Incumbents prevail in Bklyn primaries

Clarke stops by to give us the DC lowdown
The Brooklyn Paper / Tom Callan

Tuesday’s primary elections were largely a victory for incumbents, who won over rivals in three congressional seats that represent Kings County. But some challengers snuck up to the sitting reps more closely than others. Here’s our recap of the federal primary-election results in Brooklyn.

Ninth Congressional District

Brownsville, Park Slope, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, Sheepshead Bay, and Crown Heights

Rep. Yvette Clarke is safe in her seat for a seventh term, narrowly beating upstart challenger Adem Bunkeddeko in a tight race with just 14,804 votes to his 13,729.

Clarke first took office in 2007 following a stint in Council, after succeeding her mother, former Councilwoman Una Clarke (D–Flatbush). Bunkeddeko ran a tough campaign centered around affordable housing and often criticized the incumbent — who in 2017 called President Trump illegitimate — for failing to write and pass legislation during her 12 years in office.

But Clarke defended her record and blasted her challenger for trying to mislead voters, and claims that she seemed “checked out” of the job from anonymous former staffers didn’t stop her from taking victory.

No Republican candidates threw their hats into the ring for the seat.

11th Congressional District

Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend and Staten Island

The sitting Rock-to-Ridge congressman bested his challenger during the Republican primary on Tuesday, winning the Grand Old Party’s nomination ahead of what’s sure to be a heated general election in the fall.

Rep. Dan Donovan.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

Rep. Dan Donovan beat back a challenge from the convicted felon who formerly held the seat with 12,774 votes to the one-time pol’s 7,219.

Donovan won the endorsement of President Trump last month, but earlier election polls showed his challenger in the lead. Both candidates campaigned on the trail to woo more conservative voters, despite Donovan bucking both the president and his Republican party when he voted against the controversial tax bill and the American Health Care Act before tacking right for the contentious primary.

And on the other side of the political aisle, Army veteran Max Rose claimed victory amongst six candidates vying for the Democratic nomination. Rose secured 63 percent of all ballots cast with 10,712 votes, according to city data.

Donovan will go on to face Rose in the November general election.

12th Congressional District

Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Manhattan and Queens

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a 26-year incumbent whose district includes a sliver of North Brooklyn, claimed victory over challenger Suraj Patel on Tuesday.

Patel, who raked in 16,995 votes to Maloney’s 24,223, tried a unique, but widely criticized campaign strategy called “Tinder-banking,” for which he created fake profiles on dating apps to try to talk to young potential voters about his bid for office.

Maloney is now set to cruise to victory in November with no Republicans running for the seat. — Julianne Cuba

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, center, with Borough President Adams at a 2016 event.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.