Former New York City Mayor Edward Koch crossed party lines to endorse businessman Bob Turner in a special election for New York's 9th Congressional seat, which stretches form Forest Hills in Queens to Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn.
The endorsement was made at the Turner for Congress headquarters in Howard Beach on Monday morning.
This is the second time that Turner has ran for the seat. In the 2010 election, Turner challenged then-congressman Anthony Weiner, earning a surprising 40 percent of the vote. Weiner has since resigned from office over a “sexting” scandal involving social media.
The race will pit Turner against Democrat David Weprin, who currently serves in the state assembly in Albany.
In endorsing Turner for Congress, the former Democratic mayor cited Turner's unwavering support for Israel and his political independence as key reasons for backing his candidacy.
"I believe that this campaign will send a message to Washington that will affect the position of President Obama on Israel and the position of the Republican Party on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," Koch said. "I have every confidence that a Congressman Turner will serve as a staunch ally to Israel and as a firm voice in his party for preserving our precious entitlement programs."
Koch also acknowledged the fallout his endorsement of Turner would have among his own party.
“I know David will never forgive me,” he said.
Turner did not overlook the importance of Koch's endorsement in the race.
"I cannot win this race without the added support of Democrats and independents, so the mayor's recognition of my independence and support for Israel is particularly meaningful to my campaign,” Turner said. “I am not a career politician. I am a businessman and an ordinary citizen seeking to represent my neighbors in a dead-locked and unresponsive congress."
Turner was raised in Woodhaven as the eldest of three sons, and raised his own family in Richmond Hill. He now resides in Rockaway Point. Turner spent 40 years at top levels in the television industry.