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Television Titan Is Ready to Try His Hand at Politics

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

"It is a stinging indictment of President [Barack] Obama's policy on Israel and spending," King said.

Turner, a Roman Catholic now representing a district with an active Jewish constituency, sees the Jewish state as the "only dependable" ally in the Middle East. He opposes the United Nations recognizing Palestine as a state.

Turner's overall platform is parallel to other Republican priorities in the House. He said the 2009 economic stimulus bill was a "colossal failure" and wants tax cuts and restrictions on federal regulations to spur small-business job growth.

In an op-ed for the Brooklyn Politics website, Turner chastised career politicians and said he believes, despite the naiveté, in being a "citizen legislator."

His parents were New Deal Democrats; he comes from a mixed political background and expects to work across the aisle.

After receiving a degree in history from St. John's University, Turner briefly served in the Army and then started working at ABC-TV in New York. He moved to other media organizations, including Multimedia Entertainment. It was there that he helped launch "The Jerry Springer Show" in the 1990s, along with other daytime talk shows "Donahue" and "Sally Jessy Raphael."

Turner left television in 2001 as president and CEO of Pearson PLC. Married with five children, he currently is a partner in a hotel business in Orlando. Fla.

Turner and Rep.-elect Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) are expected to be sworn in to the House today, which will make the breakdown of the chamber 242 Republicans and 192 Democrats. There is one vacancy in Oregon, which will be filled by a January special election.

While Republicans are enthusiastic about Turner's victory, his tenure on Capitol Hill may be short-lived. The 9th district could be eliminated after redistricting in New York, although Turner has indicated he will seek re-election no matter what.

Joshua Miller contributed to this report.

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