Neighborhoods: Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bentonhurst, Marine Park, and parts of Sheepshead Bay and Midwood
Andrew S. Gounardes ★ Endorsed Candidate
Democratic, Working Families Party, Serve America Movement
Occupation: New York State Senator
Education: Hunter College B.A., George Washington University J.D.
Candidate Website: AndrewGounardes.com
Andrew Gounardes is currently the Senator for District 22; he chairs the Committee on Civil Service and Pensions, and has held this position since his 2018 election. As a freshman lawmaker, he sponsored bills to expand resources to 9/11 service people, promote pedestrian safety, support and reform the MTA, and increase funding to public schools and universities. Gounardes’ campaign issues include passing greater workplace protections against sexual harassment in Albany, public transportation reform, increasing support for the LGBT community, funding public education and universities, and more. Gounardes further offers a substantial reform platform on a wide variety of issues, including anti-corruption, voting reform, public financing of elections, strengthening independent investigations, and reforming the special elections process. He opposes Citizen Unions’ position on the new redistricting constitutional amendment, indicating that he supports the proposed changes, including ending prison gerrymandering and eliminating the supermajority vote requirement. Citizens Union was deeply impressed with Senator Gounardes, particularly with his extensive knowledge of the issues and their relation to the current legislation in development, as well as his understanding of the demands of the position in both the Senate and his district. Citizens Union particularly appreciated his forthright approach when discussing policy issues when he knew his position was not in line with the CU agenda. For these reasons, Citizens Union strongly endorses Andrew Gounardes in this race.
Vito J. Bruno
Republican, Conservative, Independence
Occupation: Self Employed/ Entertainment Company Owner
Education: Pratt Institute B. Arch.
Candidate Website: BrunoForNY.com
Vito Bruno is a nightlife and music industry entrepreneur who is running as the Republican and Conservative Party candidate in South Brooklyn’s 22nd district. Bruno’s campaign goals center on three primary issues: recovering from COVID-19, the affordability crisis in South Brooklyn, and repealing bail reform laws. Bruno stresses his position as the ‘law and order’ candidate, focusing on his opposition to bail reform and support of police officers. He opposes several items on the Citizens Union questionnaire, including no excuse absentee voting, same day voter registration, automatic re enfranchisement of people on parole, poll sites on college campuses, resolving the affordability crisis, and reducing campaign contribution limits. During his interview, Bruno focused on his own experience as a businessman and father, and did not express a particular commitment to government reform. Citizens Union appreciates Vito Bruno’s dedication to public service, but found that many of his positions were not in line with the CU agenda.