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Sen. Gounardes says ‘I do’

SOUTHERN BROOKLYN — State Sen. Andrew Gounardes voted yes! To marriage, that is.

The bachelor lawmaker exchanged “I do’s” with his sweetie, Melanie Graf, on Dec. 7 in a ceremony at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in New Rochelle, in front of a large crowd of family and friends.

The ceremony was performed by the Very Rev. Nicholas Anctil, according to the New York Times, which reported on the nuptials in its Sunday Style section on Dec. 8. The Rev. Alex Orphanos, who is married to Gounardes’ sister Patricia, took part in the service.

The wedding guests included Councilmember Justin Brannan, a close friend of the senator’s.

Gounardes, a Democrat who represents the 22nd Senate District (Bay Ridge and Southwest Brooklyn), and Graf, an associate vice president at the Manhattan communications firm Prosek Partners, have been inseparable ever since they met two years ago.

Gounardes, 34, won his State Senate seat in November, 2018. Graf, 30, was at his side, along with his family, when he was sworn into office in a ceremony in January at Fort Hamilton High School.

The senator shared his marriage bliss with his Twitter followers, tweeting a picture of him kissing his beautiful bride, and writing: “Can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with this stunningly radiant (and goofy!) woman who makes my heart smile each and every day. “

In the days and weeks before his wedding, the freshman senator was busy working.

On the morning of Nov. 23, Gounardes, accompanied by his chief of staff, Tori Kelly, went door-to-door along Shore Road to reassure residents in the wake of a spree of car vandalism incidents in the area.

He went for a tuxedo fitting that afternoon.

While going door-to-door, Gounardes told the Home Reporter how excited he was about his upcoming wedding. “I can’t wait!” he gushed. The couple chose the bride’s church as the setting for their wedding, he said. Gounardes is a member of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Bay Ridge.

Gounardes said it was deeply meaningful to him to have his brother-in-law take part in the wedding service.

But once the politician, always the politician.

In an interview with the Home Reporter earlier this year, Gounardes candidly admitted that December was a perfect month for him to get married because “the legislature’s out of session.”

The state legislature begins a new session in January.

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