Thanks, but no thanks.
That was the reaction Republican state Sen. Marty Golden had to an offer from the Brooklyn Reform Party to run in the party’s primary on Sept. 13 against Democrat Andrew Gounardes.
Golden, a seven-term senator, is already on the ballot for the Nov. 7 general election on the GOP and Conservative Party lines. Gounardes, chief counsel to Borough President Eric Adams, is running in a Democratic Primary on Sept. 13 against political journalist Ross Barkan. The winner of that primary will secure the Democratic line in November.
The Brooklyn Reform Party, led by Chairperson Bob Capano, was looking to have a primary to determine which candidate would appear on the party’s ballot line in November. Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels civilian patrol group and a WABC-radio personality, is chairperson of the New York State Reform Party.
Golden represents the 22nd Senate District, a seat that includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach.
“Senator Golden appreciates the invitation to participate in the Reform Party’s primary, but respectfully declines. Voters throughout the 22nd Senate District have the opportunity to vote for Marty on well established ballot lines that represent and share the priorities of the wonderful neighborhoods that make up this part of southern Brooklyn,” Golden campaign spokesperson Michael Tobman said.
The leadership of the Brooklyn Reform Party recently voted to issue what is known as a Wilson Pakula authorization to allow Golden and Gounardes to square off in a primary. Under Wilson Pakula, a political party can permit a candidate to run on the party’s line even if the candidate is not a registered member of that party.
Gounardes readily accepted the invitation from the Reform Party and will run unopposed in the primary. Capano said Gounardes, therefore, will be on the party’s ballot line in November.
“We are delighted that Andrew Gounardes has decided to accept the Wilson Pakula authorization. He will have our party’s line in November,” he said.
Gounardes said he is satisfied with his decision. “I’m running to reform New York State government and make it responsive to the taxpayers of Brooklyn again. I am proud to have the support of the Reform Party and look forward to running on its line in November,” Gounardes said.
The Reform Party line could be significant, according to Capano, who said his party is the only one that allows voters not affiliated with any political party to vote in its primaries.
“For the first time in Brooklyn history, these voters, who are pejoratively referred to as ‘blanks’ and often dismissed by the major political parties, will be actively engaged,” Capano said.
Voters who describe themselves as not being affiliated with any of the major political parties are the fastest growing group of voters in the country, Capano said.