With law and order quickly becoming the defining issue in this year’s state general election, and quite possibly next year’s citywide elections, Guardian Angels Founder Curtis Sliwa abruptly changed course today from endorsing State Sen. Andrew Gournardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park) two years ago and is now endorsing his opponent, Republican Vito Bruno.
In a press conference outside the Bay Ridge subway entrance at 95th Street and Fourth Avenue, Sliwa said he felt bamboozled by Gounardes when he endorsed him two years ago – not so much because he opposed former State Sen. Marty Golden, but because he is for term-limits and felt Gounardes would do the right thing in representing the fairly conservative district.
“In the last election, Andrew Gounardes used political tricknology on me. I was assured he cared about law and order and was not a de Blasio Democrat. He turned out to be even worse—he is an AOC Democrat. He voted for bail reform and stands with those that want to defund our police. Gounardes tweets and condemns any alleged police misconduct but is silent about looting and attacks on our cops,” said Sliwa, who reportedly had his jaw broken recently as he and other Guardian Angels protected shops from being looted during Black Lives Matters protests.
Sliwa praised Bruno Bruno, a highly successful independent businessman and legendary entertainment industry executive, who also has the Conservative, and Independence Party line in the senate race.
“In my conversations with Vito Bruno he has always focused on what should be done to improve the community. He will represent the values of this district. When I hear Gounardes now I’m reminded of the lyrics in the song Smiling Faces Sometimes by the Temptations, ‘Smiling Faces, Sometimes they don’t tell the truth. Smiling faces, smiling faces tell lies and I got proof’”.
In his remarks, Bruno thanked Sliwa for his support and spoke about the danger of gutting the NYPD budget.
“We have a lot of work to do to recover from the pandemic, scapegoating the NYPD and gutting its budget will help no one. I’m calling on the many local elected officials from New York City who know this is a terrible idea to have the political courage to call out the Mayor and his political allies for supporting such a disastrous initiative,” said Bruno.
“The last thing we want to see in our city is people afraid to call 911 because they don’t think the police will respond or that they aren’t able to respond,” he added.
The endorsement comes as the city is seeing a dramatic increase in crime.
According to NYPD citywide statistics, reported murders are up 23.9% with 166 slayings thus far this year as compared to 134 at this point last year. Additionally, shooting incidents are up 36.2 percent, burglaries are up 46.9 percent and auto theft is up 61%.
In Patrol borough Brooklyn South, which covers the senate district, murder is up more than 90 percent and shooting incidents are up nearly 70 percent.
The general election is Nov. 3.