According to a press release from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Bob Turner, who was just elected to Congress a few months ago as Anthony Weiner's replacement, is already considering vacating the post and running instead for the Senate.
The release was based on comments a Turner's former campaign manager made on Capital Tonight that turner was considering a run against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand because Republican leadership was pressuring him to do so.
While Turner's victory over Assemblyman David Weprin a few months ago was certainly an unexpected and impressive win, let's look at the facts. First, there was definitely an anti-Democrat, anti-ruling party sentiment at the time, coupled with the fact that Weiner, a Democrat, was forced to leave office under a cloud of scandal caused by the evil Twitter.
Second, Weprin, the Democratic candidate, ran by all accounts an incredibly uninspired campaign. Once he got the blessing of both the Kings and Queens County Democratic leadership, he all but figured he was going to be elected, and considered his job done.
Unfortunately for Weprin it wasn't, and in between the time he was made the party's favorite and Election Day, Turner was able to add to the support he already enjoyed among voters in Brooklyn by making valuable inroads into neighborhoods in Queens, like parts of South Queens, which had not long ago elected Turner supporter and Republican Eric Ulrich to the City Council, and parts of Glendale and Middle Village, neighborhoods also known to vote for more conservative candidates.
Third, Turner had just run against Weiner approximately one year prior, which meant that he already had name recognition in the district. In fact, we would have to say that Turner campaigned more vigorously in his loss to Weiner than he did in his victory against Weprin. (Although, we would also have to say that Turner's campaign team the second time around was a little more professional.)
But challenging Senator Kirsten Gillibrand? That's an entirely different set of challenges.
Turner doesn't have state-wide recognition, and he also doesn't have a very long record of serving in public office. Voters will first have to get to know Turner, and then he'll have to explain why he is so eager to leave his current post after just months on the job.
Although, now that we think about it, there's a very, very good chance that when New York City loses a congressional seat soon thanks to redistricting based on population figures from the 2010 Census, it will be Turner's district that will be eliminated.
Nevermind, it's probably wise for Turner to explore his options.