Turner and Mark Amodei of Nevada took the oath of office to boisterous cheers from their fellow Republicans, just two days after they triumphed in special elections. Their entry into the House gives the Republicans 242 members to 192 for the Democrats. There is one vacancy.
“This is not something that we are used to doing in New York, but it’s a great moment, a great moment for New York,” said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., in introducing his new GOP colleague. With Turner’s surprise win, the New York delegation consists of 21 Democrats and eight Republicans.
Turner, a retired broadcasting executive, captured a district that spans parts of Brooklyn and Queens where Democrats hold a 3-1 registration edge. He succeeds Democrat Anthony Weiner, who resigned over a racy text messaging scandal.
Republicans hailed his victory as a reflection of voter frustration with President Barack Obama’s inability to turn around the faltering economy. House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday’s election results “delivered a strong warning to the Democrats who control the levers of power in our federal government.”
“I pledge not to forget how I got here,” Turner said in a brief speech after his swearing-in. “It was an important bipartisan election. It’s the only way it can be done in New York City.”
Amodei, a former state senator, easily won a special election to fill the seat of Republican Dean Heller, who was appointed from the House to the Senate in May after Republican John Ensign resigned over a sex scandal.