Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani urged voters to turn out for Rep. Bob Turner in the state's Senate Republican primary on Tuesday.
"I'm throwing my full support behind Bob Turner and I hope you will too," Giuliani said in an e-mail to supporters.
The winner of Tuesday's primary will face Democratic incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed to the seat in 2008 by then-Gov. David Paterson to replace then-Sen. Hillary Clinton. Gillibrand is now running for a full six-year term.
Turner faces two other Republican contestants in Tuesday's election: Manhattan lawyer Wendy Long and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos.
A recent poll shows Turner has a lead in the race. According to a Siena Research Institute survey released in early June, Turner has the backing of 16% of Republican voters, while Long comes in second at 11% and Maragos places third with 3%.
A whopping 70% of respondents said they don't know or have no opinion
Turner is best known in the political world for winning the 2011 special election to replace former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned last summer in the wake of scandal. Turner pulled a surprising blowout by winning the solidly Democratic district.
"Geraldine Ferraro, Chuck Schumer, Anthony Weiner -- these were the names I became accustomed to when thinking about New York's 9th District," Giuliani said in his email. "Bob's win last September reversed nine decades worth of Democrat dominance and gave New York Republicans the hope that lower taxes, fiscal sanity, and a strong national defense can resonate anywhere."
Six months after taking office, however, Turner announced he was jumping into the Senate race. Turner faced losing his congressional district in Queens and Brooklyn in a redistricting process.
Giuliani endorsed Turner in his Congressional bid last year, then announced his support for Turner's Senate run in May.
This week, Manhattan attorney Long filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission over a robo call Giuliani recorded for Turner, saying the former mayor did not properly identify himself early enough in the call.
While Turner may lead in the polls, he doesn't quite lead in terms of fund-raising, as Maragos pulled in a mammoth $1.2 million. For his part, Turner raised nearly $800,000, as of June 6.
Nonpartisan political handicappers Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg list the race as "solid" and "safe" for Gillibrand, who has garnered a national profile for her work on health care and benefits for veterans and first responders.
The same Siena poll from early June showed Gillibrand way ahead of Turner in a hypothetical match-up, 63% to Turner's 25%.