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'Dirty tricks' charged in special election between Turner, Weprin

TurnerWeprin

TurnerWeprin Photo Credit: Bob Turner, Republican/David Weprin, Democrat

Democrat David Weprin is accusing supporters of his Republican opponent, Bob Turner, of "dirty tricks" on the day of the special election.

Weprin claims Turner's allies sent a mass text message to voters at 3 a.m. Tuesday telling them to call his campaign office and jam the phones, preventing Weprin's camp from properly using the phone and calling voters.

The move is "a blatant attempt to steal this election because they are afraid that Democrats' turnout operation will get voters who want to protect Medicare and Social Security to the polls," Weprin spokeswoman Elizabeth Kerr said in a statement.

"Republicans participating in phone jamming in the past have landed in jail, and there must be a full investigation into the Republican phone jamming campaign," she added.

The Turner campaign denied the charges, and fired back that a phony group called "Jews for Jesus for Turner" is trying to rile up Jewish voters so that they don't vote for Turner.

The candidates are vying for the Ninth Congressional District seat vacated by ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner. Recent polls have put Turner ahead, although Weprin had been leading early on in the majority Democratic district straddling Brooklyn and Queens.

Weiner was among a steady flow of New Yorkers at the polls for the special election to finish out the final year of his term in the U.S. House of Representatives after he resigned amid a Twitter sex scandal. The Ninth District seat may be eliminated in upcoming redistricting.

He showed up alone, wearing jeans and a blazer, stating that he voted for Weprin, adding, "I am confident he'd make an excellent congressman."

As for the possibility that the Democrats could lose the seat for the first time since the 1920s, Weiner said, "It is always bad when a district goes Republican. All 435 should be Democrat."

(With Reuters)

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