Bay Ridge

Justin Brannan raises $57,000 for council run

Six other potential candidates eyeing seat

January 18, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
City Council hopeful Justin Brannan says he has “incredible grassroots support” for his run at public office. Photo courtesy of Brannan
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Democratic city council hopeful Justin Brannan has raised more than $57,000 from hundreds of local donors for his campaign and said he is poised to qualify for the city’s matching funds program.

Brannan, who held a fundraiser at Cebu Bar & Bistro in Bay Ridge on Jan. 10, said that with matching funds from the city’s campaign finance program, he would have an impressive $157,000 since announcing his candidacy on Dec. 9. He raised $13,000 at the Jan. 10 event alone, according to his campaign.

Brannan is one a several candidates seeking to succeed term-limited Councilmember Vincent Gentile, a Democrat who has represented the 43rd Council District (Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) since 2003.

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The council election will take place this November.

None of the other potential candidates has released their fundraising information.

Assemblymember Peter Abbate (D-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst, Sunset Park) is rumored to be considering a run for the seat. The Rev. Khader El-Yateem, pastor of Salam Lutheran Church, has also been mentioned as a possible candidate. Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab-American Association of New York, is also said to be looking at a run.

On the Republican side, the names that have mentioned include Bob Capano, who served a director of community boards for former borough president Marty Markowitz; John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Golden; and Liam McCabe, an aide to U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan.

On Wednesday a source close to McCabe released a letter that the Brooklyn Young Republican Club is circulating in political circles asking him to run for the council seat. The letter was signed by more than a dozen Republican and Conservative party leaders.

“Born and raised in Bay Ridge, Liam has been a community activist for as long as most of us can remember. His experience in both government and in the private sector as en entrepreneur makes Liam uniquely qualified to lead our community,” the letter read.

Brannan, founder of the Bay Ridge Democrats, left his job as a special assistant to Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to run for office. Brannan, his wife Leigh Holliday Brannan and his mother Mary Brannan are the owners of The Art Room, an art school and gallery at 8710 Third Ave.

“The incredible grass-roots support we’ve received shows that the hardworking families from Colonial Road to Cropsey Avenue intend to have a voice in this election,” Brannan said in a statement issued by his campaign. “As a longtime advocate and activist, it’s exciting for me to see hundreds of fellow residents contribute to this campaign and take an interest in the future of our community.” 

Brannan’s campaign released fundraising results in anticipation of filing with the New York City Board of Elections this week.

According to the campaign, the $57,000 that Brannan raised came from more than 400 individual donors.

“I grew up in this community. My wife and I own a small business here. I love my neighborhood and the chance to make a difference as our next councilmember is the reason I’m in this race,” Brannan said.


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