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Barnwell Refutes Katz’s DA Endorsement Claim

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz (Office of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz)

June 5, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

A flyer released by Melinda Katz’s campaign for Queens District Attorney lists Assembly Member Brian Barnwell as one of her endorsers–something the Assembly Member strongly refutes.

Barnwell, who represents District 30, said he did not endorse Katz—or anyone—in the hotly contested race. He took to Twitter yesterday, flatly stating “I didn’t endorse anyone.”

Staten Island Council Member Joe Borelli soon joined in the conversation, questioning Barnwell’s Twitter statement.

“Not what I heard… just sayin,” Borelli tweeted, to which Barnwell replied “Well you heard wrong Joe. Couldn’t have been any clearer actually.”

The flyer was released after a conversation was had between Barnwell and Katz where Katz and her team believed Barnwell had endorsed her. The whole incident has created some ill will.

“Months ago Assemblyman Barnwell had a conversation over the phone with Melinda where he offered his support,” said Katz campaign spokesperson Grant Fox.

“His name has been on our campaign literature for months. We are happy to remove it and would have done so if he simply asked but instead, he chose to go to the press,” Fox said. “We will remove his name from the flyer and replace it with one of the dozens of other elected officials or groups like NOW, the UFT, or the Stonewall Democrats, who have endorsed Melinda Katz.”

Barnwell, however, seems unclear as to how Katz’s team would have got that impression.

Assembly Member Brian Barnwell (@barnwell30)

“Never said I would endorse her,” Barnwell told City & State, later adding, “I literally had a conversation with Melinda two months ago, and I told her I’m not endorsing anyone in this race. She called me two weeks ago, I didn’t even answer the phone.”

Barnwell did not respond to requests for comment.

The misunderstanding concerning Barnwell’s endorsement isn’t the first time such incidents have occurred in the current Queens DA race.

Both Katz and City Council Member Rory Lancman have claimed endorsements from Queensbridge Houses Tenants Association President April Simpson.

Simpson is featured on the endorsement page of Lancman’s campaign website with the quote “I trust Rory and I’m voting for Rory.” But earlier this week, Katz’s team began distributing copies of a letter signed by three NYCHA tenant association presidents, including Simpson, endorsing Katz in the DA race.

Simpson did not respond to requests for comment.

The endorsement of Rev. Phil Craig of the Greater Springfield Community Church has also been claimed by both candidates. Back in November 2018, Lancman posted a video to Youtube in which Craig, in front of his congregation, says “My vote goes to Rory Lancman.”

According to Craig, however, once Katz joined the race, he rescinded his endorsement from Lancman and chose to support Katz.

“After I sat down with Melinda, I felt that Melinda’s plan of execution and plan as DA will be much more effective and in line with me,” Craig said. “I did tell Rory I apologize but after knowing Melinda is running for DA, there’s no way I can endorse him.”

Craig made a video in support of Katz, which was posted to Facebook just days ago. In the video, Craig says “For those people that are my people, for those people that support me, I’m telling you hands down, I’m supporting Melinda Katz for Queens DA.”

Craig is still listed on Lancman’s endorsement page, with a link to the 2018 video.

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Gardens Watcher

Brian who?? Why do politicians feel they need to endorse anyone for DA anyway?

Alma de Cubano

I would never vote for Katz of Lancman for dog-catcher, never mind DA.

Caban has my vote.


Where is the left-wing lunatic. She will let everyone walk just want to make some more crimes just like the Blasio does and Jimmy Van Bramer does they are crazy. They have no concern to the tax paying citizen.

charles castro

Yeah, hopefully she can help your daughter get a job as a street walker since she wants to make prostitution legal.


Katz has always been sneaky throughout her years as Queens Borough President. I am glad that she is showing it more publicly during her attempt to be Queens District Attorney. Will NOT vote for Katz ever! This was no mistake to put down someone in Woodside/Sunnyside with name recognition, since Van Bramer endorsed another bad candidate I will NOT vote for either. Time for new blood in public office and thank goodness for Term Limits for Katz and Van Bramer and time for all of Sunnyside and Woodside to go out and vote against the current politicians trying to run for new offices to stay in power and against the people they endorse.


I’m pretty happy that Jimmy is my representative and I like that he’s local (I’ve never met him but I’ve seen him around.) He’s dedicated, intelligent, and a hard worker. Anyone can say whatever they want but if you are really paying attention to what’s going on you won’t be swayed by some anonymous poster who’s suggesting that we vote against all the incumbents and those whom they’ve endorsed. It’s such an empty and non-constructive comment but the kind that we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing in the Sunnyside Post.


He’s a left-wing lunatic creep. He has no concern for the senior citizens that live in the area. He gave his husband a present for Christmas with the bike lanes. He’s more concerned with his husband then he has for his constituents.


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