On a night in which congressional incumbents across the city fended off primary challengers but emerged victorious, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries won a sweeping victory over Councilman Charles Barron, signaling a new era in Brooklyn politics.
“The political pundits said that this was going to be a close race, but that was before the people had spoken,” Mr. Jeffries told a packed crowd of several hundred people at Sanders Studio in Clinton Hill. “The people spoke with one loud voice and that’s why we’re going to Washington.”
The special election to replace Carl Kruger has seemingly dissolved into accusations of the David Storobin campaign running down Lew Fidler supporters on the streets of Brooklyn, but Citizen Union would like to remind you that no matter who wins today, it won’t change the fact that a growing number of lawmakers are elected with just these kinds of special elections.
There are four other special elections around New York State today, which means that fully 30 percent of the members of the Senate and the Assembly will have been selected not through a primary process, but through getting the nod of the county party. Since so many districts are heavily Republican or heavily Democratic, this means that a substantial number of lawmakers get into office without ever having been properly vetted by the voters. And since it is so difficult to beat an incumbent, many never are.