Congressional members weigh in on NY-9 special election
Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York
September 13th, 2011
02:31 PM ET
10 years ago

Congressional members weigh in on NY-9 special election

Washington (CNN) - On the day Democrats hope to win a special election in ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner's district, several Democratic members of Congress from New York showed their support Tuesday for candidate David Weprin.

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said both candidates would be strong supporters of Israel, a crucial position in perhaps the strongest Jewish district in the country. But with the Democrat, Schumer said, "you're going to get someone who's going fight to preserve Medicare and Social Security, in addition."

Weprin, despite being an Orthodox Jew, has struggled to shore up Jewish support in the Brooklyn/Queens district. As a state assemblyman, he drew criticism in the community for voting to pass the same-sex marriage bill in New York.

Meanwhile, his Republican opponent Bob Turner, with the help of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, has rallied to turn the campaign into a referendum on President Barack Obama's position on Israel's future borders.

Koch crossed party lines to endorse Turner, hoping to send a message to the White House.

But Schumer, who once represented the same district as a congressman, said he's hopeful that the president's push for jobs will bring Democratic voters home.

"We'll see tonight," Schumer said.

But he also seemed to lower expectations. While he used to represent the same district, it changed after a 2000 redistricting process to what Schumer called one of the most conservative in the city, despite having a 3 to 1 ratio of Democrats to Republicans and a long history of Democratic elected officials.

"President Obama won the district by much less than he won the rest of New York City," Schumer said. "And so, to make the argument that this is a very liberal district and it's a close race, it's just not what the district has been."

The House's second ranking Democrat Steny Hoyer admitted the special election in New York is "closer than we would like to have it be, closer than anybody thought it would be."

While he said he didn't believe the election results would be a direct statement on the president, the Maryland Democrat conceded that it will likely be interpreted as one.

New York Rep. Eliot Engel defended the Democratic candidate's stance on Israel said he's done a robo call vouching for Weprin as a strong supporter of pro-Israel policies.

But the fact this was an issue, Engel said, might serve as "a wake up to call" to the Obama Administration.

New York Rep. Nita Lowey also stood by Weprin, saying that he's an Orthodox Jew and would be "absolutely" committed to Israel.

Both Engel and Lowey said there is bipartisan support in Congress to vote to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Democrats weren't the only ones weighing on the election. House Speaker John Boehner also spoke Tuesday, seemingly lowering expectations for the GOP, as well.

"Listen, we've got great candidate in New York, but this is a very serious Democrat district," Boehner said, adding that it's been represented by Weiner, Schumer and former Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro.

"This is not a district that Republicans have any right to believe that we can win, but we do have a good candidate, I think it will be a good race, and hope springs eternal," Boehner said. Polls close at 9 p.m. in New York's 9th Congressional District.

- CNN's Ashley Killough, Deirdre Walsh, and Paul Courson contributed to this report.

Filed under: Anthony Weiner • Charles Schumer • John Boehner • New York
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said both candidates would be strong supporters of Israel..."

    The State of Israel does not need and should not have representation in the Congress of the United States! Their interests are not now, nor have they ever been, aligned with ours and our blind, unreasoning, biased support of Israel, through all the atrocities it has committed over the years, is one of the principal causes of American difficulties in the mideast.

    September 13, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban

    Rep. Weiner should have never resigned! Especially while there are perverts like Sen. Vitter still in Congress.

    September 13, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. DanoMcRoo

    A Republican Congressman from Queens? This is an ominous indicator of the azz whipping the Democrats are going to take next November. There will likely be Republican super majorities in both houses of congress, as well as a Republican President.

    September 13, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Yeah its all about Israel. Who cares if these angry Anti-Americans want to elect a republican warmonger? In a fit of anger, Americans elected republicans to control the House and look what that resulted in. It resulted in absolutely no performance whatsoever from the Congress and a gridlock. Americans own anger came back to bite them. It will happen again if they elect a republican in NY9. They will deeply regret it. As for isn't even a legitimate country. The country was stolen and taken by force in 1948. Let's forget all the BS. Do 5 minutes of research. How was the state of Israel formed? It was literally stolen from the Palestinians in 1948. How would you feel if the Chinese came and took over California and called it China? You would never forgive them. Never. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will NEVER BE SOLVED for this reason. The pro Israel American camp is deluded and in denial of the truth. Now, Jewish people have a lot of political power in the USA and will vote for the first warmonger idiot to stick up for Israel. It's pathetic how stupid and unconscious Americans are.

    September 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Robert

    The Isreal-Palestinian conflict will never be solved. Why? Because the facts are that Western nations stole the land now called Israel from the Palestinians in 1948. Deluded by religion and false memes, Americans are ignorant of the truth and so support the aggressor. Who cares who NY9 elects? Like it really matters anymore. Angry Americans vote with their emotions and make many huge mistakes in doing so. Like electing republicans to control the House. A lot of good that did. The republicans have accomplished nothing. They held the country hostage during debt ceiling negotiations like the fundamentalist terrorists that they are.

    A vote for a climate liar....a climate change denying republican is a vote against your own children and the survival of the human race. A vote for a republican is therefore immoral and a crime against humanity.

    September 13, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. enough of lies

    not true chuck, your dem buddy is muslim oreiented and against jews, look closer at the eyes, your dems buddy lies like you do chuck.

    September 13, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    "Koch crossed party lines to endorse Turner, hoping to send a message to the White House."
    I wonder what the message is supposed to be. That we should let Israel have a blank to check to do whatever it wants, and the US has its' back? That was the Bush-43 administration policy. It was a first. It was a disaster.

    September 13, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. WiredweirdinSF

    Amazing isn't it. Ole "where is the camera" Schumer and his corrupt colleagues are running a man who does not even live in the district. Just another shameless show of democrat liberal corruption, aided by by their co conspirators the corrupt unon bosses.

    September 13, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    if the republican wins, that should send a clear message to the Dems, that they are in serious trouble, come 2012.

    September 13, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I wonder how much this would be worth it since the district is going to be lost when the redistricting is done. I guess that it makes someone a former member of the House that can get a new job as a pundit.

    September 13, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. Dean

    Saying that Weprin is a friend of Israel, does not make it so. Vote Bob Turner.

    September 13, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |