A resignation by Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., means there will be a special election to replace him this fall. Candidates already are lining up.
From National Journal:
PICTURES: Meet the GOP Presidential Hopefuls
How Republican Governors Could Define the 2012 Race
White House Argues U.S. Isn't Really at War in Libya
PICTURES: Lawmakers Attend White House Picnic
VIDEO: The Economy & 2012: Obama's Only Hope
New York's 9th District, which Weiner has represented since 1998, comprises heavily white, ethnic neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn. It has elected the congressman with comfortable margins but has been trending Republican: In 2000 the Democratic presidential nominee, Al Gore, got 67 percent of the vote, but the margin dropped to 56 percent for the party's 2004 nominee, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. In 2008, Barack Obama won the district with 55 percent of the vote.
(RELATED: Weiner Resigns)
The most buzzed-about Republican contender is New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich, an up-and-comer who reportedly has the blessing of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Other Republicans mentioned as possible candidates: Bob Turner, the party's 2010 nominee, and New York State Judge Noach Dear, who ran against Weiner as a Democrat in 1998 and later switched parties to oppose him (again unsuccessfully) in the general election.
(RELATED: Lawmakers React)
Democrats have been less forward about their ambitions, awaiting an announcement by Weiner. Names that have been floated include City Councilman Mark Weprin, and two ex-City Council members, Melinda Katz and Eric Gioia. A potential kingmaker could be Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y. Elected to the House the same year as Weiner from the neighboring 7th District, Crowley heads the Queens Democratic Party.
(RELATED: Weiner's Lust for the Limelight)
A resignation by the congressman would require New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to schedule an election no later than 80 days from the date of the vacancy. That's double the amount of time required up until recently, but Cuomo persuaded the legislature to allow a longer campaign so that military ballots can be transmitted and returned.
Whoever wins the seat can't count on occupying it long. Population shifts will require New York to lose two congressional seats this year, one of them in the city. Absent a senior incumbent, Weiner's district becomes an easy target for elimination.