State Assemblyman David Weprin has been chosen by Democratic Party leaders to be the Democratic candidate in the race to fill former Congressman Anthony Weiner's seat.
The special election for the 9th Congressional District is set for Primary Day, September 13. Borough party leaders to hand-pick a candidate
The district, which includes parts of Brooklyn and Queens, is in danger of being eliminated in two years, when the state will have to lose two seats, but Weprin told reporters in Canarsie, Brooklyn today that he is not just a placeholder candidate.
"The county leaders never said, 'We only want you to do this on an interim basis.' They said they wanted me to do the best job I could to represent the district, both in the district and in Washington," Weprin said. "I just want to take it one day at a time and do the best job I can, whether it's one year or 20 years."
Weprin, the former finance chairman of the City Council, also ran in the Democratic primary for city comptroller in 2009, where he proved to be a strong fundraiser.
"The one thing that everyone can always say about David is that he's a nice guy. He certainly doesn't come across with the arrogance of a Weiner," said Brooklyn Democratic District Leader Frank Seddio. "Very frankly, he's going to be a welcome addition to our elected officials here in Brooklyn."
Weprin's father was the former speaker of the State Assembly and his brother Mark was in the assembly and is now on the City Council.
Hank Sheinkopf, a political consultant who worked for David Weprin in 2009, told NY1 the assemblyman has clear reasons to take the chance to be in Congress, even if the seat may disappear in a couple years.
"Why wouldn't anyone want to have a business card at the end of it all that says 'member of Congress' attached to their name, with 'retired' underneath it? Not so bad," said Sheinkopf.
Meanwhile, Bob Turner, a Republican who challenged Weiner in 2010, had been expected to get the backing of GOP and Conservative Party leaders to run as well. But there now seems to be a split between Queens and Brooklyn Republicans over the party's pick.
Republican sources say Queens Republicans are rallying behind attorney Juan Reyes, who worked in former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's administration, while Brooklyn Republicans are still lobbying for Turner.
Weiner resigned last month after admitting he sent inappropriate messages and photos to women online.
Right out of the gate, David Weprin had some encouraging words for voters still reeling from Weiner's sexting scandal, by saying he has never used Twitter in his life.