Attorney and community leader Andrew Gounardes announced his candidacy for the New York State Senate, declaring “fraudulent politicians in Albany have repeatedly failed the people of southern Brooklyn.” In an email sent to supporters, Gounardes stated the Brooklynites “remain frustrated by the unending dysfunction in Albany…We deserve better. We must do better. That’s why I’m running. “
“For far too long, politics in our state has valued big-money interests over working-class families, leaving us with underfunded schools, a failing transit system, and worse,” Gounardes said. “Our current senator thrives in this culture of corruption. It’s time we put a stop to that.
Gounardes currently serves as Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, where he helped write and pass legislation to combat dangerous home conversions. He organized and formed the “Concerned R Train Riders” to fight for better service and demand handicapped accessible subway stations in southern Brooklyn, and worked with local parents to successfully pressure Albany lawmakers to pass legislation for school zone speed cameras that protect children from dangerous drivers. As the Borough President’s representative to the Board of Trustees for the New York City Employee Retirement System, he works to protect the pensions of 350,000 active and retired city workers from the civilian and uniformed workforces. He is also a co-founder of Bay Ridge Cares, which prepared 25,000 hot meals for Sandy survivors for weeks after the storm and today helps neighbors facing extraordinary need by providing them with emergency assistance.
The 22nd Senate District includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, and Gravesend, as well as portions of Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park, and Midwood. Gounardes, who challenged incumbent Republican Martin Golden in 2012, noted that there are nearly 49,000 more Democrats than Republicans in the district, a margin that has grown by more than 10% since 2012.
“Throughout Brooklyn, and across America, people are energized as never before because the stakes have never been higher,” Gounardes declared. “This energy will help the people of Brooklyn finally retire an incumbent who empowers the special interests corrupting our capitol.”
A graduate of Fort Hamilton High School, Gounardes earned his degrees from Hunter College and the George Washington University Law School. He is a former aide to Councilmember Vincent Gentile and served on Community Board 10. Prior to joining the Borough President’s office, he worked for the Citizens Committee for New York City, a non-profit that provides neighborhood improvements grants to community groups across the five boroughs.