News & Politics

Jeffries adviser denies proxy war with DSA’s Brisport

André Richardson suggested that socialist state Sen. Jabari Brisport would lose reelection in 2026, before claiming that the House minority leader never thinks about him.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (center) with top adviser André Richardson (second from right) in Somos.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (center) with top adviser André Richardson (second from right) in Somos. Holly Pretsky

There is no war in Ba Sing Se, and there’s no proxy war in Central Brooklyn, either. 

That’s the sentiment of André Richardson, a top adviser to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, on the simmering bad blood between his boss and socialist state Sen. Jabari Brisport. The two officials represent overlapping parts of Central Brooklyn, and found themselves supporting opposing candidates in their corresponding Assembly district. Jeffries worked hard to ensure incumbent Assembly Member Stefani Zinerman defeated her socialist challenger, while Brisport tried to expand the DSA influence in Brooklyn with Eon Huntley. 

City & State pointed out how the fight between Zinerman and Huntley is something of a proxy war between the two Brooklyn officials – albeit an uneven one considering Jeffries’ position as top Democratic dog in the House. Richardson tagged this publication in a post on X with a screenshot from that article. “.@CityAndStateNY, you can now stop mentioning this make believe proxy war with Rep. Jeffries and this mediocre nobody who’s done little to nothing,” Richardson wrote of Brisport in the wake of Zinerman’s reelection. “Jeffries lives in this political scammer’s head and he’s obsessed with us.”

If we may be so bold: it seems the lady doth protest too much. Just hours before denying any sort of proxy war, Richardson implied that Jeffries may back a challenger to Brisport in 2026. “Updated Fact Check. Rep. Jeffries supported 6 candidates who faced the DSA since 2021,” Richardson wrote in another post. “His record is now 6-0.” The post listed off each candidate, ending with “25th Senatorial District 6/26 ⁉️,” Brisport’s district. You can deny a proxy war, but there’s no denying some animosity.

Richardson, who posted from his personal account, would not comment on the record about what he had written and directed questions to Jeffries’ campaign press team, who did not immediately respond to City & State. 

Brisport, meanwhile, seemed to pay no mind to the proverbial gauntlet being thrown down for 2026, reiterating his criticism of Jeffries over his response to the war in Gaza. “(Richardson) can take that energy and put it towards convincing his boss to stop supporting genocide,” he told City & State.

This wouldn’t be the first time that a Jeffries-backed candidate has been floated to take on Brisport. Politico New York reported last year that there was “some talk” of Jeffries targeting Brisport next after his pick bested the left-wing New York City Council Member Charles Barron. And the beef between the two goes back to at least Jeffries’ 2022 ascension to House Democratic leader, when Brisport called him out for using a PAC ostensibly to help incumbents to boost non-incumbents.

Jeffries’ disdain for the DSA and left-wing insurgents writ large is well-documented and goes beyond any specific animosity with Brisport. When the progressive group Justice Democrats criticized Jeffries for not doing enough to defend Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a spokesperson for Jeffries told The New York Times the Justice Democrats “have failed miserably in every way.”