Republican and retired media exec Bob Turner was called the winner of the special election for ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner’s congressional seat, earning 53% of the vote with 75% of the precincts reporting late Tuesday.
Democratic opponent David Weprin earned 47% of the vote, according to reports.
A win by Turner, many say, is signaling a referendum on President Barack Obama ahead of next year’s presidential election. The last time the GOP held the seat was in the early 1920s.
While Turner had been leading in the latest polls, Weprin, a Queens state assemblyman, was the early favorite to win in the Ninth Congressional District, which straddles Brooklyn and Queens. Democrats outnumber Republicans 3-to-1 there.
Weprin, 55, painted Turner, 70, as a Tea Party candidate whose smaller government beliefs don’t resonate with liberal New Yorkers.
The two continued to lob accusations at one another Tuesday, with Weprin claiming Turner’s allies tried to jam his campaign office’s phone lines so they couldn’t call out.
The Turner campaign denied the charges, and fired back that a phony group called “Jews for Jesus for Turner” was trying to rile up Jewish voters so that they wouldn’t vote for Turner.
Among those casting votes Tuesday was Weiner, who vacated the seat in June after admitting to sending lewd pics of himself to women online.
He showed up alone, wearing jeans and a blazer, stating that he voted for Weprin and added, “I am confident he’d make an excellent congressman."