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June 26, 2012, 8:44 pmComment
Live-Blogging Primary Night in New York
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
Poll workers greeted a friend at a polling place inside a senior center in Flushing, Queens, where a Congressional seat is up for grabs.Brad Vest/The New York TimesPoll workers greeted a friend at a polling place inside a senior center in Flushing, Queens, where a Congressional seat is up for grabs.
Can New York City’s most powerful congressman keep his seat? Will a 10-term representative fend off a challenge from the party machine? Can a provocateur with a history of outrageous remarks upset an establishment favorite?
The polls in Tuesday’s New York Congressional primaries closed at 9 p.m., and you can keep up with all the real-time returns on our New York primary results page.
12:20 A.M. Low Turnout in Rangel's District
Roughly 1 out of 8 registered Democrats voted in Tuesday’s primary in the newly drawn district of Representative Charles B. Rangel, based on an unofficial tally from the city’s Board of Elections.
That’s a turnout of about 12.6 percent.
About 35,500 voters cast ballots in the race, which Mr. Rangel won by about 6.5 percentage points. There are 282,108 registered Democratic voters in the district, which was created this year by a federal court and includes parts of Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.
— Michael M. Grynbaum
11:50 P.M. A Statement from Senator Adriano Espaillat
This just in from the campaign of State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who fell short in his attempt to unseat Representative Charles B. Rangel:
“After the campaign of our lives, having knocked on thousands of doors and talked to men and women of the 13th Congressional district who inspire me to serve the public, it is clear that we will not win this campaign. I congratulate Congressman Charles Rangel. Though we didn’t make it to the finish line tonight, the values we fought for and the communities we seek to improve will continue to light a fire in us. The truth is, even in coming a bit short, we made history. We are most proud of the fact that our campaign introduced bold, new ideas to move New York forward. We will continue to fight for these ideas with every fiber of our being and make our communities stronger than ever.”
— Kate Taylor
11:45 P.M. Jeffries, in Victory, Speaks of "A More Perfect Union"
The mood was significantly brighter at Hakeem S. Jeffries’s victory party, on the ground floor of Sanders Studios in Brooklyn. Hundreds gathered to hear Mr. Jeffries deliver his victory speech, after he handily defeated Councilman Charles Barron to secure the Democratic nomination.
“The political pundits said this was going to be a close race,” Mr. Jeffries said. “That was before people spoke, from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Brighton Beach.”
“People spoke,” he added, “and that’s why we’re going to Washington, D.C.”
It was never supposed to be a close competition for Mr. Jeffries, and in the end, it wasn’t: he was leading Mr. Barron by about 45 percentage points with 94 percent of precincts reporting. But Mr. Jeffries, a former corporate lawyer, did face a scare in the final weeks of the campaign after Mr. Barron won several key endorsements.
In his speech, Mr. Jeffries ignored the specifics of the race in favor of loftier topics, including an invocation of Abraham Lincoln.
“I still feel it’s relevant to ask the question, how do we create a more perfect union?” Mr. Jeffries said. “We still have a long way to go with racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia. When I look all across this Congressional district, I see people struggling.”
“I’m going down to Washington to stand up for our children, to stand up for job creation, to stand up for civil rights, to stand up for senior citizens, and to stand up for our president, Barack Obama,” he said, before leaving the stage to shake hands with supporters as Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” played on the sound system.
— Vivian Yee
11:30 P.M. Barron Defiant – and Entertaining – In Defeat
Even in defeat, Councilman Charles Barron lived up to his incendiary reputation.
Having lost his long-shot Congressional campaign to represent Brooklyn’s Eighth Congressional District, Mr. Barron came out swinging in his concession speech at Sista’s Place restaurant in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Mr. Barron blamed his defeat on the Democratic establishment, “the white media,” “the Wall Street elite,” and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, among other entities.
He attacked his opponent, Assemblyman Hakeem S. Jeffries, for “shaking up and waking up John Lewis in Georgia to make robo-calls,” referring to the famed civil rights figure who recorded phone calls urging voters to support Mr. Jeffries.
And Mr. Barron borrowed a phrase from the Occupy Wall Street movement, portraying Mr. Jeffries, who had been supported by many of the city’s prominent Democratic leaders, as a representative of “the one percent.”
“When we launched the campaign, we knew we were going to be up against powerful opposition,” Mr. Barron said. “Never in the annals of the state has a candidate been up against the entire Democratic leadership.”
A former Black Panther and three-term City Councilman with a reputation for making outrageous remarks, Mr. Barron accused the media of trying to “assassinate us” during the race, and he blamed Mr. Jeffries for not defending him from the attacks, saying “it showed a lack of character.”
But Mr. Barron, who stood next to his wife, Assemblywoman Inez D. Barron, ended on a hopeful note for his supporters. “There’s something bigger than politics,” he said. “That’s a movement of the people, and we have established that tonight.”
With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Barron had about 28 percent of the vote. Mr. Jeffries had 72 percent.
— Joseph Berger
11:06 P.M. Rangel Fends Off Four Opponents to Win Nomination
Representative Charles B. Rangel, 82, has fended off one of the most difficult re-election challenges of his career.
Mr. Rangel, faced with a newly drawn district and ongoing concerns over his ethical transgressions, defeated four opponents to secure the Democratic nomination for what would be his 22nd term in Congress.
A beaming Mr. Rangel declared victory in front of dozens of supporters gathered at Sylvia’s, the Harlem soul food restaurant, and said he “cannot find words to describe” his feelings about the victory.
Looking jubilant, Mr. Rangel described the media coverage of his run as “hostile” and dismissed the newspaper editorial pages that endorsed his opponents, describing the city’s editorial writers as “very strange people.”
Mr. Rangel held off spirited challenges from State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who would have become the first Dominican-American congressman, and Clyde Williams, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, both of whom hoped to take advantage of a new district that included many more Hispanic voters than Mr. Rangel’s previous territory, which was predominantly African-American.
Earlier in the evening, Assemblyman Keith Wright, the Manhattan Democratic chairman, was asked if he thought that a victory for Mr. Rangel meant that the longtime Harlem congressman could soon be serving his final term.
“No,” Mr. Wright replied. “Charlie Rangel might be the Strom Thurmond of Harlem.”
— Michael M. Grynbaum and Kate Taylor
10:57 P.M. Velázquez On Her Way To 11th Term, Says A.P.
Representative Nydia M. Velázquez appears to be on her way to an eleventh term in Congress.
Ms. Velázquez easily won the Democratic nomination in the Seventh Congressional District, according to the Associated Press, taking a comfortable lead over her nearest opponent, City Councilman Erik M. Dilan, with more than half of all precincts reporting.
Her victory represents a triumph over the Brooklyn Democratic chairman, Vito J. Lopez, who threw his powerful political machine behind Mr. Dilan.
“We won because of you,” Ms. Velázquez told supporters in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, describing her victory as one for “progressive and democratic values.”
After remarks from Sheldon Silver, the state Assembly Speaker, Ms. Velázquez repeated her remarks in Spanish. In her second speech, however, she used one English phrase: “party bosses.”
— Sarah Wheaton and Michael M. Grynbaum
10:43 P.M. Jeffries Defeats Barron in Brooklyn, Says A.P.
The provocateur’s upset is not to be.
Assemblyman Hakeem S. Jeffries has defeated Councilman Charles Barron to win the Democratic nomination in Brooklyn’s Eighth Congressional District, according to The Associated Press.
Mr. Jeffries was leading Mr. Barron by a significant margin with just under half of all precincts reporting, according to the A.P.
Both men were running to replace Representative Edolphus Towns, who is retiring, in a newly redrawn district in Brooklyn. Mr. Barron, who has courted controversy with incendiary remarks during his political career, earned the endorsements of Mr. Towns and a major public employees’ union, alarming some Democratic leaders that he could score an upset victory.
Instead, Mr. Jeffries, who is favored by the city’s political establishment and had a large fundraising advantage over Mr. Barron, appears to have prevailed.
— Michael M. Grynbaum
10:39 P.M. Meng Declares Victory in Queens
Assemblywoman Grace Meng, second from left, on Tuesday.Brad Vest/The New York TimesAssemblywoman Grace Meng, second from left, on Tuesday.
Grace Meng thanked her supporters for a “tremendous victory” in the Sixth Congressional District in Queens, although no major outlet has yet called the race for her.
Ms. Meng, a state assemblywoman who is seeking to replace Representative Gary Ackerman, had the backing of the county Democratic machine, and she was holding a lead over her closest opponent, Assemblyman Rory I. Lancman, with about a third of precincts reporting.
Ms. Meng came onstage at a restaurant in Bayside, Queens, to a Black Eyed Peas song.
Meanwhile, at Mr. Lancman’s event in Forest Hills, the mood already appeared to be one of defeat. One campaign adviser was overheard telling other attendees that “it doesn’t look good.”
— Michael M. Grynbaum
10:33 P.M. Long Wins G.O.P. Senate Primary, says A.P.
Wendy E. Long, a Manhattan lawyer, has won the Republican nomination to challenge Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand in November, according to The Association Press. Ms. Long was holding a large lead over her closest opponent, Representative Bob Turner of Brooklyn and Queens, with more than half of all precincts reporting.