As the August primary election approaches, more and more candidates have thrown their hats in the ring, after a new State Senate district emerged from the ashes of the now unconstitutional 17th district.
While the candidates previously running for that district — Elizabeth Crowley, Kristen Gonzalez, and Françoise Olivas — will continue their campaigns in the newly drawn 59th district, they will be joined by new faces mounting a run now that Astoria is included with Long Island City and Greenpoint.
Mike Corbett, a former staff member for city council member Costa Constantinides, announced his candidacy for State Senate simultaneously with an endorsement from Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
“He started his career as a commercial mover and was a member with Teamsters Local 814, where he was elected to its executive board,” LIC Post reports. “He also joined the Young Democrats of America around 2010 and held executive positions with the organization on the local, state and national level. In 2018, he was appointed as a vice chair of the New York State Democratic Party, a position he still holds.”
Nomiki Konst announced her candidacy on the political podcast, the Majority Report. She’s a self-styled progressive candidate based in Astoria. Previously, Konst served as a national surrogate for the Bernie Sanders campaign and helped found Matriach, a group dedicated to electing women to political office. Notably, this is not Konst’s first rodeo, having previously mounted a run for the city’s public advocate in 2019, and running for other offices in other parts of the country.
Some in the Democratic party’s more leftist faction pushed back against Konst’s announcement for fear of potentially splitting the progressive vote that otherwise was likely to be captured by Kristen Gonzalez, whose campaign earned the support of Democratic Socialists of America, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other DSA affiliated politicians.
Restaurant owner Josh Bowen’s brand of brash politics goes against the grain of many mainstream Democratic party views. The first-time candidate made waves with his support of a proposed Amazon headquarters in Queens, (even going so far as to fly out to Seattle to demonstrate his support to Amazon’s head honchos, QNS reports).
Pushing back on what he sees as the party moving further and further left, Bowen touts his support for a strong police force, writing on his public Facebook page: “The NYPD are the greatest police department in the world and Defunding the police was the stupidest political idea that has ever existed.” He also mentions that homelessness will be a focal point of his campaign and that he refuses to use Twitter or Instagram, “as I’m going to take this opportunity to talk to as many people as I can, face to face.”
The primary election has been split into two different dates, thanks to the NY State Supreme Court. The primary for Assembly and other statewide offices will take place on June 28. The Congressional and State Senate primary will take place on August 23.