Exclusive: Antonio Reynoso Scores Major Progressive Endorsement in Brooklyn Borough President Race

Exclusive: Antonio Reynoso Scores Major Progressive Endorsement in Brooklyn Borough President Race
Council Member Antonio Reynoso speaking at a press conference in Williamsburg in 2017. (Photo: Paul Stremple/Bklyner)

The New York Working Families Party (WFP) announced today its endorsement of Council Member Antonio Reynoso in the race for Brooklyn Borough President, making the lefty political party the latest in a series of prominent progressive organizations, activists and politicians to back Reynoso in recent months.

In a statement announcing the endorsement, WFP cited Reynoso’s work on tenant protections, policing reform and land use issues.

“Now more than ever, New Yorkers need elected officials with a clear vision for rebuilding this city to finally work for working people,” New York WFP Director Sochie Nnaemeka said. “In the Brooklyn Borough President race, Council Member Reynoso is the clear candidate who fits the bill.”

“Long before he was elected to City Hall, Antonio spent his entire career organizing for economic and social justice in his community of North Brooklyn. And as a Member of the Council, he has spearheaded critical progressive change, from the Tenant Stand for Safety Act to increased NYPD accountability. Antonio is a proven champion for Brooklyn’s working families — and he’s going to make a fierce Brooklyn Borough President. We’re thrilled to endorse him today.”

Reynoso, a Democrat who has represented parts of Williamsburg, Bushwick and Ridgewood in the City Council since 2014, has positioned himself as the progressive option in a crowded field of more than a dozen candidates, including Council Member Robert Cornegy and Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon, who are looking to replace the term-limited Eric Adams.

Last month, Make the Road Action, the political arm of the prominent immigrant advocacy group Make the Road New York, endorsed Reyonso. He has also picked up endorsements from Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, State Senator Julia Salazar and actress Cynthia Nixon, who ran to incumbent Andrew Cuomo’s left in the 2018 election for governor.

Reynoso was the lead sponsor of three of the dozen bills collectively called the Tenant Stand for Safety Act, which was designed to protect tenants from landlords using construction to harass tenants and passed in summer 2017.

That year, Reynoso also sponsored and passed legislation requiring NYPD officers to notify civilians of their right to refuse search as part of the Right to Know Act. In an interview with Bklyner last month, Reynoso said the change “will make a huge difference for a lot of young men of color like myself who were unjustly searched for so many years.”

WFP’s endorsement of Reynoso is the party’s first in the five borough president races taking place across the city. WFP also endorsed Williams for a second term as Public Advocate, Council Member Brad Lander for Comptroller, and a dozen Council candidates across the city, including Alexa Aviles in Sunset Park, Sandy Nurse in Bushwick and East New York, and Jennifer Gutiérrez in Reynoso’s current North Brooklyn seat.

WFP faced an existential threat in the November 2020 election, after the state law was changed to require that political parties receive at least 130,000 votes, or 2% of the total vote count, to remain on future ballots in the state.

Despite initial fears to the contrary, the party easily past that threshold; more than 386,000 New York voters across the state cast ballots on the WFP line.

“For years I’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with the Working Families Party to build power for working people and fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice,” Reynoso said. “That’s why I’m so excited to have their endorsement today. Brooklyn needs bold, unapologetically progressive leadership to ensure a just recovery that invests in our communities and leaves no one behind. Together we can build a better, brighter, more equitable Brooklyn.”