Three-term Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries will run as the Democratic candidate for the newly-drawn Congressional District 8 seat this November, after he easily defeated Councilmember Charles Barron.
According to the New York Times, Jeffries won with more than 25,000 votes after raising more cash than Barron and receiving major endorsements. The Democratic nominee will now run against Republican candidate Alan Bellone in the November 6 general election.
The Brooklyn native will now compete for a district that includes portions of Howard Beach and Ozone Park, whose current politicians threw their support behind Jeffries a few weeks before the primary.
On Wednesday, June 20 Senator Charles Schumer endorsed Jeffries, citing that the assemblymember currently represents several neighborhoods Schumer once did.
Congressmember Ed Towns, who represented several areas in the new district and will retire at the end of this term, had endorsed Barron; the two faced off in a 2010 Democratic Primary.
Had Jeffries not gotten the Democratic nod, he would have nonetheless run in November on the Working Families Party ticket, the Daily News reported.
But on the morning of the primary, Jeffries told reporters it would not even come to that.
“Oh we’re going to win the Democratic primary,” he said after casting his ballot at P.S. 9 in Brooklyn.
While Howard Beach and Ozone Park residents were originally worried about both Democratic candidates coming from Brooklyn, some said they didn’t mind the district had been reshaped.
Michael Miller, a computer technician, said this year’s redistricting did not bother him, as he did not like his current representation.
“Normally I wouldn’t be happy with the rezoning, but I was unhappy with my congressman,” Miller, 51, said, “so I’m fine with it.”
Jeffries secured the Queens Democratic endorsement on June 15.
Frank Gulluscio, Demcratic District Leader, said that upon speaking with Jeffries, and being assured Queens would be as much represented as Brooklyn, constituents believed that he would best represent them.
Jeffries said he had been reaching out to Howard Beach and Ozone Park residents to get a feel for their needs and what mattered to them most.
“This election is about a fresh start — moving forward and leaping into the future,” he said. “The fact that the 30-year incumbent has endorsed my opponent, these things happen in politics. [But] We’ve got tremendous support all across the congressional district.”
– Additional reporting by Liam LaGuerre and Philip Hertling