Bill Samuels, the high-tech entrepreneur who started the reform-minded New Roosevelt Initiative last year to aid insurgent candidates who could shake up Albany, announced this morning that he is endorsing Jesus Gonzalez in the highly-contested Assembly special election in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn.
“A vote for Gonzalez is a vote in favor of change and reform in Brooklyn and beyond,” Samuels said. “If we can mobilize voters on behalf of candidates such as Gonzalez, it will mark an encouraging sign for young reformers throughout this city, who want to take on the entrenched and corrupt political system and change it for the better.”
Samuels compared Gonzalez to Gustavo Rivera, the former Kirsten Gillibrand aide who knocked out Pedro Espada last year with Samuels’ support.
“Like Rivera, Jesus Gonzales, is a fresh new progressive face in New York politics who is battling an entrenched and corrupt political party boss system that puts personal power and preservation ahead of the people,” Samuels said.
Samuels also cited the “flawed stated constitution and archaic political process” in endorsing Gonzalez, noting that in special elections it is party leaders, and not Democratic primary voters, who determine who gets placed on the Democratic line.
“Thanks to our flawed state constitution and archaic political process, local party bosses generally get to choose who the Democratic candidate and presumptive Assemblyperson will be,” Samuels said. “Bosses love elections without opponents, but they’re bad for democracy and bad for New York… The system is broken, disgraceful and must be changed. I applaud the valiant efforts of Gonzalez and WFP in their continued efforts to reform Brooklyn politics by letting voters have a real choice and that is why I fully support Gonzalez’s candidacy.”