Klein, Díaz Jr. back Gjonaj in New York City Council candidate's first TV ad
Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj’s first television ad began airing on Thursday morning as the Bronx lawmaker’s campaign for a seat in the New York City Council heats up.
The 30-second advertisement features state Sen. Jeff Klein, the leader of the state Senate Independent Democratic Conference, and Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., two of Gjonaj’s most prominent supporters.
“Mark Gjonaj is the wakeup call we need down at City Hall,” Klein says in the ad after an alarm clock goes off. Klein also calls for cleaning up garbage and graffiti and maintaining residents’ quality of life.
Produced by Hamilton Campaign Network, the ad is airing on all Bronx cable news networks, including on NY1 and News 12 Bronx.
Gjonaj is running for the seat being vacated by City Councilman James Vacca, who is term-limited and cannot run for reelection in the 13th District this fall.
He faces a crowded field in the upcoming Sept. 12 primary, although his chief rival appears to be Marjorie Velazquez, a Democratic district leader who has won endorsements from the Working Families Party, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and a number of female council members.
In addition to Klein and Díaz, Gjonaj has the backing of Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, who chairs the Bronx Democratic Committeee, and Rep. Joseph Crowley, the leader of the Queens Democrats, among more than a dozen Democratic elected officials.
Similarly, he and Velazquez have split several of the biggest union endorsements, although Gjonaj has the edge on that front. The other Democratic primary candidates are John Doyle, Egidio Sementilli and Victor Ortiz.