The Race To Replace Ed Towns

Here's our Jeffries vs. Barron voter guide

The Brooklyn Paper
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Residents represented by Rep. Ed Towns — whose expansive district was redrawn earlier this year to include Coney Island, Mill Basin, and several other southern Brooklyn neighborhoods — will be going to the polls on June 26 to decide who will succeed the retiring 30-year incumbent on the Democratic ticket: Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries (D–Fort Greene) or Councilman Charles Barron (D–Canarsie).

Since the district is dominated by registered Democrats, the primary winner is widely expected to win in the general election, even though the victor will face Republican and Green Party opponents in November.

Here’s a short cheat sheet to help you at the polls:

Hakeem Jeffries

• Former full-time attorney. Elected to the state Assembly in 2006.

• Passed legislation to reform the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy.

• Raised more than $750,000 for his congressional campaign and boasted that almost 80 percent of the donations were less than $100.

• Age 41, lives in Prospect Heights.

Charles Barron

• Former Black Panther. Elected to the City Council in 2001.

• Staunch opponent of Walmart moving into the borough.

• Raised $50,000 — but most of it came from a personal loan.

• Age 51, lives in East New York.

The Campaign:

• Jeffries declared his candidacy in January and Barron quickly followed suit, setting the stage for a competitive three-way primary with the 77-year-old Towns before the incumbent announced his retirement in April.

• Jeffries was endorsed by powerful unions and elected officials, cementing his frontrunner status, but Towns evened the scales by endorsing Barron, an outspoken critic of Israel and fan of both Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe — who fought white-minority rule in Africa — and Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy.

• Jewish leaders have repeatedly rallied against Barron, calling Barron a “hate monger and anti-Semite.”

–Daniel Bush

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at
Updated 5:34 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

conflicted from fort greene clinton hill says:
I never thought I would be voting for Barron, but I may do just that. I really don't trust Jeffries: he's in bed with the charter school, anti-union, anti-public school crowd and has taken a lot of money from them for his campaign. I'm not a teacher or a union member, but Jeffries scares me. So I'm voting against Jeffries rather than for Barron, who, frankly, is so out there that I doubt he'll get too far in congress. Will probably vote for the Green Party candidate in the fall election. This is a terrible choice; I don't feel my concerns are at all represented by any of these candidates.
June 25, 2012, 9:21 am
Ben from Greenpoint says:
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffreys sounds to be a nice person, at the other hand i smell Low-paz..
June 25, 2012, 11:14 am
Tony from Brooklyn says:
I'm backing neither. Democrats lost me vote way back in 2009, when they proved incapable of doing anything with majorities in the House and Senate. Vote Green!
June 25, 2012, 3:35 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
If I could vote in this, it will most likely be Jefferies. Hearing Barron's anti-Israel remarks really offends me especially being from there myself. Also, his support for other dictators tend to make others not want to vote for them either. Jefferies can use the Jewish vote to his advantage, plus many other politicians in the city and state have his support as well. The only thing I liked about Barron was his stance against the AY, but anything else, I just can't support him.
June 25, 2012, 3:59 pm
upside down from inside out says:
How dare he support someone who fought white minority rule!
June 25, 2012, 4:13 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I don't mind someone fighting against racism, but it's becoming a dictator that I am against, which is what Mugabe did.
June 25, 2012, 5:23 pm
John from Crown Heights says:
Barron is an unreconstructed racist. Is that who you want representing your community?
June 25, 2012, 10:01 pm
conflicted from Fort Greene Clinton Hill says:
Looking at the comments, sounds as if everyone has a reason to vote against, not for. I'll be voting for green party in the fall, no matter who wins the primary for this heavily gerrymandered district.
June 26, 2012, 10:23 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Hearing what Barron had to say about the Palestinians living in a concentration camp is just another myth ridden by the anti-Israel crowd. I wouldn't be surprised if he called Hamas freedom fighters from that. He even supports any Mid Eastern leader that happens to be anti-Israel. I am offended by what Barron said about Israel, because I was born there, and I know some who were attacked or killed by the ones he refers to as freedom fighters. As for Mugabe, when he became a dictator, he was no different from those he was fighting, and he constantly sends his troops to find anyone who is speaking out against him, which is why so many are hiding there.
June 26, 2012, 6:21 pm

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