Clarke Agrees To Debate Bunkeddeko

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Brownsville, Sheepshead Bay), yesterday changed her mind and agreed to debate her challenger Adem Bunkeddeko in the upcoming Democratic Congressional Primary.

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
Adem Bunkeddeko

Clarke’s about-face comes following KCP exclusively reporting that Bunkeddeko challenged Clarke to series of debates, in which her spokesperson responded, “With Congress in full session and especially during these extremely challenging and trying times for her constituents, Congresswoman Clarke is hard at work every day serving and fighting for the priorities of the people of the 9th Congressional district.  Given the very full calendar of the House of Representatives, scheduling does not presently permit.”

KCP followed this story with an editorial stating that Clarke’s refusal to debate did not serve the public well, and set a bad example to immigrants that there is a glass ceiling to how far they can go.

Clarke is a daughter of Jamaican immigrants and a leading advocate for immigrant issues in the House. Bunkedekko’s parents came to this county as refugees from war-torn Uganda, and Bunkeddeko rose above his working class background to get a master degree from Harvard.

Originally, Bunkeddeko challenged Clarke to a series of debates, but she agreed to just one 20-minute debate.

“After weeks of denying voters the opportunity to hear directly from both candidates because she was ‘too busy,’ my opponent has finally agreed to one debate. That’s right, she is willing to debate once for 20 minutes. It is deeply disappointing and disrespectful to our community that there will not be a series of debates throughout the district, but I am not surprised,” said Bunkeddeko.

The debate is slated to air June 19 on NY1’s Inside City Hall with journalist Errol Louis moderating, just a week before the election. The Democratic Primary is June 26.