State Senate Candidates Patient, Yet Confident in Race

Andrew Gounardes

The District 22 Democratic State Senate primary is heating up as endorsements for each candidate start coming in.

Ross Barkan and Andrew Gournades, who are running to challenge incumbent State Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Midwood), have each picked up endorsements. The two candidates are handling the campaign with a patient, yet headstrong approaches as the September 13 primary grows closer.

Gounardes has announced three different endorsements from political organizations across South Brooklyn. One endorsement he’s received comes from the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats.

Andrew Gounardes

“I’m deeply honored to have CBID’s endorsement,” Gounardes said after a March meeting at the Park Slope Methodist Church. “The Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats are a force for good in Brooklyn. Their support validates the work I’ve been doing to make a difference in our community. I’m excited.”

Asher Novek, the president of CBID, said the club admired Gournardes’ vision for Brooklyn.

“We are proud to work with Andrew in this critical election, which could flip the State Senate back to Democratic control,” said Asher Novek, the club’s president. “He has the right vision for Brooklyn, the right ideas for change, and the right leadership qualities to make it happen. We can’t wait for him to be the next senator from Brooklyn.”

Multiple endorsements can be expected over the coming weeks, Gournardes said. One, in particular, he hopes to secure is from the Bay Ridge Democrats, from which he is one of the founding members of.

“I’m very much hopeful that I can get their support,” he said.

Gournades said that endorsements are important, but one thing that shouldn’t be forgotten is the support from the local voters and that what matters is a candidate who resonates with the constituents.

“At the end of the day, people are going to evaluate my campaign based on the local support I am able to garner,” he said, “I feel very very confident in that my campaign will garner significant local support, which will put me over the top.”

Because of this, Gournades acknowledges that the race is more of a marathon than a sprint. Gournades said his experiences from running actual marathons will help him with his campaign.

“It’s really about consistently having the same message day in and day out,” he said, “Building up the grassroots support door by door and senior center by senior center.”

State Senate candidate Ross Barkan.

On the Barken side of the race, he said he’s confident with the direction of his campaign. He is happy with the number of people who are working to support him in his campaign.

“I am very excited by the progress of our campaign. We have dozens of volunteers already and many exciting endorsements in the works. Momentum is on our side and we will defeat Marty Golden in November,” Barkan said.

Barken’s most recent endorsement came from The 504 Democratic Club. The 504 is a club that advocates for the rights of disabled people.

“The 504 Democratic club endorsement was incredibly meaningful for our campaign. They are at the forefront of so many important fights and they will be a pivotal ally for our primary and general election campaigns. I am confident that, with the 504 club at our side, we will prevail,” Barkan said.

Michael J. Schweinsburg, the president of the 504 Democratic Club, said Barkan has the strongest disability platform among the candidates. He also said Barkan’s stance on other issues aligns with the organization.

“When combined with his stance on so many issues of vital interest to his community, our city, and our state—it is clear that Ross Barkan is the only candidate that can lead the 22nd Senate District from the morass of corruption and unresponsive representation under which residents have suffered so much over the last 16 years,” Schweinsburg said.

Barken has also been endorsed by Indivisible Nation Brooklyn, a progressive organization that encourages civic engagement and participation.