Four major New York newspapers have, in no uncertain terms, endorsed Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries for US Congress. The endorsements are fueled slightly, yes, by enthusiasm for Jeffries, but mostly by dread at the prospect of victory by Jeffries' opponent, City Councilman Charles Barron.
For the uninitiated, Barron, a former Black Panther, is an extremely divisive politician. (See a great roundup here.) He once eulogized the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadaffi, another time escorted ruthless Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe into City Council, called the government of Israel "the biggest terrorist in the world," and still another time, during a hearing on reparations, said, "I want to go up to the closest white person and say, ‘You can’t understand this, it’s a black thing’ and then slap him, just for my mental health."
And now the endorsements.
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries is a solid legislator and the chief sponsor of a law that requires the New York Police Department to discard data about anyone who has been stopped and frisked but not charged with a crime. He has worked to bring in more affordable housing and strengthened protections for tenants. City Councilman Charles Barron is an embarrassing ideologue, who rants against Israel and invited Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwe dictator, to City Hall. We endorse Hakeem Jeffries.
One man in this contest is a class act. The other is a malignant clown.
Democrats of the newly drawn 8th District must turn out and rally — for their own good and the good of the city — behind Hakeem Jeffries on June 26.
Democrats in the 8th congressional district can spare New York from becoming a national laughingstock.
They can do this by selecting Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries in the June 26 primary as their candidate for the seat being vacated by the retiring Rep. Ed Towns.
We don’t often agree with Jeffries — but his opponent in this Brooklyn-Queens district is the odious City Councilman Charles Barron, a shameless racial demagogue.
The prospect of Charles Barron on Capitol Hill ought to send a shiver down the spine of every decent New Yorker. The man is a hater and a bigot whose only redeeming quality is his candor: The man makes no attempt to hide his loathing of white people, Israel, his colleagues and anybody else who doesn’t share his demented views.
So, why the panic? The rush to endorse Jeffries? Because Barron just might win. And a win in the Democratic primary in the heavily Democratic 8th District is tantamount to a win in the general election.
Jeffries, it seems, irked the retiring Towns by announcing his candidacy before Towns announced he was going to step down. Towns then endorsed Barron. Additionally, Barron has earned the endorsement of the city’s largest public-employee union, District Council 37.
There have been no polls in the race so it's hard to gauge just how close it will be.
The Democratic primary is Tuesday June 26th.