By Howard Koplowitz
Republican congressional candidate Bob Turner picked up the second high-profile endorsement of his campaign when he was backed Sunday by U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Massapequa Park) at Joe Abbracciamento’s Restaurant in Rego Park.
King’s endorsement of Turner comes a week after the retired Rockaway businessman was endorsed by former Democratic New York City Mayor Ed Koch.
King said he was supporting Turner because of his position on Israel and his business experience.
“I’m proud to endorse Bob Turner,” King said during an impromptu news conference inside the Rego Park restaurant on Woodhaven Boulevard, noting that he backed Turner in 2010 against then-Rep. Anthony Weiner.
Weiner resigned amid a sexting scandal two months ago and defeated Turner 60 percent to 40 percent last year.
“It’s a whole new world now and [Turner] has a very good chance of winning,” said King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Turner and his Democratic opponent, state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck), both disagree with President Barack Obama’s stance that Israel should go back to its pre-1967 war borders as a condition of negotiating with the Palestinians.
But King said if Turner is elected, it would be a rebuke of Obama’s “terrible policy toward Israel.”
“It would send shockwaves through the Obama administration that [Turner] would win in a district that has a large Jewish population,” the congressman said. “It will have such an impact. It will be like when Scott Brown was elected. I’m looking forward to a great victory.”
King was referring to U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who won in an upset to succeed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts.
Both Turner and Weprin, an Orthodox Jew, are vying for Jewish votes in the district, particularly in Forest Hills, Rego Park and areas of Brooklyn.
Turner said he was “grateful and happy and proud” to have King’s endorsement again.
“Congressman King has been a stand-up guy and one of the bright figures in this Congress,” Turner said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.