Charles Barron is in, provocatively
Councilman Charles Barron's entrance into the race to unseat Rep. Ed Towns will make for a more lively Democratic primary season.
It may also end up helping return the longtime lawmaker back to office in the New York's 10th congressional district, in Brooklyn.
Barron kicked off his campaign on Sunday in what is textbook fashion for him, which is to say unlike anyone else I can think of.
He said, among other things, "Robert Mugabe is my hero and guess what, so is Muammar Gaddafi;" "We are 99 percent of the 99 percent;" "I'm still not saluting the flag;" "I don't know if I'm going to get a single bill passed; don't care.")
At the same time, just as support for same-sex marriage has become the default position of Democratic politicians in this part of the country, Barron is holding out. When he ran for governor in 2010, he declined to say whether he supported same-sex marriage, and he still hasn't moved from that non-position. (He finished behind the Green Party candidate and almost everyone else.) Barron's wife, Assemblywoman Inez Barron voted against same-sex marriage, and is facing her own challenger.
Barron ran for Towns' seat in 2006 along with another challenger, the controversial, embattled and low-key assemblyman Roger Green. Barron and Green split the opposition vote that year, and Towns, who pretty much didn't campaign at all, won re-election.
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City Councilman Charles Barron will join Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries in challenging Rep. Ed Towns. [Colin Campbell]
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Con Ed charged New Yorkers twice the national average for electricity. [Bill Sanderson]
CUNY tuition will jump 31 percent by 2015. [Yoav Gonen]