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*PREFERRED CANDIDATE*

NANTASHA WILLIAMS – DEM
Age: 28
Occupation: Former Chief of Staff in the NYS Assembly
Education: Virginia Commonwealth University, B.A.; Rockefeller College of Public Affairs, M.P.A
Candidate Finance Filings
Campaign Website

Nantasha Williams is the former Chief of Staff for Assemblymember Diana Richardson. She has also served as interim Executive Director at the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Caucus, and was a Legislative Director and Caucus Liaison for New York State Assemblymember Karim Camara. She is running for office because she wants to apply her knowledge of Albany to help fix a political system that she sees as broken. Williams’s top legislative priorities include education, youth development, and homeowner protection. She is especially concerned with accountability and transparency in government, and wants to create a state campaign finance system similar to that of NYC. She also wants to expand community engagement through neighborhood councils and town hall meetings. Like her competitors, Williams opposes holding a Constitutional Convention because she fears that it will threaten labor regulations. She did not take a position on consolidating the court system or consolidating state and federal primaries. Citizens Union has some concerns about her viability, given her relatively sparse financing and limited endorsements. Nevertheless, Citizens Union prefers Williams because of her legislative experience and enthusiastic support for reform.

 

Bryan Block – Dem
Has not returned questionnaire
Candidate could not be scheduled for an interview
Candidate Finance Filings

 

 

Sabine French – Dem
Has not returned questionnaire
Candidate could not be scheduled for an interview

 

 

Leroy Gadsden – Dem
Has not returned questionnaire
Candidate could not be scheduled for an interview
Candidate Finance Filings

 

 

ROY PAUL – DEM
Age: 29
Occupation: CEO, RP Media Inc
Education: Queens College, B.A.; The New School, M.A.
Candidate Finance Filings
Campaign Website

Roy Paul is the CEO of RP Media Inc., and is a founding member of the Southeast Queens Young Democrats and Southeast Queens for Community Action. He has stated that he was also the youngest African-American to be elected to public office in New York State, having served on a school board at the age of 19. He is running for office to pursue what he views as necessary reforms in state government. His top legislative priorities include education, securing state funding for senior programs, and reforming the campaign finance system. Like his competitors, Paul opposes holding a Constitutional Convention because of concerns about how workers’ rights would be impacted. Paul also opposes consolidating state and federal primaries, and establishing a later start date for the fiscal year. He did not take a position on four other Citizens Union reform goals. Citizens Union appreciates Paul’s enthusiastic support of some reform issues, and believes that he is a valuable community advocate.

 

CLYDE VANEL – DEM
Age:42
Occupation: Owner and Lawyer at Vanel Law Firm
Education: SUNY Farmingdale, B.A.; Boston University, J.D.
Candidate Finance Filings
Campaign Website

Clyde Vanel is the owner of Vanel Law Firm, an intellectual property and business law firm, and is seeking office because he wants to increase employment in his district. Vanel’s top legislative priorities include increasing economic activity and quality of life, funding public schools, and protecting small businesses. Vanel wants to increase transparency of outside income, but does not support a general cap on outside income. Like his competitors, he opposes holding a Constitutional Convention because of the impact it may have on unions. He did not take a position on several of Citizens Union’s other policy areas. Citizens Union has preferred Vanel in a past City Council election and values his commitment to his district, but does not prefer him in this election because of his opposition to several of Citizens Union’s primary goals.

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