratic Queens-Brooklyn district. But New York must shrink its congressional delegation from 29 to 27 and a redistricting proposal advanced this week by a federal magistrate would effectively eliminate Turner's district and force him into a primary against Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens).
Turner cited that development as spurring his decision. "I ran for the House six months ago as a private citizen fed up with what is happening in Washington," he said in a statement. "Brooklyn and Queens voters, of all political parties, graciously responded by sending me to Congress. It now appears that their district has been eliminated. There is serious work to be done to get this economy back on track, and I will not walk away from that work now. I will run for the Senate, and I will run to win."
"Bob's a good guy, but I think he's come too late to the table," Michael Long said. "I don't think this is the right move for him."