Sunday, July 3, 2011

Weinergate Saga Postscript? NY Governor Calls For September Secial Election to Fill Vacant NY-9 Seat

Only a few weeks after former congressman Anthony Weiner announced his resignation amidst the fallout from a sexting scandal, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced the date for a special election to fill the vacant seat in New York's 9th Congressional district.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling a special election for Sept. 13 to replace disgraced Democrat Anthony Weiner in Congress.

The special election date means Democratic and Republican party leaders will pick their nominees for New York's 9th District, which takes in parts of Queens and Brooklyn. The seat is considered solidly Democratic, but it is being targeted for elimination because New York has to lose two seats through redistricting.

The winner would serve out the remainder of Weiner's term, through January 2013. The district is considered solidly Democratic, giving Barack Obama 44% of its vote in the 2008 presidential election. Weiner had won election to a seventh term last year with 61% of the vote.

The New York Times, citing unnamed Democratic leaders, reports Assemblyman Rory Lancman, Assemblyman David Weprin and former New York City Council member Melinda Katz are the leading nominees for the party. The leading GOP choices are reportedly City Council member Eric Ulrich and Bob Turner, who ran against Weiner last year.
With New York set to lose three congressional seats after the 2010 census, it's entirely likely that NY-9 may cease to exist in Jan. 2013 after redistricting. Even if that were the case, the September special election would determine who would replace Weiner until then.

When former Democrat Congressman Eric Massa stepped down amid allegations of sexual misconduct in March 2010, New York's 29th Congressional district went without representation for more than 10 months. Then-governor David Paterson cited financial concerns over holding a special election before the mid-term elections, although the fact that polling showed NY-29 was likely to go to the GOP was also a likely factor in the significant delay.

As for NY-9, the district will go a little over 4 months without representation before the special election takes place.

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