July 25, 2022 By Christian Murray
Francoise Olivas, a left-leaning community organizer from Greenpoint, announced Monday that she is dropping out of the race to represent the newly created district 59 senate seat and has decided to endorse Elizabeth Crowley.
Olivas, who is a small business owner and has a sizable following in north Brooklyn, ran on a platform that called for universal childcare, the passage of the New York Health Act, protecting the environment and other progressive policies. She announced this morning that her campaign had ended, and she is backing Crowley.
“I proudly endorse Elizabeth Crowley,” Olivas said. “Today we stand united for the greater good of our community.”
The endorsement will go a long way for Crowley, whose strength is in Queens. Olivas who is well known in north Brooklyn is expected to bolster her campaign.
“I gratefully and warmly accept the endorsement of Françoise, a fellow mother who understands the true stakes in this race,” Crowley said. “Support from community leaders like Françoise shows that our campaign continues to gain momentum in the final weeks before the Democratic primary.”
The race to represent Senate District 59, the newly created seat that covers Long Island City, Astoria, Greenpoint, Williamsburg and a portion of Manhattan, is now being fought among Crowley, Kristen Gonzalez, Nomiki Konst and Mike Corbett.
The race has not been without controversy, with Gonzalez taking to Twitter to accuse Konst of racism and Konst also using Twitter to accuse the Gonzalez campaign of harassment. A nasty stream of comments by their respective supporters were posted on Twitter.
Olivas said she felt good about the race that she ran. “I entered this race with a pure heart and good intentions, to solve problems in our community. I entered this race to bring progressive ideas and solutions to the table. I am proud of the campaign we have run,” she said.
Crowley, who has raised more than $500,000 in her bid for the seat, is believed to be a frontrunner along with Gonzalez who raised more than $150,000.
Crowley has been backed by several large unions, including the United Federation of Teachers, New York state AFL-CIO, District Council 37 and Communications Workers of America. Among her supporters are Rep. Gregory Meeks, several moderate Democrats, and the Queens County Democratic Organization.
“This campaign is about supporting working families and making New York more affordable,” Crowley said. “We have to fix the affordable housing crisis, invest in smart transit solutions and cut the cost of childcare. We need to build new schools and make CUNY and SUNY free for all. Right now Albany needs experienced leaders in office more than ever.”
Gonzalez is supported by the Democratic Socialists of America and Working Families Party, as well as Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nydia Velázquez; State Senators Michael Gianaris and Julia Salazar are among her many supporters.
The primary is scheduled for Aug. 23.