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Bob Turner Upsets Democrat David Weprin in New York Special

Mary Altaffer/Associated Press
Bob Turner (center) delivers his victory speech early Wednesday after defeating David Weprin in New York’s 9th district.

No matter the mitigating factors, losing a Democratic district in the heart of New York City is terrible news for Democrats from Rep. Joe Crowley, the Queens County Democratic Party chairman, to the president.

New York Rep. Steve Israel, the chairman of the DCCC, had already started attempting to deflect blame earlier this week.

“I know Steve Israel has been telling anyone he talks to about what a terrible candidate he thinks Weprin is,” a Democrat deeply familiar with the district told Roll Call late Monday. The DCCC declined repeated requests to comment all day Tuesday.

The source said it was likely that much of the blame would end up at Weprin’s doorstep.

“The problem with when you’re a losing candidate ... you really don’t have a great voice of your own to push back. So everyone just wants to pile in on you [and say] ‘You did a shitty job.’ In this case, it’s probably true,” the Democrat said.

Turner, now a Representative-elect, told Roll Call on Monday night that the whole experience had become a bit dreamlike.

“The highlight of the day was Mayor [Rudy] Giuliani coming into the district, where we had a press conference and it looked absolutely presidential,” Turner said with a laugh. “We had a dozen cameras. ... This whole thing has been surreal.”

Asked what he was thinking while standing with Giuliani facing a battery of cameras and the New York and national media, Turner laughed again.

“I just had to do a reality check every now and then,” he said. “You know, I volunteered to do a job, and it’s kind of taking off.”

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