2011-09-23 / Top Stories

Turner Big In Breezy, West End, Howard Beach

By Howard Schwach

Turner at his swearing-in ceremony last week. Turner at his swearing-in ceremony last week. A week after Breezy Point businessman Bob Turner shocked the political establishment by winning the special election in the 9th Congressional District, defeating Democrat David Weprin, insiders are still debating why he was able to rack up a six point plurality in the heavily Democratic district.

Republican leaders say that the large vote for Turner was a complete repudiation of President Barack Obama’s fiscal policies as well as his Middle East policy. Orthodox Jews and fundamental Christians see the vote as a repudiation of Weprin’s Assembly vote approving same sex marriage. Democratic leaders see it as a loss with no particular national impact.

Whatever the reason, however, it is clear that Turner’s conservative Republican message resonated with many voters both in Rockaway and the rest of the 9th District.

As expected, Turner took Breezy Point, his home turf, with more than 90 percent of the vote, according to unofficial statistics provided by the Board of Elections.

He took Neponsit and Belle Harbor, two communities deemed more conservative than the rest of the peninsula, by more than 75 percent.

He took many of the Rockaway Park districts and Broad Channel by more than 70 percent as well.

In heavily Christian and conservative Howard Beach, Turner beat Weprin by more than three to one.

He also took the Orthodox Jewish districts in Brooklyn by more than 75 percent as well, something that, at first glance, seems strange because Weprin is an Orthodox Jew.

His stand on gay marriage and the president’s call for Israel to revert to its pre-1967 borders caused many of his Orthodox brethren to heed the call of former mayor Ed Koch and vote for Turner, insiders say.

Incomplete and unofficial statistics show that of the nearly 64,000 votes that were cast, Turner had 33,816, Weprin had 29,688 and Christopher Hoeppner (the Socialist Worker candidate) had 278 votes.

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