With his Congressional district facing likely elimination, Rep. Bob Turner announced Tuesday that he is challenging Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for her seat.
Turner, a Republican who won an upset in a special election to replace Anthony Weiner last year in a heavily Democratic district encompassing Brooklyn and Queens, made his announcement just three days before New York’s Republican convention, and less than a week before the state’s Conservative convention.
"I ran for the House six months ago as a private citizen fed up with what is happening in Washington,” Turner said in a statement Tuesday. “I could not sit and watch career politicians sink my nation deeper into economic crisis.“
"There is serious work to be done to get this economy back on track, and I will not walk away from that work now,” he added.
Three other Republicans are already vying for the spot, including New York City attorney Wendy Long, who has already been backed by Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long.
Michael Long told amNewYork that although Turner, 70, is “a good friend” of his, he’s still backing Wendy Long for his party’s ticket.
“I think he’s come too late to the table,” he said Tuesday, adding that he planned to speak with Turner later in the day.
“I don’t think this is the right decision for him,” Long said.
A spokesman for Gillibrand already began taking swipes at Turner.
“We look forward to contrasting Senator Gillibrand’s record of fighting for New York’s middle class with that of Congressman Turner's record as a former Rush Limbaugh producer turned self-proclaimed pandering Republican if he becomes the nominee,” spokesman Glen Caplin said in an email, adding that Turner is “far too extreme for New York.”