Ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio’s congressional campaign is receiving backing from a former Brooklyn political mainstay, and a city lawmaker who represents parts of the borough and a union — his first official endorsements in the race.
Marty Markowitz, who served as Brooklyn borough president from 2002 to 2013, is supporting de Blasio as he competes in the crowded contest for an open Brooklyn-Manhattan House seat.
“On day one, Bill will be a strong voice for us in Congress. He knows our issues and has served every block of this district as a School Board Member, Councilmember, Public Advocate and Mayor,” Markowitz said in a prepared statement.
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Markowitz, who also was a state senator representing parts of Brooklyn in Albany, gushed about the fellow Democrat de Blasio “delivering” his signature accomplishment while in City Hall — “delivering” universal Pre-K.
“In Washington, he will deliver for this district and be a powerful voice for all New Yorkers,” said Markowitz, 77. “He has my vote and my endorsement.”
New York’s 10th Congressional District is currently represented by Rep. Jerrold Nadler. But following the recent redistricting gerrymander debacle, the Upper West Side, where Nadler lives, was cut out of the 10th and folded into the 12th Congressional district on Manhattan’s East Side.
Nadler opted to not to run for reelection in the 10th CD and instead decided to vie for the 12th CD against Rep. Carolyn Maloney, so the seat the former mayor is seeking is without an incumbent.
In August, de Blasio, whose approval ratings were under water for much of his two terms as mayor and disastrous 2020 presidential bid, will face off in a heavily contested Democratic primary for the 10th CD. Even de Blasio recently admitted that he wound up as one of the city’s most unpopular mayors because he grew out of touch with average New Yorkers and failed to engage with the city’s “aggrieved residents.”
The 10th district race includes US Rep. Mondaire Jones of the Hudson Valley, Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou of Lower Manhattan, Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon of Brownstone Brooklyn, among others who have thrown their hats in the ring.
First-term Councilwoman Mercedes Narcisse, a Democrat whom the then-mayor endorsed during her 2021 bid, is returning the favor for the Aug. 23 congressional election.
“I’ve worked with Bill de Blasio on the ground, in the community, and away from the cameras, on the important issues that face our City,” she said. “Regardless of racial background, immigration status, sexual orientation, or economic situation, Bill sees everyone as people – and always prioritizes uplifting those who need it the most.
Narcisse — who represents Canarsie, Flatlands and Marine Park — added, “He has been here for us when we needed him most, and so I enthusiastically encourage the voters in the 10th district to elect him to Congress in August.”
With the seals of approval from Kings County, the Park Slope homeowner appears to be relying on figures from Brooklyn to boost him in the early stages of the multi-borough race. When he formed his exploratory committee before two days later officially launching his bid, the head of the borough’s Democratic Party said de Blasio is “the most qualified progressive candidate who I believe can win this diverse seat” while stopping short of issuing a formal endorsement.
In addition to the pair of Brooklyn current and former pols, de Blasio will be endorsed by UNITE HERE Local 100, a 17,000-member union representing food service workers at sports arenas, airports and cafeterias in the tri-state area.
On Wednesday afternoon, union members and some of de Blasio’s endorsers — who also include acclaimed liberal economist Jeffrey Sachs — will hold a rally for de Blasio’s campaign, according to a source familiar with the event.
Sachs — director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University — said in a statement, “Bill is a national leader who will be ready from Day 1 to return Congress to common sense, decency, and a focus on working families.”
“Bill is ready to help lead our nation in Congress,” he continued, “and I am proud and excited to support him!”