Press Releases

Grace Meng announces nearly 2 dozen Northeast endorsements

Press Release
February 9, 2017

Washington D.C. – Ahead of this weekend’s forum in Baltimore, Grace Meng announced the endorsement of 22 prominent Democrats from across the Northeast: District of Columbia Democratic Committee Chair Anita Bonds; New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Assemblyman Denny Farrell, Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, National College Demcorats President Marv McMoore , Jennifer Cunningham, Emily Giske, Robert Zimmerman, and Dr. Hazel Dukes (all of whom are New York DNC voting members); New Jersey Democratic National Committeemember Tonio Burgos; US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; and New York Congressmembers Tom Suozzi, Kathleen Rice, Nydia Velázquez, Hakeem Jeffries, Yvette Clarke, Carolyn Maloney, Adriano Espaillat, Nita Lowey, Paul Tonko, Louise Slaughter, and Brian Higgins. These endorsements come on the heels of support from New York’s Governor and a range of DNC voting members and elected officials.

“I’m so honored to have this groundswell of support from DNC members and strong Democrats from across the Northeast,” said Grace Meng. “I embrace the diversity of these supporters and look forward to working with all of them to improve our communities, our Democratic Party, and our country.”

Antia Bonds has served as an at-large Councilwoman on the Council of the District of Columbia since 2012, but has been working in D.C. City politics since 1972. She has been chair of the District of Columbia Democratic Committee since 2006.

NY Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has represented the northeast Bronx since his election in 2000 and has served as Speaker since 2015, when he was elected as the first African-American to the post.

Assemblyman Denny Farrell has represented West Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood since his election in 1974.

Jay Jacobs has served as Nassau County Democratic Chair since 2001 and served as Chair of the New York State Democratic Committee from 2009 – 2012. Marv McMoore has served as the National President of College Democrats of America since 2015 and works as an aide in the New York City Mayor’s office.

Jennifer Cunningham is the Managing Director of the New York offices of SKDKnickerbocker. She has served as a communications aide to Governor Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and numerous other New York politicians.

Emily Giske is a partner at Bolton-St. James. She has lobbied on a range of issues, from multi-million dollar land use projects to marriage equality and intellectual property rights.

Robert Zimmerman is a founding partner of Zimmerman/Edelson, a marketing and communications agency, as well as a major fundraiser for Democratic candidates.

Dr. Hazel Dukes is the President of the NAACP New York State Conference as well as President of the Hazel N. Dukes & Associates Consultant Firm, that focuses on public policy, health, and diversity. She also is a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors, the NAACP Executive Commitee, and various NAACP board sub-committees.

Throughout his career, Tonio Burgos has served as an appointee of New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, New York Governors Mario Cuomo and George Pataki, and President Bill Clinton. Tonio has been a Democratic National Committeeman for over 20 years.

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has represented New York in Congress since 2007, serving as a Representative before being appointed to the Senate to fill the vacancy left by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009.

Representative Tom Suozzi was elected to Congress in 2016 and has previously served as Nassau County Executive and the Mayor of Glen Cove.

Prior to her election in 2014, Representative Kathleen Rice worked as the Nassau County District Attorney, Assistant U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia, and an Assistant Kings County District Attorney.

Representative Nydia Velázquez has represented people of Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan in Congress for over two decades and served as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Representative Hakeem Jeffries was first elected to the New York Assembly in 2006 before being elected to Congress in 2012.

Representative Yvette Clarke was elected to Congress in 2006 and served as a member of the New York City Council prior to that, where she succeeded her mother, Una Clarke.

Representative Carolyn Maloney was elected to Congress in 1992, where she was the first woman to serve as chair of the Joint Economic Council. She was previously a New York City Councilwoman.

Representative Adriano Espaillat served as a New York State Assemblyman and Senator before his 2016 election, where he became the first Dominican-American and the first formerly undocumented immigrant to be sworn into Congress.

Representative Nita Lowey is currently serving her 14thterm in Congress and additionally served as the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2001 – 2002, the first woman and first New Yorker to hold the post.

Representative Paul Tonko was elected to Congress in 2008 and previously was the President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority as well as a longtime State Assemblyman.

After spending four years as a State Assemblywoman, Representative Louise Slaughter was elected to Congress in 1987 and is the current Dean of the New York Congressional Delegation.

Representative Brian Higgins was on the Buffalo Common Council and a member of the New York State Assembly before he was elected to Congress in 2004.

These new NY endorsements join Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State Chair Byron Brown, Vice Chair Christine Quinn, Congressmembers Gregory Meeks and Sean Patrick Maloney, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel in supporting Grace in her home state.

In addition, these endorsements also join Congressmembers John Lewis, Judy Chu, Maxine Waters, and Barbara Lee; Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers; Stuart Appelbaum, President of Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union; Peter Ward, President of the Hotel Trades Council; the Chairs of the Democratic Parties in Alabama, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming; Bel Leong-Hong, the DNC Caucus Chair for Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders; Andrew Lachman, the Chair of the DNC Small Business Council; Earl D Fowlkes Jr., Chair of the DNC LGBT Caucus; Betty Richie, DNC Rural Council Chair; and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA).