Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic Assemblyman from Brooklyn’s 8th District solidly squashed Councilman Charles Barron on Tuesday winning 72 percent of the vote to Barron’s 28 percent. Come November Jeffries will run for Congress against Green Party candidate Colin Beavan and the Republican opponent Alan Bellone, but will most likely succeed as the District, which covers Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Bedford Stuyvesant and Marine Park historically votes Democratic.
Tuesday’s vote puts an end to what was seen as an at times ugly campaign run by Barron, who was accused of using tactics to divide the community including anti-Israel rhetoric and other racially charged references.
Mr. Jeffries was joined by his family and many Democratic politicians who supported his candidacy, including Alec Brook-Krasny, assemblyman from Brighton Beach where he represents a large Russian-Jewish population. Brook-Krasny commented that Barron’s anti-Israel statements helped push voters into the Jeffries camp.
“I’ve never seen such strong numbers,” said Mr. Brook-Krasny. “We have some election districts with votes of 44–0, 115–2, 32–2. It’s because, one, we had a great candidate, but also, two, that Charles Barron has opinions about Israel that the Russian Jews do not find suitable for Israel. It’s like he’s a foreign enemy.”
Mr. Jeffries commented on the choice the people made when they voted for him:
“The contrast in the race was clear. I have a record of success and forming coalitions. These are serious times and Congress is a serious job.”
In Jeffries first interview after accepting the nomination he came out on the side of supporting both charter schools and public schools, saying that he would “use the tax code” if he had to to support the decision of parents to send their children to private schools, religious or otherwise.
“I am committed to the public school system, and we will support public schools and parochial schools,” Jeffries said.
Jeffries is also committed to helping homeowners who are close to foreclosure to keep their homes. Several neighborhoods within the Eighth Congressional District, such as East New York, Canarsie and Bedford-Stuyvesant are especially vulnerable.
Jeffries also pledged to “engage voters” so that they will become “a much more inspired and invigorated electorate in November.”