New York State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries easily won the Democratic election for the newly formed 8th Congressional District, stretching from Central Brooklyn to South Queens, on Tuesday November 6.
His candidacy evolved from the controversial Democratic Primary in June when he trounced Councilman Charles Barron, after Barron’s anti-Israel and racially charged rhetoric scared away many voters. It was then that Jeffries attributed his victory to a “wonderful coalition across the entire district”.
Jeffries, who succeeds retiring Democrat Ed Towns, handily beat Republican Alan Bellone and Green party rival Colin Beavan.
Jeffries took an early lead and was therefore able to thank his staff and friends at Club Blink on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn at 9:30 PM, while the first election results were still streaming in to the various media outlets. Jeffries, young, charismatic, warm and friendly said he is “looking forward to his walking onto the floor of the United States Congress and uttering the words ‘Brooklyn is in the house’ ”. He further stated, “I am looking forward to going down to Washington and standing up for this community, standing up for the education of our children, standing up for affordable housing, standing up for our civil rights, standing up for our senior citizens and standing up for President Barack Obama.”
In a post “Victory Party” interview, Jeffries, whose district includes constituents of various ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic levels, discussed with the Jewish Voice his relationship with the Jewish community and his feelings about Israel. Jeffries said, “I am looking forward to a tremendous partnership in addressing both the domestic and international areas of concern to the Jewish community, and to make sure that the United States is the strongest possible friend and strategic partner with our wonderful ally Israel.”
“There will be significant issues that we will have to deal with, across this country, in terms of improving the economy and in context of a very dangerous world, and in our foreign policy. At this point we have to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power and gaining the capacity to endanger Israel, the Middle East, the United States and all reasonable democratic countries. The 8th Congressional District is wonderfully diverse, from socio-economic and religious standpoints, Black, White, Asian, Latino, Jews and Gentiles, young and old, middle class working families and people who are well off. I am proud that we were able to bring everyone together in the Democratic Primary and certainly in the General Election, and I am looking forward to continuously standing up for the interests of the Jewish community and every single other community in the 8th Congressional District.”