Neighborhoods: East Shore, Staten Island and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Brandon Patterson ★ Endorsed Candidate
Occupation: Deputy Chief of Staff, New York State Senate
Education: SUNY Albany, B.A., Baruch College, M.P.A.
Candidate Website: PattersonForNY.com
Brandon Patterson is Deputy Chief of Staff for State Senator Diane Savino, whose district overlaps with this one. A lifelong Staten Islander, he has spent the majority of his working life on the staff of local Democratic politicians, in both the City Council and State Senate. He is running for the 64th Assembly District as a “pragmatic Democrat”, highlighting practical issues faced by his prospective constituents. His goals include increasing affordability through lower taxes, helping small businesses by reducing red tape, investing in the district’s public transportation, providing lifetime healthcare for first responders and front line workers, expanding the Excelsior Scholarship, preventing cuts to the CUNY budget, and pursuing adaptive reuse. In his interview, he stressed his focus on serving the needs of his constituents as directly and effectively as possible. Though Patterson opposes several items on the Citizens Union questionnaire, including same day voter registration, mandated poll sites on college campuses, special election reform, lowering contribution limits for lobbyists, moving campaign matching program to an independent body, and restructuring the state Board of Elections, he clarified his positions during his interview, indicating support for the overall goal of these reforms, but not the precise plan laid out in the CU agenda. For instance, while he does not support same day voter registration, he believes that both voting registration and party registration deadlines should move significantly closer to Election Day. Additionally, while he does not believe that contribution limits should be set differently for lobbyists than other donors, he does believe that campaign contribution limits overall should be lowered. He also agreed the Board of Elections’ structure needs to be re-evaluated, and as a former BOE worker, admitted that hiring largely depends on
patronage. During his interview, Patterson also named ethics as his number one reform issue, including reforming JCOPE. Citizens Union found Patterson to be knowledgeable, found his positions and arguments to be coherent and cogently presented, and believe that he has a genuine interest in representing and providing supportive services for his constituency. For these reasons, as well as his experience and knowledge representing the area through his work for local representatives, Citizens Union endorses Brandon Patterson in this race.
The candidate did not respond to Citizens Union’s questionnaire