GOP Pushes Turner To Enter Senate Race (Updated X3)
With concern setting in among downstate Republican leaders that the three declared candidates vying for the nomination to take on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the fall will be crushed, state Republican Chairman Ed Cox called Rep. Bob Turner this weekend about possibly jumping into the race, a source familiar with the conversation said.
Update: A state Republican Party spokesman called to strongly deny Cox had spoken to Turner about running.
Update X2: It appears Cox may not have called Turner directly, however multiple county chairmen have been on the phone with Turner hoping to push him into the race.
Update X3 And here’s a statement from Turner advisor E. O’Brien Murray, who, to be clear, is also working for Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin, one of the three already-announced Republican opponents to Gillibrand.
“This is all very flattering, but Congressman Turner’s plan right now is to run for re-election to represent as many of his current voters in Brooklyn and Queens.”
“The next set of congressional lines should be out early this week, and we will know more about his district then. In the meantime, we will be staying focused on a house race.”
Turner, the Brooklyn Republican who defeated Democrat David Weprin in last year’s upset special election to replace the disgraced Democratic former Rep. Anthony Weiner, may lose his seat in redistricting.
The source says Turner’s decision as to whether he’ll run for Senate hinges in part on the outcome of the redistricting process.
The Assembly and Senate are expected to introduce new maps close to midnight this evening. Federal Magistrate Judge Roanne Mann eliminated Turner’s district in her proposed plan.
Republican and Democratic leaders in the Legislature have largely praised Mann’s maps, calling them a “template” for some sort of broader redistricting deal.
This isn’t the first time Turner has been approached about running as we first reported back in December.
But with less than a week before the party’s convention and only three largely unknown candidates – Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, conservative lawyer Wendy Long and Carvin – competing for the nomination, pressure may build for them to bow and make room for Turner.
Long has been a particular concern for some local Republican leaders. Though she has some support from state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long (no relation) she is believed to be too far to the right to be able to mount a competitive general election campaign.
Liz adds: (The fact that she led the change against US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as counsel of the Judicial Confirmation Network particularly worries some GOP chairs who don’t want to alienate Hispanic voters – a very important voting bloc, particularly as the Senate majority hangs in the balance).
From the source:
“The hope is that Turner could unite the Republicans and Conservatives, and that his high-profile and high name ID would encourage the existing candidates to graciously step aside for the good of both parties.”
“As far as I know, none of the candidates have been approached yet. This is all moving quickly, and it would all depend on Turner not running for re-election for his House seat.
Granted, Turner has name recognition problems of his own, especially in the upstate region. But he would certainly be able to tap into a broader fundraising base.
If Turner does indeed jump in the race, things would have to move very fast. The state Republican convention is being held Friday in Rochester.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on March 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm, and is filed under 2012, Bob Turner, Kirsten Gillibrand, Republicans. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|