Bob Turner, the soft-spoken Conservative Party candidate for the special election in NY-9 isn’t impressed with the surprising news that Republicans are looking to back a former Giuliani administration official in the race.
“Get real,” Turner muttered during a phone interview just now, when I asked him about Juan Reyes, the former Giuliani aide Republicans in Queens are looking to back.
“I haven’t found someone in my neck of the woods who’s heard of the guy,” Turner told me.
A Republican source in the borough said Reyes is ideal because of his fund-raising ability and appeal to large blocs of Hispanic and Italian voters. (Reyes is both).
Democrats today backed Assemblyman David Weprin, who is Jewish, as are a majority of voters in the district. Turner, who is Irish, dismissed the importance of a candidate’s ethnicity in the race, saying the prevailing financial issues will sway voters more.
“I think this campaign will revolve around jobs and the economy,” Turner said. “People are becoming more aware of how dangerous and problematic the situation is and how it’s not being addressed by this administration in a meaningful way.”
Turner also dismissed the criticism that he won’t be an energetic campaigner.
“I’ve heard people say, maybe I’m not as passionate. I don’t know where people get that impression,” he wondered aloud. Turner called that criticism “as bogus a charge as finding a super candidate at the last moment.”