Democrats suffered a stunning blow Tuesday as voters in New York’s 9th Congressional District handed the seat to Republican Bob Turner, reversing a nearly 90-year tradition of electing Democrats to represent the district.
With about 80% of precincts reporting, GOP political novice Bob Turner held 53% of the votes, compared to Democrat David Weprin’s 47%, election officials said.
The district, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 to 1, had not been represented by a Republican since 1923. But Turner, a retired television executive best known for producing “The Jerry Springer Show,” mounted a late surge in the polls as the race appeared to become a referendum on Obama.
Republicans rejoiced as the race was called late Tuesday night.
“Tonight’s election proves yet again that President Obama is failing our country,” Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in a statement. “Even in the heart of New York City, in a traditionally liberal district, voters have turned on the president and his congressional allies. Not only are the president’s policies not working, but his nonstop campaigning is no longer winning over voters.”
The seat was vacated in June by Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned amid a sexting scandal.