Velazq-yes! Incumbent cruises to victory in congressional primary

The Brooklyn Paper
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She’s still got it.

Eleven-term incumbent Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D–Brooklyn) steam-rolled Dumbo attorney Jeff Kurzon in the District 7 Democratic primary on Tuesday, garnering 82 percent of the vote. Velazquez cheered the victory and promised to return to Washington stronger than ever.

“I know now that I can go there and do the people’s work without any kind of fear, because my people here are watching my back,” she said.

Kurzon’s main campaign issue was getting money out of Congress. He raised just $90,000 to Velazquez’s $613,000 and used the establishment pol’s position on the House Financial Services Committee to paint her as cozy with big banks.

At her victory party in Williamsburg’s Williams and Bailey bar, Velazquez rejected the idea she is controlled by special interests, but said she is enthusiastically a pragmatist.

“If someone writes me a check, hell yes I’ll take it,” she said. “Live in the real world! Unless we pass campaign finance reform, this is just how it works.”

Councilmen Antonio Reynoso (D–Bushwick) and Carlos Menchaca (D–Sunset Park) lauded Velazquez at the party, and she in turn referred to them as “my children.”

Velazquez took office as the first Puerto Rican woman in Congress in 1993 and represented District 12 from 1993 to 2013, when redistricting moved her to District 7. The new district encompasses Cypress Hills, Bushwick, Williamsburg, Dumbo, and Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods extending to Sunset Park.

Kurzon bowed out early in the evening.

“I’m just extremely proud of all my volunteers, and I think we really sent a message to Congress and to the incumbent,” he said.

The upstart faced long odds from the start, with one political strategist saying that anyone hoping to unseat an incumbent in District 7 was “delusional.” But Kurzon remained optimistic until the end.

The vanquished challenger said he isn’t sure what his next move is, but he wants to stay involved in the community he has fought hard to represent.

“You don’t need to be a public figure to be engaged,” he said.

A vast majority of Democratic District 7 voters apparently don’t feel the need to be engaged at all. Only 8,000 voters of 205,000 registered Democrats turned out for the election.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

chris from kips bay says:
NOOOOO I wanted Jeff to win :( Nydia has not done things in years . "Twenty-year Brooklyn incumbent Rep. Nydia Velazquez has not sponsored one bill, amendment or resolution this year.Between her $174,000 salary and a staff that earned $898,211 last year, that's a stiff price for inactivity, congressional watchers said" -Daily news
June 25, 2014, 8:23 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I love this part:

“If someone writes me a check, hell yes I’ll take it,” she said. “Live in the real world! Unless we pass campaign finance reform, this is just how it works.”
June 25, 2014, 8:23 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Consolation prize for being shoved aside for Hillary to run for US Senate.

Sorry we need a white carpet bagger with brand recognition.
June 25, 2014, 8:47 am
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
One day the people will wake up and stop voting for Democrats and Republicans windbags and vote for 3rd party grassroots candidates and /or candidates that don't spend their entire life living off the people.
June 25, 2014, 5:03 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I sure hope Republicans do that first, Common!
June 25, 2014, 6:36 pm
Monica from Park Slope says:
If Kurzon had only spent another $100,000 he coyld have gotten 19% of the vote instead of 18%.
June 25, 2014, 8:42 pm
Epiphany from Ex-Brooklyn says:
Every single Republican primary in Brooklyn was either uncontested or "no candidate."

That leaves the people of Brooklyn at the mercy of a notoriously corrupt, disdainful, arrogant Democratic machine. No independent thinkers, other parties or people with ideas have a chance. Easy to understand when you look at the current state of civic and civil life in the borough: enormous sums of money passing back and forth between politicians and big business—with the leftover scraps for the people who serve them, and actually make the place run everyday.

"Kings County" is certainly an appropriate name for the place, and will continue to be a magnet for gold-digging corrupt, incompetent Democrat kingmakers until...
June 25, 2014, 8:50 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
The Brooklyn machine tried to run against Velazquez 2 years ago. Vito Lopez was mad that she didn't show him the proper respect. It didn't work.
June 26, 2014, 6:56 am
EpiFan-NOT from Brooklyn says:
All these "experts" on corruption...any of you volunteer on a community board? Or even with the PTA/school groups/ANY civic groups? You're just content to sit around and mouth off like you know something without taking any action. Easy, lazy, and incredibly foolish.

Stop mouthing off and do something. Maybe even VOTE, if it's not beneath you.
June 26, 2014, 10:57 am
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
Like the saying goes "Libertarians: keeping democrats out of your wallet and republicans out of your bedroom"...
June 26, 2014, 6:36 pm
ty from pps says:
how do librarians do that?
June 27, 2014, 1:09 pm
Epiphany from ex-Brooklyn says:
How New York Became One Of The Most Corrupt States.

Great photo too!
June 27, 2014, 8:27 pm
Epiphany from ex-Brooklyn says:
P.S. Here's a quote from that article about New York State corruption, focusing on why the corrupt system makes it almost impossible to unseat an incumbent:

Single-Party Dominance

"For decades, Democrats have controlled the state Assembly, while Republicans have usually controlled the Senate. The Senate has flipped back and forth in recent years, but when it comes to individual districts, there's hardly any partisan competition at all.

District lines are drawn in ways that not only favor one party or the other, but insulate most incumbents from primary challenges as well.

"Once they manage to get in, their districts are effectively uncompetitive," says Richard Briffault, a law professor at Columbia University. "They don't really have to worry about being challenged or critiqued by anyone.""
June 27, 2014, 8:43 pm
Josh K from Williamsburg says:
The politicians of Williamsburg have failed the Community big time....they run offices full of nepotism and worship little statues of Vito Lopez, by the way, is that even his real name?
June 28, 2014, 1:09 pm

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