Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New York Primaries: Home of the Anti-Semite?

Daily Kos Elections has a good rundown of today's primary races (in New York, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, and Utah). Most notable (and disturbing) is the possibility that not one but two raging bigots could score major party nominations in New York house races.

We've already talked about David Duke-endorsed Charles Barron in NY-08, where he's running to replace retiring Rep. Ed Towns (D). State Assm. Hakeem Jeffries is the establishment choice here and has vastly outraised Barron, but Barron has scored a few union endorsements as well as that of Towns (who was unhappy at lackluster establishment support for him back when Jeffries was mounting a primary challenge to him). I've seen no polling on the race, but there are reports that New York Dems are "panicking" about a potential Barron victory. Even if Barron does pull off the upset, though, it isn't over -- Jeffries is also on the Working Families Party line and will thus be on the general election ballot regardless.

Meanwhile, over in the NY-17, two Republicans are looking to challenge Rep. Nita Lowey (D). The establishment choice is hedge fund manager and Rye town supervisor Joe Carvin. But he's facing a surprisingly stern test from White supremacist and anti-Semite Jim Russell, who scored 38% of the vote when he was the Republican nominee for this seat in 2010 (despite official GOP disavowals of his candidacy after his racist views became known). With relatively high name recognition from his previous run, Republicans too are a bit nervous about what election night might bring.

Oh, the Empire State. What will you bring us next?

UPDATE: This is a stellar short profile piece on Barron, explaining where he gets his support. It's a mix of an old core of 60s-style pan-African radicals (who love that he does things like speak out in favor of Mugabe), coupled with an indefatigable focus on local issues -- combating drug gangs, cleaning up neighborhoods, attending local labor protests -- that has made him a respected figured amongst his constituents who couldn't care less about international pan-African liberation.

Lots of radicals with global visions flameout because they don't actually care about the community's they purport to represent. Barron appears to have enough energy to keep an eye on both prizes, and together it makes for a potent and dangerous combination.

No comments: