Republicans lost out on a key opportunity to flip former Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat (D-NY) on Tuesday when GOP favorite Eric Ulrich announced he would not run in the September 13 special election to replace Weiner in New York's 9th Congressional District.
Ulrich, a City Councilman who represnts most of the area currently in NY-9, had been endorsed by former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Amoung reasons he cited was the tumultuous redistricting process underway in NY that could result in the elimination of NY-9. Other likely concerns not mentioned were the state and national GOP's historically poor performance in Congressional special elections and the influence Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would have on the outcome of the race. Schumer previously held the seat and continues to be well-liked in NY.
In an exclusive interview with "Inside City Hall" today, Republican City Councilman Eric Ulrich said he will not run for the House of Representatives seat that became vacant when Anthony Weiner resigned due to his sexting scandal.
The special election for the congressional district, which represents parts of Queens and Brooklyn, is scheduled for Primary Day, September 13.
Democratic and Republican Party leaders will decide on who will run for the seat.
Despite an endorsement from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Ulrich said that he made the decision not to run, in part because of the possibility that the district could be one of the two seats New York will lose as part of redistricting in 2012.
"I have a great job, I love what I do,” Ulrich said. “I have the benefit of working with some really great people on the City Council and did I want to give up the rest of my term on the City Council and possibly getting re-elected in 2013 or even re-elected after that because of the term limits loophole, to be in Congress for a year-and-a-half? That was something that I really had to think about. In talking with my family and friends, that was one of the reasons why I decided not to do this."
Ulrich also said this was just not the right time for him to make a run.
"It's not because I don't think that a Republican can win it. It's certainly not because I think I wouldn't be good at it. But it's a unique opportunity. It was a good opportunity. I don't think it's going to be my only opportunity," said Ulrich. "I still have a lot of years ahead of me."
Councilman Ulrich also offered his thoughts on Anthony Weiner's stewardship of the 9th Congressional District, as well as Weiner's decision to resign.
Democrat Elizabeth Holtzman so far is the only candidate to say she is interested in running for Weiner's former seat.