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NY House race: GOP takes Weiner's seat in special election

NY House race: In a special election that was too close to call Tuesday night, Republican Bob Turner took previous Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat in the NY House of Representatives.

By Beth FouhyAssociated Press / September 14, 2011

NY House race: Republican congressional winner Bob Turner (c.) meets constituents before participating in a small business forum in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Turner took Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat in a close race.

Mary Altaffer/AP

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Republicans have scored an upset victory in a House race that became a referendum on President Barack Obama's economic policies.

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Retired media executive and political novice Bob Turner defeated Democratic state Assemblyman David Weprin in a special election Tuesday to succeed Rep. Anthony Weiner, a seven-term Democrat who resigned in June after a sex texting scandal.

The heavily Democratic district, which spans parts of Queens and Brooklyn, had never sent a Republican to the House of Representatives. But frustration with the continued weak national economy gave Republicans the edge.

Turner has vowed to bring business practicality to Washington and push back on spending and taxes.

The race was supposed to be an easy win for Democrats, who have a 3-1 ratio registration advantage in the district.

Weprin, a 56-year-old Orthodox Jew and member of a prominent Queens political family, seemed a good fit for the largely white, working-class district, which is nearly 40 percent Jewish.

But voter frustration with Obama put Weprin in the unlikely spot of playing defense. A Siena Poll released Friday found just 43 percent of likely voters approved of the president's job performance, while 54 percent said they disapproved. Among independents, just 29 percent said they approved of Obama's job performance.

Turner, a 70-year-old Catholic, vowed to push back on Obama's policies if elected. He received help from prominent Republicans including former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose much-praised stewardship of the city after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks was recalled during the 10th anniversary of the attacks last weekend.

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