Weiner Defeats Turner
On a night in which the Democrats lost the majority of the House by losing, as of press time, at least 60 seats in the House to Republicans, Weiner was able to fend off Turner and retain Democratic representation in the district.
Weiner, who has served in Congress since 1999, beat Turner with 69 percent of the vote in the 9th Congressional District that encompasses parts of south Brooklyn and south central Queens. It was the first time Weiner was challenged since 2004.
Turner did sway some of the undecided voters, but not enough to overcome the more than 3:1 Democrat to Republican ratio of active registered voters in the district. His main platform planks were job creation and anti-health care reform. He received criticism from Weiner during the days leading to the election for saying all employees put to work on capital construction projects, or any government worker for that matter, were “working on the public dole.” Weiner felt it was nothing more than a fancy way of calling public workers freeloaders.
Turner felt the only way to create jobs was not “on the public dole” but rather with tax cuts to corporations which would enable them to hire more people. When interviewed by The Wave in the beginning of his campaign he was short on ideas and mainly discussed his anti-health care platform. He suggested during the interview that anyone who cannot afford to pay privately for health insurance is probably eligible for Medicaid. For example he believed that a single mother making $30,000 per year was currently Medicaid eligible and need not worry about how she could afford private health insurance.
The other local incumbents proved to be matched up with challengers who were easily defeated, as well. State Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer was reelected over Harold Paez and State Senator Malcolm Smith, despite all the suspicions and investigations, easily won with more than 77 percent of the vote. Congressman Gregory Meeks was also reelected in Far Rockaway, defeating Republican challenger Asher Taub who received only 15 percent of the district’s vote.