By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

If June wasn't already an event-laden month, June 26th may well have been the zenith of a period that many felt would either make or break the New York Political realm for all times.

Of course,there were many of us who predicted that there was nothing to worry about - that the candidates who were stacked against the incumbents didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of unseating them. And we were absolutely right:

Congressman Charles Rangel held his seat in Manhattan, with a 56% lead at the time of this writing. No surprise when you figure there were so many running against him it easily split the votes.

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke will be returning to DC in Brooklyn, despite efforts to totally decimate her congressional district through the most heinous redistricting ever. At her victory party, held at Tropical Paradise in Brooklyn, she thanked her supporters, including Ms. Andrea Dawes, who had volunteered in every way possible; her mother, former City Council member Una S.T. Clarke, Mary Bishop, Latrice Walker and others, for making sure that she was able to conduct a campaign and maintain her responsibilities of representing her constituents in Washington. "We had a 'scrunching' of the opponent!" she stated enthusiastically, as her many well wishers toasted her victory.  Scrunch or no scrunch, anyone following the Congresswoman's activities wonders what could her opponent have been thinking - no game, no track record, she was  hopelessly out matched by Ms. Clarke across the board.

Congressman Gregory Meeks likewise prevailed in Queens; while Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez returns as well.

However, the most watched race, and what almost turned out to be the most acrimonious contest was that between City Councilman Charles Barron and New York State Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries for the congressional seat recently vacated by Congressman Edolphus Towns.

What started out as a three way contest between Town, Jeffries and Barron, was turned into a two-way battle after the congressman announced that he was not going to seek re-election, after having served 27 years in Congress in Brooklyn's 10th Congressional District.

The announcement came as a shock to many who had supported Congressman Towns, and were now left with the dilemma of who to throw their support behind. The decision came so closely after  fellow Congressman Donald Payne (D. Newark, NJ) had so suddenly succumbed to cancer, many speculated this may have played into Town's sudden decision to retire.  The two had served together in Congress for more than a quarter of a century, each ably representing their constituencies, and simultaneously supporting each other in important legislation.

That  said, the field was now narrowed down to two contenders.  Both Barron and Jeffries had great track records in their service and devotion to their constituencies. Both have been known to go to the wall when necessary to ensure their districts had what they needed. So, to say the least, it was a perplexing problem, both inside and outside the Black community.

VIDA, the Vanguard Independent Democratic Association of Central Brooklyn had apparently decided to support Jeffries long before Congressman Towns backed out of the race. Under the leadership of State Democratic District Leader Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., who was recently elected President of the organization, they led a vigorous campaign to get the rest of the community on board. Still, with new lines drawn, and with the decimation of the old 10th Congressional District, reaching out to bring a new and diverse community together to coalesce behind Jeffries was no easy task.

Couple that with the fact that few, if any, of the Brooklyn voting population were aware that June 26th was substituting for the regular New York Primary that had traditionally been held in September; and you had what could have been the making of a political disaster.

Two weeks prior to the election, Barron had received the blessing and support of Congressman Towns, and it looked as if those who had supported him in the past may  have followed suit as well. There were, however, others who were not persuaded that this was a good fit for Brooklyn, owing to the fiery nature of Barron, whose militancy and clarity has been known to rub more moderate political figures the wrong way.

So, while the voter turn out was "predictably low", the percentages were sufficient for a landslide in Jeffries' favor. Garnering 73% of the votes, more than enough to send him to Congress in 2013, it was clear that the voters of Brooklyn had spoken.

At his victory celebration, Jeffries thanked his staff and his campaign leaders, and pledged to continue to represent the poor, the middle class, the seniors, and those in his district who had been pushed out as a result of unaffordable living conditions, unemployment and other negative conditions. On hand to congratulate him were Assembly members Annette M. Robinson, Karim Camara, State Senator Kevin Parker, former Assembly members Roger Green and Clarence Norman, Elizabeth Holtzman, Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, Professor Leonard Jeffries and his wife, Roslyn Jeffries (Hakeem Jeffries' aunt and uncle); 2013 Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, and others too numerous to mention.

In looking across the room packed full of well wishers, it was obvious Jeffries had drawn support from practically every quarter of Brooklyn. Amazingly so, when the new maps themselves had actually not been completely finalized until just days before, leaving many in a quandry as to where they actually were supposed to be as of the day of the primary.

In closing Jeffries pledged to now focus his attention on the re-election of President Barack Obama.  Our congratulations to him for having secured the victory as our new Congressional Representative in DC.

This is the point that I now remind everyone that, as in Brooklyn, and everywhere else, your vote absolutely counts!!! If you did not participate in this primary, if you have not registered to vote, make sure you do so before the September statewide primary.   And most definitely before the Presidential election.

We've still got so much more to do to secure the future of our country from the hands of those who would roll back the clock to pre-civil rights and voting rights days.

I truly hope, as well, that now that this phase of the elections are behind us, those who were contenders will begin to work with the victors to move forward and make sure that we New Yorkers continue to move forward as well.
We've got to re-elect President Barack Hussein Obama.  And with battle ground states surrounding us, and the combined rep-ugh-blican tactics of voter nullification and re-districting, as well as the Supreme Court bogus "Citizen's United rule" giving big business the right to buy elections wholesale, we had best be uniting across the boards to hold the lines and save democracy - or end up in a fascist version of the US that will make other repressive governments look like a cakewalk by comparison. **

So celebrate a great victory, New York. Pat yourselves on the back. But be very afraid, because states like Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Arizona, are still trying to exert racist, repressive, revisionist, control over our rights.

And we absolutely cannot allow that to happen.
**(Just a foot note to this - we know that so-called Citizen's United and the Tea Baggers are pouring millions of dollars into trying to prevent Obama from being re-elected.  So there are many in the meanstream media that try to convince us that Mitt Romney is getting bigger contributions.  That may well be the case in quantity.  However, while we may not have thousands to contribute, we do have thousands of us who can each give $3.00; $5.00; $7.00 or $10.00 to help in the campaign.  If we each give $3.00 per week, President Obama will be able to continue with his campaign, while continuing the great job he is doing as Our President.  You can either contribute online or via the many campaign headquarters in your area.  For those of you outside New York, particularly those of you in the Battleground states, if you need to find a way of getting your contribution to the President, log on to www.Obama2012.com, and they will reach back out you.)

Stay Blessed &
Gloria Dulan-Wilson

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