Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch won’t back Rep. Bob Turner in his bid to unseat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, he told BuzzFeed, saying he’s firmly in the corner of New York’s junior senator despite backing Turner in his special election last year.
“She was in my office about two weeks ago. I told her I’m on her campaign committee,” he said. “I’ll be her advance man. I’m a little old, but I’ll be her advance man.”
Koch said he’s “very proud” of his decision to back Turner’s 2011 bid to replace Rep. Anthony Weiner, saying he was trying to send a message to President Barack Obama, “and I think the president has gotten that message.” He said his only demands of Turner were that he stand up for entitlement programs, and oppose Republican plans to privatize Social Security and Medicare, and block-grant Medicaid.
Koch is opposed to the New York State legislature’s redistricting plan, but he’s not surprised that Turner is losing his district. “Normally they take one downstate and one upstate, and it would not be abnormal to take the newest person.”
Asked what he thinks Turner will do if he loses to Gillibrand in the fall, Koch said “I don’t have the slightest idea, but he’ll be one of the leaders of his party — which doesn’t have many of them.”