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Van Bramer Officially Announces Run for Queens Borough President

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and his mother at the 2019 St. Pats for All Parade in Sunnyside (NYC Council/ Jeff Reed)

Jan. 19, 2021 By Christina Santucci

Three weeks after hinting to the Queens Post that he was considering running for Queens Borough President, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has launched his bid for the seat–announcing his run in a video posted to YouTube Tuesday morning.

“It’s time for a new vision for Queens where working New Yorkers get ahead – not real estate developers who put profits before people. Where we tax millionaires and billionaires and reimagine affordable housing. Where we invest more resources in black and brown communities and not the NYPD,” Van Bramer said in the video.

Van Bramer, who currently represents Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and Dutch Kills, will face his former Council colleague Donovan Richards who assumed the Queens Borough President office last month.

Last year Richards won both a primary and general election for the remainder of former Borough President Melinda Katz’s term, which is scheduled to conclude Dec. 31. Katz had left the BP seat to take over as Queens District Attorney.

Van Bramer initially ran in last year’s race for borough president but withdrew in January 2020, citing family concerns.

“About this time last year, it took a heavy toll on me, and I wasn’t in a good place to mount the run,” he told the Queens Post in a podcast. “If you are ready to run, you have to be all in.”

During the interview, Van Bramer spoke about how the pandemic forced him—along with his siblings–to devise a plan to care for his elderly mother’s health problems.

“I am in a position to run,” he said during the podcast.

When asked what he thought about his chances, Van Bramer said, “I wouldn’t enter a race that I didn’t think I had a chance of winning.”

“If there is a principled reason to run, if there are issues that really should be aired and should be discussed, and if there is a values-based platform that I think is important to share, then I would run,” he continued.

Van Bramer, who advocated against Amazon coming to Long Island City and was opposed to the recent Flushing waterfront rezoning, has already picked up the endorsements of State Senator Jessica Ramos and Assembly member Ron Kim.

According to the New York City Campaign Finance Board, Danniel Maio, a mapmaker from Forest Hills; Stan Morse, tenant organizer with the Justice for All Coalition; and Diane S. Sanchez have also filed candidate certifications for the BP seat.

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