David Weprin, a Queens Democrat who served in the City Council and now the State Assembly, has been named by his party bosses as the candidate in September’s special election to fill the seat of ex-congressman Anthony Weiner.
Politics is the Weprin family business. David’s father Saul was the speaker of the Assembly until his death in 1994, after which his brother, Mark assumed their father’s Assembly seat (while the speaker job went to Sheldon Silver). A third brother, Michael, served as a Huntington Town Councilman.
After David Weprin, who was finance chairman, lost a campaign for City Comptroller in 2009, which forced him to leave the City Council last year, he and Mark switched jobs when they were elected to each other’s seats.
David Weprin, who is an Orthodox Jew, will face a yet-to-be named Republican challenger on Sept. 13 to represent the 9th District, following Weiner’s resignation last month in a scandal involving his contact with women through social media.
"A Republican can’t win in that districts as it is presently constrcuted," said Democrat political consultant Hank Sheinkopf.
Although Republican Bob Turner won almost 40 percent of the vote in last year’s midterm elections aganst Weiner, when disenchantment with the Democratic president was a factor, Sheinkopf said next year’s race is a "whole different world."
The consultant said he believes Weprin was selected because of his loyalty to the Queens Democratic party. But he said the selection of a party insider signals that the job will be a caretaker position until the district is eliminated in the reapportionment process next year.
Weprin does not have to give up his job in the Assembly to run for Congress because statewide elections are held next year.
Here’s a video interview with the Weprin brothers during last year’s campaign: