By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. June 23, 2020: Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, of Brooklyn’s 9th congressional district, is in the fight of her life today as she heads into a New York Primary Election.
Clarke, a veteran 7-term congressmember and the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, is being challenged by three challengers, including the son of Africans who came close to beating her in 2018.
Adem Bunkeddeko is back to challenge the congresswoman, who now also faces challenges this time around from Councilmember Chaim Deutch, who represents a chunk of the less-liberal southern part of the district, and Isiah James, a self-styled progressive insurgent whose slogan is: “It’s Time for Brooklyn To Join the Revolution.”
But amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has scrapped most traditional campaigning, questions are being asked about turn-out, even though there has been early voting and absentee ballot voting.
Bunkeddeko has again received the endorsement from the New York Times. This week he accused Congresswoman Clarke’s campaign of putting out a mailer against him showing that darkened his skin.
But Clarke’s senior adviser Joy Williams, however, said in a statement: “To suggest that our campaign for a black woman, run by black women would deliberately darken a black man’s face is preposterous.”
He also charged that Clarke engaged in anti-Semitism when she tried to falsely tie him to Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s Jewish son-in-law.
Clarke’s mailer to voters’ claims “Jared Kushner’s first cousin, real estate heir Marc Kushner” is one of his donors.
The 32-year-old son of Ugandan immigrants, who came within a surprising 2,000 votes of unseating Clarke two years ago, says the pandemic and racism crises underline the need for a louder voice from Brooklyn.
“For over a decade, Ms. Clarke was asleep at the wheel and her inaction has led to less affordable housing, less justice and less opportunity for the people of the district,” he said. “People are hungry for change. They are fed up with the status quo. They want bolder and more transformative leadership.”
But Clarke has retorted: “I have been on the progressive front lines of every single issue impacting our diverse district.”
She points out that she is the only black woman in the New York congressional delegation, a powerful selling point for the seat once held by trailblazing Rep. Shirley Chisholm.
“I will continue to be a vocal leader in Washington, D.C.,” she said.
Clarke represents neighborhoods of Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach Midwood, Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach, among other was accused of racism and anti-Semitism.