Meng, Jeffries & Velazquez winners on Primary Day
by Shane Miller
Jun 26, 2012 | 2308 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Voters in Queens and Brooklyn went to the polls Tuesday to cast their vote in three Democratic Congressional primaries and one Republican Senate primary.

In the 6th Congressional District, longtime incumbent Congressman Gary Ackerman chose not to seek re-election, opening the door for three sitting politicians looking to move up in office – Assemblywoman Grace Meng, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley – and one political newcomer, Dr. Robert Mittman of Bayside.

In that contest, Meng coasted to victory, earning 50 percent of the vote. Meng will have to face a Republican challenger in the general election, as Councilman Dan Halloran of northeast Queens has already announced his candidacy in the race.

In the 8th Congressional District, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries beat out Councilman Charles Barron, winning nearly three-quarters of the vote. This was a heated race between Barron and Jeffries for a seat that became vacant because Congressman Ed Towns, like Ackerman, also chose to retire rather than seek another term.

Barron's reputation as a divisive political figure also added to the intensity of the race, most notably the councilman's views on Israel. He once called Israel “the biggest terrorist in the world,” prompting many Jewish organizations to take out several ads in the Jewish press lambasting Barron.

The race also had a small wrinkle, as for the first time, thanks again to redistricting, a portion of south Queens, including South Ozone Park and Howard Beach were included in the predominately Brooklyn-based district.

In the 7th Congressional District, longtime Congresswomen Nydia Velazquez faced - for the first time in a long time - a tough primary, with Lopez convincing Councilman Erik Martin Dilan to challenge her for the seat.

Or rather it was supposed to be tough. Velazquez coasted to victory in the primary, which also featured two other contenders in businessman Dan O'Connor and George Martinez, with well over half of the vote.

But it wasn't only Democratic voters who got a chance to go to the polls. There was also a Republican Primary to choose between three candidates vying to challenge Senator Kirsten Gillibrand last this year, although it appears few GOP members exercised their right to vote. The turnout for the statewide primary was one of the lowest in New York State history.

There were three candidates in the race, Bob Turner, Wendy Long, a lawyer endorsed by the Conservative Party, and George Maragos, the current comptroller of Nassau County.

Turner was the freshman congressman who shocked the political world when he was elected to Anthony Weiner's old seat, and had a short-lived career in the House of Representatives before his seat was drawn out of existence when the city lost a congressional seat following the 2010 Census.

In the end, Long pulled out the victory, earning about half of the vote.
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