Ross Barkan and Andrew Gounardes, the Democratic political rivals challenging State Sen. Marty Golden‘s (R-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Marine Park, Gerretsen Beach) both denied recently that they are cutting a deal in which they would support each other if Gournardes instead chose to run for indicted Assembly Member Pamela Harris‘ (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights) seat.
KCP spotted the two huddled in an intense private meeting following a recent New York City Asian American Democrats Club dinner.
“We were talking about politics. I’ve known Andrew for a long time. He’s a good guy. I like him and followed him for a long time,” said Barkan, a former journalist whose initial campaign kickoff platform included his not running as a Democratic Party insider.
Gounardes is an attorney in the office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and he comes out of the powerful Bay Ridge Democratic Club. If a deal were cut, and Barkan was to support Gounardes, it could be seen as coming at the expense of representation from the Coney Island end of the assembly district.
Barkan said they never discussed published reports that Gounardes will drop out of the senate race and run for the assembly seat, but the story that Gounardes was eyeing the seat seemed accurate to him
“The story said he’s considering [the assembly seat] is out there, but right now he’s a state senate candidate. So until then I respect that process. We’re running a good clean primary that focuses on Marty. Him making his case and me making my case,” said Barkan.
Gounardes said his plans havent changed at all, and he’s still running for the state senate.
“I think Ross and I have a mutual interest in making sure we don’t try to tear each other down. We’re both focussed on changing southern Brooklyn and beating Marty Golden who is an obstacle to getting so much done to getting things fixed in our neighborhood. So why wouldn’t we talk to make sure we’re supporting each other in every way that we can, knowing that we’re rivals, but we have the same goal in mind,” said Gounardes.
“I’ve been campaigning non-stop for the state senate. I was knocking on doors yesterday talking to voters about my campaign for the state senate. That’s my entire focus. I’m 100 percent in,” he added.
Gounardes, an attorney who works in the office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, did allow that it is his understanding he can transfer funds raised for the senate race to the assembly race provided he doesn’t hand in petitions for the senate race.
He also allowed that as a matter of law, he has all the way until the petition season starts at the end of June to change his mind.
“I think until you file petitions to get your name on the ballot, you’re not officially a candidate for anything under state law so all that matters is that the petitions you turn in and what office is listed on the petition and what they say,” he said.