Former Republican State Sen. Marty Golden is weighing his options for a possible rubber match against State Sen. Andrew Gounardes for the senate seat next year, according to Golden’s close confidant State Conservative Party Chair Jerry Kassar.
Gounardes lost to the then incumbent Golden in the 2012 senate race, but came back to beat him last year by just over 1,000 votes. However, Gounardes victory also came as part of the Blue Wave that saw Democrats take over the State Senate majority, and Democrat U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) defeat Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan.
The district includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Marine Park. The district and the neighborhoods in this part of South Brooklyn are the only ones in the borough where there are competitive races between Democrats and Republicans.
“Marty has not made a decision yet. We’ve been talking to him, and he’s not sure yet as he has a very good job with the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens,” said Kassar, who served at Golden’s chief of staff when he was in the senate.
Kassar said besides having a good job, Golden does have concerns about Republicans taking back the senate. “The Senate will make gains next year but I suspect it will be difficult to take back the majority,” said Kassar.
Kassar said if Golden decides against running, the Conservative Party/GOP has every intention of running someone else, and there are several people asking around and showing interest if Golden decides against running.
“There are certain community activists from Bay Ridge to Gerretsen Beach to Marine Park that feel for one reason or another that Andrew [Gounardes] is not doing a good job,” said Kassar. “I feel strongly his [Gounardes] voting record is not consistent with the majority of the people in the district. Andrew’s progressiveness wants to be fair handed, but it’s fair handed towards progressives.”
Kassar said the bicycle lane issue is a perfect example of that. Even though the local community board was against putting a bike lane in Dyker Heights, Gounardes supported it.
Then, while nobody has a problem with the bike lane on Fourth Avenue, the one on Seventh Avenue made three lanes into two lanes and results in traffic being backed up from the Verrazano Bridge exit to 65th Street during the rush hours and there isn’t even that many bikers on Seventh Avenue, Kassar said, adding it’s also very difficult to make a left turn now because of the bike lane.
Moving on to the Congressional race, Kassar said Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) has been raising a lot of money and looks in a good position in her expected competitive contest against Rose.
In order to run for Congress, Malliotalkis will have to give up her assembly seat, and Kassar said former Staten Island assistant district attorney Michael Tannousis – who practices law in Bay Ridge – now looks to be the Republican/Conservative frontrunner to take on Democrat Brandon Patterson, who currently serves as State Sen. Diane Savino’s Chief of Staff.
“I think Nicole is very energetic and smart and Trump won in both the House and assembly district by about 10 points, and the two districts almost completely overlap,” said Kassar, noting that both the state and House elections are coming on a presidential election year.
“You could say the stars are aligning for the Republicans and Conservatives in the district next year,” he added.