In what many political analysts are calling a rebuke of President Obama, a Republican won the special election to fill out the rest of the House term of former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner.
In a district that is 3-1 Democratic, Republican Bob Turner easily beat Democrat David Weprin Tuesday night. At last count the vote was 54% to 46%. After initially refusing to concede, Weprin finally gave up Wednesday afternoon.
To make matters worse for Democrats, Weprin is a well known, long-time politician in the district. He currently represents it in the state Assembly, and before that he was a member of the New York City Council. Turner is a political neophyte – he is a businessman who has never held elected office.
Turner campaigned in the heavily-Jewish district on a platform of opposing Obama’s policies in Israel, as well as his handling of the economy. Analysts say Weprin, who is Jewish, suffered because of his vote in the Assembly in support of gay marriage. Many of the Jews in the district are Orthodox, and they tend to be conservative on such social issues.
"We've been asked by people of this district to send a message to Washington I hope they hear it loud and clear," Turner told supporters after being declared the winner.
The Republican National Committee also sees this as a slap at Obama and his policies.
"Even in the heart of New York City, in a traditionally liberal district, voters have turned on the President and his Congressional allies," party chairman Reince Priebus said, according to the New York Daily News.
However the White House said it is not a reflection on the president.
"Special elections are often unique, and their outcomes don't tell you very much about future regularly scheduled elections," spokesman Jay Carney said.
Turner may have only a year or so to enjoy his time in office. His area is expected to be eliminated by redistricting next year. Turner, though, has vowed to find another district in which to run, and another Democrat to challenge, in 2012.