Dec. 23, 2019 By Allie Griffin
Former gubernatorial candidate and “Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon formally endorsed Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens Borough President today.
In a letter to supporters, Van Bramer’s campaign announced he received endorsements from both Nixon and Zephyr Teachout, a former state Attorney General candidate and Fordham Law professor, on Monday.
Nixon, a progressive advocate who lost the Democratic primary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018, credited Van Bramer for taking on the “Queens machine” to win his seat in City Council in 2009 and pushing for “groundbreaking” campaign finance reform in NYC — “opening the door for a new era of progressive politics in the city.”
“Whether bringing people together to defend immigrant communities, fighting for funding for our precious public libraries, safer streets or the MTA, or standing up against Trump’s hateful rhetoric and policies, Jimmy is a champion for the people,” Nixon said in a statement. “Queens needs a progressive fighter who won’t be beholden to political bosses, rich donors or big corporations.”
Van Bramer was the second city council member to endorse Nixon in the 2018 gubernatorial race. He announced his an endorsement of the lifelong New Yorker one day after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shocked the Queens Democratic establishment by beating incumbent Joe Crowley in the 14th District primary.
At the time, Van Bramer, who had endorsed Crowley in that race, said his support for Nixon was inspired by Ocasio-Cortez’s victory. He said her win showed that voters wanted “strong, bold” Democrats free from the political establishment.
The council member also endorsed Zephyr Teachout for attorney general in 2018 — but only after rescinding his original endorsement of Public Advocate Letitia James once AOC beat Crowley.
Van Bramer then told the New York Daily News he made the switch decision after seeing each campaign play out in the context of the anti-Queens machine movement and Ocasio-Cortez’s victory.
“I believe that [Teachout’s] independence from all of the power brokers, including the governor, is something that we should all want in an attorney general,” Van Bramer told the Daily News at the time. “And you know, I want to be true to my own personal politics and principles, and also actually honor sort of the movement that’s been going on in Queens.”
In her endorsement of Van Bramer, Teachout said the councilman is a real progressive willing to fight against billion-dollar corporations and put people first.
“We don’t need more party politicians beholden to big real estate,” Teachout said in a statement. “Jimmy is the only candidate in this race who’s proven throughout his career that he’s not afraid to take on powerful interest and win. From defeating Amazon, to defying the party bosses, to organizing to get money out of politics, Jimmy is the true progressive choice for Queens Borough President.”
Van Bramer has been working to position himself as the progressive candidate in a crowded field fighting for the Queens borough president seat.
A special election for the position will be held after the current BP Melinda Katz vacates the seat to become Queens district attorney in January.
Others vying for the seat include Council Members Costa Constantinides and Donovan Richards, former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman and law enforcement reform advocate Anthony Miranda.