Rep. Clarke Barely Survives Challenge by Unknown Opponent


The Democrats’ youthful insurgency in primary elections Tuesday also gave Rep. Yvette Clarke quite a scare.

Clarke, who has represented Brooklyn since 2007, had not been expected to have a strong opponent in the Democratic primary. She ended up narrowly surviving a challenge from Adem Bunkeddeko, the 30-year-old son of Ugandan war refugees. Clarke, 53, tallied about 1,000 votes more than Bunkeddeko, who had been buoyed by a New York Times endorsement.

The Orthodox community in Midwood and Crown Heights make up a significant portion of Clarke’s district. Pro-Israel advocates have long been suspicious of her, but held off endorsing Bunkeddeko out of an expectation that he stood no chance, sources told Hamodia. He ultimately put on a strong showing, winning 48 percent of the vote to Clarke’s 52 percent.

Activists in the community said that the results show she is vulnerable and will be watching how she votes on Israel during the upcoming term.

“We have been neutral on her,” one activist said. “If there’s a rerun in two years there’s a good chance that we will endorse people.”

In another closely watched race, Antonio Delgado defeated six other Democrats for the party’s nomination to challenge first-term Republican Rep. John Faso in Sullivan County.

Delgado, a Rhodes scholar, is a former corporate lobbyist who moved into the district last year. He outraised his opponents, who included an Iraq war veteran, a former CIA officer and a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Delgado’s victory is seen as good for Faso’s reelection chances in a district that went for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016.

With reporting by The Associated Press.