Endorsements, Potential Johnson Bid Boost Benjamin in Comptroller’s Race

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State Sen. Brian Benjamin, left, and City Councilman Brad Lander, right. Photos for their campaign websites.

It was a good week for State Sen. Brian Benjamin (D-Manhattan) and his campaign to be city comptroller. A wide array of endorsements seem to have grown his support outside of his Harlem district. 

Manhattan State Sen. Brian Benjamin

In addition to a Wednesday endorsement from U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, whose Washington Heights and Bronx district neighbors Benjamin’s, a number of prominent Bronx officials, such as former Assemblymember and DNC chair Michael Blake, Assemblymember Kenny Burgos, Assemblymember Chantel Jackson, City Councilmember Diana Ayala, City Councilmember Rafael Salamanca, Assemblymember Latoya Joyner, and Althea Stevens–a candidate for City Council District 16, all endorsed him.

Meanwhile, several Upper West Side Democratic clubs, most notably the Three Parks Democrats and Broadway Democrats, have come forward to endorse Benjamin. The West Side Democrats, led by U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn), declined to endorse a candidate for comptroller due to a split in support between Benjamin and Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn).

“As an experienced financial manager with a Harvard MBA, and as the Chair of the Budget and Revenues committee in the State Senate, I believe that I will win this election because voters know that I am the most qualified candidate in the race” Benjamin confidently asserted amid the positive news.

City Councilmember Brad Lander
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson

While the endorsements have offered him great new momentum on the campaign trail, rumors that City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) will also enter the race have given the Benjamin campaign further hope, surmising that a Johnson bid could split the white progressive vote between him and Lander.

Johnson’s spokespeople declined to respond to comment about the rumors.

Still, when this reporter asked Naomi Dann, a campaign spokesperson for Lander, about her concerns about a prospective Johnson campaign’s impact on their chances, she dodged the question and noted his own endorsements. 

“Brad has received widespread support from across the city, including from Congress Members Jerry Nadler and Jamaal Bowman and the Working Families Party, for his campaign to secure a just and equitable economic recovery for our city,” said Dann.