Meng Wins, Rangel Hangs On in Key Primary Races

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 10:48 AM

Assemblywoman Grace Meng (Colby Hamilton/WNYC)

New York went to the polls Tuesday to select their parties' nominees for the Congressional elections in November. 

In the only statewide race, Manhattan lawyer Wendy Long defeated Congressman Bob Turner and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos for the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Long will take on incumbent Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand in November.

About half of the city's House delegation also faced challenges from members of their own party. Democrats were in particularly heated races in districts that cover Harlem, the Lower East Side and parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

New York state is poised to send its first Asian-American to Congress with the primary victory of Assemblywoman Grace Meng in New York's sixth Congressional district.

"This was an important win for our shared priorities, and our shared understanding that what's different about all of us in Queens in nothing compared to what we all have in common," Meng said.

"It has been about we, certainly not me. We: we in this room, we in the neighborhoods won this important race. We made this victory together."

"To my Republican opponent Dan Halloran I say this: let's run a campaign based on the issues, an engage [in] spirit debate on policies and priorities. Let's not discuss race or religion. Let's not engage in scare tactics."

In perhaps the most watched race, veteran politician Rep. Charles Rangel held on against what seemed at times to be a spirited challenge in a newly redrawn district. In a victory speech at Sylvia's in Harlem, Rangel was in full celebration mode.

"Every hope and dream that we've had on Lenox Avenue is the same thing they've had on Fordham Road," Rangel said of his district that now spans into The Bronx.

Amid chants of "Si Se Puede!" Rangel was defiant that he was the best candidate to represent all of them. "I never really understood the qualifications of my opponents," Rangel said. "If they didn't think after 42 years that I was the best qualified, I promise them that in the next two years they'll have no question about the fact that you elected the best."

Contested race results:

CD 5  - In Queens, Congressman Gregory Meeks defeated Joseph Marthone, Mike Scala and Allan Jennings Jr.

CD 6 – Also in Queens, Democrats chose Assembleywoman Grace Meng over City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, Assembleyman Rory Lancman and Robert Mittman.

CD 7 - Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez fended off a challenge from three opponents including City Councilman Erik Martin Dilan, Businessman Dan O'Connor and George Martinez, an Occupy Wall Street organizer and a professor of political science.

CD 8 - Democrats in the 8th Congressional district chose State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries over City Councilman Charles Barron in the race to replace the retiring incumbent Ed Towns.

CD 9 – In Brooklyn, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke easily defeated Sylvia G. Kinard.

CD 13 – In the Upper Manhattan and parts of the Bronx, Congressman Charles Rangel fended off what at times looked to be a serious challenge from Upper Manhattan State Senator Adriano Espaillat in a field that included Joyce Johnson, Clyde Williams and Craig Schley.

CD 16 – In the northern Bronx and southern Westchester County, Congressman Eliot Engel prevailed over Attorney Aniello Grimaldi

Another primary will be held in September to choose state and local candidates. 

Courtesy of William F. B. O’Reilly
Congressman Bob Turner voted in Queens on Tuesday morning. He is seeking to take on incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand in November.
Yasmeen Khan/WNYC
Charles Rangel heads to the polls to vote for himself for the 22nd time.
Colby Hamilton/WNYC
Assemblyman Rory Lancman arrived at his Fresh Meadows, Queens, polling location with his wife and three children shortly after 11 am..
Yasmeen Khan/WNYC
Voters gathered outside of polling places on primary day.
Yasmeen Khan/WNYC
G. Marilyn Alexander, 94, has voted for Rangel in every election since he ran for office.
Yasmeen Khan/WNYC
Middle school students from Democracy Prep charter schools handed out flyers on primary day.
Brigid Bergin/WNYC
State Senator Adriano Espaillat talks with voters on primary day.
Brigid Bergin/WNYC
Joyce Johnson stumping at Cabrini and 187th St


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Comments [5]

It is interesting that an appeal to wage a campaign based upon issues, priorities and policies is construed as an admonishment.

From its start, America as a nation has been built by the sons and daughters of the people who came both voluntarily and involuntarily. However they arrived, each group has had to navigate and survive many barriers based upon social, class and ethnic differences.

The purpose of inclusion is to unite and educate people about our common goals and their role in strengthening our American democracy. We have to look forward to grow as a nation.

"United we stand. Divided we fall."

Jun. 27 2012 03:33 PM
Mark Michaels from Queens

Grace Meng:"Let's not discuss race or religion..."

Congressional districts drawn for racial/national/religious groups. Ballots printed in languages other than English. Supporting illegal or unlimited legal immigration if it favors a particular race/nationality/religion. All are blantant appeals to identity.

Has Grace Meng spoken out against any of these practices? Seems she has to do a little bit of work on her own inconsistencies before admonishing others.

Jun. 27 2012 09:12 AM
john from office

WOW anna Sale is "HOT" Hot Hot

Jun. 27 2012 08:52 AM
Antonia Gilligan from Emerson, NJ

The voters deserve Mr. Rangel. Recall that he still has 4 rent controlled apartments? Clearly Mr. Rangel is in the 1%. So how does he qualify? His past tax cheating speaks volumes about the corruption of our governmental servants. Censure and lost of a committee chairmanship is a sham punishment. He was the head of Ways and Means Committee and he doesn't understand tax law. It is the committee that originates all tax legislation. You're kidding me, surely. I believe that I would be given federal accommodations in Otisville, if I cheated like that!

Is voting just about, what the voter gets? Is it a popularity contest? A reward for past service or in his case a faulty memory.

I beginning to think that the Founding Fathers were wrong. Most people do not want to be intellectually honest. Civic duties of being informed are ignored. The vast majority of eligible voters don't vote leaving the powerful to live above the law.

Both parties are guilty of degrading our representative government,. rendering it a tool of privilege, making us a country of men and not a country of laws, equally applying to all.

I realize this is the ideal sate for a democratic republic but our current performance and criteria for elected officials is so low as to insure the people are used and not served.


Jun. 27 2012 07:57 AM

The democratic establishment was the winner as is commonplace in New York. The so-called contested races were really family feuds between democratic loyalists. Velazquez while not endorsed by Brooklyn party boss Lopez has been in office over 20 years indicating an accomodation with the democrats. Espallait was a democratic son for 16 years until he challenged papa rangel. Meng was a party selection. The only challenge to the democratic establishment was Barron and the party from Cuomo to Schumer went after him. Joined by his demonization by mainstream media. He really never had a chance. New York is in the hands of the white democratic party establishment and absent someone with the money of Bloomberg will stay that way for some time to come.

Jun. 27 2012 03:57 AM

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