US. Rep. Bob Turner, facing possible elimination of his New York City congressional district, said Tuesday he will enter the already crowded field of Republicans seeking to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Turner's announcement came just three days before New York Republicans will meet in Rochester to consider Senate candidates. There already are three other Republicans seeking the nomination, setting up a possible primary among two or more of them.
Turner gained national attention for his upset win in September to represent the Queens and Brooklyn seat formerly held by Anthony Weiner, a Democrat who resigned after admitting he sent women lewd text messages and photos of himself. Turner, a veteran businessman and political newcomer, won in a district where Democrats have a 3-to-1 registration edge.
A federal judge involved in New York's redistricting process has proposed eliminating Turner's district. Turner had planned to run for re-election, but said in a statement that it appears his district will be eliminated.
"There is serious work to be done to get this economy back on track, and I will not walk away from that work now. I will run for the Senate, and I will run to win," he said.
Gillibrand's poll numbers are up and she has raised more than $8 million for the race. Still, New York Republicans say Gillibrand remains vulnerable three years after being picked to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton, who became secretary of state.
Republicans will pick a designated Senate candidate Friday, though any candidate with at least 25 percent of the weighted vote at the convention can earn a ballot spot for the June 26 primary.
Nassau County comptroller George Maragos has said he already has enough support for a place on the ballot. Also running are Rye Town supervisor and hedge fund manager Joe Carvin and New York City attorney Wendy Long.
"We welcome Bob to the race and look forward to seeing him and the rest of the guys in Rochester," Long said.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.