BK Congressmembers Wink At Myrie


Three of Brooklyn’s federal lawmakers hinted at their disdain with the newly defunct Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) at a #StandUpBrooklyn Town Hall at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights last night.

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

While looking to mobilize Brooklyn’s democratic voters, Congress members Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan) Yvette D. Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, East Flatbush, MIdwood, Sheepshead Bay, Brownsville) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Canarsie, East New York, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Coney Island)  gave a wink to Zellnor Myrie, challenger to State Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Central Brooklyn), while decrying the lack of true democrats in the State Senate.

While the three played coy about throwing their support behind Myrie after being asked for their endorsement by an audience member, they all hinted where their allegiance was laying in the state senate race.

“I believe that I support Democrats, who run as Democrats and who serve as Democrats,” said Velazquez.

Myrie, who announced his candidacy for the 20th New York Senate District last October, has been outspoken about his dislike for the rogue eight-member previously breakaway Democrats, who last week made a deal to rejoin their party.

A deal that has many doubtful of the groups intentions and ability to align with a progressive Democratic agenda.

“It’s a meaningful step forward, if all of the Democrats who have come back home are committed to advancing a progressive Democratic agenda. If it’s just a fake agreement where people aren’t going to be committed to doing the things necessary to advance issues then it’s not a step in the right direction and we are going to have to hold people accountable. We need to make sure that the state senate is authentically Democratic,” said Jeffries.

Clarke, was not keen on giving a direct response, but was quick to point out her lack of support for Hamilton in his first bid for office, a record she hinted at possibly keeping.

“I’m going through a primary myself, but I will make a decision once I go through my personal challenges. But just to give you a lens into the dynamic were faced with here. I happened to be in the State Senatorial district where Zellnor is running and the current Senator [Jesse Hamilton] was not supported by me when he first ran for office so there will be a lot of dynamics to review and there will be much more to come,” said Clarke.

State Sen. Jesse Hamilton

Myrie, who was present at the event, seemed upbeat about the level of Democratic support in the borough and his future as an elected official.

“I’m encouraged by the level of activism that is taking place right now in Brooklyn. From concerned residents, to local civic groups, to our leadership in the Congressional delegation. Voters are looking for authentic Democrats to lead the New York State Senate,” said Myrie.

The meeting came as several assembly members in Brooklyn’s brownstone belt told KCP that the political clubs with which they are affiliated, will not do petitioning for Hamilton, and one club, the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats has already endorsed Myrie.

Politics aside, however, Hamilton remains popular, particularly in the black part of Brooklyn, where he has excellent constituent services and instituted a number of programs. As such the primary is shaping up as one between partisan political ideology and practical bipartisanship.

-Stephen Witt contributed to this story.