Notwithstanding a pledge upon leaving office in January that his future “would not include running for office,” former representative Bob Turner is surveying the political tsunami convulsing the Queens Republican party and rethinking his promise.
“I’d like to let things play out a little bit before I say anything other than if the district leaders want to draft me for this, I’ll serve,” Turner, whose upset victory in a 2011 special election handed the Republicans control of a Queens and Brooklyn House seat for the first time in modern history, told City & State.
“But I’m not clamoring to do so,” he added.
City Councilman Eric Ulrich, a Republican from Queens, came out harshly against the county GOP after a Republican city councilman and several others were arrested on bribery charges. They were attempting to buy a place on the Republican mayoral primary for state Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Queens Democrat whose independent caucus gives Republicans control of his chamber.
Ulrich, whose candidacy for state senate last year was nearly torpedoed when the county GOP establishment backed another candidate, has asked Turner to run for party chair. Turner said he was aware of such calls but it was premature to discuss it at this time.
Turner added that he did not expect the charges to hurt Republican chances to keep City Hall in elections this year.
“I don’t think this will have an impact on the mayoral campaign,” he said. “I think that there [is] a fine slate of candidates and everyone is fairly removed from these grubby, horrible allegations. I hope we have enough time to restore credibility and trust between now and the elections.”