Long after rumors circled the political courtyard, Democratic operative Andrew Gounardes finally announced yesterday his candidacy to unseat State Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, and Gravesend, as well as portions of Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park, Manhattan Beach, Midwood).
“For far too long, politics in our state has valued big-money interests over working-class families, leaving us with underfunded schools, a failing transit system, and worse,” Gounardes said. “Our current senator thrives in this culture of corruption. It’s time we put a stop to that.”
Gounardes currently serves as Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. As a representative to the Board of Trustees for the New York City Employee Retirement System, he works to protect the pensions of 350,000 active and retired city workers from the civilian and uniformed workforces.
Gounardes also organized and formed the “Concerned R Train Riders,” to fight for better service and demand handicapped accessible subway stations in southern Brooklyn. He additionally co-founded Bay Ridge Cares, which was created immediately following Hurricane Sandy storms to assist survivors with meals and emergency assistance.
Gounardes, who once served as a former aide to City Councilmember Vincent Gentile, was recently tapped to be a member of Councilmember-elect Justin Brannan’s transition team, a position he intends to keep throughout his candidacy.
This will be Gounardes’ second run for state senator. The attorney ran against the incumbent Golden who has held the seat since 2002. But this time Gounardes is hedging his bets on the district’s 10 percent increase in Democratic voters to secure a win. Gounardes says there are now 49,000 more Democrats than Republicans in the district.
A graduate of Fort Hamilton High School, Gounardes earned degrees from Hunter College and the George Washington University Law School.
“Throughout Brooklyn, and across America, people are energized as never before because the stakes have never been higher,” said Gounardes. “This energy will help the people of Brooklyn finally retire an incumbent who empowers the special interests corrupting our capitol.”
While Gounardes is hoping to face Golden in the general election, and has the powerful Bay Ridge Democrats club machine behind him, he will first have to get past noted journalist Ross Barkan in what increasingly looks like a competitive primary.