STATEN ISLAND -- The Island’s Democratic Party endorsed Rep. Max Rose, three Democratic incumbents in the state legislature and a candidate vying for Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis’ seat at its county convention Wednesday night.
Party chairman Assemblyman Michael Cusick urged fellow Democrats to fight to ensure Rep. Rose remains in Washington, D.C. and to reclaim the East Shore and South Brooklyn Assembly seat held by five-term Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis who is running for Congress against Rep. Rose.
The party endorsed Rose, Cusick, Assemblyman Charles Fall, state Sen. Diane Savino and Savino’s deputy chief of staff, Brandon Patterson, who is running for Malliotakis’ Assembly seat.
But the Party did not put forth any candidates to run for seats held by Republican lawmakers South Shore Assemblyman Michael Reilly or state Sen. Andrew Lanza.
Cusick said no one approached the party for interviews to run for those seats. However, he said he would be willing to consider candidates who want to run against the Republican incumbents before the April 2 deadline for candidates to file to run for congress and the state Legislature.
The assemblyman also said the party decided to not make any presidential endorsements in the lead up to the state’s April 28 presidential primary because party members would not be able to reach a consensus on the eight Democrats currently in the running.
“The party will not be [endorsing] because there are so many diverse candidates that people are supporting that there wouldn’t be a consensus from the party and folks have already circulated petitions for different candidates,” said Cusick, who recently endorsed former mayor Michael Bloomberg. “So we believe it was better to just let people pick their own candidates.”
All of the candidates attended the convention except for Assemblyman Fall, who is out of the country attending to “legislative responsibilities,” his spokesperson said, however she did not immediately respond when asked which country the assemblyman was in and for what purpose.
The party’s top of the ticket pick tried to rile up his Democratic base Thursday night, telling fellow Democrats: “We are just getting started.”
“They’re saying that 2018 was a fluke … they’re saying 2018 we were under the radar, they didn’t think that we could win so they got lazy and that’s the only reason why we got more votes from the other guy,” Rose said referring to his historic defeat of Republican incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan.
“Now they’re saying because we uphold our values, because we upheld the Constitution, because we did what was right and we didn't look at polls, that we’re going to lose, well I'll tell you this, that’s why we’re going to win,” Rose continued. “We’re going to take it to them and we’re going to keep on winning how does that sound?”
Three of the candidates -- Rose, Savino and Patterson -- are running in districts that also represent a slice of South Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Democratic Party spokesman Bob Liff recently said Rose, Savino and Patterson were endorsed unanimously by the party. However, he could not say if any other candidates had interviewed with the executive committee for those races before the endorsements were made.
Currently, Savino is the only one of the party’s Democratic slate with primary challengers.
The nominations for the five candidates were nearly unanimous for the exception of one woman who raised her hand to oppose the party’s endorsement of Savino.
The woman who opposed Savino’s sat next to Jasmine Robinson, who lost to Savino in the 2018 Democratic primary. Asked why the woman opposed Savino, Robinson said the woman would not be talking to the media.
On Thursday night, the party also endorsed Attorney Allyn Crawford as its pick for the borough-wide Civil Court seat and made endorsements for a number of district leadership positions and judicial delegate seats.
The primary for state and congressional races are scheduled for June 23.