Chuck Schumer endorses Hakeem Jeffries, mentioning Israel but not Charles Barron

Charles Schumer at a Sunday press conference. (Azi Paybarah, via flickr)
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Senator Charles Schumer endorsed Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries today in the Democratic primary for Ed Towns' soon-to-be-open congressional seat in Brooklyn and Queens, citing Jeffries' support for Israel and avoiding any mention of the other candidate in the race, Councilman Charles Barron.

"I know the streets of this district like the back of my hand from when I represented many of its neighborhoods, and I know that Hakeem Jeffries is the man who will get the job done for all the people in Brooklyn and Queens,” Schumer said in a press release. “Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries is the perfect combination of smart, hard working and caring -- and, from creating jobs to protecting affordable housing to educating our kids to delivering services for our seniors, he has a record of accomplishment to prove it. He is a true blue friend of Israel and has a sophisticated sense of America's unique role in a complex, interconnected world.  He is full of energy and promise and talent, and I am proud to endorse him to be the next congressman from the 8th district."

Schumer generally avoids endorsing in open-seat primaries, but Democrats have become increasingly worried about the prospect that Barron, a former Black Panther who is an outspoken critic of Israel and defender of anti-American dictators, might actually win.

Before he was a senator, Schumer represented some neighborhoods that were added to the new district during this year's redistricting, including Howard Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Mill Basin.

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