Gounardes throws hat into the election ring

Andrew Gounardes formally announced his plans to run for statesenate in front of his alma mater, Fort Hamilton High School, onSaturday, January 28.

Gounardes is running on the platform of a new voice for thecommunity, a rallying cry that was a running theme throughout hisspeech as well as Councilmember Vincent Gentile and AssemblymemberPeter Abbate’s discourse at the event.

Gentile remarked that, He [Gounardes] may be a new voice on thepolitical scene [but] he is an established voice in the community,referring to Gounardes’ time spent working in the councilmember’soffice, as an Eagle Scout and as a member of a local church.

Gounardes said he wants to work on reforming schools that faceovercrowding and cleaning up the corruption in politics, whichGounardes is acknowledging is getting better due to the work ofGovernor Andrew Cuomo. However, Gounardes pointed out, One goodyear does not erase decades of dysfunction.

Present at the announcement were elected officials and communityleaders, prompting Abbate to say, That’s when you know someone islooking for someone new, when both officials and leaders cometogether in support of a candidate.

Gounardes will be running against current State Senator MartyGolden, who has been in office since 2003. When asked about runningagainst the incumbent and the challenges he faced, Gounardesresponded, I think whether you are a first time candidate or a10-year incumbent, we face the same challenges.

One added challenge may result from new district lines that werejust released. While Gounardes had faced a clear field among fellowDemocrats for the right to challenge Golden – a formidable opponentwho has often run unopposed – the new lines could bring in aDemocratic heavy hitter, City Councilmember Lew Fidler, who isrunning for the state senate seat vacated by disgraced former StateSenator Carl Kruger. That district has been divided into threedifferent districts, including Golden’s (see story in thisissue).

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