June 23, 2019 By Shane O’Brien
State Sen. Mike Gianaris faces a challenger in next year’s Democratic primary.
Justin Potter, a Long Island City resident, announced the launch of his campaign to represent the 12th Senate district recently, arguing that people can no longer count on Gianaris to take a pragmatic approach to policymaking.
Much of Potter’s criticism stems from Gianaris’ handling of Amazon as well as the lawmaker’s sudden shift to the left.
Potter, a self-described stay-at-home dad, said that Gianaris played a major role that led to the tech-giant’s decision to abandon its plans to create a Long Island City campus. The campus, advocates said, would have brought as many 25,000 jobs to Long Island City and boosted the local economy.
He started a ‘Defeat Gianaris’ movement soon after the deal collapsed. He created a website and has gained a twitter following. The movement subsequently led to the creation of Citizens for Queens, a centrist group he and others plan to grow within the Democratic party.
Citizens for Queens has just started raising money for Potter’s campaign.
Potter said that Gianaris has lost his way by attempting to curry favor with the left wing of the Democratic party, which has gained strength since the election of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He labeled Gianaris an ‘opportunist,’ noting his last minute support for Tiffany Caban who is running for Queens District Attorney as an example.
Potter said Gianaris ignored the polling evidence that showed strong support for the Amazon deal in Long Island City and other parts of Queens.
“We believe Senator Gianaris is more interested in scoring political points than he is in protecting the long-term viability of our community. We need a representative who will embrace and leverage extraordinary opportunities,” Potter said.
Gianaris, along with a multitude of other Queens Democrats, opposed the Amazon deal on the grounds that the company would receive $3 billion in state and city financial incentives and was anti-union.
Potter, who was a registered Republican until making the switch this year, said that his former party affiliation should not undermine his campaign. He said he was registered with the GOP so he could have a say on the direction of the Republican party. He said that he has always voted for the Democratic candidate in presidential elections.
The catalyst for making the switch was his decision to run for office, he noted, since the winner of the Democratic primary traditionally wins the general. However, he said his beliefs are more aligned with the Democrats in any case.
For instance, Potter expressed his support for the legislation that permits undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license. He also fully supports recreational marijuana and backs climate change legislation.
Potter also said that he supports congestion pricing, but that it needs to be done in the right way. He said it would wreak havoc on the local area, for instance, if people were to drive to western Queens, park their cars and ride the subway into Manhattan.
Potter said he helped form Citizens for Queens in April, in response to the party going too far left in his mind. The group plans to field candidates in other Democratic primaries and raise funds for them.
Gianaris, in a statement, said that he welcomes a challenge and noted Potter’s previous Republican affiliation.
“I successfully fought Republicans and their agenda over the last several years and I look forward to doing it again in this campaign,” he said. “I am confident my record protecting our neighborhoods from further displacement and fighting for better subways and delivering justice for tens of thousands on New Yorkers will be recognized by the voters.”
The primary will take place in June 2020.
These comments from folks like “Woodside Al” and “Steppenwolf” who probably consider themselves “progressives,” denigrating a father taking the lead on childcare are something else.
I own an e-commerce business that I started in 2005. When we were expecting our first child, I re-organized the business so I could take care of our child (now children) while still running the business. This allowed my wife to better pursue her career, which involves travel, and long and unpredictable hours.
We’re extremely fortunate we could do this. There is no disputing that. However, I also don’t think that there is any disputing that if we want to see more equality in the workplace, more husbands and fathers need to step up and take the lead on childcare, as wives and mothers have done for generations.
Dads, don’t let folks like “Woodside Al” and “Steppenwolf” discourage you from taking the lead on childcare and supporting your wife in her career if you can make it work. I have no regrets whatsoever.
If your are who you say you are, you seem to be an opportunist Republican who wants to take advantage of the overlap between the pro-business Republican schtick and the corporate democrats like Clinton/Obama et. al.
I don’t want corporate Democrats, much less Republicans in their clothing. Democrats need to win back working people, not suck up to the oligarchic paymasters. Those are the policies that have left us with stagnated wages, broken unions, regulatory capture and set us up for the disastrous Tangerine-in-Chief. I urge you to return to your children and your online business.
Sounds like Mr. Used-to-be-Republican was hoping for a job from Amazon to get him out of toddler hell. Now he’s decided that maybe Albany will be his ticket out of stay-at-home daddydom. For all his fulminating though, he seems to have missed the fact that both Ocasio-Cortez and Caban won. I don’t think an unemployed former Republican is really a serious candidate in this district or any real threat to Gianaris.
‘Stay @ home Dad’….I don’t think watching kiddie programming and jamming out to ‘baby shark’ qualifies one to represent us in office.
Do you think that Trump having absolutely no experience at all was bad?! You sound like a communist and marxist socialist librul AOC.
If he is not latino… no chance..
Gianaris is very vulnerable in the next election due to he and Van Bramer’s position on the Amazon deal. They both said they believed in what they did even if it cost their reelections and voters. But, they are both counting on voters to forget the past in 2020.
Centrist Democrats are more like what used to be called moderate Republicans back in the day before the GOP went bonkers. (There were even LIBERAL Republicans then! EEEEK) So, no thanks.
cant wait to vote for this guy. cortez is a total fruit cake. She wants to close the prisons in the city and let the criminals roam free. How can any sensible person agree with that, and forget about her 2 puppets,van bramer and gianiris. total sheep
Who’s letting criminals “roam free”? What in the info-wars-is-my-main-source-of-news type of shit are you on? In what city and state in the Nation would any city close a jail and not replace it and just let criminals “roam free”? This has got to be the stupidest thing I’ve read in a while.
Her words not mine.
“For so long, what was taken for granted we had a heuristic, a rule of thumb, that jails and locking people up was what community safety meant. And electing Tiffany will change that,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“For me, I don’t feel more safe when my neighbors are in jail. I believe that what safety is is freedom from fear.”
Nothing in her comments there points to letting criminals roam free.
Also, one other point, Van Bramer and Gianaris long pre-date AOC. Now they’re her puppets? Please explain.
I thought you’d provide any shred of evidence that she said she wants “criminals to roam free?”
Jesus H., Her CNN interview is NOT info wars. Per CNN: “… her long-term goal is to achieve a “population zero” in the city’s prisons.”
She is FOR closing Rikers and AGAINST building new jails in Queens. She isn’t just deciding which crimes get prosecuted; she’s ignoring any laws she doesn’t like. That’s not her job.
The legislature makes the laws. Not the Queens DA.
Yeah, as an aspiration, empty jails is a good thing. The jails are too full of people who just can’t afford bail or are there on minor, non-violent charges. We lock up way too many people in general. Obviously there are nuts that are a danger to society. That ain’t what she’s talking about.
> The legislature makes the laws. Not the Queens DA.
Right, which is why “deciding which crimes get prosecuted” is exactly her job.
Otherwise we can go on assuming you’re completely wrong.
Maybe tone down the Fox News talking points?
Obviously your command and comprehension of the english language falls short. try and read between the lines of what the two socialist said.
Because she said so? Stop watching Rachel Maddow #Rachelmaddowislovelyandamazing
You’re not going to win…go back to Cul-de-Sac, USA or where ever the hell you’re from! Also, that weak ass shot of the 59th St Bridge, which you probably call the Ed Koch, isn’t going to help. REPUBLI-CON! DINO! I hope this makes snowflake, Trump-tard & AOC-hating faction of the Sunnyside Post melt…
A typical minority’s racist. But I guess it’s politically incorrect to call a minority a racist. They can make whatever ignorant racist comments they want. Have some courage and print this letter. I can’t wait to work for and vote for him.
>A typical minority’s racist
Was this supposed to be words? Or mean anything?
>it’s politically incorrect to call a minority a racist
no its not
>They can make whatever ignorant racist comments they want
No they can’t, for more information read this article or any other article about it, it’s full of people shouting “muh racism”
1) Giannaris is not left wing
2) Lol what a tool “Potter, who was a registered Republican until making the switch this year, said that his former party affiliation should not undermine his campaign.” Yeah, OK buddy. And the Mets should win the penant.
There are many centrists from both parties who are sick of Gianaris, Nolan and Ocasio. And yes, LITTLE JIMMY.
A Republican in disguise is not going to get my vote.
My mixed race GOP family thinks you are very entertaining; we are probably more diverse than you are. Gianaris is a total fraud who wins because the Dem robots vote for him without thinking.
That’s super! I’m glad you’re entertained. I would hope that a family would be more diverse than an individual. As for Giannaris, I’d happily vote for a left wing challenger.
Somebody with intelligence wouldn’t get your vote either.
You’re right: I’m voting for you.
A marxist which is what most Dems are will never get my vote.
A marxist? What? Did Trump tweeted that once so you have to keep parroting it?
Does Gianaris view class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and take a dialectical view of social transformation?
…or do you just have no idea what Marxism means?
This is what we need. Stop these fanatics on the left and right from ruining our country.
Yes, this is what we need. Not right wing or left wing fanatics. Sensible middle of the road people who will compromise and work for all the people. How do I get in touch with this guy?
He’s alt right who calls himself “centrist”
Gianaris is ALT LEFT – a Marxist who thinks we the People should support him; also, a big supporter of killing babies. He also voted for illegal immigrants to receive driver’s licenses while American citizens have to show many documents to get one and soon the regular New York State driver license will not be valid to travel on airlines or enter federal courthouses. You can thank Gianaris for that one!
You have no idea what that means
> a big supporter of killing babies
Completely false, of course. Are you one of those people that’s too stupid to know what a “fetus” is?
>soon the regular New York State driver license will not be valid…You can thank Gianaris
Completely false, this is a federal regulation
Fetus is Latin for child
I’m not sure a 1-day-old fetus is a baby but ok
Primary is next summer. Plenty of time to ferret that out. He won’t be the only challenger.
Are you for real? He’s borderline left. You need to improve your reading skills.
Now he’s “borderline left?” Not often you see someone completely contradict themselves like that.
BTW “alt left” isn’t happening, stop trying to make it happen
Why is it that everyone that isn’t on the left is automatically alt-right?