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Jeffries and Velazquez get nods in primary victories

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries chats with Jenise Galloway while greeting voters at P.S. 46 in Fort Greene. Photo by Christina Santucci
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U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Ridgewood) notched a victory in the 7th Congressional District, defeating her opponents in a hotly contested race.

Touting her efforts to create jobs and strengthen education, the incumbent prevailed over City Councilman Erik Dilan (D-Brooklyn) and former Democratic District Leader George Martinez in the Democratic primary Tuesday.

According to NY1, with 79 percent of the precincts reporting, Velazquez had 62 percent of the vote, while Dilan had 24 percent and Martinez had 3 percent. The congresswoman received endorsements from President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), former Mayor Ed Koch and the United Federation of Teachers, among others.

“She has helped all communities,” Koch said. “She has provided effective leadership in the Hispanic community, which has suffered enormously as a result of the recent and still ongoing recession and loss of jobs. At the same time, Nydia has been a leader in Congress in support of the Jewish community and its concern for the safety and security of the Jewish nation, Israel.”

Velazquez has represented New York’s 7th Congressional District since her election in 1992. She is the first Puerto Rican woman elected to Congress and the chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Velazquez sits on the House Small Business Committee, which oversees federal programs and contracts.

She calls herself an advocate for small business and entrepreneurship, establishing numerous small business legislative priorities.

In other election news, state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn) defeated City Councilman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) in the 8th Congressional District race for that seat, held by retiring Rep. Ed Towns (D-Brooklyn).

According to NY1, with 72 percent of the precincts reporting, Jeffries led with 74 percent of the vote to Barron’s 26 percent.

Jeffries had captured big name endorsements from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Born and raised in Crown Heights, Jeffries carved out a career as an attorney at a top law firm.

Updated 9:03 am, June 28, 2012
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