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Jeffries Tops Barron in the 8th Congressional District Primary

Democrat poised to succeed longtime Rep. Edolphus "Ed" Towns in Congress.

A journey that began with for a possible run against a 30-year Congressional veteran ended Tuesday night with a resounding victory against a 13-year veteran of the City Council.

According to the Associated Press, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, D-Brooklyn, has won the 8th Congressional District Democratic primary against challenger Charles Barron—a triumph that should pave the way for a November victory.

As of late Tuesday night, Jeffries led with 72 percent of the vote over Barron with 94 percent of precincts reporting, the AP said.

"All of the political pundits said this would be a close race," Jeffries told the packed room at Clinton Hill's Sanders Studios in his victory speech. "That was before the people had spoken."

He went on to thank his wife, his two sons and a campaign team that ran a race short on mistakes.

In his victory speech, Jeffries vowed to stand up for seniors, schoolchildren and President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C.

"I think he's doing a great job," Jeffries said of the President. "Brooklyn is sending a message that help is on the way."

In attendance at Jeffries' victory party was Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, former city Comptroller and mayoral candidate Bill Thompson and a packed house of enthusiastic supporters.

"He's a serious and meaningful guy...who is going to help us move this city forward," DeBlasio said.

At Barron's campaign event in Bed-Stuy, the mood was understandably much more subdued as it became clear that the night belonged to Jeffries.

"When we lodged this campaign we knew that we were going to be up against powerful opposition," Barron told his supporters. "Never in the annals of the political history of this state has the candidate had to go against the entire New York National Democratic political leadership—Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo had to do robo-calls."

Based on early returns, it appeared that Barron trailed Jeffries even in East New York, where his council district is centered.

In his remarks, Barron struck a defiant note in regards to his opponent.

"At the risk of sounding like a sore loser, honesty compels me to say there will be no congratulatory statements to the opposition tonight only because the way the campaign was run and the things they did, the character assasination," he said of Jeffries. "And the opponent didn't stand up and say, 'I have enough money, I have enough backing to win—don't do that to another black man in front of the entire nation.' ... Not to do that shows a lack of character."

Outside his campaign event, Jeffries told reporters that it was the "chattering class" that made the race seem closer than Tuesday's election results indicated. 

"There is not a single part of this district in which we didn't do well," he said.

Amy Sara Clark contributed reporting.

Bed-Stuy father of two June 27, 2012 at 03:14 AM
This is such a shame. Charles Barron has done more to help build affordable housing, promote job creation and improve education and fight poverty than Jeffries ever will. To watch the media and activists fall in line with the PAC sponsored smear campaign against Barron makes me feel sad. PAC's ads claiming that Jeffries will get corporate money out of politics and tax the rich and reform campaign finance laws make a mockery of out system--PACs were created to get around the $2,500 individual donor limit. This is a sad day for Brooklyn. Money won today. Nothing more. And goodness lost. And, not that it matters, but I'm white and part Jewish. (Having watched Barron closely he is not anti-white or anti-Jew, he is working to empower disempowered people).
BooCooDinkyDowinBrooklyn June 27, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Too bad Charles Barron lacks the grace and wherewithal to end his campaign on a high note. His failures will always be someone else's fault. For Barron, it is about power, self-promotion and maintaining the status quo of dependency and entitlement, rather than the going forward with self-reliance and pride. Thank God for term limits. With luck, he will disappear from the political scene.
S E Anderson June 27, 2012 at 12:10 PM
I agree with you, BedStuy Father of Two. Sadly, the 8th Congressional District and Congress will experience Hakeem Jeffries- the corporate flunky. We will experience support for accelerated gentrification, privatization of public health and education (enhancing the school-to-prison pipeline), more rationalizations of racist police terror inside and outside of the US... and support for more jobs to disappear from these shores. Jefferies will not challenge fracking or any other organized environmental justice issues... thus helping to render his own district ripe for even more environmental racist policies to be put in place. The election of Jefferies shows us that we have a lot of work to do to get more younger workingclass Blackfolk to be politically conscious enough to realize that their vote and other civic participation is crucial to helping beat back racist oppression and economic exploitation. For us in Brooklyn, it means more regroupment and grassroots organizing efforts that are not tied to big money foundations that have rendered community based organizations mere appendages to the Democratic and Republican Parties.
Net Lag Oner June 27, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I was pleased to see a strong voter turn out at P.S. 44. Also a shout out to the workers assisting voters at that location who were very on point! Two notables were Katrina? (forgive me if I got her name wrong).. I believe she is a supervisor or coordinator for the Board of Elections... incredibly helpful and two other poll workers, Mr. Lugo... and Messiah. Excellent. I felt that same great feeling of being a woman and voting. Good to share with my daughters.
Joe Gonzalez June 27, 2012 at 01:55 PM
I watched this race to the end with disgust. Hakeem Jefferies & his campaign manager District Leader Walter Mosley widely distributed thru out Black areas of the district dated photos of Hakeem with candidate Barack Obama taken in 2008. But in Prospect Heights on streets with large numbers of White residents, Hakeem and Walter Mosley passed out campaign flyers showing Hakeem sitting on a Park bench talking to an elderly White Woman. Both Hakeem and Walter Mosley sat back and laughed while falsehoods of Barron being anti-israel were widely circlated thru the media. Both failed to stand up and condemn these falsehoods. Since when is one's views on Israel a litmas test for public Office?
Ladylove3 June 27, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Failure to respect each other politically in terms of running smear campaigns is stil unfortunately how the establishment has us programmed. We can agree to disagree but always get personal as long as it gets you where you want to be. I think both candidiates had a lot to offer. Better funding, and organization on Mr. Barrons' side this race had the potential to really focus on some of the key concerns of both candidates. With Mr. Barron who would have been seen as the bad guy coming in challenging some of the status quo (that the reader above mentioned) would not have been a bad thing. What's wrong with going in green and learning your way and still proving yourself. This is what got you there in the first place. I hope Mr. Jeffries has not shaken to many hands and given up to much leverage. We still need that fight and not complacency. There is alot of good going on in our community and alot of hold on a minute let's keep a close eye on some of it (as the first commentor referred to). Here's hoping the best to to Mr. Jefferies and for us as well.
Ladylove3 June 27, 2012 at 02:03 PM
That was pressed in error
momasat June 27, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Boy! Barron has to learn to be more professional and express his views with less anger - I call in to the radio station Sunday (WBLS) I stated that I was voting for Jefferies and his first response to me was , "You are only one vote." He didnt try to change my choice but he became agruementative - He has been on Nostrand Ave with his people singing "Vote for Me" I approach one man and stated Im voting for Jefferies , he stated, You NIGGER are why we !!!! I walk away and this is all coming from Barron he leads with aggression . He could learn to be more humble -
S. Jones June 27, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I was also hoping for a Barron victory. He's been a long time fighter and visible elected official. The political ad I received in the mail depicting Barron in an unflattering pose was dispicable. I do, however, hope Jefferies bring something progressive to Bed-Stuy.
momasat June 27, 2012 at 02:19 PM
I never said Barron was a bad guy! Just needs a better approach to get his messages across - It's sad because he could make change and help the communities but he has to realize also that he's not just running for the African American vote - more humble approach works - Martin Luther King
Joe Gonzalez June 27, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Hakeem Jeffries, an attorney ought to know that posting campaign signs on NYC lamposts is illegal. Folks who see these signs left over from the campaign ought to call 311 and have the City take action against Hakeem Jeffries, Esq. the same way the NYC officials levied huge fines against Billy Thompson and John Liu following the 2009 elections.
MidLeftDoug June 27, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Expressing support for brutal dictators and kleptocrats with anti-American views might win you pockets of strong supports in neighborhoods the size of council districts. But DC is the big time, and inflammatory remarks come back to haunt candidates with far-out views. His association with the Black Panthers, essentially the flip side of the Tea Party, didn't help him either at a time when people are fed up with the aggression and division so prevalent in Washington today. I voted for Jeffries because I'm hoping he'll represent Progressive ideas in a way that won't be an impediment to success or an embarrassment to the Democratic Party.
Bed-Stuy father of two June 27, 2012 at 05:15 PM
The Jeffries Campaign littering municipal posts with signs shows a disregard for the law. Small as it might seem, in their cost benefit analysis, they decided it would be worth the potential fines to get people's attention on election day. This is troubling for several reasons--first, it shows he'll use money to get away with breaking the rules (which is what Wall Street and investment banks do); second, it shows that he thinks money can buy public opinion--which shows no respect for voters. He didn't even have enough respect for voters to show up at two out of three public debates before the primary.
Sharon June 27, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Jeffries is a Democratic Party hack, which is why he got the endorsements he did. He stands for his own advancement at the expense of ever taking a principled stand on any issue. He sat on the fence during years of fighting against the Atlantic Yards wipeout of Prospect Heights, and when Ratner won, he joined in with the church groups trying to get affordable housing from Ratner. Ratner could care less. He's gotten what he wants and can afford to ignore the black churches because he's bought off the people with expensive basketball. No doubt Ratner will comp Jeffries to a game now and then. Barron, on the other hand, is unafraid of being the lone voice on an issue. It's too bad he's so careless about what he says. He should be gracious in defeat.
Ladylove3 June 27, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Are you serious, xpressing support for brutal dictators and kleptocrats with anti-American views when there are probrably some in your neighbothood who support ansd say those very same things. Freedom of speech. Let's not lose sight and appreciate when you can stand up for your convictions as an American, but have to be so tolerent when others say the same thing. Unfortunately, the bigtime DC is part of the problem with the aggression and division that is so prevelent in Washington today.
M Davis June 28, 2012 at 03:39 AM
ConfusedDoug: "His association with the Black Panthers, essentially the flip side of the Tea Party, didn't help him either at a time when people are fed up with the aggression and division so prevalent in Washington today." That is the most idiotic comment in this forum. The Black Panthers fought for the betterment of Black people suffering under the yoke of white racism and bigotry. The teabagger/Republicans have revived their racist attacks by lying about President Obama's heritage and the progressive policies he supports. I take your comment as a smear-job at Charles Barron's 1969 membership in the Black Panther Party. I supported the work done in the Black communities by the BBP in that era. I would argue that the Democratic Party needs more members who are aggressive and confrontational in their political presentation against the teabag/Republicans. Charles Barron would have been a great addition to the progressive side, as things stand today, the Republicans are winning the war of words by lying on policy issues and using their propaganda networks to keep large numbers of poor and working class whites ignorant of their economic reality.
M Davis June 28, 2012 at 04:39 AM
I voted for Charles Barron for the reasons you stated in your second sentence. In retrospect, I believe Barron ran a lackluster campaign in the 8th-CD, I didn't see him at the subway stations, I didn't hear Barron's political messages coming from bullhorns mounted on vehicles, and Barron's website wasn't working properly when I tried to donate or send a message to his campaign. And the voter turnout in the district was pitiful! In theory the 8th Congressional District in NY State contains about 654,000 citizens - and fewer than 40,000 voters voted in the Democratic Primary yesterday. Apathy and ignorance is bad for democracy. I thought the Jefferies ad that showed Barron levitating down the City Hall steps humorous.
Carol Davis June 28, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Come on, you only saw Jeffries' signs on NYC's lamposts and not Barron's?? Let's focus on the bigger issues -- please.

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