Working families Party backs Dem Socialist upstart in State Senate race

jabari brisport
Jabari Brisport
Jabari Brisport for New York

The Working Families Party will endorse Democratic Socialist Jabari Brisport in the race for State Senate District 25, the group told the Brooklyn Paper. 

The endorsement from the progressive organization gives the schoolteacher-activist another leg up in the crowded field to replace retiring state senate stalwart Velmanette Montgomery, who has served the district stretching from Red Hook through Park Slope to Bedford Stuyvesant since 1985. 

“Particularly in this moment of crisis, New Yorkers see how important it is to elect representatives who will work overtime to protect all of us,” said New York Working Families Party Director Sochie Nnaemeka. “Jabari is unequivocally that champion.” 

The party pointed to the candidate’s experience as an organizer and focus on issues such as criminal justice reform, funding for NYCHA and public schools as the reasoning behind their endorsement.

“As a teacher, union member, and lifelong resident of the district, he is already an effective grassroots advocate for his neighbors,” Nnaemeka said. 

The party played a significant role in flipping the New York State Senate to Democratic control in 2018, helping to unseat numerous incumbents in both parties.

While the endorsement will give Brisport — who has also received endorsements from the Democratic Socialists of America New York chapter and State Senator Julia Salazar — a boost, he still faces an uphill battle towards election day on June 23. Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright has already received the support of the outgoing Montgomery, and the state senator’s former staffer Jason Salmon is also vying for the progressive vote. 

Wright, who represents Bedford-Stuyvesant in the Assembly, has also racked up endorsements from a who’s-who of powerful Brooklynites, including Borough President Eric Adams, Democratic Party Boss and Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte and Congressmembers Yvette Clarke and Hakeem Jeffries. 

Salmon, meanwhile, has been endorsed by Sunset Park Councilman Carlos Menchaca, as well as the United Auto Workers union, and the reverend of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Clinton Hill. 

Meanwhile, Nnaemeka maintains that Brisport’s grassroots strategy and ties to the community (he is a lifelong Prospect Heights resident and teaches in Crown Heights) have resulted in the campaign best suited to win the nomination. 

“Jabari’s broad base of community support and his focus on low-dollar contributions have helped him build an impressive campaign steeped in progressive values,” she said. “We believe Jabari has not only the grassroots support but also the political courage to win.”