Longtime Congressman Edolphus Towns, D-Brooklyn, announced Sunday that he has endorsed City Councilman Charles Barron to replace him in congress.
for a 16th term in Congress six weeks ago but until now has kept mum about whether he would support Barron or state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries in the June 26 Democratic primary for the newly created 8th Congressional District, which includes Fort Greene, Bed-Stuy and the section of Prospect and Crown Heights that is north of St. Marks Avenue east of Vanderbilt.
Towns cited the 11-year councilman’s “unselfish,” “independent voice” as his reason for the choice, adding in a news release that Barron “definitely has the interests of the people of this district at heart.”
Barron, and Republican candidate Alan Bellone are set to debate on Monday, June 4, at the , 126 St. Felix St. in Fort Greene. Last week, , saying the inclusion of Beavan Bellone would confuse voters, since they wouldn’t be appearing on the June 26 ballot.
Up until recently, many had considered Jeffries the forerunner, and endorsements, including key backing from a 64,000-member strong .
But the race is getting closer with , the city's largest public employee union with 121,000 members.
Update, June 4, 2:57 p.m.: Jeffries' campaign answered Towns' endorsement of Barron in a statement released Monday afternoon that reminded voters of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recently announced support of one of the Fort Greene Democrat's signature issues: .
"Charles Barron has emerged from the backroom to consummate a shotgun marriage with a sworn political enemy. Hakeem Jeffries spent today in Albany with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly advancing meaningful marijuana arrest reform legislation that will dramatically improve the lives of tens of thousands of New Yorkers each year. The contrast couldn't be any clearer."