While almost all of Brooklyn is a one-party borough, parts of southern Brooklyn, and particularly the Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights neighborhood reflect more of middle America, where both the Democratic and Republican parties field competitive candidates for the general election.
Thus it comes as little surprise that Brandon Patterson, the Democratic nominee for New York’s 64th Assembly District (Bay Ridge, Staten Island) recently received an endorsement from Senator Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park).
The endorsement comes as Patterson seeks to win the city’s last Republican-held Assembly district for the Democrats. Nicole Malliotakis vacated the seat to challenge Rep. Max Rose (D-Bay Ridge, Staten Island).
“It is my great pleasure to endorse Brandon Patterson for the New York State Assembly,” said Gounardes.
“In my time working with him on the staff level and then in the Senate, he has shown he has the experience and understanding to bring common-sense solutions to the problems facing the district and our state as a whole. He has hit the ground running meeting voters and talking about his candidacy. I look forward to continuing working with him in the state legislature to finally address the issues that are affecting our community.”
Patterson welcomed the senator’s endorsement. “I’ve known Senator Gounardes for years, when we were both staffers working for accomplished elected officials in government, and I’ve admired the great work he has achieved in his first term. He’s a model for my campaign, tackling middle class issues, especially for our union brothers and sisters, and ensuring a fairer New York,” he said.
“I know we’re going to do great things together for the people of Brooklyn like finally lower the Verrezzano [sic] toll and lower property taxes. I look forward to working side by side with him in Albany.
Patterson’s Republican opponent, Mike Tannousis, declined to comment and several sources say that party in-fighting, particularly from the Staten Island side of the district, could hurt Tannousis.
But GOPer Vito Bruno who is challenging Gounardes blasted the incumbent last week for yet again voting against legislation designed to protect police officers from violent attacks.
Gounardes rejected an amendment to protect law enforcement officers attempting to defend themselves from a wave of new assaults, said Bruno.
Bruno alleged that thanks to alarming anti-police rhetoric promulgated by politicians like Senator Gounardes and pro-criminal policies like bail reform and defunding the police, crime is continuing to rise.
The ‘Protect Those Who Protect Us’ package, endorsed by the New York State Sheriff’s Association, would discourage violence against law enforcement by increasing penalties on existing crimes and creating new categories of crimes resulting from new types of attacks.
Bruno slammed Gounardes for voting against protecting our police officers once again. “Actions speak louder than words, while Senator Gounardes ran as a middle of the road problem solver, he votes like an AOC Democrat, acting as little more than a rubber stamp for the radical agenda of the extreme left of his party and ignoring the very real problems in our district,” said Bruno.
“After championing catastrophic bail reform, eagerly supporting defunding our police, and unfairly attacking the NYPD as they were assaulted by firebombs, voting in favor for these common-sense protections for the police, was a great opportunity for Gounardes to demonstrate that he understands the threats posed to police officers on a daily basis and that he can be an independent legislator, unfortunately once again Gounardes demonstrated that his loyalty lies with the powerful party bosses and not his constituents,” said Bruno.
Gounardes responded that Bruno’s allegations that he doesn’t support law enforcement is “is nothing but political nonsense.”
“My commitment to supporting our local officers is steadfast – I have sponsored many bills to help rank and file members get the benefits they deserve. During the COVID crisis, I successfully fought to guarantee line of duty benefits for families of those who died of the disease, cutting bureaucracy and helping many families. That’s support – not using law enforcement as political pawns as the Republicans continue to try to do,” said Gounardes.
-Stephen Witt contributed to this story