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Cuomo endorses Gounardes for state Senate at Bensonhurst rally

Governor’s approval: Gov. Cuomo endorsed Andrew Gounardes in the state Senate race against eight-term Republican incumbent state Sen. Marty Golden.
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He got the governor’s seal of approval.

Southern Brooklynites must elect Andrew Gounardes to the state Senate instead of incumbent state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) in order to restore power to the Democrats in the upper chamber and help fight President Trump’s agenda on the state level, Gov. Cuomo said at an Oct. 2 rally in Bensonhurst for his preferred candidate.

“We have to elect a Democratic Senate in Albany, because when they pass these crazy Washington laws, the only protection we’re going to have is if we can pass a state law that thwarts the federal law,” Cuomo said. “Sen. Gounardes is going to be in Albany in January and we’re going to start to take this country back.”

If Gounardes wins election in the 22nd district— which covers Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend, and parts of Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park, and Midwood — it could knock the Republicans out of power in the state Senate, since they have only one more vote than the Democrats in the upper chamber.

At the rally — held at the Stars and Stripes Democratic Club on 15th Avenue between 73rd and 74th streets — the governor never mentioned the borough delegation’s sole Republican by name, but nevertheless insisted that it was time for the eight-term incumbent to give up his seat in Albany, implying that his controversial policy proposals and past gaffes mirror President Trump’s discriminatory stances and divisive rhetoric.

“We’re going to take the last Republican senator out of Brooklyn this election,” Cuomo said. “Elections matter, and this one really, really matters. This is about basic principles — this is about fairness, this is about opportunity, this is about discrimina­tion.”

Golden and the governor most recently sparred in the press this past summer. Cuomo said that the local pol was not doing enough to get the speed camera bill passed, accusing him of “playing politics with the lives of children,” and Golden shot back at a press conference a day later, blaming Cuomo for failing to call both the state Senate and the Assembly back to a special session to vote on the bill.

At Tuesday’s rally, Gounardes followed Cuomo’s lead by tying Golden and his fellow Republican state Senators to President Trump, alleging that Golden and his peers cast aside the concerns of their constituents to promote Trump’s policies on the local level.

“Marty Golden and the Senate Republicans have declared war on working people and middle-class families here in our neighborho­od,” Gounardes said. “They’ve embraced the hateful rhetoric of Donald Trump and his hateful policies, and their values do not represent the values of Southern Brooklyn, plain and simple.”

At the end of the event, Gounardes and the governor put their promises on paper, signing an eight-point plan to work together in Albany to pass the speed camera bill, a state law protecting abortion rights, and the country’s first law that would allow teachers and school administrators to ask courts to temporarily seize firearms from individuals who could be dangerous.

Gounardes beat out former journalist Ross Barkan for the Democratic nomination in the Sept. 13 primary by a 14-point margin, powered by the support of borough Democratic Party boss Frank Seddio — who was also at the Oct. 2 rally — and other local party leaders.

Gounardes will face off against Golden in the Nov. 6 general election.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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