Bay Ridge

Working Families Party endorses Gentile for congress

March 3, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember Vincent Gentile has picked up the endorsement of the Working Families Party in his quest to become a congress member. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas
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Democrat Vincent Gentile, a councilmember seeking to become a Congress member, has picked up the endorsement of the Working Families Party in his race against Republican Daniel Donovan.

Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) announced on March 2 that the Working Families Party had endorsed him and that he was accepting the endorsement.

“I am happy to receive the endorsement of the Working Families Party; together we have been on the front lines fighting for economic, educational and political equality for nearly two decades,” Gentile said in a statement.

Gentile and Donovan, who is Staten Island’s district attorney, are running in a special election on May 5 for the seat representing the 11th Congressional District (Staten Island-Southwest Brooklyn). The seat became vacant on Jan. 5 when Republican Michael Grimm, who had been the congressman for four years, resigned after he pleaded guilty to tax fraud in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Calling the special election a “crucial campaign,” Gentile touted the endorsement of the Working Families Party as a major development in the race.

Meanwhile, Donovan won praise from National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Greg Walden, who called the district attorney “a fantastic candidate” and stated that the committee is determined to work hard in the campaign to make sure the congressional seat stays in Republican hands.

The date for the special election was set by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but not without controversy.

Cuomo set the date after Judge Jack Weinstein ruled in a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court that the governor could no longer delay setting a date. In his ruling, issued on Feb. 17, Weinstein ordered Cuomo to set a date and warned that if the governor did not obey the court’s ruling, then he, the judge, would step in and set a date.

Attorneys for Cuomo had argued that the governor had the discretion to delay a special election and hold it at the same time as the general election in November. But Weinstein said waiting until November would be an unjustified delay and that would have left the residents of the district disenfranchised with no representation in Congress.

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