Republican Bob Turner got very comfortable in Anthony Weiner's old House seat, and is now seeking higher ground. The National Journal reports that after being redistricted out of his newly-won seat, Rep. Turner has announced he will seek to challenge Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand this November.
"I will travel to the Republican State Convention in Rochester later this week and humbly ask for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate," Turner said in a statement on Tuesday. "I will respectfully ask for the Conservative nomination a few days later at that Party's convention. I have made my intentions known to the other Republican candidates in this race."
In what seemed like a referendum on Democrats and President Obama, Turner upset Democrat David Weprin in the special election last September for shamed Congressman Anthony Weiner's seat, which he resigned from following a sexting scandal. The heavily Democratic district, which spans parts of Queens and Brooklyn, had never sent a Republican to the House. The Associated Press reported at the time that frustration with the continued weak national economy gave Republicans the edge.
Sen Gillibrand was appointed to the Senate seat as a congresswoman by Gov.. David Paterson after sitting Sen. Hillary Clinton was appointed Secretary of State. Sen. Gillibrand easily won a special election in 2010 to finish Clinton's term, and is up for reelection in 2012.
The National Journal reports that the New York state legislature has until Thursday to come to terms on a new congressional map. If they are unable to strike an agreement, a map approved by a judge, which carves up Turner's district multiple ways, will take effect. The Journal notes that Gillibrand had $8.1 million in the bank at the end of 2011, but Turner has the ability to self-fund.
Before running for Congress, Rep. Turner was a retired media executive who produced Television shows like "The Jerry Springer Show," "Baywatch," and Rush Limbaugh's 1990s syndicated TV deal.
While usually a sure Democratic vote in Presidential elections, Republicans control the New York State Senate.