2012-03-16 / Top Stories

Turner Prepped For Senate Run

By Howard Schwach

Congressman Bob Turner will run for the Senate. Congressman Bob Turner will run for the Senate. A year ago, Breezy Point native Bob Turner was a relative unknown, a retired television executive whose main claim to fame was producing daytime television shows.

Today, however, the newly-minted Congressman is constantly in the news.

Will the legislature wipe out his congressional seat? Will he have to run against Congressman Gregory Meeks in a new all-Rockaway seat? Will Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder jump into the mix?

Now, Turner has announced his run for the United State Senate.

“I will travel to the Republican State Convention in Rochester later this week and humbly ask for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate. I will respectfully ask for the Conservative nomination a few days later at that Party’s convention. I have made my intentions known to the other Republican candidates in this race.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who holds the seat coveted by Turner. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who holds the seat coveted by Turner. “I ran for the House six months ago as a private citizen fed up with what is happening in Washington.

“I could not sit and watch career politicians sink my nation deeper into economic crisis. Brooklyn and Queens voters, of all political parties, graciously responded by sending me to Congress. It now appears that their district has been eliminated.

“There is serious work to be done to get this economy back on track, and I will not walk away from that work now. I will run for the Senate, and I will run to win.”

There are three lesser known Republicans who will also vie for the seat at a party confab next week. GOP officials have said publically, however, that none of the three sparked any excitement among state party officials.

Regardless of who gets the nomination, the other contenders are likely to petition to get onto the ballot for a June 23 primary. The early primary will give the winner more time to prepare for a general election—and perhaps raise enough money to compete with the incumbent.

A spokesperson for US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued a statement about Turner’s candidacy.

“We’re less than 72 hours away from the New York State Republican convention and just today, Rush Limbaugh’s former producer, Congressman Bob Turner, entered the race to take on Kirsten,” the spokesperson said. “Maybe he was inspired by her unfaltering defense of women’s rights in the Senate or his old pal Rush being back in the news again.

“Or, maybe he just thinks he deserves a promotion and can push Kirsten aside, but we need to show right-wing Congressman Turner and her other extreme opponents that Kirsten is no pushover.”

Political consultants say a candidate for Senate would ideally spend up to $30 million, a number Turner will probably not approach.

Gillibrand is already well financed and is a prolific fundraiser.

Last year alone she raised nearly $10 million and has about $8 million in the bank. Turner reportedly has about $1 million in his campaign chest.

Turner won a special election against Democrat David Weprin last September and has been looking forward to defending his seat.

The most recent reapportionment plan, proposed by a federal magistrate judge, put all of Rockaway in one district, meaning that the two present Congressmen – Turner and Gregory Meeks, would have to run against each other for the new seat.

Local GOP officials told The Wave that the party has been looking for a candidate that can win against Gillibrand, and they believe that Turner proved his vote-getting ability by beating Weprin.

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