Brannan Brings Out Dem Heavyweights For Campaign Kickoff


With 30 days to go before the general election, nearly 100 constituents and electeds came out yesterday in support of Justin Brannan, the Democratic nominee of the 43rd district including Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.

Among those who traveled to Brannan’s headquarters, 8115 3rd Avenue, were Comptroller Scott Stringer (D), City Councilmembers Vincent Gentile (D-43), Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kennsington) and Mark Levine (D-Manhattan), and Democratic District Leaders Joanne Seminara (Bay Ridge) and Joe Bova (Bensonhurst, Sunset Park). The crew of Dems made clear their support for Brannan but weren’t shy about coming for the Republican seats that linger within the state and federal jurisdictions of the district.  

About 100 constituents turned out for Brannan’s campaign kickoff. Photo by Kadia Goba

After tagging Brannan a “thought leader” and likening the candidate to that of Councilmembers Lander and Gentile, the city’s comptroller pledged to rally for the candidate and help secure the Republican seats up for election in 2018.

“I want this to be step one for Democrats in New York City in saying that we are going to take this country back,” said Stringer.

“Wherever we go as Democrats, this is just a step along the way to re-constitute our Democracy,” added Stringer.

The district’s hotly contested race between Republican candidate John Quaglione and Brannan looks to have incited a Dems push to overhaul the districts Republican influence. Within weeks, more than one Democratic candidate has emerged to oppose the current GOP mainstays. Democratic candidates Max Rose and Zack Emig are vying to unseat U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan’s (R-Staten Island, Southern Brooklyn) seat, while journalist Ross Barkan recently announced his plans to unseat State Sen. Marty Golden. Brannan’s campaign staffer, Andrew Gounardes also confirmed he’s strongly considering a challenge to Golden. 

Additionally, Democrat Adam Baumel is looking to overtake Assemblymember Nicole Maliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) should she fail in her upcoming challenge to Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

City Council Member Brad Lander
City Councilman Vincent Gentile

Lander also spoke at the rally doling out support for Brannan and denouncing his opponent. “One candidate offers the ability to bring people together and move this community forward in an inclusive way, and one candidate offers the opportunity to move this community backwards and turn its back on the diverse beauty of this community.”

The outgoing incumbent Gentile echoed the sentiments of the electeds that preceded him while adding a special nod towards his former chief-of-staff.

“I’ve given Justin, over the years, all the basics that he needs,” said Gentile. “He’s learned how to navigate at City Hall, he’s learned how to deal with the cats in the trees and the potholes in Bay Ridge.”

Gentile, who spent 14 years as a city councilmember before term-limits were imposed, affirmed Brannan’s ability to hit the ground running and mentioned how important such qualities are in a candidate with a limit of two terms. Gentile roused the crowd before announcing the man-of-the-hour, Brannan.

The candidate’s speech was short and to the point, honing in on the work that has to be done to ensure a Nov. 7 victory and his thoughts on a district Bay Ridge he would like to govern.  

“My vision for the district is one that is deeply inclusive and really brings new people to the table,” said Brannan.  “The neighborhood belongs to the people.”