New York's 8th Congressional District elections, 2012

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New York's 8th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 26, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Hakeem Jeffries Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Jerrold Nadler Democratic Party
Jerrold Nadler.jpg

New York U.S. House Elections
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2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of New York.png
The 8th congressional district of New York will hold an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Candidates wishing to run were required to file by the signature filing deadline April 16, 2012. On January 27, 2012, Judge Gary Sharpe moved the primary date from September 11, 2012 to June 26, 2012 in order to allow for sufficient time to send absentee ballots to military voters.[1]

Heading into the election the incumbent is Jerrold Nadler (D), who was first elected to the House in 1992. Due to redistricting, Nadler will run for the new 10th district.

Fusion voting

New York is one of eight states that have "electoral fusion" -- which allows more than one political party to support a common candidate. This creates a situation where one candidate will appear multiple times on the same ballot, for the same position. Electoral fusion was once widespread across the United States, but is now commonly practiced only in New York.

Opponents of fusion voting argue that the process results in dealmarking to ensure that patronage is rampant.[2] Proponents maintain that fusion voting allows for minor parties to actually make a difference during the election, allowing voters the opportunity to vote for a minority party platform but still affect the general election result.[3]

Candidates appearing in the general election will be listed below with colored dots corresponding to any party they will represent on the ballot.



General election candidates

Democratic PartyWorking Families Party Hakeem Jeffries Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Conservative Party Alan Bellone
Green Party Colin Beavan

June 26, 2012 primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Note: Ed Towns, 10th District incumbent, is not running.[5]

Republican Party Republican Primary

Conservative Party Conservative candidate

Working Families Party Working Families candidate

Green Party Green candidate

Race background

Democratic primary

With Ed Towns (D) retiring, Brooklyn councilman Charles Barron and state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries are seeking the party nod in the June 26 Democratic primary. The winner will face Alan Bellone in the November general election, but the 8th is heavily Democratic,[7] so the winner of the Democratic primary will likely be the next 8th district representative.[8]

Barron has fought back from a fundraising disadvantage and gained an endorsement from the state's largest public employees union, as well as the nod from the retiring incumbent, Ed Towns. This worries many Democrats, as Barron is a controversial figure prone to outspoken comments.[9] A former Black Panther, Barron has expressed a desire to "go up to the closest white person and... slap him," and has said Israel is "the world's greatest terrorist."[8] These and other similar comments have the Democratic establishment worried about Barron's potential to alienate people on the national scale.[9]

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), among others, has denounced Barron's "anti-Israel" stance.[10]

Jeffries, on the other hand, has widespread support from the other New York representatives in the U.S. House, along with greater campaign coffers.[9]

On the issues, the two candidates have some variance. Jeffries worked to legalize same-sex marriage at the state level, while Barron opposes gay marriage. And in contrast to Barron's stated views on Israel, Jeffries has visited Israel as part of a community relations group.[9]

Barron unabashedly sticks to his statements, even if they are viewed as alienating and controversial. Despite his abrasive remarks, however, he is admitted by many to be charming.[9] Jeffries takes an opposite approach seeking to unite a broad range of people. Rep. Yvette Clarke, among others, sees Jeffries as a rising star.[9]

But in a primary race with anticipated low voter turnout,[8] union support may be the deciding factor.[9] The AFSCME local DC37, the state's largest public employee union, has thrown their weight behind Barron.[8] Jeffries has gathered endorsements from smaller unions, but all in all, the race is much closer than the Democratic establishment would like.[9]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in New York

Following the results of the 2010 Census, New York lost two congressional seats, bringing its total number of representatives down from 29 to 27. According to a report in the Washington Post political blog "The Fix," New York was one of the top 10 redistricting battles in the nation.[11]

District history


On November 2, 2010, Jerrold Nadler was re-elected to the United States House for a seventh term. He defeated Susan L. Kone (R who also ran on the Conservative Party ticket).[12]

This is the 8th congressional district prior to the 2011 redistricting.
U.S. House, New York Congressional District 8 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJerrold Nadler Incumbent 69.1% 98,839
     Republican Susan L. Kone 22.4% 31,996
     Blank/Scattering 8.6% 12,291
Total Votes 143,126

See also