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Biaggi Earns Endorsements of 12 New York State Senators in NY-3 Congressional Race

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By SÍLE MOLONEY

NYS Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (S.D. 34) holds a press conference for The Abortion Access Fund at West Capitol Park, Albany, NY on June 2, 2021.
Photo Courtesy of NYS Senate Media Services

State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (S.D. 34) announced on Feb. 18 that she had secured the endorsements of twelve New York State senators in her bid to win the race for NY congressional district 3, the parameters of which have recently been redrawn and now encompass parts of the senator’s current senatorial district 34 in The Bronx and Southern Westchester, as well as the area spanning the Sound from Northern Westchester to Suffolk County.

 

In the context of the announcement, Biaggi’s campaign said the senator quickly earned support from her colleagues in the State Senate who campaign officials said have a deep understanding of the senator’s leadership and accomplishments in Albany. Her team also said the endorsements from senators across the State and Democratic party demonstrate the growing coalition behind Biaggi’s vision for New York’s third congressional district.

 

Sen. Julia Salazar, who represents the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bushwick, Cypress Hills, Greenpoint and Williamsburg, with parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville and East New York, said Biaggi had been a champion for families across the State throughout her time as a legislator. “It has been an honor for me to serve with Alessandra in the State Senate, to learn from her and collaborate with her especially in fighting to empower workers and bring accountability and transparency into the halls of power,” she said. “It’s time for Alessandra to bring the voices of working New Yorkers with her to Congress so she can lead us toward transformative change at the national level for our communities.”

 

Meanwhile, Sen. Brad Hoylman, who represents much of the heart of Manhattan including the neighborhoods of Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Columbus Circle, Times Square, the Upper West Side, the East Village, Midtown East, and the Lower East Side, said it was an honor to endorse his colleague, adding that since becoming a senator in Albany, Biaggi had been integral in changing the culture of New York’s legislature, helping end the days of “good old boys decision-making in smoke-filled rooms.”

 

He added, “Alessandra’s been a champion for the vulnerable since day one — fighting for abortion rights, victims’ rights and workers’ rights at every opportunity. I’m excited to support Alessandra Biaggi as she brings her fight to the halls of the Congress.”

 

For his part, Sen. Jabari Brisport, who represents the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Sunset Park, Gowanus, and Park Slope said he was proud to endorse the senator, adding that he’d seen her fight for reproductive justice and billions in new funding for public schools. “I know she’ll bring that same commitment to progressive change to Congress,” he said.

 

Sen. Andrew Gounardes, who represents the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Homecrest, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, as well as portions of Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park, and Midwood, described Biaggi as a force to be reckoned with, adding, “I am so proud to have fought alongside her in the New York Senate. From sexual harassment law reform, to advocating for ethics reform to protecting low wage workers, she knows how to get stuff done for the people she represents.” He added, “I know she’ll bring that fighting spirit to Congress, which is why I’m thrilled to endorse her.”

 

Sen. Samra Brouk, who represents parts of Monroe and Ontario counties, said she was thrilled to endorse Biaggi for Congress, adding, “I have seen firsthand her unwavering commitment to fighting for survivor [of sexual abuse] rights, addressing the climate crisis, and ensuring our government works for the people, not the powerful.” She added, “At a time when so much is at risk in our country, Senator Biaggi’s steadfast advocacy and vision are desperately needed in Congress.”

 

For his part, Sen. Jeremy Cooney, who represents Monroe County, said Biaggi had been a valuable partner and a true friend since he first ran for office in 2018. “She is a passionate advocate for the most vulnerable New Yorkers and has been a champion for reform as the chair of the committee on ethics in the Senate. [As reported, New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics was the target of a cyberattack.] “Senator Biaggi might be one of my ‘downstate’ colleagues, but I can always count on her to support upstate initiatives,” he said. “I am honored to endorse her candidacy to represent New York in Congress,” Cooney added.

 

Meanwhile, Sen. Pete Harckham, who represents parts of Dutchess County, Putnam County, and Westchester County, described Biaggi as a dedicated, intelligent and tenacious public servant. “During her time in the State Senate, she proved to be a colleague with a penchant for details and a readiness to assist residents—in her district and statewide—on any issue,” he said. “I heartily endorse Senator Biaggi in her campaign for New York’s 3rd Congressional District: she will bring her trademark conviction and commitment to the position.”

 

Sen. Robert Jackson, who also represents Manhattan, covering the neighborhoods of Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights and much of the Upper West Side, said Biaggi had been a partner in delivering trailblazing legislation in the Senate, and never faltered in standing up for what was right. “She is tenacious, fearless, and smart – and that is the kind of leader we need representing us in Congress,” he said. “I know she will continue the progressive fights she has championed in Albany, all the way to Washington.”

 

Meanwhile, Sen. Rachel May, who represents most of the City of Syracuse, parts of Onondaga and Oneida counties, and all of Madison County, said the senator had been a thoughtful and committed partner in delivering much needed change for New Yorkers. “Her commitment to rooting out corruption in government, fighting for universal healthcare, looking after our seniors, and protecting survivors’ rights is admirable, and we need her leadership in Washington,” she said. “I am thrilled to endorse her candidacy for Congress.”

 

Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, who represents parts of Rockland County and Westchester County, described Biaggi as a fierce and fearless advocate. “She has been a progressive champion who speaks truth to power in fighting for ethics reform, and leading on women’s rights,” he said. “New Yorkers need an experienced progressive leader in Congress fighting for them, and Alessandra Biaggi is the best person for the job. I am proud to endorse her to represent New York’s 3rd Congressional District.”

 

Biaggi’s Bronx senatorial counterpart, Sen. Gustavo Rivera, who represents the neighborhoods of Kingsbridge Heights, East Tremont, Crotona Park, Fordham, Mount Hope, Belmont, Van Nest, Claremont, and Morris Park, said against all odds, Biaggi successfully toppled the head of the Independent Democratic Caucus (IDC) in New York State, ensuring it was finally able to pass what he said was critical, progressive legislation to protect and empower New Yorkers.

 

As reported, the IDC was a group of eight New York State senators, led by Biaggi’s predecessor in S.D. 34, Jeffrey Klein, who were elected to office as Democrats but who formed a coalition with Republicans, blocking most progressive legislation in New York State for over seven years. As reported by The New York Times, in the Sept. 13, 2018 Democratic primary, after an unprecedented grassroots campaign, six IDC senators, including Klein, were defeated by progressive challengers backed by the group, No IDC NY, including Biaggi.

 

“She has been a tireless fighter for her community, and an invaluable member of the New York State Senate,” Rivera said. “We need her leadership in Washington and I am proud to support her bid for Congress. I look forward to continuing to work with her to deliver for hardworking New Yorkers.”

 

For his part, Sen. James Skoufis, who represents much of Orange County, parts of southern Ulster County, and parts of northern Rockland County, said from day one in the State Senate, Biaggi had been a champion for ethics reform, rooting out corruption, and cleaning up government—things which he said were in short supply in Washington today. “Alessandra is exactly the kind of strong willed, independent Democrat we need more of in Congress. I’m proud to endorse her,” he said.

 

Reacting to the news, Biaggi said, “I am honored to receive endorsements from twelve of my Senate colleagues. Over the past three years, we have worked together to meaningfully deliver for New Yorkers from codifying Roe v. Wade, to passing sweeping tenant protections and groundbreaking climate legislation.” She added, “My time in Albany was shaped by the partnerships and friendships I built with these senators, and I am so grateful to have their support behind my campaign for Congress.”

 

As reported, the senator had previously garnered the support of Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) and New York City Comptroller Brad Lander.

 

Other candidates in the Democratic primary for NY-3, according to Ballotpedia, include Melanie D’Arrigo, as reported, who was born in Lindenhurst, New York,  earned her B.A. from Barnard College in 2003, and her M.S. from Long Island University in 2012, and Jon Kaiman, who also sought election to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent NY-3, in 2016, and was defeated by the incumbent Democratic congressman, Tom Suozzi. Kaiman is a self-described husband and father, former Nassau District Court judge, and former North Hempstead town supervisor. 

 

Additional candidates include Navjot Kaur, Joshua Lafazan, a Northwell Health employee, who became the youngest Nassau County legislator when he beat an incumbent in a Trump district in 2017, Reema Rasool, a self-described, life-long New Yorker, business builder, social entrepreneur, community organizer, and mother of two boys, and Robert Zimmerman, one of 44 superdelegates from New York who supported former Secretary of State and then presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, for the 2016 Democratic nomination.

 

Maryann Maltese, a realtor sales associate at Huntington Homes – Laffey Real Estate, has also announced her intention to run for the seat. Maltese is a former hair designer/stylist at The Falcon and the Two Crowes, and a former regional manager/chief of staff at NYS Assembly.

 

 

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