Photo: Michael Nagle – Jeffries for Congress
They may share a birthday, but don’t tell Hakeem Jeffries he’s anything like Barack Obama. “Other than the fact that we were both born on August 4, it’s not clear to me that there’s much of a professional resemblance,” he says.Nonetheless, the The Washington Post seems to think so. The burgeoning Brooklyn assemblyman has his eyes set on the U.S. Capitol, and if expert observers are any indication, he will be his district’s next Congressman.
With Ed Towns (D) retiring, and a black nationalist city councilman as his opponent, the prospects for Jeffries’ congressional bid seem promising. This is especially true in the wake of the recent incorporation of white, conservative Brooklyn neighborhoods into his district.
The moderate Democrat has already received the backing of beloved former New York City Mayor Ed Koch. And like Obama, Jeffries is a lawyer, one who has developed plenty of powerful connections after his work at Manhattan firm Paul Weiss.
In Jeffries’ profile for The Washington Post, his mentor Theodore Wells gushes with praise. “[Jeffries] works easily within both the black and white communities. I think Hakeem represents a natural evolution in the background of African American politicians. The prior generation of African American politicians had their roots in the civil rights movements of the 1960s, but Hakeem’s generation grew up in a more multicultural America, and in that sense their backgrounds and perspectives are different.”
Similar to Obama, Jefferies has received jabs from critics who accuse him of lacking experience.
Still, Jeffries has posted some impressive accomplishments during his tenure as an assemblyman. He aided in the passage of a law that prohibits law enforcement from collecting data on subjects of “stop and frisk” who are not arrested. In addition, he’s pressed for more affordable housing and reform of marijuana laws.
Is Jeffries for real? With a June 26 primary looming, we’ll find out soon enough.
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