Former representative Anthony Weiner's Twitter scandal proved to cost much more than his seat in Congress on Tuesday, as Bob Turner defeated assemblyman David Weprin in the special election held to replace Weiner.
How did Turner, a former television executive, who has never held public office, triumph over Democratic candidate Weprin, who was competing in a district that has voted blue for nearly a century?
For Turner, the shocking victory, predicted in last week's poll, was a reflection on voter frustration with what he viewed as President Obama's failed policies over the economy, joblessness, and more.
"We’ve been asked by this district to send a message to Washington, and I hope they hear it loud and clear,” Turner said in his victory speech Tuesday night. “We’ve been told this is a referendum, and we’re ready to say ‘Mr. President, we’re on the wrong track.'"
However, Erik Huneke, 35, a history Ph.D. candidate who voted for Mr. Weprin, warns against placing sole blame on the President.
“It’s understandable for people to be upset,” Mr. Huneke told the New York Times. “But it would be nice if people had a longer-term perspective in terms of why they’re hurting now. It’s not just Obama’s fault.”
The results also held a cultural undertone, as the district, which is composed of southern Brooklyn and south central Queens, has been known for its large Jewish population. As voters opted for Turner, a practicing Catholic, a shift in Jewish demographics is being discussed, as more in the community are leaning to the right and voicing discontent with the President's handling of the Middle East.