Published in
The Empire

The Amsterdam News Makes Its Picks in Congressional Primaries

Congressional incumbents and one incumbent-backed candidate received endorsements from the New York Amsterdam News on Thursday afternoon.

The historic weekly newspaper serving New York City's African-American communities endorsed Congressman Charlie Rangel in Manhattan's 13th Congressional district; City Councilman Charles Barron in Brooklyn's 8th Congressional district; Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez in Brooklyn's 7th Congressional district; and Congressman Gregory Meeks in Queens' 5th Congressional district.

The New York Amsterdam editors praised Rangel for his work on a number of community issues, including his work on the minimum wage increase and for his work with local hospitals. The paper also lauded two of Rangel's rivals, Joyce Johnson and Clyde Williams, but said that they lacked the necessary experience for the seat.

The paper came down on State Senator Adriano Espaillat for being the only candidate in the race to ignore their editorial board's invitation.

"Maybe he believes the Black community is not one he needs to reach out to in representing the newly constituted district," the editors wrote.

On their endorsement of Velázquez -- who is in a four-way race with City Councilman Erik Dilan, Dan O'Connor and Occupy upstart George Martinez -- the editors surmised "that part of her opposition comes from some score-settling in Brooklyn political circles." 

The paper endorsed the redistricted Queens incumbent Meeks, the editors wrote, for his work to revitalize southeast Queens and in a House financial services subcommittee.

In a race with no incumbent candidate, Barron received the New York Amsterdam nod, his second endorsement of the week. The first was from outgoing Congressman Ed Towns, who announced his support for Barron on Monday. The newspaper's editors parsed few words and argued that Barron's arrogance, stubbornness and willingness to stand alone are what make him a success.

"Ideally, we would love a candidate who has the fire and soul of Barron and the practicality and affable nature of Jeffries," the editors wrote. "But we must only choose one."