Hikind Crosses Part Lines to Endorse Turner


dov-hikind[Video below.] Democratic state Assemblyman Dov Hikind has decided to endorse Republican Bob Turner in the race to replace Queens Rep. Anthony Weiner, another sign that next week’s special election could be unexpectedly close in the overwhelmingly Democratic district.Mr. Hikind – who over the years has crossed party lines multiple times to endorse Republicans including George W. Bush and former governor George Pataki – held a news conference today to announce he will support Mr. Turner.

Mr. Hikind had already indicated he wouldn’t endorse the Democrat, fellow state Assemblyman David Weprin. Mr. Hikind has said he is upset about Mr. Weprin’s vote earlier this year in Albany to legalize same gender marriage in New York state-particularly that Mr. Weprin cited his orthodox Jewish faith as a reason to vote for the bill.

Speaking in a phone interview Tuesday before he made his endorsement decision, Mr. Hikind said the voters he speaks to are unhappy about the economy, and blame Democrats.

“People get a sense that no one is in charge and the guy at the top doesn’t really know what to do,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Weprin declined to comment.

Mr. Weprin and Mr. Turner are competing to fill a vacancy left when Mr. Weiner resigned. The district covers parts of Queens and Brooklyn and has a 3-to-1 Democratic registration advantage.

Mr. Weprin has struggled, even with the backing of the powerful Queens Democratic organization, and a significant cash advantage over Mr. Turner, a former cable-television executive. A Siena College poll last month gave Mr. Weprin a slim six-percentage-point lead, while Republican polling has Mr. Turner tied or better with the Democrat.

Click here for a video of Hikind’s press conference (S. Gifter Video).

{The Wall Street Journal/Matzav.com Newscenter}