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Unusually Quiet Weekend for Candidates in New York House Race

This won’t be the usual frenetic final weekend of a campaign. In fact, it will be particularly quiet.

Trailing in the polls, with the momentum behind his opponent, today and Sunday would be an ideal time for Democrat David Weprin to do a campaign blitz across New York’s 9th Congressional district before the special election on Sept. 13.

But Weprin is an Orthodox Jew, so he will not be campaigning on the Jewish Sabbath, which occurs between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday. And Sunday is the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

A Weprin campaign aide said there would be a number of get-out-the-vote efforts Saturday, including phonebanking and surrogate events — one with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.). But all will be missing the candidate himself.

Weprin’s opponent, Republican Bob Turner, will hold a rally Saturday morning but will be focused on fundraising the rest of the day. A robocall from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) was pushed out Friday.

Both candidates will forgo campaigning on Sunday.

Weprin, a state assemblyman, will be attending memorial events in his official government capacity, the campaign aide told Roll Call.

Turner spokesman William O’Reilly said the candidate would go to “a couple memorial services in Queens and Brooklyn.”

9/11 played an outsize role in Weprin’s political life. During his first big campaign — for a seat on the New York City Council — the key Democratic primary was scheduled for Sept. 11, 2001.

“I was actually campaigning in front of Martin Van Buren High School [in Queens] when the planes hit and, of course, our initial reaction, as most people’s was, is that it was an accident,” Weprin told Roll Call in early July.

“I was … with Congressman Gary Ackerman [D-N.Y.], and we ended up going to the site where we actually watched the towers fall. It was a very emotional day.”

Sensitivity about the anniversary of the attacks tripped up the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday. The DCCC released a television ad on YouTube that included imagery of a plane banking toward the New York skyline. The ad was later tweaked.

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