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Winners and Losers in the 11th
September 13th, 2006

With the hotly contested, racially charged Democratic primary over, the New York Observer writes that it may not really have been about race after all: “In the end, though, race was beside the point: It was Yvette Clarke –the only woman in a field of four – who prevailed, with around 30 percent of the vote.”

So if it wasn’t about race, what was it about? And what does it mean, aside from the fact that Clarke is almost certainly going to Washington. (She faces Republican Stephen Finger on the GOP line and another Republican, Marianne Blume, running for the Conservative Party in a contest Congressional Quarterly rates as safe Democratic.)

Expanding on the idea that sex mattered, the Observer covers a campaign appearance where Clarke said, ““I cannot imagine a Congress that was half female allowing our children to be sent to war, into harm’s way without an extremely good reason….There are not enough women in Congress.”

Clarke picked up on this theme in her victory speech last night when she hailed Shirley Chisholm, who represented the district and was the first black woman in Congress: “She rewrote history,’’ Clarke said. “She was independent. She was brilliant.’’

Others cite labor union support as putting Clarke over the top. On WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show this morning, Village Voice writer Wayne Barrett said unions worked hard yesterday to get out the vote for Clarke.

Basil Smikle, a veteran political consultant, told the Post that Clarke simply had the momentum. “She was able to unite the Caribbean voters with the African-American voters and her momentum in the last moments put her over the top,” he said.

And the losers? Gowanus Lodge says opponents of Atlantic Yards cannot be cheered by the results in the 11th (and in other races as well) “although it would be a mistake to read too much into the results.” In the 11th, the blog points out, Chris Owens, a fervent opponent of the megaproject came in fourth out of four candidate.

Several people commenting on the Daily Politics see David Yassky, the one white candidate in the race to represent the predominantly black district, as the big loser. He campaigned tirelessly, moved into the district, and reportedly raised more than $1.3 million. But, one writer thinks that that venture ended “any possibility of [his] seeking an office where non-white voters and endorsers matter.” Another writer chimes in, “David Yassky lost big. He spent a million bucks but how many votes did he manage to change between the day he announced his candidacy and yesterday?”

For his part, Barrett looks to the third place showing of Carl Andrews, a longtime associate of former Brooklyn party boss Clarence Norman. Barrett, who repeatedly criticized politicians and other journalists for not taking Andrews to task for his ties to the convicted party leader, declared, “A stake has been driven through the heart of the Clarence Norman machine.”

By on September 13, 2006, 11:26 am
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “Winners and Losers in the 11th”

  1. 30% of nothing Says:
    September 14th, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    Now lets get a grip on what’s going on here!The 30% was not anywhere near 1/3 of those who live in the 11th district–NO WHERE CLOSE AT ALL. Thank to our preverted primary rules in NY, all those independent voters didn’t even get to chime in here with their openions. This women is backed by just who now? Certainly not much of the polulation in the 11th district. And even with in those limited demo voters she only got 30%. THis win says nothing about the public embracing her position on anything let alone the Atlantic Yards project–NOTHING.

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