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For Immediate Release
October 19, 2018

Media Contact:
Jake Oliver
[email protected]
347 361 9983

CITIZENS UNION ANNOUNCES CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENTS IN NOVEMBER 2018 ELECTIONS

Good Government Group Issues Endorsements for Cuomo, James, DiNapoli and in
3 Legislative Races

NEW YORK, N.Y. (October 19, 2018) – Citizens Union Chair Randy Mastro and Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum today announced Citizens Union’s candidate endorsements in 6 contested races for Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller and state Senate.

After undertaking a rigorous evaluation of 17 candidates for state office, the good government group endorsed Andrew Cuomo for Governor, Letitia James for Attorney General, Thomas DiNapoli for Comptroller, and Liz Krueger, Zellnor Myrie and Andrew Gounardes for state Senate.

“The candidates endorsed by Citizens Union have demonstrated a clear commitment to reforming New York State government so it is more transparent, accountable and accessible. Voters throughout New York State have an opportunity next month to send elected officials to Albany who will stand up for these values and restore faith in our public institutions. We encourage all New Yorkers to take a long, hard look at the candidates seeking their support, and are pleased to offer our endorsement to Andrew Cuomo, Letitia James, Thomas DiNapoli, Zellnor Myrie, Andrew Gounardes and Liz Krueger,” said Betsy Gotbaum, executive director of Citizens Union.

Visit our website to access Citizens Union’s online Voters Directory, which has information about each candidate and the reasons for supporting them or not, as well as other information about voting and elections in New York State.

After careful consideration and extensive interviews with each candidate, Citizens Union has endorsed Andrew Cuomo for Governor. Governor Cuomo has committed to supporting a “database of deals,” which would list all taxpayer subsidies to corporations, and track the state’s return on investment, changing the state law that shields police disciplinary records from the public and said that he would push voting reform in his third term. While acknowledging concerns in our Voters Directory, Citizens Union endorses Andrew Cuomo in this race because of his extensive experience in New York State government, his administration’s many accomplishments, and with the expectation that he will honor his commitment to advance these reforms.

In the race for Attorney General, Citizens Union has endorsed Letitia James. James is committed to utilizing a joint task force between the Attorney General and Comptroller to root out abuses in state government, closing the LLC loophole to end pay-to-play schemes, and civilly prosecuting businesses that use bribes and kickbacks to win political favors. She favors the creation of a statewide public financing system, eliminating housekeeping accounts, and overturning Citizens United v. FEC with the help of other state AGs. James is a seasoned candidate with extensive government experience, and knowledge of the Attorney General’s office. CU believes that Letitia James’s experience, energy, approach to the role of AG and demonstrated record of public service merit her receiving the group’s endorsement in this race.

In the race for Comptroller, Citizens Union has endorsed Thomas DiNapoli. Citizens Union believes that DiNapoli has stabilized and professionalized the Office of the State Comptroller during his tenure and hopes he will use his audit authority aggressively to root out waste and impropriety, and advance a culture of transparency in Albany.

In the races for state Senate in District 20 (Brooklyn), District 22 (Brooklyn) and District 28 (Manhattan), Citizens Union has endorsed Zellnor Myrie, Andrew Gounardes and Liz Krueger.

Zellnor Myrie supports Citizens Union’s entire reform agenda. He has pledged to strongly support the passage of a legislative package on voting rights, which would include a seven-day early voting period, no-excuse absentee voting, and the establishment of an online, streamlined voter registration process. In an interview with Citizens Union, Myrie spoke knowledgably about a host of ethics reforms to prevent corruption and remove opportunities for misconduct, including those supported by Citizens Union. Citizens Union endorses Myrie because of his clarity and conviction on reform issues and the belief that he would be a productive and collaborative legislator.

Gounardes supports all of Citizens Union’s questionnaire items, and in an interview emphasized how important campaign finance and voting reforms were to him. Specifically, he told Citizens Union that reforming the special election process, through which many legislators are first brought into office, and instituting better campaign finance regulations are both especially crucial. Citizens Union endorses Andrew Gounardes because of his strong support for Citizens Union’s issues and his fresh perspective on issues important to CU.

Liz Krueger supports all of Citizen Union’s questionnaire items, especially election reforms to make it easier to vote, register, and change party registration, and expanding municipal home rule. Citizens Union endorses Liz Krueger because of her experience, detailed knowledge of policy, and nuanced approach to dealing with the power dynamics of Albany.

As a nonpartisan government watchdog organization dedicated to improving democratic institutions in New York City and State, Citizens Union evaluates candidates based on their commitment to our reform agenda and their potential to advance these issues, as well as their ability to adequately represent their entire district. In alignment with Citizens Union’s top priorities, candidates were asked about their commitment to voting and campaign finance reform, police accountability, ethics, and municipal home rule.

Citizens Union’s nonpartisan candidate evaluations are among the most extensive and methodical in the state. Each candidate is given a comprehensive questionnaire, asking their positions on key reforms to state government, and is interviewed by a nonpartisan team of the organization’s members. Each candidate per race is interviewed by the same team to ensure the integrity of each assessment and Citizens Union’s Local Candidates Committee reviews each team’s recommendation to support a candidate. In addition to information gathered through the questionnaires and interviews, hundreds of hours of research contribute to the final endorsement decision.

 

Citizens Union Endorsed Candidates in the 2018 election:

New York State
Governor                                           Andrew Cuomo
Attorney General                             Letitia James
Comptroller                                      Thomas DiNapoli

NYS Senate
District 20                                           Zellnor Myrie
District 22                                           Andrew Gounardes
District 28                                           Liz Krueger

 

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