“I didn’t run away from the family name – I embraced it.”
So said former City Councilmember and Assemblymember-elect David Weprin, to a throng of supporters at the Hollis Hills Jewish Center, after his 62-38 percent landslide win over Republican/Conservative Bob Friedrich in a Special Election for the 24th Assembly District.
Gathered around the third Weprin to hold the seat since 1973 were a bevy of political allies, including Congressmember Gary Ackerman, City Comptroller John Liu; Assemblymembers Rory Lancman and Michael Den Dekker and David’s younger brother – former Assemblymember, now City Councilmember Mark Weprin.
“This was a good night for us, on a night that was not good for Democrats,” the younger Weprin said. There were four Special Elections to fill vacancies in the Assembly on Tuesday, February 9 and in races in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, that saw Republican victories.
With all 102 electoral districts reporting, Weprin tallied 4,283 votes on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families lines, against 2,633 for Friedrich. “The turnout – nearly 7,000 for a Special [Election] – is a tribute to voters,” said Weprin’s campaign manager, Corey Bearak.
Veteran political observers had been predicting far fewer citizens would turn out for the odd-election, held in the teeth of winter weather, with estimates from 3,500 to 6,000 – and even fewer if the weather turned bad.
Election Day dawned bright, however, and with a concerted effort by supporters, including members of the United Federation of Teachers, Local 3 of the Electrical Workers and several public employee unions such as DC37, that the triumphant Weprin thanked by name, he was carried to victory by a comfortable margin.
“I know I’ll forget to thank somebody, so I apologize in advance, but I want to thank the first and most important vote I won, from my wife Ronnie,” Weprin said, calling her to the lectern amidst cheers.
“Oh and I have to call my mother – Sylvia Weprin – she’s in Florida,” the Weprin of the night said, moving to leave the lectern.
“Don’t worry David, I called her already,” Mark called out from the pack of colleagues around him.