Councilmen Jimmy Van Bramer and Daniel Dromm announced their endorsements of Melissa Sklarz for state Assembly on Friday morning.
The candidate is challenging incumbent Assemblyman Brian Barnwell for the 30th Assembly District seat. The assemblyman assumed his position in January 2017 and has been serving Woodside and Maspeth plus parts of Sunnyside, Astoria, Long Island City, Elmhurst and Middle Village. If elected, Sklarz will be the first transgender Assembly member to serve in New York.
“I am proud to endorse Melissa Sklarz for state Assembly because it’s clear she has a vision for change, and the experience needed to get results up in Albany,” Dromm said. “As someone who ran an insurgent campaign for City Council in 2009, with the help of people like Melissa, I know that she will go to Albany ready to challenge authority and stand up for what is right. I am proud to support her and call her a friend.”
Van Bramer praised the candidate in his endorsement and mentioned that Albany is in need of progressive leaders like Sklarz, who will protect the rights of all New Yorkers.
“Queens values are under attack and we need progressive leaders in Albany who are ready to stand up and protect the rights of all New Yorkers,” Van Bramer said. “Over the years, Melissa has exhibited a rare ability to build broad-based coalitions to solve issues. I know she will provide strong leadership and be an outspoken voice for affordable housing, public transportation, education, women, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community.”
In 1999, Sklarz served as a judicial delegate in Manhattan’s 66th Assembly District, becoming the first trans person elected to any office in New York state.
To date, Sklarz has received endorsements from the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund, National Association of Social Workers, Citizen Action, Victory Fund, Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club and the Stonewall Democratic Club.
The Democratic primary between Sklarz and Barnwell will take place on Sept. 13. The winner of the primary will go on to the Nov. 6 general election.