New York voters will head to the polls on Tuesday as Democrats and Republicans compete in primaries that will determine who will be on the congressional ballot in November’s general election.
The primaries come as the state redraws district lines after the 2010 census, which saw New York lose two House seats (the 9th and 22nd District) because its population lagged behind that of other states.
The two biggest races to watch today feature challengers to long-time House Democrat Charlie Rangel and popular Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who filled Hillary Clinton’s vacated Senate seat in 2009. Tuesday’s primaries will determine who will be on the ballot against these candidates in November.
Polls are open until 9 p.m.
PolicyMic will be covering the New York primaries LIVE. Hit “Refresh” for constant updates on these top races and more.
Rangle Wins Easily: In the 13th congressional district (East Harlem to the northwest Bronx), 82-year-old Charles B. Rangel has earned the right to run for a 22nd term after fending off a tough primary challenge. Despite a 2010 House censure for income tax violations and his subsequent removal as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Rangel still had Governor Andrew Cuomo’s endorsement. It was believed that this powerful African-American politician, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, would suffer from recently redrawn district lines since his district now has a Hispanic majority. The redistricting was expected to benefit his foremost challenger, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who if elected would be first Dominican-American Congressman in U.S. history. Also gunning for Rangel’s seat was Clyde Williams, former domestic policy advisor to President Clinton and national political director for the Democratic National Committee, was endorsed by the New York Times and the New York Daily News.
For a while, it looked like this might finally be the election in which Charlie Rangel’s long, illustrious, and (lately) dubious congressional career would come to an end. The stars seemed to be aligned against the 82-old representative from in the Democratic primary for New York’s 13thdistrict. But numerous ethical violations, an official censure from his congressional colleagues, the stripping of his chairmanship, a seemingly unfavorable redistricting scheme, and a challenge from a popular State Senator were not enough to end Rangel’s ironman streak of primary victories.
In the end, four decades-worth of electoral inertia proved to be too much for Espaillat and Williams, who were trounced by Rangel who garnered a majority of the vote despite two viable challengers, one of which (Espaillat) had raised nearly as much as the disgraced congressman.
11:01 pm: Incumbant Rangel Wins Democratic Primary
10:57 pm: Rangel 52.3%, Espaillat 31.8%, Williams 11.4% via AP at 10:47 p.m. ET. 48.6% in.
10:50 pm: Charlie Rangel projected to win in Democratic congressional primary.
10:35 pm: With 30% of polls reporting, Rangel is gaining a large margin.
10:28 pm: Interestingly enough, Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul -- the libertarian poster boy -- is a big fan of Rangel.
Paul and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) proposed a motion to lessen the sanction from censure to reprimand that ultimately failed by a vote of 146-267. It had the support of 143 Democrats and three Republicans: Reps. Pete King (NY), Paul (TX) and Don Young (AK).
10:22 pm: Rangel jumps to a big lead with 15% reporting.
10:15 pm: Wendy E. Long projected to win the Republican Senate Primary, will face off against Kirsten Gillibrand.
10:07 pm: It's interesting to note that Rangel is up against redistricting. His district now has fewer blacks than Latinos. Maybe that's partly the reason Espaillat is doing so well.
10 pm: Rangel losing big to Adriano Espaillat, but still only 7% reporting. It's still very early.
9:53 pm: Long still up big in GOP Senate primary.
9:49 pm: Rangel still in second: with just over 4% reporting the incumbant is losing.
9:38 pm: Long still up in the GOP primary to face off against Gillibrand.
9:30 pm: Rangel Losing Early: In the Democratic primary for Charlie Rangel's seat in the 13th District, Rangel is currently in second, with just over 1% reporting.
9:25 pm: Back to the primaries, though. In the Republican side of the Gillibrand race, Long still holds a commanding lead.
9:22 pm: BTW, New York, Derek Jeter turned 38 today.
“We just want to win. That's the bottom line. I think a lot of times people may become content with one championship or a little bit of success, but we don’t really reflect on what we’ve done in the past. We focus on the present.”
These expressive words were uttered by none other than Derek Jeter, the 10-year captain of the New York Yankees who turns 38 Tuesday.
Jeter, who is in the middle of his 18th season in the MLB, is a player with a lifetime of achievements and awe-inspiring moments. Why not celebrate his birthday by making a list of the top 10? Check them out here.
9:19 pm: No results yet reporting in the Rangel race:
9:14 pm: With less than 1% of polls reporting in the GOP Senate race, Manhattan Lawyer Wendy Long has taken an early lead:
9:09 pm: No results yet reported.
9 pm: Polls Are Now Closed in New York
8 pm: New York 8th Race Between Jeffries and Barron Reveals Generational Conflict:
In his masterpiece Fathers and Sons, Ivan Turgenev explores the unbridgeable divide between a traditional generation and the uncompromising radicalism of its younger counterpart in nineteenth century Russia. The Democratic primary race for NY’s 8th congressional district, held today in Manhattan and Brooklyn, exhibits just the reverse: Hakeem Jeffries, a young politician who seeks consensus, versus Charles Barron the former Black Panther activist. As City University of New York's Kyle Thomas McGovern writes in his excellent summary, the race is “nothing short of a generational battle.” But in fact, the race for New York's 8th captures the conflict within the millennial generation itself: should we adopt traditional language and strategies in pursuit of change, or reject them and forge something entirely new?
The thrust of news coverage on the Jeffries-Barron race has focused on their diverging positions on Israel and Iran. Jeffries has espoused a normative position on the Israeli-American alliance, while Barron has drawn ire from a range of politicians and periodicals (my synagogue’s weekly handout included) for likening the siege of Gaza to Nazi concentration camps. The candidates differ on other issues as well, most notably on gay marriage (Jeffries for, Barron against.) But as McGovern shows, they agree on a lot too, most importantly on the need to tax the rich in order to balance the national budget.
Form, rather than content, is what really distinguishes the two candidates from one another. As Marcia Kramer reports, Jeffries has committed to formal congressional dress-codes, while Barron will not (check out their different looks here.) And their wardrobe differences reveal their contradicting sensibilities. Jeffries considers himself of the same ilk as other African-American politicians like Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick — black leaders who, in contrast to predecessors like Jesse Jackson, forge consensus across ethnic, socioeconomic, and even ideological grounds. Barron, by contrast, stridently calls out the “fat cats” of Wall Street, eulogized Muammar Gaddafi, and declared the failure of capitalism.
How does this all relate to millennials? My sense is that we are at a tipping point. As a freshman in college when President Obama was elected, many of my classmates and I resonated with candidate Obama’s inclusive rhetoric that sought to unite broad coalitions in a push for change. As we watched President Obama’s legislative agenda stall in a Congress laden with corporate interests, our faith in that rhetoric dwindled. Today, we stand skeptical of the possibility of change within the context of our political and financial systems, and ask whether any good can come through an engagement with them. Though Jeffries is perceived as representing the new and Barron the old, the youthful politician’s brand of non-confrontational politics wherein the goodwill of all is taken for granted is unfortunately ebbing.
5 pm: Rangle Challenger Clyde Williams head out with his son to vote:
4:30 pm: The Top 5 Races to Watch: From PolicyMic pundit Courtney Hodrick: New York is holding its congressional primaries today. Tuesday’s primary is the second of three: Romney took top spot in April’s Republican presidential primary while voting for state legislature will take place on September 13th. This is the first time that the congressional primaries have been held in June, so voter turnout is expected to be as low as less than 20%, with the potential to dip into single digits. What’s at stake? Many of the districts have a strong enough Democratic majority that a win in the primary nearlyguarantees election in November. Here’s what you need to know about five races to watch.
1. In the 13th congressional district (East Harlem to the northwest Bronx), 82-year-old Charles B. Rangel is running for his 22nd term. Despite a 2010 House censure for income tax violations and his subsequent replacement as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Rangel still has Governor Andrew Cuomo’s endorsement. This powerful African-American politician, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, may suffer from recently redrawn district lines: his district now has a Hispanic majority. The demographic change is expected to benefit his foremost challenger, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who if elected would be first Dominican-American Congressman. Also gunning for Rangel’s seat is Clyde Williams, former domestic policy advisor to President Clinton and national political director for the Democratic National Committee, who has been endorsed by the New York Times and the New York Daily News.
2. In the 8th district (parts of Brooklyn and southwest Queens), Democrat Edolphus Towns is retiring. Battling to replace him is assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who has the support of the incumbent as well as Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, Governor Cuomo, and theNew York Times and who faces City Councilmember Charles Barron. Barron has made a number of racially charged and controversial statements: he called Israel “the biggest terrorist in the world,” as well as defending his choice to invite Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe to City Hall by saying “Robert Mugabe is my hero and guess what, so is Muammar Gaddafi.” Politico reportedthat Jeffries has raised $770,445 to Barron’s $113,640 (40% of which was from Barrons himself), so if the money is any indication this should be a win for Jeffries.
3. In the 6th District, (central and northeast Queens) Gary Ackerman is retiring. After his post are state assemblywoman Grace Meng, who would become the first Asian-American member of congress from New York and has the backing of the New York Post, the Times, and Ackerman himself, as well as assemblyman Rory Lancman and City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who will benefit from her appeal to working-class voters. The district’s population is 40% Asian, so it will be interesting to see what role race plays in the election.
4. Moving upstate from New York City we reach the recently redrawn 27th District, where it’s the wealthy businessman vs. the war hero. Republican and former Erie County Executive Chris Collins, 62, is running on a platform that emphasizes his business experience and hopes to strengthen US manufacturing. David Bellavia, 36, earned a Silver Star and a Bronze Star in Iraq and has sold the movie rights to his war experiences. Ballavia has the endorsement of New York State Right to Life organization, but Collins has connections to powerful businessmen.
5. Last but not least is the Republican search for a candidate to challenge Senator Kristen Gillibrand in November. The best known is Bob Turner, who won Anthony Weiner’s seat in the special election after Weiner was forced to resign for sending inappropriate photos via text message but who has refused to sign the anti-tax pledge that many republicans have signed, a move that will help him in November but might prevent him from making it that far. Turner faces Wendy Long, a lawyer endorsed by Conservative party, and George Maragos, the Nassau County comptroller.
3 pm: Charles Barron vs Hakeem Jeffries Fight to Rep Brooklyn: An analysis from PolicyMic pundit and Brooklynite Jerome Nathaniel:
The scene surrounding primary elections in Brooklyn is no different than that fiery public speaker who gave out achievement awards at your elementary school graduation — it has huge implications, but stakeholders are too preoccupied and disengaged to realize how it can and will change their futures.
According to an informal NY Daily News’ survey, 61 out of 100 Brooklynites either did not know that there was a primary election coming up or did not plan on voting. In New York’s most heavily populated borough and the country’s 8th most populated county, that is a sad reality for the landscape of statewide and local politics. While we may often hear the lackluster explanation that people abstain from voting because they no longer trust government and/or its effectiveness, that excuse assumes that people are politically conscious enough of policies role in forming their surroundings to make an attentive decision not to vote. But the truth is that people, in fact, do not know when there is an election, who is their incumbent, what they have done and how it has affected their neighborhood.
The consequence of apathy in Brooklyn voting precincts is a micro-model of how legislatively complacent pols can occupy their seat for near eternity through a system that embraces cronyism and status quo. Unfortunately, whatever percentage of individually minded voters that are not caught in the rapture of community mobilizers who have more financial interest in elections than an NBA franchise owner had in his team during the lockout is that their voice is virtually nullified. The community figureheads of large hospitals, school districts, community centers, unions and even churches can pretty much command the state’s Assembly, Senate and congressional representatives with a simple endorsement that can be heard from the corners of Brooklyn on a bullhorn or read in popular local publications.
Cronyism threatens one of the most important local primaries in Brooklyn in a longtime. Today, 42nd district City Councilman Charles Barron of East New York faces off against 57th district Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries for soon-to-retire 14 term Congressman Ed Towns’ seat in a newly drawn 8th Congressional district. The East New York district has notoriously faced the City’s highest unemployment rates, personifies the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk wars and racial profiling, is always on the top of the hospital closings chopping block and is plagued by ex-offenders who return from upstate to meager reentry programs. Though these conditions were not stagnant, but have even worsened over the years, it only takes the support of the surviving health providers, job training centers and communication powerhouses to sway the polls and sustain their own existence with a few dollars of support (even over the course of a decade of subpar service).
What Brooklynites decide today can not only affect laws from the decriminalization of small possessions of marijuana to child health coverage, but also the amount of pork coming into our communities. That pork is entirely contingent upon how much of a reasonable or mad man is representing our district. If enough churches, unions and cohorts back Barron or Jeffries, we can either see East New York turn for the better or worst. If enough old time community leaders have mobilized communities to stick with old names and esoteric diplomacy for the sake of patting longtime public servants on the back, then we can lose the fresh ideas and energy that a less connected pol offers Brooklyn.
Get out and vote!
12 pm: Rangel Faces Tight Race: The results of the New York Democratic primary could spell the end of Rangel's storied and controversial career in the House of Representatives. While Rangel, 82, campaigned hard in the remaining weeks of the race, he fought questions of whether past ethics issues and a three-month absence due to a back injury impede his ability to serve in Congress.
9 am: Turnout in the congressional primaries on Tuesday is expected to be low. It's been years since New York has had a June primary and in April. Just 7% of Republicans turned out for the presidential primary.
Big Races to Follow: Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) faces another closely-watched primary, though the landscape is a bit different than his last go-around, when he was caught up in a congressional ethics scandal.
The longtime Harlem lawmaker's district now includes parts of New York City where the African-American Rangel doesn't have a history of campaigning - specifically the Bronx - and his district now has fewer blacks than Latinos.
Rangel faces State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who would be the first Dominican-American in Congress if he wins the primary and the November general election. Rangel last week got the endorsement of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The only statewide primary features three largely unknown candidates who want a shot at running against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Gillibrand is well funded, having already raised more than $9 million in campaign cash. This will be her second campaign for the Senate since she was appointed in 2009 to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. She won election in 2010 to finish Clinton's term that ends this year.
This time around, Gillibrand is running for a full, six-year term.