The Race To Replace Towns

Landslide! Jeffries trounces Barron at the polls

The Brooklyn Paper
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He’s our new Towns!

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries pasted Councilman Charles Barron in a congressional primary fight to succeed Rep. Ed Towns — and almost certainly represent more than a third of the borough in Congress — on Tuesday night by snagging 72 percent of the vote, early returns show.

With 98 percent of the precincts reporting in the horeshoe-shaped district that includes Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and Bedford-Stuyvesant — as well as several southern Brooklyn neighborhoods once led by sexting-scandal-scarred Rep. Anthony Weiner — the Albany legislator received more than 25,000 votes, according to WNYC radio.

Barron, a former Black Panther who represents East New York and Canarsie, pulled in just more than 10,000 votes, records show.

Jeffries said he was overjoyed by the outcome.

“All the political pundits said this was going to be a close race, but all across the district, from Bed-Stuy to Brighton Beach, the people spoke in one loud voice,” Jeffries told more than 200 supporters at a victory party at Sanders Studios NYC, a performance space in Clinton Hill. “I’m going to Washington to do the people’s business.”

Jeffries said that his support came from all over the district, which grew exponentially during Albany’s latest redistricting session.

“There is not a single community that we didn’t do well in,” he said.

Barron couldn’t say the same — nor would he congratulate Jeffries on his win.

“At the risk of sounding like a sore loser there will be no congratulatory statements made to the opposition tonight,” a terse Barron told his campaign staff at Sistas’ Place in Bedford-Stuyvesant as he blamed the New York democratic leadership and the media for his downfall.

Barron, who never identified Jeffries by name, said the Assemblyman attacked his campaign at every turn.

“The way the campaign was run, and the things they did to character assassinate us, for the opponent not to 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,’” said Barron. “For the opponent not to do that shows a lack of character.”

State lawmakers re-mapped Towns’s district this spring, adding Sheepshead Bay, Mill Basin, and several other right-leaning Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods to the expansive district.

The race took off when Jeffries announced his congressional bid in January, setting the stage for what some expected to be a close three-way primary with Towns and Barron, who almost defeated the 77-year-old lawmaker in 2006.

Towns vowed to fight for his seat, denying rumors that he was going to retire to avoid losing a competitive primary. But his 2012 campaign got off to a slow start: the veteran pol only had $11,000 on hand last October and, even though he managed to build an impressive war chest, he was still outpaced by Jeffries, who raised more than $750,000.

Towns finally called it quits in April, announcing that he would retire at the end of the year after spending nearly three decades in Congress.

Jeffries, who was backed by Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Vito Lopez, quickly assumed frontrunner status after racking up the endorsements of dozens of elected officials and powerful labor unions.

But Towns evened the scales by endorsing Barron — an outspoken critic of Israel and fan of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe and Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy — in a surprise move that spoke more about his well-established hatred for Brooklyn’s Democratic boss than his love of Barron.

Barron’s campaign started to falter in the final weeks when borough Jewish leaders denounced him as a “hate monger and anti-Semite.” Barron — who only raised $50,000 for his campaign — grabbed further negative headlines when he received an unsolicited endorsement from David Duke, a former Louisiana congressman and Klu Klux Klan leader.

Jeffries’ primary is over, but he still has to face Republican and Green Party challengers in the fall before he’s given a ticket to Washington.

—with Colin Mixson

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

John from Crown Heights says:
Now Barron faces the prospect of term limits ending his time on the public dole. He's a classless pig. Couldn't even congratulate Jeffries.
June 27, 2012, 5:39 am
Ahab from Bay Rij says:
Trading in Towns for Jeffries could be the best trade NY sees in a long time (I'm looking at you, Knicks).
June 27, 2012, 8:52 am
bengee from coney says:
Barron don't let the door hit you in the behind.
June 27, 2012, 1:29 pm
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Barron sucks
June 27, 2012, 1:32 pm
Gregory from Brooklyn says:
Hakeem Jeffries was the Democratic mainstream, corporate money-backed candidate. Mainstream Democrats have and continue to support the foreign wars, gargantuan Wall Street corporate welfare, and destruction of civil liberties that are destroying our country. And all of these Bush-worthy policies are continuing full blast under President Obama.

Charles Barron would have been reliable opposition to these profoundly destructive policies, but with Jeffries, we have someone more likely to go along to get along. Which is just fine, if those are the policies you support anyway.
June 27, 2012, 2:12 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I am glad that Jefferies beat Barron. Part of the reason why Barron lost had to do with his anti-Israel remarks and the fact that he supported some dictators. Another reason was because he did almost nothing for his district for a period of time. Keep in mind that a lot of key city and state politicians supported Jefferies over Barron as well. Just to let you know, most of the city and state politicians that support Jefferies that happen to be pro-Israel are also hard core liberals, so there goes the claim that only conservatives are pro-Israel.
June 27, 2012, 4:04 pm
Tim from Carroll Gardens says:
Thank goodness. While Barron might have supported some environmental causes, he is sociopathic and divisive, and plays not just the race card but the entire deck, as I read yesterday in the Times.
June 27, 2012, 4:18 pm
Brooklyn Native from Brooklyn says:
Risk of sounding like a sore loser? No - Barron does not only sound like a sore loser, he is. Knowing Barron's background and past record, it's only a matter of time (probably very little time) before he shifts the blame off himself (of course, he's never responsible for anything) and solidly onto the print media, white journalists, blacks who act white and anyone else he can think of.

Barron is both a bigot and a racist, and it's great to see the right-minded voters reject Barron's hatred and blame-game.

Congratulations to Mr. Jefferies.
June 27, 2012, 4:42 pm
ty from pps says:
I'm so glad to know Tal Barzalai FROM PLEASANTVILLE endorses Mr. Jefferies. How could Brooklyn get by without Tal's wisdom.
June 27, 2012, 7:04 pm
Gregory from Brooklyn says:
Isn't it interesting that one's support or lack of support for the government of a foreign country should be the prime consideration for electing someone to the Congress of the United States of America? Anyone else have a problem with that?

Many of the comments here read like simple-minded parroting of mainstream media talking points. Our country is under the control of a financial elite who are stripping it bare and ravaging our country and other countries with needless wars, yet these are the issues you concern yourselves with.
June 28, 2012, 8:32 am
Brooklyn Native from Brooklyn says:
Gregory - You sound a bit angry. Would you have had a problem voting for a Congressional candidate if they were supportive of South African apartheid? Or is your interest only in those who do and do not support Israel?

My argument against Barron is that he is a racist, spreads hate, and attempts - always - to shift the blame onto someone else when either he fails or doesn't get his way.

Whether or not our country is "under the control of a financial elite" - and I believe that it is - unlike you, I don't make the connection between that financial elite and support of Israel. Doing just that, as your last sentence implies, is just as hateful and racist as supporting apartheid. It sounds as if you've spent too much time reading The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

And please take into account that someone can be against something without being for something else. Someone's lack of support for Barron does not immediately translate into ignoring our country's financial crisis.

One issue voters may be myopic when to the total exclusion of other issues, they vote on just that single issue - abortion, gun rights, election reform, Israel, South Africa.

Save your vehemence for what truly matters: a bigot, a racist, a hate-monger has been denied a Congressional seat in this primary. That alone should be reason to applaud.
June 28, 2012, 4:42 pm
Peter from Brooklyn Heights says:
Barron goes out the way he came in - without any class.

Also, if Barron HAD won, he would have been New York's own Cynthia McKinney - a laughingstock - and with very little chance of getting any committee assignments of import.
June 28, 2012, 5:15 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Gregory, what did Barron have that was convincing for him to win the nomination for a congressional seat? I don't see how Jefferies is a mainstream politician just because of where he got his support. Maybe they just saw something better in Jefferies than they did in Barron. Nevertheless, I am tired of minority politicians that use their race or other cultural backgrounds as leverage when they shouldn't, and I know that Obama didn't use that to win the presidential election, he used the fact that he would promise hope and change instead. Regardless, the primary is over and Barron lost, so get over it already.
June 28, 2012, 6:41 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Gregory, historically speaking it isn't unusual for candidates for Congress to be evaluated based on their support for foreign governments. Think of how candidates campaigned on their support for the UK in the run-up to WWI and you can quickly come up with many other examples.

The only thing unusual about our support of Israel (which I think is what you were alluding to) is that there is no strategic reason for it. Usually when a nation-state gives another the kind of financial, technical, and military assistance we do them it's because it's getting something out of it. But the United States gets no material benefit from its alliance with Israel, while Israel, it can be argued, relies heavily on American support to survive. AIPAC, Israel's lobby in the United States, is directly responsible for that situation.

There have been and are many similar lobbies from other countries, but none of them has ever been as successful as AIPAC. It's in a class by itself. Whether AIPAC's efforts are good for America or not is a different conversation, but their success is indisputable; and what they're doing, lobbying for a foreign power, is not unusual at all.
June 29, 2012, 9:27 am
David from Williamsburg says:
US gets nothing back from Israel???? LOL. Ever hear of Stuxnet or Flame virus? Military technology. Technological/Satellite cooperation,Inteligence sharing. Only US ally in the Middle East. alternative Energy technology. Medical technology/drugs etc etc etc
June 29, 2012, 11:04 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Scott, I suggest you read what David just mentioned, because it's true. In the last couple of decades Israel has been known for numerous technological and medical advances. The claim that Israel is nothing but a military nation has been proven false multiple times. Are you aware that AOL Instant Messenger and Skype or all Israeli ideas? They even helped make the Pentium Chip for today's computers. Overall, you wouldn't be able to talk or type online through such programs if not for them. One other thing, unlike the OPEC nations, Israel doesn't use certain threats to help with their exports. Still, we can put Israel aside, and Barron would have still lost anyway just for not accomplishing much, which was the reason he lost.
June 29, 2012, 5:02 pm

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