Residents represented by Rep. Ed Towns — whose expansive district was redrawn earlier this year to include Coney Island, Mill Basin, and several other southern Brooklyn neighborhoods — will be going to the polls on June 26 to decide who will succeed the retiring 30-year incumbent on the Democratic ticket: Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries (D–Fort Greene) or Councilman Charles Barron (D–Canarsie).
Since the district is dominated by registered Democrats, the primary winner is widely expected to win in the general election, even though the victor will face Republican and Green Party opponents in November.
Here’s a short cheat sheet to help you at the polls:
• Former full-time attorney. Elected to the state Assembly in 2006.
• Passed legislation to reform the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy.
• Raised more than $750,000 for his congressional campaign and boasted that almost 80 percent of the donations were less than $100.
• Age 41, lives in Prospect Heights.
• Former Black Panther. Elected to the City Council in 2001.
• Staunch opponent of Walmart moving into the borough.
• Raised $50,000 — but most of it came from a personal loan.
• Age 51, lives in East New York.
• Jeffries declared his candidacy in January and Barron quickly followed suit, setting the stage for a competitive three-way primary with the 77-year-old Towns before the incumbent announced his retirement in April.
• Jeffries was endorsed by powerful unions and elected officials, cementing his frontrunner status, but Towns evened the scales by endorsing Barron, an outspoken critic of Israel and fan of both Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe — who fought white-minority rule in Africa — and Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy.
• Jewish leaders have repeatedly rallied against Barron, calling Barron a “hate monger and anti-Semite.”