Monday, September 11, 2006

New York CD 11 about to Tennessee Itself

Here we go again. A congressional seat held by African Americans for decades comes open, a whole bunch of black folks run and voila, the seat is won by a white candidate.

It happened in Tennessee's Ninth Congressional district last month and is poised to happen again in New York's 11th congressional district tomorrow.

New York's congressional district 11 is currently held by Major Owens and encompasses the entire historic enclave of Brooklyn in New York City. It is 60% African American and has been represented by an African American since 1969 when the venerable Shirley Chisholm was elected. Owens replaced Rep. Chisholm in 1983 and is not seeking reelection.

Once the seat opened up the candidates poured in and the race is now a toss up. A poll released yesterday shows that all four candidates are within a point of one another. State Senator Carl Andrews, Councilwomen Yvette Clarke, Owens son Chris and Councilmember David Yassky will battle to get their vote out tomorrow, but for Owens, Clarke and Andrews they may be fighting over the same people, divvying up the vote and opening the door for Yassky to waltz in and do a Tennessee two step.

We've seen it before.


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