With Republican Bob Turner clinging to a narrow lead over Democrat David Weprin in New York’s 9th Congressional District, little-known Christopher R. Hoeppner of the Socialist Workers Party could be a major factor in the outcome of Tuesday’s hotly-contested special election to replace disgraced former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner. . . .
The son of a New York firefighter, the 61-year-old Hoeppner grew up in Woodside, then a predominantly Irish-Catholic neighborhood in Queens. Involved in left-wing politics for forty years, he joined the Socialist Workers Party — or more precisely, the Young Socialist Alliance — when he was still in high school and actively participated in the antiwar movement during Vietnam.
Hoeppner, who ran for mayor of Seattle in 2005 before returning to his New York roots, has been waging a whirlwind campaign throughout the district, beginning with a Herculean petition drive over the Fourth of July weekend, a monumental task that resulted in 7,080 signatures on nominating petitions — more than twice the number required — to place his name on the ballot.
Despite uncomfortably, if not painfully, hobbling around on crutches — the result of a recently breaking his foot while returning home from work one evening — the low-key yet determined socialist has been campaigning like a man on a mission ever since . . .
Unlike the wealthy Turner, a retired advertising and television executive, and Weprin, a Wall Street favorite who once served as deputy superintendent of the New York State Banking Commission and chairman of New York’s Securities Industry Association, Hoeppner describes himself as the “only working-class candidate in the race.”The little-known SWP is fairly active in local NYC politics. Read the whole thing.