Winner of Weiner's Seat, Rep. Bob Turner, to Challenge Sen. Gillibrand

By Jill Colvin on March 13, 2012 6:19pm 

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand attends Lifetime Television's 2012 'Every Woman Counts' campaign at Hofstra University on Dec. 2, 2011, in Hempstead, New York.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand attends Lifetime Television's 2012 'Every Woman Counts' campaign at Hofstra University on Dec. 2, 2011, in Hempstead, New York.
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Joe Corrigan/Getty Images for A&E

MANHATTAN — The Republican who won disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner’s seat in a special election last year now wants to replace Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the U.S. Senate.

Rep. Bob Turner announced his bid Tuesday to challenge New York's popular junior senator, just six months after winning Weiner’s seat. 

"I will travel to the Republican State Convention in Rochester later this week and humbly ask for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate. I will respectfully ask for the Conservative nomination a few days later at that party's convention,” Turner said in a statement.

"There is serious work to be done to get this economy back on track, and I will not walk away from that work now. I will run for the Senate, and I will run to win,” he added.

The move comes as it appears increasingly likely Turner's congressional seat will be one of two eliminated in a statewide reshuffling following the most recent census.

But Gillibrand’s team didn’t waste any time in moving to undercut her latest competitor, trying to tie him to conservative firebrand Rush Limbaugh in a statement responding to the announced bid.

"We look forward to contrasting Sen. Gillibrand’s record of fighting for New York’s middle class with that of Congressman Turner's record as a former Rush Limbaugh producer turned self-proclaimed ‘pandering’ Republican if he becomes the nominee," her spokesman, Glen Caplin, said in a statement.

"As a member of Congress, his record of voting with House Republicans to help protect tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, raise Medicare premiums for seniors, and block efforts to put middle-class families back to work is far too extreme for New York."

Limbaugh has been under attack since he called a Georgetown law school student a "prostitute" and "slut" for arguing that insurance should cover contraception.

Three other candidates also are vying for Gillibrand’s seat: Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin and city lawyer Wendy Long.

Republican Bob Turner announced his Senate bid Tuesday.
Republican Bob Turner announced his Senate bid Tuesday.
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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