State Senate - 2018 General

***  Citizens Union evaluated candidates in three races in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Scroll down to view all races. ***

BROOKLYN

 SENATE DISTRICT 20

★ ENDORSED CANDIDATE ★

Zellnor Myrie – Democrat
Candidate has returned a questionnaire 
Questionnaire Supplement 
Age: 31
Occupation: Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Education: Fordham University, B.A.; Fordham University, M.A.; Cornell Law School, J.D.

Zellnor Myrie is a former legislative director for New York City Council Member Fernando Cabrera, and was chair of his Neighborhood Advisory Board. He has graduated law school and passed the New York State Bar Examination, but has not been admitted to practice law in New York. His priorities are to expand affordable housing, protect immigrant rights by passing the Liberty and DREAM Acts, fully fund public education, advance criminal justice reform including ending cash bail and reforming speedy trial statutes, and increase election transparency and turnout. Myrie supports Citizens Union’s entire reform agenda. He has pledged to strongly support the passage of a legislative package on voting rights, which would include a seven-day early voting period, no- excuse absentee voting, and the establishment of an online, streamlined voter registration process. In an interview with Citizens Union, Myrie spoke knowledgably about a host of ethics reforms to prevent corruption and remove opportunities for misconduct, including those supported by Citizens Union. In line with this priority, he seeks to ban outside compensation for legislators, thoroughly reform JCOPE, and change campaign finance laws. Citizens Union endorses Myrie because of his clarity and conviction on reform issues, and the belief that he would be a productive and collaborative legislator.

Jesse Hamilton – Independence
Candidate has returned a questionnaire 
Age: 54
Occupation: New York State Senator, District 20
Education: Ithaca College, B.S.; Long Island University, M.B.A.; Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D.

After losing the Democratic nomination in the primary, incumbent Senator Jesse Hamilton, has stopped campaigning for office, but his name will still appear on the ballot on the Independence Party and Women’s Equality Party lines. Citizens Union has applauded Hamilton’s many contributions to the district, but did not prefer him in the primary race due to the strength of his competitor, Zellnor Myrie. In the General Election, Citizens Union is once again backing Myrie.

 

SENATE DISTRICT 22

ENDORSED CANDIDATE

Andrew Gounardes – Democrat
Candidate has returned a questionnaire 
Age: 33
Occupation: General Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
Education: Hunter College, B.A.; George Washington University Law School, J.D.

Andrew Gounardes is counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and has previously served as an aide to former New York City Council Member Vincent Gentile. His priorities are to secure funding to reduce class sizes in overcrowded schools, introduce an amendment to the state Constitution to guarantee free public education from Pre-K through college, install speed cameras in every school zone, improve the MTA by restoring dedicated revenue, and enact public financing of state elections. Gounardes supports all of Citizens Union’s questionnaire items, and in an interview emphasized how important campaign finance and voting reforms were to him. Specifically, he told Citizens Union that reforming the special election process, through which many legislators are first brought into office, and instituting better campaign finance regulations are both especially crucial. Citizens Union endorses Andrew Gounardes because of his strong support for key reforms and his fresh perspective on issues important to CU.

 

Martin Golden – Republican
Candidate has returned a questionnaire 
Age: 67
Occupation: New York State Senator, District 22
Education: St. John’s University, A.A.

Martin Golden has represented District 22 in the state Senate since 2003. His priorities are to continue to support residents and businesses still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, improve mass transit performance and accessibility, ensure public safety, reduce taxes for middle class New Yorkers, and support seniors by advocating for increases in the SCRIE income limit and lower prescription drug prices. Golden is supportive of some of Citizens Union’s questionnaire items but opposes CU’s campaign finance reform agenda, most of Citizens Unions’s election and voting reform agenda, and limiting outside compensation for state legislators. He also opposes repealing Civil Rights Law, Sec. 50-a, which prevents the public disclosure of police disciplinary records. In an interview with Citizens Union, he expressed the belief that the state already has a good system in place to deal with corruption – as evidenced by the number of convictions of state officials – and does not need ethics reform. Golden is opposed to closing the LLC loophole, but is open to limiting the size of contributions LLCs can contribute to campaigns. Despite his long record in the New York State Senate, Citizens Union believes that Martin Golden does not greatly support the organization’s positions in the area of ethics, campaign finance, and police accountability. For these reasons, Citizens Union does not back Golden’s candidacy.

 

MANHATTAN

 SENATE DISTRICT 28

★ ENDORSED CANDIDATE ★

Liz Krueger – Democrat
Candidate has returned a questionnaire 
Age: 60
Occupation: New York State Senator, District 28
Education: Northwestern University, B.A.; University of Chicago, M.A.

Liz Krueger has represented District 28 in the New York State Senate since 2002, and was the founding director of the New York City Food Bank. She is currently the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee. Her priorities are to fight against federal policies that threaten vulnerable populations in New York or deny basic human rights, expand access to affordable housing, reform the electoral process, improve environmental protections and clean energy, and ensure the economic security of low income and unemployed New Yorkers. Krueger supports all of Citizens Union’s questionnaire items, especially election reforms to make it easier to vote, register, and change party registration, and expanding municipal home rule. Citizens Union endorses Liz Krueger because of her experience, detailed knowledge of policy, and nuanced approach to dealing with the power dynamics of Albany.

 

Peter Holmberg – Republican
Candidate has returned a questionnaire 
Age: 52
Occupation: Licensed Real Estate Agent, Public Relations Consultant
Education: Drake University

Peter Holmberg has worked in the fields of corporate communications, luxury hotel management, and real estate for the past 25 years. His priorities for office are first and foremost to be a candid elected official as a model for others, admitting when he has made a mistake and acknowledging when he is unsure. In terms of policy, his priorities are to deregulate and reduce taxes on taxis, elevate a dialogue on tort reform, prevent New York from becoming a sanctuary state, and maintaining the Specialized High School Admissions Test. Holmberg supports most of Citizens Union’s questionnaire items, but opposes limiting outside compensation for state legislators, a number of voting reforms and making mayoral control of city schools permanent. He also opposes repealing Civil Rights Law, Sec. 50-a, out of consideration for correction officers, but supports making police disciplinary records public. While Citizens Union found Holmberg to be a very candid and enthusiastic candidate, the organization does not endorse him due to his lack of experience in government and his opposition to a number of reforms important to CU.