Yesterday afternoon Southern Brooklyn Councilmember Chaim Deutsch announced that he will be running for Congress. This announcement brings the number of individuals running for the Central Brooklyn seat – New York’s 9th Congressional District that stretches from Park Slope to Sheepshead Bay – in the Democratic Primary to six.
There are currently four other men running against the incumbent Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, who held onto her seat by narrowly beating Adem Bunkeddeko in 2018 election. She has served the district since 2012. The other contenders are Adem Bunkeddeko, who is running again, Isiah James, Alex Hubbard, and Lutchi Gayot, who ran against Clarke last time as a Republican. Michael Hiller dropped out last week, citing a death in the family.
Deutsch released the following statement:
“I am excited to announce my candidacy for United States Congress in NY-9. Public service is in my blood – it is how I was raised and it is how I have lived my life. For the past six years, it has been my honor to represent the 48th district in the City Council, one of the most diverse districts in NYC, advocating for my constituents every single day. It is with this simple spirit & passion that I pursue this new opportunity in Congress. I am proud to live and raise my family in NY-9, and I believe every one of my neighbors deserves a tireless advocate on their behalf.”
Deutsch is finishing up his second and final term representing 48th Council District that overlaps with the Southern half of NY-9 and includes Brighton Beach, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, Midwood, Plum Beach, and Sheepshead Bay. His seat is open for the 2021 local election due to term limits.
Deutsch is a serious contender for the seat, especially if he can bring out votes from the large Orthodox Jewish constituency – estimated by some to be up to 30,000 Democratic voters between Midwood and Crown Heights neighborhoods in the primary, which has a notoriously low turnout rate.
While Clarke was reelected in the general election in 2018 with 181,455 votes, or almost 90% of those cast, she won the democratic primary by less than 2,000. Adem Bunkeddeko received 14,350 votes to her 16,202 votes.
While Deutsch is a popular council member in his district, his conservative stances on Bail reform and anti- LGBTQ sentiments may be less attractive to voters in the more progressive parts of NY9.