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Van Bramer Endorses Amit Bagga to Succeed Him in the City Council

Amit Bagga and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (Photo: courtesy of Van Bramer)

June 16, 2021 By Allie Griffin

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has endorsed Amit Bagga from a sea of candidates vying for his seat in the City Council.

Van Bramer announced his endorsement in the midst of early voting and less than a week away from Election Day.

“In a crowded field, which includes several terrific candidates, I was proud to rank Amit Singh Bagga #1 when I went to vote this past Saturday,” he said in a statement. “Amit is smart, thoughtful, progressive, and has experience in government that will make him effective on day one.”

Van Bramer chose Bagga — the former deputy director of the NYC Census 2020 — out of 15 Democratic candidates on the ballot for the District 26 seat representing Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and parts of Astoria.

The council member said he would be announcing the names of five other candidates who he believes would be qualified to take his position in the coming days, but wanted to make it clear that Bagga is his top choice.

Van Bramer, who is running for Queens borough president, was previously tight-lipped on who he would endorse as his replacement. However his longtime chief of staff Matt Wallace endorsed Bagga in May and the candidate was spotted at a backyard fundraising event for Van Bramer’s borough president campaign the same month.

Van Bramer said he identifies with Bagga—both being members of the LGBTQ community. The council member was the first openly gay person to be elected to the 26th Council District in 2009.

“I came out as a gay man in 1989, at a time when we had never elected an out queer person to the City Council,” Van Bramer said.

He said if Bagga is elected, the district would make history again.

“The truth is representation matters and I’ve always been driven by the need for progressive queer folks to run for office and win,” he said. “In the 26th district we have an opportunity to make history again, electing a progressive and experienced fighter who also would be the first queer south Asian ever elected in Queens.”

Van Bramer also said it was important that the City Council have queer representation. Four openly gay members — himself, Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Members Daniel Dromm and Carlos Menchaca — are term-limited and will leave the council at the end of the year.

Bagga said he was proud to receive Van Bramer’s support and endorsed him for Queens Borough President.

He said Van Bramer paved the way for many queer people interested in public service.

“As the first openly queer person to represent our district, Jimmy blazed a courageous trail that has allowed many of us to take on the solemn task of public service while simply being who we are,” Bagga said in a statement. “As a queer South Asian person who’s had to fight for respect and relevance through rooms not designed for people like me, I know that that was not easy.”

He said that Van Bramer would bring his progressive vision and prowess to the borough presidency.

“Throughout his time in the Council, he’s been a staunch fighter for renters, workers, artists, and immigrants, and that’s who he’ll be fighting for when he gets to Borough Hall,” Bagga said. “I’m honored to receive his endorsement for District 26, and proud to endorse him for Borough President.”

Van Bramer is running against incumbent Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley.

Bagga is one of 15 candidates vying for the District 26 seat. The other candidates are Julia Forman, Jesse Laymon, Ebony Young, Emily Sharpe, Hailie Kim, Badrun Khan, Denise Keehan-Smith, Julie Won, Lorenzo Brea, Glennis Gomez, Brent O’Leary, Jonathan Bailey, Steven Raga and Sultan Al Maruf.

Early voting is currently underway and runs through this Sunday, June 20. Election Day is Tuesday, June 22. To find your poll site and see voting hours, click here.

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26 Comments

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LIC

Bagga is one of the most unqualified people running for office. The other novice who is unqualified in Corey Johnson’s chief of staff, Erik Bottcher. Bagga once worked in the appointments office of the mayors office and appointed himself a new job that he had no qualifications for. He’s a joke.

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Anonymous

JVB is a selfish man who did not listen to or care for all his constituents. Him and anyone he supports needs to get out of NY. It will be my pleasure to do my part in voting against him and anyone he supports. Take a job at the library and don’t make decisions for our city or neighborhoods again please.

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Voters are ignored

Rumor today that if Jimmy Van Bramer loses, Brad Lander if he wins Controller seat promised him a big deputy position.

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Anonymous

Jimmy needs to find a job in the private sector or at the public library. He is a man who should not be in public service, since he has admitted to ‘misleading’ Sunnysiders and Woodsiders about his true position on the bike lanes, once he was caught red handed and tried to talk is way out of it, as usually, but his lies, comments, and timelines, didn’t make sense and he had to publicly admit his deceit. Do not rank him on any ballot for Queens Borough President or any other race he may wish to run for in the future. Of course he will get a position, he is part of the political machine he so much talks about being against. Won’t vote for Amit either if that is the person Jimmy wants in the role for his own political purposes. It is laughable that a few people actually buy his statements.

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New Machine is Worse

Who heard of Amit until he ran? He and Julie Won seem to have moved here to run. His posters have lots of national endorsements. Where is reporting on who these people are?

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Enough with the identity politics

How is being sexually attracted to the same sex a qualification for anything? From those tweets, it seems like it’s some sort of accomplishment in and of itself. It isn’t.

I don’t care what they do in their bedrooms. Please stop telling me about it.

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Anonymous

Even more reason to leave Amit’s bubble blank, as well as Van Bramer’s bubble blank on the ballot, since he is saying wants to lead Sunnyside and Woodside in the same manner as Van Bramer has done. We need a more respective and voice in Sunnyside and Woodside and in Queens.

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Fact check

It sounds as though Jimmy Van Bramer is claiming some gay first that is untrue.

The first openly gay candidates who ran and won NYC City Council seat were Thomas Duane in 1991 in District 3, and Antonio Pagán, in District 2, in Manhattan.

Jimmy Van Bramer ran for City Council and lost in 2001, in what is now Daniel Dromm’s Queens neighborhood, District 25. Van Bramer later moved to Sunnyside, Queens, and was elected in District 26 in 2009.

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Queens Boulevard

It’s like Elton John and Freddy Mercury meeting for the first time!

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Anonymous

The saddest thing is that amit might actually win, amd not because he’s good or more reasonable. He’s the same leftist politicians as all the rest of the 15 candidates. However, it might come down to the pure name recognition, and that’s what is sad. Thanks a lot, SP, for covering his every sneeze.

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Rosa

If Amit does win its because the residents of this great district voted for him. No matter what people say or think progressives and socialists have a very strong hold with what people want to get done. Going after the people that typically stay home and getting them to vote also helps during an election. Many people complain but do not go out and vote.

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Anonymous

The other four candidates JVB is going to publicly name in the future should be very worried and should really hope he does not say their name, which will cost them many, many votes at the last minute.

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Anonymous

Oh My! No way for both of them! I won’t rank either of these two during the Primary. I want a real change in leadership for our neighborhood and borough of Queens. The Van Bramer years have been very difficult and declined our neighborhood drastically, especially in his last term. Time for him to leave politics and do not want anyone he endorses to take his place. Vote for anyone else, please.

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Anonymous

With this endorsement, I will not be even ranking him and leaving his bubble blank. The LAST thing Sunnyside & Woodside needs is 4 more years of Van Bramer’s style – not listening to the residents and doing his own thing for himself (Bike Lanes on Skillman Ave & 43 Avenue, Amazon, Barnet Avenue, etc.). Sorry Amit, with this endorsement, you lost my vote and will be leaving both your bubble and Van Bramer’s bubbles blank on tonight’s absentee ballot form I am filling out. I urge others to leave both of these candidate’s bubbles completely blank so they do not get any portion of your vote

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Anonymous

Apparently, Van Bramer not telling the truth, like when he had to publicly apologize when he got caught red handed lying to Sunnysiders and Woodsiders about his true position on the bike lanes totally impresses you. Not for most of Sunyside and Woodside. Van Bramer is out for himself on the backs of the voters once he is elected. If he admits you can not trust him at his own word. Leave his bubble and Amit’s bubbles completely blank so they get no portion of any vote.

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Ugh no thanks

It’s terrible that de Blasio insiders are trying to shove this guy down our throats any which way they can. Read the open letters from a bunch of his former employees detailing their horrific experience with him. Time to send this opportunist packing.

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The Ghost of Mr. Blackwell

Bagga! A patterned shirt with patterned pants! Are you serious???

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Waco Stars

I wonder for how much did Amit sell Sunnyside for Slippery Jimmy’s stamp of approval. Lemmings follow a slimy politicians advice.

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stop the garbage

So, Bagga’s main qualification is that he is gay? I’ll pass: so much for the having the best and the brightest. Not into “symbolism”.

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