New Yorkers Come Out to Vote in 2012 Congressional Primary

By Paul DeBenedetto on June 27, 2012 3:25pm 

NEW YORK CITY — Some new blood was injected into the democratic process, while an old stalwart hung on for another nomination, as New Yorkers came out to cast their ballots in Congressional primaries marred by low voter turnout.

Rep. Charles Rangel once again put himself on the ballot in November, as he defeated State Senator Adriano Espaillat for the 13th Congressional District's democratic nomination.

The victory comes just 18 months after the 82-year-old politician was censured by the House Ethics Committee, an offense for which his opponents said he should retire.

“I never really understood the qualifications of my opponents,” Rangel told supporters gathered for a victory party at Sylvia's Also in Harlem, where he slammed the "hostile media" for suggesting there was any chance that he might lose.

In Brooklyn, rising star Hakeem Jeffries beat controversial City Councilman Charless Barron in the race to become the democratic nominee from the 8th Congrssional District.

In his concession speech, Barron refused to congratulate Jeffries.

"I will not be giving a congratulatory statement to my opponent tonight because of the campaign that he ran and the character assassinations that he performed on another black man," said Barron.

Further north, Grace Meng fended off Rory Lancman and Elizabeth Crowley to become the democratic nominee for Queens' 6th Congressional District. If elected to Congress, Meng will be the first Asian-American representative in New York's history.

Congressman Joe Crowley, the head of Queens' democratic party who supported Meng over his sister Elizabeth, old DNAinfo.com New York Wednesday night that voters chose Meng because of her "incredible command of the issues."

"They saw an opportunity to send a beautiful message about Queens county," Crowley said. "We recognize talent in all shapes, sizes colors and ethnicities."

Eunsook Cho, who is Korean, said she decided to vote for the first time in her 14 years living in the United States because Meng was on the ballot. 

"She represented the Asian and she's a woman," said Cho, 54. "I care about everything: the economy, healthcare and education. I believe she can work to the community's interests."

Elsewhere in the city, Nydia Velazquez defeated Erik Dilan for the 7th Congressional District's democratic nomination, despite her name being mistranslated on Chinese ballots, and Wendy Long defeated Queens congressman Bob Turner in the Republican Senate primary. Long will go on to face Kirsten Gillibrand in November.

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