Landslide victory for Yvette Clarke

Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke on Tuesday night won a landslide victory in New York’s Democratic Primary elections.

Clarke, who represents the redrawn 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, heavily trounced her Democratic rival Sylvia Kinard, winning 88 percent of the vote with 86 percent of the voting precincts reported.

Clarke received 11,903 votes to Kinard’s 1,584. Republican Daniel Cavanagh will challenge Clarke in November’s Presidential Election.

“I am honored and pleased to have received the overwhelming support of the people of the 9th Congressional District,” Clarke told Caribbean Life after she was declared the winner.

“I’ve spent a decade serving the community I grew up in, and I am thrilled to continue serving Central Brooklyn as their voice in Washington, D.C.,” she added.

“I will continue to fight for the issues I have always fought for: job creation, support for small business, fair immigration reform, quality education for our children and services for our seniors and working families,” Clarke continued.

In other Democratic Congressional races, incumbent Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel, considered a “Friend of the Caribbean,” survived a tough Democratic primary in his bid for a record 22nd term in the redrawn 13th Congressional District.

Rangel, 82, who has been representing Harlem in Congress for more than 41 years, was ahead of Dominican Republic native New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat by 45 percent to 40 percent with 85 percent of the voting precincts reported.

“I’m just glad that my community has faith and confidence in me,” Rangel told reporters at the famed Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem.

The veteran congressman was censured in 2010 after the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ethics Committee found him guilty of 11 counts of ethical violations, including failure to pay taxes, improper solicitation of donations and failure to report his personal income accurately.

Rangel, who was first elected to Congress in 1970, waged a campaign focusing on his legislative seniority.

“You all know this is not the first time my community has rallied behind me,” he said after he was declared the winner.

In the heavily Caribbean community in Brooklyn, New York State Assemb. Hakeem S. Jeffries, a lawyer, defeated Councilman Charles Barron in a race that drew national attention because of what critics charged was Barron’s history of incendiary language.

With 90 percent of precincts reported, Barron, a former Black Panther, received about 28 percent of the vote to Jeffries’ 72 percent in the 8th Congressional District.

Barron attributed his defeat to the Democratic establishment, “the white media,” “the Wall Street elite,” and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, among others.

In his victory speech, Jeffries said it was important for the community to unite.

“We still have a long way to go with racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia,” he told supporters.

“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 added.

If elected in November’s Presidential Elections, Jeffries would replace the retiring Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns.