With the special election day to fill the seat of former Congressman Anthony Weiner fast approaching, candidates David Weprin and Bob Turner trotted out new endorsements Thursday and faced a race that is closer than many anticipated. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
The candidates for Anthony Weiner's old House of Representatives seat are lining up supporters and taking their case to the voters.
"There certainly is a surge of interest and it's across all segments of the district," said Republican candidate Bob Turner.
Turner stumped at a senior center, while Democratic candidate David Weprin spoke to business leaders in Flushing.
Weprin, a state assemblyman, also rolled out his latest endorsement, Republican City Councilman Peter Koo, who crossed party lines to back him.
"David embraces new immigrants and he knows the importance of having the opportunity to achieve the American dream," said Koo.
Flushing may not be part of the Ninth Congressional District, but winning support from Asian-American elected officials here may nevertheless give Weprin a boost. The latest census figures indicate that within the district up for grabs, Asians represent the largest minority population.
"You know, we are all immigrants, whether we are first-generation, second-generation, third-generation," said Weprin.
A recent poll shows the race much closer than many had expected, given that Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans in the district. The poll showed Weprin in the lead, but only by 6 percentage points.
"This is going to happen, I know it," said Turner. "I feel it and the polls are telling us the same thing."
Turner, meanwhile, is gearing up for a fundraiser next week, hosted by former Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, and Republican billionaire John Catsimatidis.
Weprin is relying on different political firepower to bring in the big bucks. Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, are hosting a fundraiser for Weprin at the end of this month.
The special election will be held on September 13.