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Turner Win a Boon for GOP Lines

Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Conservative Brooklyn portions of the 9th district might be added to freshman Rep. Michael Grimm's (R) Staten Island-based district, the upstate GOP operative said. McCain carried Grimm's district by only 2 points in 2008, so the idea would be to make the seat safer for Republicans.

If the 9th ends up being divvied up among other New York City Members, it's unclear who Turner would face in 2012.

One source floated the possibility that he might be drawn into Democratic Rep. Gary Ackerman's district, but the 15-term Congressman didn't seem too concerned.

"There are about 18 of us that they could put him in with," he said in an interview. "I've won about 23 elections in a row."

Beyond Ackerman, the Turner win may change the internal calculation of just how safe Democratic Members consider themselves.

Rachel McEneny, a former adviser to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), said Democrats are likely to have more of a vested interest in how the lines are drawn this time and how strongly Democratic their districts are considering Turner's victory.

"In other years, we've been able to use the excuse that we're such a blue state that it hasn't been a factor," said McEneny, whose father, Assemblyman Jack McEneny, is the chairman of redistricting for the New York State Assembly. McEneny said she hadn't talked with her father about redistricting between the special election and speaking to Roll Call.

"There are lots of intangibles at play now: health, age, seniority. We don't know what will factor into" the final decision of the Legislature, said McEneny, who now works at a government affairs firm.

Ultimately, the upstate Democratic consultant noted, "it might all be a moot point if the governor just says ... 'I'm going to allow the courts to decide this.'"

But whatever happens, Ackerman said he isn't sweating the details.

"They have to pick two seats [to eliminate], and they'll pick two seats, probably one upstate and one downstate," he said. "I'm a Member of Congress running for re-election in whatever the best district they draw for me. Been there, done that doing it again."

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