Election Open House: State Senate Candidate Criticized for Entering Two-Family House Uninvited in Search of Votes
BY HELEN KLEIN & MEAGHAN MCGOLDRICK
A local candidate is coming under fire on Facebook after one potential constituent posted that the hopeful himself walked into his Bay Ridge home uninvited late last week.
On Friday, August 24, Ridge resident Amir Noor alleged in a Facebook group called “The One and Only Bay Ridge, Brooklyn” that Ross Barkan – one of two Democratic candidates hoping to unseat State Senator Marty Golden come November – simply walked into his two-family home hoping to score his vote.
“[Ross Barkan] just let himself into my house to ask me to vote for him. Didn’t even ring the doorbell,” Noor wrote.
The resident – who, while speaking to this paper about the incident, referred to the definition of the word “trespassing” – called Barkan’s unexpected drop-by “insane.”
In the comments section of Facebook, Noor went on to explain that, instead of ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door, the candidate simply let himself in. Noor told this paper that Barkan had turned the doorknob on the closed but unlocked door to gain access to the home.
“I asked [what] he was doing and he handed me a flyer and said he’s looking for someone. Presumably whoever was on his campaign list,” Noor wrote. “And I told him to leave.” Noor told this paper that he thought it was his little brother coming home, and that he instead found Barkan standing in his second floor hallway.
“He left right away but how do you trespass and expect to get votes?” Noor asked.
In the follow-up to Noor’s post — which evoked extended commentary on Facebook — Barkan messaged Noor to apologize, writing, “I saw your message and wanted to sincerely apologize for coming up to your door unannounced on Friday. While I did ring the doorbell, I did not wait long enough and took advantage of an open door to walk up the stairs. This was wrong on my part and I am very sorry for intruding on your time. I was hoping to introduce myself and tell you about my campaign…but this was not the way to do it. I am hoping we can meet again under different circumstances. Again, I am very sorry.”
Barkan’s campaign manager, Zohran Mamdani, contended that the candidate did ring the bell and knock on the “main door” of the home.
“Last week, Ross was knocking on doors as he always does. He rang the bell and knocked on the main door of a walk-up apartment. The main door was open and Ross walked up to the second floor so he could knock on the actual apartment door, as often times these bells are broken,” Mamdani told this paper in a statement. “Once he knocked on the apartment door, the voter expressed displeasure and Ross apologized and left.”
The Democratic primary is Sept. 13. The contest in the 22nd Senate District will pit Barkan against Andrew Gounardes, with the winner taking on Golden on Nov. 6. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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