Republicans may be heading for a split with Conservatives in the special election to replace Anthony Weiner, backing a Manhattan lawyer with ties to Rudy Giuliani and Bob Dole, and not with the political neophyte who did surprisingly well in the race two years ago.
Juan Reyes has emerged as “the number one candidate” for the Republican nomination, said a Republican source, speaking on condition of anonymity because the decision was not finalized yet.
Reyes interned in Bob Dole’s office, worked on the Bush-Cheney campaign, and was a member of Rudy Giuliani’s administration, serving as Counsel to the Loft Board and as general counsel of New York City Office of Standards and Appeals.
Reyes is now a partner as Reed Smith, a major Manhattan law firm.
“He can raise a million dollars…the guy’s Rolodex is phenomenal,” said the Republican source.
The Republican source characterized Turner as a sacrificial lamb, whereas Reyes is someone who could win. Turner, who is Irish, is a “bad geographic match” with the district, this source said.
Democrats nominated Assemblyman David Weprin, who is Jewish, as are most of the voters in the district, which covers parts of eastern Queens and northern Brooklyn. But Reyes is Hispanic and Italian, as are the second- and third-largest voting blocs in the 9th Congressional District, this source noted.
The fourth-largest ethnic voting bloc there is Asians. Republican City Councilman Peter Koo, of Flushing, could serve as Reye’s ambassador, according to the source.
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