After campaigning unofficially for about a year, State Senator Eric Adams officially announced his candidacy for borough president on Sunday, March 3.
The only other announced candidate is John Gangemi, an attorney and former councilmember, who sent out a letter announcing that he would be running for the office on February 28.
The two are vying for the Democratic nomination in the race to succeed Borough President Marty Markowitz, who is term-limited.
Adams – a former police captain and a founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, who has served in Albany since 2007 — made his announcement on the steps of Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, where he was endorsed by Markowitz, former Borough President Howard Golden, and City Councilmember Domenic Recchia, who had considered throwing his hat into the ring for the post, as well as numerous other elected officials.
“This is a pivotal moment for Brooklyn,” Adams said. “We have to turn our popularity into prosperity, leave no one behind, and make Brooklyn the best it can be. After three decades as a police officer, community organizer and elected representative in this beautiful borough, I have the experience to be Brooklyn’s strongest advocate and the passion to be a champion for every Brooklynite who needs help, wants a better life, and strives to make Brooklyn the best it can be.”
Markowitz, who noted that he represented “nearly the same central Brooklyn district in the State Senate” as does Adams, said that he had confidence in Adams as his successor. “As someone who plans to spend the rest of my days in Brooklyn, I am excited for Eric Adams’ future and hope that his contributions even surpass mine.”
For his part, Gangemi said in his email missive, “I’m passionate about improving our community for the better, building on the successes of the current borough president and working with whomever the next mayor is to ensure that Brooklyn can’t be taken for granted by anyone in city government. I love Brooklyn; it’s the borough where I was born and raised. I’m determined to make sure that our neighborhoods remain safe, clean, vibrant, thriving and that they remain that way for my grandchildren.
“As I see it,” he added, “our city and our borough is again in dire need of responsible leadership, experienced leadership and those with a passion to serve.”
With the endorsement of some 40 elected officials, past and present, many see the nomination as an easy win for Adams – a “coronation,” one insider called it. But, in fact, Adams has taken nothing for granted, spending the past year traveling around the borough to increase his visibility and recognizability. Adams also has about $420,000 in his campaign treasury, as of January 15, from approximately 2,500 contributors, and has begun racking up union endorsements.
Adams currently represents a district that spans from the central Brooklyn neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Prospect Heights and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens into Sunset Park, taking in part of Park Slope and Gowanus.
Gangemi, now 74, was elected to the City Council in 1971 as a Republican, serving as an at-large member, but later switched parties. He has also served as an assistant district attorney and an assistant attorney general. He previously announced that he would challenge Congressmember Michael Grimm in 2012, but ultimately did not run for the Democratic nomination in that race.