By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
State Sen. Marty Golden (R- Bay Ridge), a retired cop who was forced to leave the New York Police Department after suffering a leg injury on the job in the 1980s, has secured the endorsement of his former law enforcement colleagues in his bid for re-election.
Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (P.B.A.) came to Golden’s campaign headquarters on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge on Sept. 18 to announce that the union was backing the incumbent’s bid for a sixth term in office. Golden’s Democratic challenger is Andrew Gounardes, a lawyer for the Citizens Committee for New York City.
“An endorsement is not given. An endorsement is earned. Senator Golden has earned this endorsement,” Lynch said.
The P.B.A. has 50,000 members, including active and retired police officers.
Golden, who represents the 22nd Senate District, understands the needs of cops and is a strong advocate for police in the State Legislature, according to Lynch, who said the senator works hard to secure funding for “giving us tools, training, and hiring” needed to effectively fight crime.
Golden has sponsored tough, anti-crime legislation, including bills to take guns off the streets and to protect children from child porn, Lynch said.
Golden’s policies “help the residents of his district,” Lynch said.
“I am very thankful for this endorsement,” Golden said. “I don’t take it lightly. I understand the responsibility.”
It’s important for lawmakers to provide cops with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively if the streets are to get safer, Golden said. He credited the Police Department with the decreases in crime New York has seen over the past 25 years. “In 1991, we had 2,600 people killed in this city. We don’t have that in third world countries,” he said, referring to the murder rate. “It took us a long time to bring that crime down.”
Golden said next on his agenda is to work for funding that would allow more cops to be hired. “They can’t do it with the numbers they have. We need more police officers,” he said.
Golden candidly admitted that even after several years as an elected official, he sometimes misses his days as a cop. “It was one of the best joys of my life. If not for injuries, I would still be rolling around with the bad guys,” he said.
Meanwhile, Golden’s opponent is busy on the campaign trail.
Gounardes was scheduled to hold a fundraiser, his last major fundraiser until Election Day, on Sept. 19, at Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Ave. The event, hosted by the Bay Ridge Democrats, a political club led by Justin Brannan, was expected to also feature state senators John Sampson, Michael Gianaris, Velmanette Montgomery, Kevin Parker and Daniel Squadron.
Brannan said Gounardes is garnering more and more support in his effort to unseat Golden, including support from the labor movement. “ The New York State AFL-CIO is on board. 32BJ SEIU is on board. Local 46 Ironworkers are on board. CWA Local 1109 is on board,” Brannan said.
Fundraisers are important, Brannan said. “And every dollar gives Andrew the resources to knock on another four doors,” he said.
Gounardes has been crisscrossing the district, knocking on doors and meeting voters, supporters said. He has knocked on more than 4,000 doors since the campaign began, his campaign staff said.