Meeks takes 5th Congressional District primary

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison

It may be the best birthday present that Simone-Marie Meeks could receive.

Her husband, incumbent Congressmember Gregory Meeks, once again captured the support of the Democratic Party in the June 26 primary, getting the nod over three competitors. “You don’t do this without family and she made sure not to go away and do something else for her birthday,” Meeks said. “Because of the primary she said ‘no I’m going to stay close to home so that you could do what you have to do.’ Happy birthday to her big time.”

Nearly two hours after voting ceased Meeks appeared at his rally at the Guy R. Brewer United Democratic Club in St. Albans and declared victory, thanking his supporters.

“I am honored to once again win the nomination as the Democratic nominee for the new 5th Congressional District,” Meeks said to the crowd.

Meeks won with 66 percent (7,761 votes) over former City Councilmember Allan Jennings (13 percent, 1,532), Michael Scala (12 percent, 1,369) and Joseph Marthone (10 percent, 1,181).

The new district encompasses most of southeast Queens, including the Rockaways, and parts of Nassau County.

Meeks, who held the 6th Congressional District seat before redistricting, explained that since February, he campaigned directly in his communities and met with residents in their homes, even in Nassau, to earn their support.

“The way I like to meet with people is in small coffee klatches,” Meeks said. “So they get a chance to know me and I get a chance to know them. We will continue to set that up, to meet with leaders and anyone who would invite me to their homes.”

Meeks stayed away from talking about his opponents in the primary, instead focusing on his main goal of moving forward in assisting President Barack Obama in Washington D.C., which hit the right chord with his followers.

“We’ve got to make sure the president’s back,” Meeks said about the upcoming national election, adding, “you talk about health care, that’s important. Also we’ve got to create jobs, so for us we want to have the president’s infrastructure bill passed.”

Even before Meeks voted at about 9:45 a.m. at P.S. 118 with his wife again at his side, he said that he felt very confident about winning and looked forward to working in the new neighborhoods of the transformed 5th District.

“I think it’s an exciting district,” he said earlier. “It’s a district that looks like America when you think of it.”

But before he can officially take the seat in congress Meeks will have to face off once more against Jennings, who ran in both parties and is running unopposed as a Republican.

However, the congressmember maintained his confidence.

“Allan who?” Meeks said with a chuckle.