Binghamton U. Grad Hakeem Jeffries New House Democratic Leader
Hakeem Jeffries, a Binghamton University graduate, has been chosen by Democrats to serve as minority leader in the House of Representatives.
The 52-year-old Jeffries was elected to the leadership post Wednesday morning. He grew up in Brooklyn.
Jeffries is a 1992 graduate of Binghamton University. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science. He is the first Binghamton graduate to be elected to Congress.
During his time at Binghamton, Jeffries was a member of the Black Student Union executive board.
According to the Press & Sun-Bulletin, Jeffries conducted a news conference in February 1992 to defend the organization's sponsorship of a campus event featuring his uncle, Leonard Jeffries Jr. At the time, Leonard Jeffries was a professor at City College of New York who had been criticized for comments he had made about white people and Jews.
During a 2013 speech on the Vestal campus, Jeffries noted he met his future wife at Binghamton University.
Jeffries said as a Binghamton student, he received a "first-rate elite college education at an affordable price." He said the school "was a public Ivy then and it's even more of a public Ivy now."
Jeffries praised the school, noting that during his years practicing law and serving in government, "I always felt like the education that I got at Binghamton put me in the same position - if not a better position - than anybody who was around me."
VIDEO: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries speaking at Binghamton University in 2013.