Jeffries Leads Chorus of Local Dems Denouncing Trump

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Canarsie, East New York, Ocean Hill, East Flatbush, Bergen Beach, Gerritsen Beach, Howard Beach, Mill Basin, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Ozone Park, Brighton Beach, Coney Island) led a bevy of Democratic Brooklyn lawmakers denouncing President Donald Trump’s premature declaration of victory over opponent Joe Biden in Tuesday’s general election in front of the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn.  

As it turns out as of post time, it appears that Biden has won some key battleground states and is on course to win the election and become the next president of the United States.

Jeffries was joined by his colleagues U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Prospect Lefferts Gardens), U.S Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Lower Manhattan),  Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, and Sunset Park),Assemblymembers Diana C. Richardson (D-Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens), and Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, Boerum Hill, DUMBO), and City Council Members Laurie A. Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Bedford Stuyvesant), and Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Ocean Hill-Brownsville, East Flatbush, Crown Heights).

Jeffries condemned the “baseless allegation that Democrats are trying to steal the election” and advocated for waiting until the official count of absentee and mail-in ballots come in to determine the next president. “This is not a dictatorship. This is not a monarchy,” said Jeffries.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams says every vote must be counted. Photo by Ariama C. Long

Williams said there’s been a lack of evidence for any voter fraud so far, and “we want to make sure that stays that way so the message is of course that every vote has to count.”

“At the end of the day the integrity of our democracy depends on the people deciding who gets to serve in the seat of power,” said Jeffries. “That’s why it’s important to make sure that every single vote gets counted and allow the process to play itself out over the next few days. Any declaration of victory by the current occupant of the White House is baseless, flawed, and irresponsible.”

Jeffries said that the Trump’s administration “welcomed” foreign interference from Russia in the 2016 election, was impeached for his “abuse of power” in a quid pro quo with Ukraine, and has no “credibility” in claiming that someone else is trying to steal the election when compared to past actions.

“Take a deep breath. We are being attacked and antagonized by a man who will stop at nothing to steal the election. It is clear in the midst of a pandemic we have the expectation that as people mail-in ballots, ballots are being counted. It will take a moment for us to get a final conclusion,” said Clarke.

Clarke said the president is stoking fear and trying to stay in power, and urged patience.

“In this country, we demand that we honor the bedrock of our democracy and that is the right of every voter to have their vote count,” said Velázquez. “This is the height of hypocrisy.”

U.S Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez speaks with reporters at the press conference. Photo by Ariama C. Long

As far as the local elections in Brooklyn, there have been three unofficial Republican wins in seats that Democrats have held. This includes the 11th Congressional District with Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis over U.S Rep. Max Rose, the 22nd Senatorial district where Republican Vito J. Bruno has a lead over State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, and 46th Assembly district where Republican Mark Szuszkiewicz leads over Democratic incumbent Mathylde Frontus.

Jeffries said he was still hopeful that the Democratic candidates could win once all ballots were counted. “Our expectation is that Democrats will maintain control of the House of Representatives. The only question is going to be margin. Certainly, my hope is that when every single vote is counted that Congressman Max Rose will be reelected and certainly we should allow that process to play out here, just like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin,” said Jeffries.

When asked about Frontus’ chances, whose seat is within Jeffries’ district, he said that the race is certainly much closer than expected but he’s hopeful as well. 

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