Retiring New York Democratic Rep. Ed Towns today endorsed New York City Councilman Charles Barron (D) to be his successor in Congress.
It may give a boost to Barron, seen as the underdog in the Democratic primary against state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries in the Brooklyn-based 8th district, most of which is currently represented by Towns.
“Independent voices are needed more than ever in today’s political environment,” Towns said in a statement. “That’s why I am giving my support to Charles Barron who has been an independent voice over the years. He is unselfish and is definitely has the interests of the people of this district at heart.”
Barron, a former member of the Harlem branch of the Black Panther Party, has served on the council since 2002.
“We’re going to go to Washington. We’re going to rock Washington when we get there: turn it upside down!” Barron said in his speech announcing his bid for Congress.
Jeffries, seen as a rising star in New York’s progressive circles, has more establishment support and the backing of MoveOn.org.
But there’s a chance for an upset in the June 26 primary.
“I think people are underestimating Barron,” said one New York Democratic insider who still gave the edge to Jeffries. “But if [Barron] does win, it’s quite frankly because Hakeem is running an abysmal campaign.”
The district is safely Democratic so the winner of the primary will be the prohibitive favorite to win in November.
Watch Barron’s campaign announcement from last year here: