Candidates Endorsed by NYPAN Chapters
All candidates who have been endorsed by a local chapter, automatically receive the endorsement of NYPAN as a whole, *unless* there are other NYPAN chapters that also have jurisdiction in that candidate’s region, in which case, all chapters in the region must work together to endorse.
Ian Golden, Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in NY-23
Ian Golden is a small business owner from Tompkins County, NY. He and his wife Sherry are proud parents of two young daughters, Maren and Nora.
He attended Ithaca College, where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Occupational Therapy. He went on to work with children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and clients in an inpatient rehabilitation setting.
Transitioning to business in 2005 he founded several small community-oriented businesses in upstate NY, including a flagship retail location in the Southern Tier. He is also the owner of an internationally recognized event company focused on trail and mountain running. He’s received honors from the Small Business Association for Business Excellence and namesake honors for a Community Spirit and Wellness Award. He was a member of the Tompkins County Strategic Tourism and Planning Board from 2014 to 2017.
Ian is a competitive athlete, earning collegiate All-American honors, but now prefers low-key trail runs with friends or his dog Indy or runs across the 23rd District.
He is focused on living wage economies, health care as a right, protecting our public schools and ensuring that our youth have the education and vocational skills needed to rebuild our nation. Ian believes that climate change is one of the greatest threats facing our nation and that stepping up to meet the challenge can provide an economic and moral boon for our communities. He is committed to being the change when it comes to reducing the control of special interests over our government.
Liuba Grechen Shirley, Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in NY-02
EMPOWERING WORKERS BOTH DOMESTICALLY AND ABROAD
Liuba has spent her career leading organizations to empower working families both at home and abroad. She has forged partnerships between nonprofits, government, and businesses to tackle issues including economic development, access to health care, paid family leave, and government transparency. She has worked with farmers, diplomats, healthcare workers, government leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Liuba has led delegations to Capitol Hill to lobby for strong American leadership at the UN, has fought to make the use of international aid funds more accountable and less corrupt, and has worked to help restore economically depressed communities around the world.
FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN
Liuba has focused specifically on women’s economic empowerment working on projects for Women Deliver, PL+US: Paid Leave for the US, Vital Voices, Global Health Visions, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Liuba served as a UN Women’s Empower Women’s Global Champion for women’s economic empowerment. Together with UN Women, she launched the #IAmParent campaign for Parental Leave.
PROUD LONG ISLAND ROOTS
Liuba and her family have called Long Island home for five generations. Her mother, Katherine Grechen, is a public school teacher and single mother. Liuba’s grandparents were Russian immigrants who moved to Amityville in the 1940s to build a better life for their children. Her grandmother, whom she was named after, opened a small wool and yarn business, and her grandfather helped build the first lunar module to land on the moon. Liuba’s family taught her the value of hard work and the importance of community, and she and her husband are now raising their two young children in Amityville.
Liuba founded a grassroots group called New York’s 2nd District Democrats to engage Long Islanders in the political process. At first, she thought the group would mostly attract Democrats alarmed by Donald Trump’s policies — but the group has actually welcomed many independents and even some Republicans who want new leadership in NY02. Liuba holds an MBA with specializations in Management, Economics, and Social Innovation from New York University Stern School of Business, and a BA in Politics and Russian from NYU.
Past candidates endorsed by the state-wide organization in 2017:
Kat Brezler, Candidate for New York State Senate District 37
Katherine Brezler, a second-grade public school teacher, has been a staunch advocate for policies that work for New York public education, having collaborated with the Alliance for Quality Education and Citizen Action of New York in efforts to ensure public schools receive fair funding. She sits on NYSUT’s LGBTQ Task Force, which resolves to support legislation banning conversion therapy and to protect intended parental rights. Kat has been fighting for the working families of New York since her early years when she supported “College Not Combat,” a group that focused on decreasing the access of military recruiters to high school campuses.
In 2015, Kat focused her efforts on informing parents of their rights to refuse the state standardized test. With the help of many other statewide coalition groups, they moved the opt-out rate in the state of New York from 2% to 20%. This brought national recognition to the fight and moved the vote for ESSA, the Every Student Success Act, forward. Because of this momentum, President Obama signed into law the ESSA, a landmark reform that requires every school to provide the best education for their students. Kat continues to fight for fiscal equity in underserved schools that have not gotten their fair share from Albany.
Because Kat’s father is a doctor and her mother is a nurse, Medicare For All is an issue that she takes very seriously. Katherine believes that no one should profit off another person’s pain and that our current system has barriers to access that result in the suffering and untimely death of too many. The New York State Senate has an opportunity to pass a universal healthcare bill that has passed the Assembly three times but has yet to be brought to the Senate floor. The passage of this bill is paramount to Kat Brezler.
UPDATE: Kat withdrew from the race and threw her support behind Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer.
George Latimer for Westchester County Executive
George Latimer, a third generation Westchester native, began public service on the Rye City Council, and eventually rose to be the first Democrat Chairman of the Westchester Board of Legislators. He brought a bipartisan, transparent approach to the position, decreasing property taxes for all three years he was chair, while also helping pass legislation creating the Human Rights Commission, establishing Smoke Free Workplace Laws, passing the Waste Haulers Law, and establishing the first cable TV coverage of Board of Legislators meetings.
Elected in 2004 to the State Assembly and then to the State Senate in 2012, George continued to work across the aisle to deliver for Westchester, authoring over 20 laws while addressing critical issues including environmental protection, housing, transportation, healthcare, transparency in government, and lower property taxes. Latimer’s sound business experience, his bipartisan problem-solving and his dedication to the County have been the driving force behind his 30-year record of public service. With Westchester’s future on the line, George is ready to use his knowledge, skills and work ethic as Westchester’s next County Executive.
UPDATE: George won this race, by a 60-40% margin! This was a huge victory. Astorino has now declared that he will not be running for the Republican nomination for Governor in 2018. NYPAN’s own Katherine Brezler has stepped forward to run for Latimer’s old seat in the upcoming special election.
Tom Shcherbenko for Staten Island Borough President
Tom was raised by a single working mother and a working grandmother. Through his grandma, he grew up understanding that workplace equality and discrimination were not abstract concepts, and from his mom, he learned that there were smart, skilled, and kind people that came from every ethnic and cultural background, and that sexual and gender identification did not decide or limit such qualities. Tom came of age during the Vietnam war, at one point wanting to serve in the Marines. However, as news stories questioning the United States’ involvement in that war grew, so did Tom’s own doubts about the war and many other justice issues, such as the death penalty. At that time, the environmental movement was growing strong as well and he realized there was a common thread to all the protests, rallies, and marches: the idea that politics can be used to build a government that protects the weakest among us even if they look, talk, or act very differently from ourselves.
In the end, Tom graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, attended Clarkson College of Technology, and went from physics student to world studies to computer programing, to teaching and coaching sports. Twenty years ago, Tom moved to the Stapleton neighborhood of Staten Island, where he still resides with his wife, Liz and youngest daughter, Diana. He became active with local Democratic Party efforts and later organized Staten Island delegates for Bernie Sanders. He attended the convention as a Bernie delegate, alongside many friends who were Clinton delegates, and used the opportunity to build coalitions. For Tom, seeking unity through participation and communication is the key to progress.
UPDATE: Tom lost his race but had a very respectable showing at 20%. Most importantly, we built up name recognition and his ground game. The winner is expected to seek higher office in the near term, and Tom will be well situated to win on his second try.
Andrea Smyth for Rensselaer County Executive
Andrea Smyth is running to be a County Executive who will fight for things that will improve the quality of life of every citizen. As County Executive, she intends to address the core problems too many families face in Rensselaer County, like a lack of employment opportunity and high energy and property taxes, water quality concerns and infrastructure instability; and too few recreational options. Andrea wants to offer young people the opportunity to learn a trade, reduce energy costs for seniors, replace and modernize the water, energy, and roadway infrastructure and make sure that every city, town and village in the county is receiving their fair share of state and local resources. If the community addresses these issues, they will have the opportunity to make Rensselaer County a leader in the Capital District.
UPDATE: Andrea lost her race by a very slim margin.
Justin Brannan for NYC Council, 43rd district
Justin Brannan is running for the open City Council seat in the 43rd district which covers Bay Ridge, Dyker heights, Bath Beach, and parts of Bensonhurst. Councilman Vinnie Gentile, who is term-limited and cannot run for re-election, has endorsed Justin to be his successor. Justin and his wife Leigh own a small local business. His priorities include making sure everyone has a fair shot at opportunity no matter who they are, or where they come from. He wants to make sure that the government functions at its most basic level — providing good schools, safe neighborhoods, reliable mass transit, senior services, and streets that we can walk, bike, and drive.
UPDATE: Justin won his race by less than 4 points against his Republican challenger, a staffer for local state senator Marty Golden. This was a big win for our team!
Patrick Davis for Orange County Executive
Patrick Davis is a third generation combat veteran committed to service. Patrick’s Orange County roots trace back to his grandparents settling in Newburgh to start a family after returning from the front lines of World War II. Following in the footsteps of his grandparents, he and his wife Alexis, both Army veterans of the War in Iraq, also settled in Orange County to start their family, after leaving the service. There, Patrick followed the sounds of the battle yet again—into the fight to pick up our economy’s pieces after greed and lack of accountability created the worst economic crisis in generations. Working for top tier business consulting and accounting firms, Patrick helped design and implement innovative solutions to identify non-compliant behavior, reduce conflicts of interest, and curb excess in many of the world’s largest financial institutions. During this time, Patrick also earned his Master’s in Business Administration from The Wharton School.
Now, at a time when elected officials seem to be turning their backs on the very people who elected them, Patrick is running for Orange County Executive to ensure that government is working on behalf of all the people rather than a select few. He will leverage his business and leadership experience to work with others to increase transparency and accountability in the government, fight the opioid epidemic, protect our beautiful natural environment, and attract well-paying jobs to our area.
UPDATE: Patrick lost his race by 19 points, but it was a strong first attempt at running for public office. The Times Herald-Record reported: “Davis entered the race late, stepping forward as a candidate in May, after the attorney and Democratic activist Michael Sussman ruled out running and no other challengers had stepped forward. Neuhaus, who has long been active in Republican politics, had a decided edge in political experience, and the campaign warchest of an incumbent. He also had the tradition of Republican rule in Orange County government, which has had a Democratic executive only once in 48 years.”
Melissa Jenkin for Cayuga County Legislature
Melissa is running to be the first Democrat elected in her district on the Cayuga County Legislature and also the second woman ever to serve on that body. Dear She has lived and worked in Cayuga County her entire life and is currently the Program Coordinator for Central Southern Tier Regional Adult Education Network (CST RAEN) at Cayuga Community College. She provides professional development and oversight to 23 adult HSE and literacy programs in Central New York. It is through this experience that she has developed an intimate knowledge of the services provided to at-need populations in her community. She has also become very familiar with the details of grant writing and meeting funding requirements.
Melissa is running for a seat on the Legislature because she wants to promote balanced economic, environmental, and cultural development in the county through an effective, efficient and accessible local government. Her focus will be on combating the serious issues facing both Owasco and Cayuga Lakes by collaborating with local and state government officials, scientists, small business owners, farmers and concerned citizens. The lakes are vital to residents, businesses, economic development, and tourism. She will also prioritize properly maintained infrastructure, particularly costly water and sewer systems. Taxpayers have a right to know they and their families are living in a safe, healthy, and supportive community.
UPDATE: Melissa lost her race by 37 points. But looked at another way, she won the vote of 30% of her constituents — which proves that even in very very red areas of upstate New York, one in three voters would still like something else. Too often they don’t even get a chance to vote for anyone other than a Republican.
Long Island Activists
Joe Tronolone for Suffolk County Legislature – www.joe4suffolkld10.ruck.us (note: other chapters that cover Suffolk County have not yet endorsed any candidate in this race)
Brooklyn Progressive Action Network (BPAN)
Justin Brannan for New York City Council, 43rd District – www.justin2017.com
Brian Cunningham for New York City Council, 40th District – www.cunninghamforcouncil.com
Staten Island Progressive Action Network (SIPAN)
Tom Shcherbenko for Staten Island Borough President – www.Tom2017.com
New York City Regional Coalition of NYPAN Chapters
Bill deBlasio for Mayor of New York City – www.billdeblasio.com
Letitia James for Public Advocate of New York City
Progressive Action of Lower Manhattan
New York City Council:
Margaret Chin for New York City Council 1st District – www.margaretchin2017.nyc
Carlina Rivera for New York City Council 2nd District – www.carlinarivera.nyc
LHVPAN – Westchester County
George Latimer for Westchester County Executive – www.latimerforwestchester.com
Brian Pugh for Mayor of Croton-on-Hudson – www.facebook.com/trusteebrianpugh
Westchester County Legislator:
Nancy Vann – www.nancyvann.com
Daren Tolz – www.darentolz.com
Nancy Barr – www.electnancybarr.com
Catherine Parker – www.electcatherineparker.com
Damon Maher – www.electdamonmaher.com
Chris Johnson – www.johnsonforwestchester.com
London Reyes – www.londonreyes.com
RocklandCAN – Rockland County
Maureen Porette for Rockland County Executive – www.poretteforcountyexec.com
Principled Progressives of Orange County
Patrick Davis for Orange County Executive – www.electpatdavis.com
Orange County Legislature:
Kevindaryan Lujan – www.kevindaryanlujan.com
Randy Hurst for Wawayanda Town Council
Capital NYPAN – Capital Region NY
Andrea Smyth for Rensselaer County Executive – www.andreasmyth.com
Bethlehem Town Board:
Dan Coffey – www.coffey4townboard.com
Maureen Cunningham – www.electmaureencunningham.com
Ulster People for Justice & Democracy
Ulster County Legislature:
Douglas Adams – www.charybdisinvestments.com
Kathy Nolan – www.friendsofkathynolan.com
Manna Jo Green – www.mannajogreene.com
Glen Geher – www.GeherForLegislator.org
Andrew Zink – www.andrewzinkny.com
Peter Volkmann for Sheriff – www.volkmannforsheriff.com
Dr. Andrea Coleman for Columbia County Coroner – www.colemanforcoroner.com
Zack Smith for New York State Senate, 46th District (note: other chapters that cover NYS Senate 46th district have not yet endorsed any candidate in this race)
Tompkins County Progressives
Anne Koreman for Tompkins County Legislature – www.anne4tompkins.com
Joe Driscoll for Syracuse Common Council – www.joedriscoll315.com
Mark Matt, Onondaga County Legislator – www.facebook.com/FriendsofMarkMatt
Tom Buckel, Onondaga County Legislator – www.facebook.com/tombuckelcountylegislature
Pete Ludden – www.facebook.com/Friends-of-Pete-Ludden-Pete-Ludden
NYPAN of the Southern Finger Lakes
Neal Pritchard for Corning City Council – www.facebook.com/nealforcouncil
Tyler Pribulick for Horseheads Town Council – www.electtylerpribulick.com
Our Revolution of Cayuga County
Melissa Jenkin (Cayuga County Legislature, District 5)
Kathy Gorr (Cayuga County Legislature, District 9)
Ryan Foley (Cayuga County Legislature, District 15)
Keith Batman (Cayuga County Legislature, District 7)
Terry Cuddy (Auburn City Council)
Debby McCormick (Auburn City Council)