Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries trounced firebrand City Councilman Charles Barron Tuesday night in the Democratic primary to represent Brooklyn’s 8th Congressional District.
With 87 percent of districts reporting, Jeffries was leading with 72.5 percent of the vote, compared to Barron’s 27.5 percent — a far wider margin than many had expected.
“The political pundits said this was going to be a close race, but that was before the people had spoken,” Jeffries told supporters at a victory party at Sanders Studios on Wavery Avenue after news of the win broke.
At a gathering with his own supporters, a defiant Barron refused to congratulate Jeffries and instead accused him running a dishonest campaign.
“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, who vowed that “when the dust clears, the people will see that the fight has just begun.”
“Something bigger than a political movement was established here tonight. We built a movement of the people,” he said.
Jeffries and Barron had waged a heated battle to replace longtime Rep. Ed Towns, who announced in April that he would not seek reelection. The race appeared to be neck-and-neck heading into primary day, giving Democratic officials a scare that that Barron might defeat the party favorite.