Long beats Turner in Republican contest for Senate

U.S. Rep. Bob Turner votes on the morning of the primary election, but eventually fell to conservative lawyer Wendy Long. Photo courtesy Jessica Proud
TimesLedger Newspapers
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One surprise win deserves another.

After shocking many with a win in the 9th Congressional District last year, U.S. Rep. Bob Turner (R-Middle Village) was defeated by conservative Manhattan lawyer Wendy Long in a three-way Republican primary Tuesday.

Long will now square off against U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a three-year incumbent, in this fall’s race for the Senate.

“On the 6th of November, we will change the face of New York politics,” Long said at her Manhattan victory party. “The people of New York saw that I would create the sharpest contrast with Kirsten Gillibrand.”

The lawyer also defeated Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, holding a double-digit lead with more than half the precincts reporting statewide as of press time. She was endorsed by the GOP.

According to NY1, with approximately 81 percent of the precincts reporting, Long had 52 percent of the vote, compared to 36 percent for Turner and 13 percent for Maragos.

At about 11 p.m., Turner conceded defeated to Long, pledging to work with her in any way he can.

“I congratulate Ms. Long on her impressive victory tonight. I want to thank Chairman Ed Cox and all of the Republicans from across the state who supported me in this campaign,” Turner said. “I went to Congress last year as a citizen legislator on a clear mission to help save our nation from the harmful big-government policies that are keeping New Yorkers out of work, small businesses shuttered and record levels of debt on the backs of our children. Senator Gillibrand has made a dramatic transformation from her days as a conservative Democrat to now being named the nation’s most liberal senator as a loyal supporter of the Obama-Reid agenda. I remain steadfastly committed to these goals and I pledge to work with Ms. Long to unite all Republicans and Conservatives in the effort to defeat Kirsten Gillibrand in November.”

Turner was a television executive before winning a special election for the 9th district seat last year after Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned in the midst of a sexting scandal. His victory came as a surprise to many who saw the 9th as a Democratic stronghold.

This will be Gillibrand’s second campaign for Senate since she was appointed in 2009 to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton, who became secretary of state. She won election in 2010 to finish Clinton’s term. This time Gillibrand is running for the full six-year term.

Updated 9:03 am, June 28, 2012
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