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“The special election process in New York State, like Gerrymandering, is yet another example of our corrupt and boss-driven system.  We need to support strong young candidates like Gonzalez to finally bring real reforms to our state electoral process,” says Bill Samuels, founder New Roosevelt

New York, NY – Today Bill Samuels, founder of the Albany reform organization, New Roosevelt, endorsed progressive candidate Jesus Gonzalez, who is running in the hotly contested special election for the 54th Assembly District in Brooklyn, NY.  Gonzalez, a Democrat, is running as the Working Families Party candidate and is the only true reform candidate in the primary. Samuels slammed the special election process as badly flawed and patently undemocratic, and one more reason is it difficult for candidates who are not favored by party bosses to run for office.

“Thanks to our flawed state constitution and archaic political process, local party bosses generally get to choose who the Democratic candidate and presumptive Assemblyperson will be,” Samuels said. “Bosses love elections without opponents, but they’re bad for democracy and bad for New York.  Residents of the 54th are lucky that a bright, dedicated reformer like Jesus Gonzalez, a Democrat who is running on the Working Families Party (WFP) line has stepped forward to challenge this autocracy. The system is broken, disgraceful and must be changed. I applaud the valiant efforts of Gonzalez and WFP in their continued efforts to reform Brooklyn politics by letting voters have a real choice and that is why I fully support Gonzalez’s candidacy.”

Gonzalez thanked Samuels and New Roosevelt for their primary endorsement. “I am excited and honored to receive the endorsement from Bill and his reform Albany organization, New Roosevelt,” Gonzalez said. “I appreciate the support and recognition from an organization that both shares my views on reforming Albany and was an early supporter of another reformer Gustavo Rivera, who handily defeated Pedro Espada.”

Samuels echoed that he sees many similarities between Gonzalez and another young reform-minded progressive candidate New Roosevelt successfully supported last year for State Senate, Gustavo Rivera. Rivera ended up defeating corrupt Democratic incumbent Pedro Espada for a Bronx State Senate seat, despite having the full benefits of Albany’s notorious incumbency protection system.

“Like Rivera, Jesus Gonzales, is a fresh new progressive face in New York politics who is battling an entrenched and corrupt political party boss system that puts personal power and preservation ahead of the people,” Samuels said. “Compare that with Gonzalez’s support for non-partisan redistricting which could easily create unforeseen challenges once he is elected. He would rather do what is right for the long-term than put short-term political expediency first.”

“Gonzalez is also reflective of the changing nature of Brooklyn, which is becoming more and more a hotbed of creativity and small business entrepreneurship in the city. The voters of the 54th Assembly district deserve a candidate who reflects those values and that is Gonzalez.”

“Last and possibly most important, a vote for Gonzalez is a vote in favor of change and reform in Brooklyn and beyond. If we can mobilize voters on behalf of candidates such as Gonzalez, it will mark an encouraging sign for young reformers throughout this city, who want to take on the entrenched and corrupt political system and change it for the better.”

According to a recent report by Citizens Union, the State Assembly, 31 percent of State Assembly members, or 46 of 150 were first elected in a special election. Under state election law, had the Governor had not opted to call a Special Election, there would have been a September primary in which all three candidate could have run, leading to a November election (due to the fact that the seat was vacant during the regular June petitioning process).

For more information about the New Roosevelt, go to www.newrooseveltinitiative.com.

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