Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY
Joined by dozens of local supporters, Bay Ridge native Andrew Gounardes formally announced his campaign to replace State Senator Marty Golden in the 22nd District. Standing in front of his alma mater, Fort Hamilton High School, with Assemblyman Peter Abbate, City Councilman Vincent Gentile and other community leaders, Gounardes promised to restore integrity and honesty and be a “new voice with smart, new solutions for our community.”
Gounardes, whose mother is a public school teacher, discussed education at length, calling Fort Hamilton “an anchor in our community.” “Every day, teachers here strive to educate 1,500 more students than this building has room for. Right here in our district, more than half of our schools are over capacity…Rather than actually addressing these problems head on, our politicians throw money at them or blame parents and teachers…We can do better than this. And we will do better than this.”
Gounardes said that he would give voters a clear choice in November. “We need a new voice who knows that public service is hard work and that talking tough is not enough, who will be accountable and responsive to everyone in the community and not just a catered few.” He promised to work on behalf of middle and working class families, small businesses, veterans, seniors, and the area’s environment and heritage. The biggest applause came when he vowed to “stand up for our neighbors, whether gay or straight, Arab or Irish, Muslim or Christian, because when we violate the rights of some, we violate the rights of all.”
“For many years I’ve been in Albany fighting for this community…and I need a partner like Andrew,” said Assemblyman Abbate. “We’ve had people representing us who really do vote with the interests of upstate New York and Long Island.” The candidate is already stirring excitement among rank-and-file Democrats and independents with Gounardes raising $62,000 from more than 300 small donors in his first filing.
Gounardes is a proud graduate of Fort Hamilton High School and CUNY Hunter College. He earned his law degree from The George Washington University Law School. A former aide to U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and City Council Member Vincent Gentile, he is now a member of Community Board 10 and Director of External Affairs at Citizens Committee for New York City.
His father, Dr Stephen Gounardes is a dentist and past President of the Holy Cross Church in Bay Ridge Brooklyn and St Basil’s Academy.
The 22nd Senate District includes portions of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend, Sheepshead Bay, Midwood and Borough Park.