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Brooklyn Democrats endorse Green James Lane for Congress

p James Lane debateFrom Staten Island Live:

The Southern Brooklyn Democrats have endorsed Green Party candidate James Lane over Brooklyn Democratic Councilman Vincent Gentile in the race for Congress, citing Gentile’s unwillingness to meet with them and Lane being a political outsider.

Posting a statement on Facebook, the club wrote: “Southern Brooklyn Democrats is proud to endorse James Lane in the CD 11 race. Mr. Lane isn’t a career politician; he’s a member of our community who deeply cares about the interests of the people and representing us. It’s long overdue that this district was represented by someone who is ‘by the people, for the people,’ and not some sleazy criminal or party hack. On Tuesday, May 5th, vote James Lane!”

The club covers the neighborhoods of Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Homecrest, Coney Island, Sea Gate, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, and Gerritsen Beach — the first two neighborhoods are included in Gentile’s council district.

Asked why they chose Lane over Gentile, club President Jennifer Thorpe-Moscon said, “We don’t blindly endorse whatever candidate the Democratic Party puts forth; we support the best candidate for the position regardless of party.”

She said the club campaigned for Gentile during his last re-election campaign to the City Council but for the congressional campaign, he did not respond to their requests to meet and didn’t return a candidates’ questionnaire.

“James Lane, by contrast, eagerly joined us at a meeting and talked with us for over an hour about issues in our neighborhoods,” she said. “We believe that Mr. Lane is a candidate who cares deeply about his community, and is running to better that community, not to further his own political career.

The Gentile campaign declined to comment.

The club has a brief history of backing third-party candidates, as it endorsed Green Party candidate for governor, Howie Hawkins, in 2014 instead of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Lane said, “I proudly accept their endorsement of my campaign and platform for independent investigation of police brutality, a Green New Deal of public jobs and services, taxing the 1 percent and Wall Street, and a $15 minimum wage for all workers.”

He added, “As the old saying goes: when you do what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always got. We face existential threats to our environment, economy and communities that demand breaking across our usual boundaries.”

Lane is running against Gentile and Republican District Attorney Daniel Donovan in a May 5 special election for Congress.

Dave Schwab

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