By Rebecca Henely
Many female elected officials at the city, state and federal levels endorsed state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) last Thursday at a news conference in front of Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens, saying the Democratic candidate for the sprawling congressional district is a tireless advocate for women’s rights.
“Some of the most impassioned speeches supporting women and children have come from David Weprin,” said Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria).
Joined by his family — wife Ronni Weprin and daughters Stephanie Weprin and Lori Friedman — Weprin picked up the official support of electeds from Queens and beyond in his campaign to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner two months ago amid a sexting scandal.
Most said they supported Weprin over Republican candidate Bob Turner because of Weprin’s support for abortion rights and access to birth control.
“I will be a strong advocate for the women of the 9th Congressional District as well as our state, city and country,” Weprin said.
Britta Vander Linden, a spokeswoman for Turner’s campaign, said in a statement responding to the endorsements that district women would vote for Turner due to his platform to cut waste, lower taxes and improve the economy. She said the ability of American women to manage their families’ household budgets has been made impossible by “career politicians like Mr. Weprin.”
“Jobs and young people are fleeing New York because of the taxes and debt these politicians have piled on us,” Linden said. “These are the pocketbook issues women in Queens and Brooklyn care about.”
Those who endorsed Weprin included Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria), state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone), Simotas, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilwomen Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), Diana Reyna (D-Ridgewood), Julissa Ferreras (D-Jackson Heights) and Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan).
Weprin said he was “a little speechless and a little overwhelmed” by the endorsements.
Koslowitz said the members of Congress who have represented the Forest Hills district, from Weiner going back to as far as former Rep. Joseph Addabbo Sr.,ï»¿ who began his career in the House of Representatives in 1961, have been pro-women’s rights.
“Every one of them helped women. They believed in women,” Koslowitz said.
Others said they were supporting Weprin for his other policy positions. Maloney praised Weprin’s work as chairman of the Finance Committee when he was in the Council and said his financial aptitude would be a boon in Congress.
“I wish he was the chair of the Finance Committee in Congress,” Maloney said.
Ferreras said she hoped the multitude of endorsements by women politicians would encourage women voters to vote for Weprin.
“Every time we send a Republican to Congress, we lose rights as women, we lose rights as families,” Ferreras said.
Turner has received high-profile endorsements from former Mayor Ed Koch and Rep. Peter King (R-Massapequa Park).
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.