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October 22, 2020
Contact: Jake Oliver,, (347) 361-9983

For the First Time in the Organizations 120 Year History, Citizens Union Issues Preference in Race for President

Good Government Group Also Issues Preferences for Senator Andrew Gounardes, Assembly Members Mathylde Frontus and Rebecca Seawright, and Brandon Patterson for an Open Assembly Seat in Staten Island and Brooklyn

To view Citizens Union’s nonpartisan online voter guide, click here

NEW YORK, N.Y. (October 22, 2020) – For the first time in the organization’s history, Citizens Union, New York’s leading good government group, has issued a preference in a race for United States President, endorsing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Senator Kamala B. Harris. Citizens Union also issued preferences in four legislative races, endorsing incumbents Senator Andrew Gounardes, Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, and Brandon Patterson for an open Assembly seat in a district spanning parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn.

“While the focus of Citizens Union has always been on local and state government, the stakes are simply too high for us to sit on the sidelines. The issues that are core to our mission – honesty, transparency, accountability, accessibility, integrity and ethics in government – are on the ballot next month. Given this consequential moment in the history of our city and country, we are compelled to weigh in on this critical race,” said Randy Mastro, Board Chair of Citizens Union.

For more than 120 years, Citizens Union has been a non-partisan force for good government in New York. Founded in response to the corrupt political bosses of the Tammany Hall era, Citizens Union has since made an essential part of its mission to express preferences for state and local candidates who share its values.

“Today, we are both endorsing Joe Biden and rejecting Donald Trump. What we need now more than ever is someone who will strive to unite us, someone who will reach across the aisle to build consensus, someone who will restore the dignity of the office, someone who respects the rule of law and democratic institutions, and someone who will tell us the truth,” Mastro said. “That person is Joe Biden.” 

Citizens Union’s nonpartisan candidate evaluations are among the most extensive and methodical in the state. For the Presidential race, a screening committee evaluated the candidates’ positions and record on issues including elections and voting, government checks and balances, police accountability, the 2020 Census, as well as candidates’ ability to propose thoughtful solutions to represent the challenges facing the United States, and the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on New York City. The evaluation included the presidential candidates from the two major parties.

In addition to their historic endorsement of former Vice President Biden and Senator Harris, Citizens Union also issued preferences in four state legislative races. Reform-minded legislators Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus of Brooklyn and Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright of Manhattan earned Citizens Union’s support in their respective bids for reelection. The group also gave its endorsement to Brandon Patterson, the current deputy chief of staff for State Senator Diane Savino, in his race to fill an open Assembly seat in parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn.

“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,” said Betsy Gotbaum, Executive Director of Citizens Union.

You can learn more about these races and candidates by reading Citizens Union’s Online Voter’s Guide.

Citizens Union Endorsed Candidates in the 2020 general election:

United States President/Vice President
Joseph R. Biden/Kamala B. Harris (D/WFP)

State Senate
Senate District 22 – Andrew S. Gounardes (D/WFP/Serve America Movement)

Assembly District 46 – Mathylde Frontus (D)
Assembly District 64 – Brandon Patterson (D/Ind)
Assembly District 76 – Rebecca Seawright (Rise and Unite)

About Citizens Union
For 120 years, Citizens Union (CU) has been a force for transparency, accountability and ethics in New York’s City and State governments. A nonpartisan organization, some of our current initiatives include increased voter participation and civic engagement, greater police accountability, and an accurate 2020 census. Learn more at


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