Well, I just got back from casting my vote in today’s primary election, and, as of 9:15 a.m., only five other people had voted at my polling station.
Let’s pick it up, Sheepshead Bay! Let’s prove to New York City and New York State that our area has a voice and we will use it!
For many in our coverage area, the only races going on are the primary battles between sitting Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and his upstart opponent Ben Akselrod, as well as the race for male district leader, between incumbent Mike Geller and challenger Ari Kagan.
To begin with, the end of June is more suited for end of public school year activities, graduations and the start of summer vacations than an election.
Nevertheless, this primary, which is expected to produce an inconsequential voter turnout, has pundits and politicians anxiously awaiting the outcome, mostly because of the two candidates running for the Democratic nomination in the newly-created 8th Congressional District that cuts a swath across Brooklyn from Fort Greene and Bed-Stuy to East New York and Canarsie, and from Mill Basin and Bergen Beach to Brighton Beach and Coney Island. It even stretches east into Howard Beach and Ozone Park in Queens.
State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and City Councilman Charles Barron are facing off to succeed Towns. It would, without a doubt, be a huge mistake, if Barron was the victor.
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, running to replace Congressman Ed Towns as the representative for the newly redrawn 8th Congressional District, visited the Manhattan Beach Community Group last week to introduce himself and discuss his stance on the issues expected to play a key role in this year’s election.
Jeffries talked about Israel, the economy and restoring trust in government, while also touting his background in both the public and private sectors. He also worked in mention of a handful of local issues, including waterfront issues, transportation and safety.
“One of the things that I’ve found all across this congressional district is that there are a lot of things that unite folks,” Jeffries told the crowd about the newly redrawn district, which will span across neighborhoods from Downtown Brooklyn to Crown Heights, to East New York to Mill Basin, to Manhattan Beach and Brighton Beach. “It’s a wonderfully diverse district, but … people want good schools, people want safe streets, people want a strong economy for all. Those are the issues that I really hope to work on if I had the privilege of representing you down in Washington.”
The race kicked off after current Congressman Ed Towns announced that he will not seek reelection this year. Vying for the Democratic ticket are City Councilman Charles Barron, a controversial figure with a strong following in his East New York, Brownsville, East Flatbush, and Canarsie base, and Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who has won the endorsement of many of our local elected, who represents Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Crown Heights in the Assembly. The primary is set for June 26.
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz will face off against Ben Akselrod, a Russian-speaking Orthodox Jew, in a Democratic primary that may unseat the 12-year veteran of the Assembly.
Rumors first surfaced of a potential Akselrod campaign in mid-April on Politicker, and last Friday he registered a campaign committee. He will officially announce his campaign this weekend at Baku Palace, just a stone’s throw from the assemblymember’s district office.
According to Politicker, an Akselrod candidacy in the general election could possibly stymie growing Southern Brooklyn support for Republicans, particularly among Russian and Orthodox voters who turned out to deliver wins to Bob Turner and David Storobin in what was believed to be heavily Democratic areas (True, Storobin’s win is not yet official; however, regardless of whether he obtains the seat or not, the upset from a political unknown is widely regarded as a GOP victory).
Similarly, whoever wins the Democratic primary for the 45th District will likely have a Republican opponent in the general election, as the GOP sets its eyes on future gains across Southern Brooklyn. And with Kruger’s seat vanishing and a new “Super Jewish” district being created (for which Simcha Felder has announced intentions), some observers suggest David Storobin may make a go for the seat.
Correction (5/7/2012): The original version of this article mistakenly stated that Cymbrowitz faces Joseph Hayon in 2008. It was actually 2010, and the post has been updated to reflect that.