Van Bramer bows out of Queens BP race
by Benjamin Fang
Jan 22, 2020 | 3901 views | 0 0 comments | 170 170 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As recently as last week, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer was announcing new endorsements.
As recently as last week, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer was announcing new endorsements.
The field in the special election for Queens borough president suddenly became narrower.

On Monday morning, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer announced that he is dropping out of the race.

In a statement he posted on Twitter, Van Bramer said “family circumstances” that he has been weighing for some time caused him to reconsider the timing and feasibility of his borough-wide campaign.

“Prioritizing my responsibilities as a son and brother is where my attention needs to be right now,” he said. “While this is a difficult decision, this is the right one for me and my family at this time.

“I will of course continue to fight for the working people of our borough and city everyday in the New York City Council and beyond,” he added.

Van Bramer’s third and final term in the City Council representing Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and parts of Astoria and Maspeth will conclude in 2021.

According to the Campaign Finance Board, Van Bramer had raised more than $310,000 in contributions as of the January 15th filing, the second highest in the race behind former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley.

He also transferred $195,000 from his previous campaign accounts, giving him a total of more than $463,000 in his campaign warchest, the most among the eight candidates.

Last week, his campaign turned in 5,000 more signatures than required to make it onto the special election ballot.

Throughout his campaign, Van Bramer received significant endorsements from progressive stalwarts, including Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, former gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon and former New York attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout.

His campaign was also supported by LGBTQ movement veterans, such as former State Senator Tom Duane, trans activist Cecilia Gentili and former Assembly candidate Melissa Sklarz.

Other endorsements Van Bramer received include actor Kal Penn and civil rights activist Shaun King.

After Van Bramer announced his decision to end his campaign, supporters shared words of thanks and encouragement on Twitter.

Cristina Furlong, co-founder of Make Queens Safer, wrote that being a public figure and public servant is a tremendous commitment.

“Best of everything to the (huge) JVB clan,” she wrote.

Peter Beadle, a Community Board 6 member and transit activist, also sent best wishes to Van Bramer.

“It’s not easy making these decisions,” he wrote, “but you need to do what is right for you and your loved ones.”

The special election for Queens borough president will take place on Tuesday, March 24.
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