Brannan picks up big endorsement from Abbate
Justin Brannan, seeking to emerge from a crowded field of Democrats running in the party’s primary on Sept. 12 for the City Council seat being vacated by Vincent Gentile, has landed one of his most significant endorsements to date.
Assemblymember Peter Abbate, a Democrat known for his shrewd knowledge of local politics, recently announced that he’s backing Brannan for the seat in the 43rd Council District. The district covers the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights and includes parts of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.
Abbate (D-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) flirted with the idea of running for the Council seat himself, but ultimately decided not to do it.
Abbate has been in the New York State Assembly since 1986 and has a reputation as a smart, savvy political campaigner. His endorsement of Brannan is seen by political observers as a signal that he firmly believes Brannan will win the primary. “This isn’t just party loyalty. Peter thinks Justin will win. Otherwise, he would just sit out the primary and not endorse anyone,” one political observer told the Brooklyn Eagle.
Abbate said he is impressed by Brannan’s civic involvement and his commitment to the community. Brannan is a co-founder of Bay Ridge Cares, a grass-roots organization that does charity work.
“I have known Justin for as long as he has been active in public service, fighting to improve our community. Time and again, I have seen his unrivaled passion and energy on just about every issue facing the 43rd District, from the need for improved transportation to improving our public schools. Justin is committed to southern Brooklyn and he’ll fight for what our community needs most,” Abbate said in a statement.
Brannan is one of five Democrats seeking the nomination. The other candidates are Kevin Peter Carroll, Vincent Chirico, the Rev. Khader El-Yateem and Nancy Tong.
Bob Capano, Liam McCabe, Lucretia Regina-Potter and John Quaglione are the Republicans running in a GOP primary on Sept. 12
The primary winners will face each other in the general election on Nov. 7.
Gentile, who has served in the City Council since 2003, is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.
Brannan said Abbate’s endorsement is deeply meaningful to him.
“Assemblyman Abbate has led the fight on so many issues that affect our community, from protecting consumers from scammers, to protecting our children by requiring school bus lights to be on while transporting children; he’s been there every step of the way. I look forward to working with the assemblyman on these issues and more as our next councilmember in the 43rd District.”
Abbate is currently the chairman of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Employees.
Brannan, who is a former chief of staff to Gentile, has been endorsed by his old boss.
In addition, he has been endorsed by Public Advocate Letitia James and several unions, including 32BJ SEIU, Communications Workers of America, the Transport Workers Union, the Hotel Trades Council, RWDSU, UFCW, PSC-CUNY, the NYC Musician’s Union and DC 37.
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